oppn parties Flawed Process Must Be Rectified Before Conducting NRC All Across India

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  • J&K separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the most visible face of the Hurriyat, broke all relations with the forum
  • Nearly 20000 new Covid cases reported in India on Sunday. 384 deaths reported
  • Even as the Centre checks Chinese shipments for viruses and malware, transport minister Nitin Gadkari says holding up consignments at ports will hit India more than China
  • Fuel retailers in J&K asked to stock up on LPG cylinders for two months due to fear over the closure of roads because of landslides and flooding in the monsoons. But it triggers wild speculations about war with China
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  • RBI board thinks of relaxing norms for NPAs. The 90-day recognition might be extended to 180 days due to widespread distress due to the lockdown
  • Google and Apple approach the government to include their API in Aarogya Setu app for contact tracing of Covid-19 infected persons
PM Modi announces extension of PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, the free ration scheme for the poor, until November
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Flawed Process Must Be Rectified Before Conducting NRC All Across India

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

The NRC exercise in its present form has failed to achieve its stated purpose of detecting infiltrators. The Assam experience was a flop and many genuine inhabitants of the state were left out while not many Bangladeshis were detected. No party in the state, including the ruling BJP, was satisfied with the outcome of the prolonged and costly exercise.

Yet, Home Minister Amit Shah has stated in Parliament that it will be undertaken on a pan-India basis. Is there any logic in spending time, effort and money in conducting this flawed exercise throughout the country? Shah's repeated insistence on taking the NRC to other states has created a fear psychosis amongst citizens, especially in West Bengal.

State chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her party, the TMC, have said that they will oppose any move to conduct the NRC exercise in the state. The state has seen a mad scramble amongst citizens to acquire the documents that were part of the exercise in Assam, despite Banerjee's assurance that she will not allow it in the state.

Although it is no one's case that illegal infiltrators from Bangladesh be allowed to live in India, the NRC, as conducted in Assam, has failed to detect them. Then what is the point in conducting the exercise elsewhere? Instead, the government should learn from the Assam experience and find out the reasons why it failed. Since it was a document-based exercise, the government has to take a fresh look at the whole process.

One feels that the government must suspend the NRC exercise until the results of the next Census (slated to be conducted in 2021) are out. Till then, it must constitute an expert committee to study the results of the NRC in Assam, find out what went wrong and suggest how to make it better. If the 2021 Census also throws up demographic changes in districts bordering Bangladesh and elsewhere in the country, the government can conduct a revamped and improved NRC across India. But rushing forward with the flawed exercise now would be a mistake.