North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

[op-ed snap] Senseless


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NRC

Mains level : NRC across India


The proposal for a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) is worrisome on several counts. The government would also re-introduce the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) that envisages the grant of Indian citizenship to all refugees from minority communities in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Drawbacks of the idea

    • Experience – the inability to learn from the experience of carrying out the humongous exercise in Assam. 
    • CAB – religion – the Bill denies a benefit to Muslim minorities from other neighboring countries, including Myanmar where Rohingya Muslims face persecution. 
    • Assam again – Home Minister announced that the NRC process would be conducted in Assam again with the rest of the country. 
    • Assam hanging – There is still no clarity on what the 19 lakh plus people outside the NRC could do. They are potentially stateless and at risk of “deportation”.
    • Bangladesh – Bangladesh refuses to acknowledge them.

NRC for the whole country

    • If there is a lesson from Assam, it is that there is no right way of going through a process such as the NRC.
    • Fear for minorities – there are genuine fears that a nationwide NRC will target Muslims. 
    • Administrative details – of how such an exercise will be carried out are not yet known.
    • Cutoff date – In the case of Assam, there was a cut-off date after which all foreigners as per the Assam Accord were to be expelled. The Centre may come out with a cut-off for the nationwide NRC.


Given the dangers that lurk within such exercises, the government could abandon the nationwide NRC-CAB combination. Indians can certainly be spared this pain.


[Burning Issue] Assam NRC

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