In The Name Of NRC, People Are Being Kept In Fear For Electoral Gains
Mumtaz Alam | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 2— Community leaders, legalists and human rights activists have expressed deep concern on the proposed updation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) at national level, saying this is just a ploy to keep a section of the society in fear for electoral gains. They were speaking at a national convention on “NRC – Myth and Catastrophe” organized by the Welfare Party of India (WPI) at the Constitution Club here on Saturday.
People Are in Deep Fear in Assam: Dr. John Dayal
When they began the process of NRC updation they had planned and had belief that they would be able to identify lakhs of Muslims as infiltrators and throw them out of the country but they failed to do so. Later, BJP leaders including Home Minister Amit Shah clearly said that Hindus and all religious minorities except Muslims need not fear NRC or Citizenship Bill, said eminent human rights activist and Christian leader Dr. John Dayal.
“There is deep fear in people in Assam about missing of even a single document because they fear about the future of their family members. Fear is so palpable that it is difficult to find a human rights activist to go with you for a fact-finding work,” said Dr. Dayal who has visited Assam several times to document human rights issues.
Dr. John Dayal also raised the issue of communal attitude of officers deployed at Foreigners Tribunals.
“Officers at lower levels at Foreigners Tribunals are not much literate. It is on their wish to select or reject a document. The higher authorities have communal attitude. Situation on the ground is explosive and politicians are sprinkling oil on it,” he said.
“The situation in India today – from Assam to Kashmir – is Islamophobic,” he said.
“There is a need to embrace those who were born in India, live here and eat the salt of the soil,” he urged.
NRC Should Not Be Taken Out of Assam: Adv. Sanjay Hegde
Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Hegde said that NRC process was started to resolved a local issue of Assam and there is no need to take it out of the state.
“NRC process is a bad idea. It was started to resolve a local problem but now it is threatening to go out of hand,” he said. “NRC is a local issue of Assam and should be dealt locally and it should not be taken out of Assam.”
“Inclusion in the latest NRC is proof that your grandfather was in NRC 1951 but exclusion from it is not a proof that you are not Indian,” he said.
Commenting on the proposal about NRC in other states, he said: “In In a way, NRC is good because people are correcting their documents. If you do not have corrected papers today, no one knows what the next CJI or SC will do.”
The NRC in Assam was done under the supervision of the Supreme Court.
If Muslims Had Given Their Daughters Due Share In Properties, Problem Would Not Have Been That Big In Assam: Maulana Arshad Madani
Maulana Arshad Madani, President Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind called upon the Muslim community across the country to correct their documents and keep them intact.
“Whether NRC is done across India or not, everyone should correct their documents of citizenship. NRC issue has been for long in Assam and this pushed the Muslims in the state to keep their documents intact. I ask people to keep documents free from spelling errors,” said Maulana Madani.
“We faced lots of problems in ensuring citizenship to Muslim women in Assam. This was because Muslim women were not given shares in the properties of the parents. If parents had given share to daughters in properties there would not have been much problem,” said he whose organization extensively worked in Assam to give legal help to people.
“We fought cases of D-voters, both Muslims and Hindus – there were thousands of Hindus. Around 48 lakh women were facing document issue, some 22 lakh of them were Hindu. We fought for all and thanks to the Supreme Court, their document was approved,” said Maulana Madani.
A section of audience at Welfare Party program on NRC in New Delhi on Nov 2, 2019
He said that even NRC final list is out which has a few lakh Muslims excluded, the threat is still there because of the communal mindset of some officers.
“Foreigners Tribunals do not have judges, they are people hired by BJP government, so fear is still hanging over head,” said Maulana Madani.
Giving an example of how some officials have communal attitude, he said: “A Muslim man was standing in the queue with all documents. When the time for Juma prayers approached, he requested the officer to allow him to go to offer namaz and he will join the queue after that. The officer became so irritated that he declared him D-voter and got him arrested and sent him to jail.”
The final list of NRC was made public on August 31 this year, excluding 19 lakh people. They have been given 120 days to prove their bona fide citizenship before the Foreigners Tribunals.
Condemning the Kolkata statement of Home Minister Amit Shah about citizenship and NRC, Maulana Madani said Muslims have not come from outside, they are original residents of the country.
“We condemn Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement on NRC and citizenship and his remarks are against the Constitution.”
Amit Shah had at an event in Kolkata last month said that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Christians and Parsis need not fear about NRC or citizenship.
Maulana Madani said: “Muslims have not come here from outside. Muslims are original residents of this country. All castes in Hindus are also found in Muslims. If there are Brahmin Hindus, there are Brahmin Muslims also in Kashmir. There are also Jat Muslims. But just because they are Muslims, they are being threatened to rob them of citizenship. We reject this communalism.”
“Communal forces had thought that 50-60 lakh Muslims would be disenfranchised after NRC in Assam but they failed in their game,” he said.
People With Fascist Mindset Always Want To Keep Masses In Fear: Mohammad Salim Engineer
“NRC has three basic aspects – political, social and communal – and the last one has assumed dangerous proportion,” said Mohammad Salim Engineer, Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.
“The central government and some states under the rule of the same party are hiding their failure by pushing such things. They are diverting people’s attention from real issues. If NRC issue had not been there, we would have been talking about poverty, illiteracy and economic backwardness,” he said.
In his speech, he also talked about features of people with fascist ideology.
“Those with fascist mindset have always wanted to keep people in fear and terror, and they do so continuously. Another feature is that they divide people. For instance, in the NRC case, the issue of identifying illegal immigrants has been converted into a communal issue and it is tried to take political mileage out of it. Their third feature is that they create a bogey of false enemy for their followers and try to take political mileage out of it,” said Salim Engineer.
Talking about the Assam NRC, he said: “Even before the completion of NRC, it was said that there would be 40-50 lakh illegal people – in the first draft of NRC, around 40 lakh were excluded but in the second draft the number fell down to 19 lakh. It is said that a big number of people in this list is just because of spelling mistakes in their names and many have already died. Then the ruling party publicly declared it does not like this NRC list. And now NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela has been removed as a punishment.”
He also said: “To spread fear in people, detention centres are being created and it is being propagated in the media.”
“All these things are being used in election campaigns – NRC was used, defence operations were also used. It appears that in the last 5-6 years, the country has got only election campaigns and nothing else,” he said.
He called upon people to work together to stop the government from nationalising the NRC process.
The WPI program was presided over by its national president Dr. SQR Ilyas. Other eminent persons who spoke on the occasion included Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, Lok Sabha MP Kunwar Danish Ali and rights activist Ravi Nair.