Editorial

A different or indifferent India

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/27/2019 12:05:12 PM IST

 Widespread protests against the Modi government’s agenda on a pan-India National Register of Citizens(NRC) and the controversial Citizens Amendment Act(CAA) continue unabated and have spilled over into the streets with widespread anger and violence and police reprisals. The BJP government’s agenda on NRC and CAA are destroying the nation’s diversity along communal lines. Had these been addressed in a transparent and with through wide consultations with all political parties, then it would have been different. That is why Indians across various states have spontaneously protested enactment into CAA. As waves of protests became widespread all over India, the Modi government responded with crackdown on protestors and sympathisers. Perhaps sensing the mood of the nation, prime minister Narendra Modi opened another front by declaring in his speech at Ramlilla Maidan in Delhi on December 22, that no decision on the NRC had been taken so far. Not only that, he asserted that ever since he had come to power in 2014, there had been no discussion at all on an all-India NRC and that no one had even spoken about it. Modi’s statement sharply contradicts what union home minister Amit Shah had been saying over the past few months, that the government has decided to create an all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC). During the debate in the winter session of the Lok Sabha on the CAB, union home minister Amit Shah re-ignited controversy by promising to extend NRC all over India. Apart from his public declarations at political rallies, press conferences and interviews, the government’s decision to conduct the NRC exercise at the national level - across all states, including in Assam for a second time - was conveyed to the Rajya Sabha on November 20, 2019 by Shah in his capacity as Union home minister. Speaking at an election rally in Chakradharpur, Jharkhand on December 2, 2019, Shah even set a deadline for the NRC’s implementation, 2024 - one he had mentioned earlier in interviews. Modi’s statement, whether a ploy save his party government from being on the backfoot or choosing to send his trusted colleague Amit Shah a strong message against going hyper; the fact is that the BJP manifesto, has promised NRC in the country in a phased manner to combat infiltration. Though Amit Shah was made to tactically agree with Modi that NRC had never figured in discussions or in the cabinet, yet it remains on the agenda. As the row over the Citizenship Amendment Act brought thousands to the streets, a fresh controversy erupted over the updating of the National Population Register (NPR). The NPR is a register of residents of India where the enumerator collects demographic and biometric data of individuals living at the place of enumeration for six months or more. The current NPR exercise is the latest to be set in motion after the Narendra Modi government decided to update the NPR originally created after the Census 2011. Seen in the context of the Citizenship Amendment Act of 2003, the NPR may lead to an NRIC. This may be referred to Section 14A of the Citizenship Act provides the legal basis for NPR preparation and links it with Census and NRC. This means if the government wants, at any point of time, the data collected for the NPR may be legally used for NRC. Both within, where India today is engulfed by communalism and beyond where its international reputation is seriously damaged; the saab ka saath, saab ka vikas, stands exposed.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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