GUWAHATI, Oct 20 - “The ruling BJP has taken a dual stand on the updating process of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The central leadership of the party supports the process and on the other hand, in Assam, some other leaders have opposed it. Thus, there is an attempt to politicalise the NRC updating process,” said former Assam Police DGP and writer Harekrishna Deka.
Deka made the allegation while releasing a booklet on the NRC named Why NRC? here today. The booklet has been prepared and published by Axom Nagarik Samaj (ANS), where Deka is one of the core members.
The ANS is a civil society organisation of the State comprising eminent people from various spheres of life like literature, education, journalism, publication, banking, legal profession, etc.
Explaining the aim and objective of publishing the booklet, the preface, which is also penned by Deka, states, “ANS has decided to publish a booklet on the issue of the upgradation of the NRC in Assam in view of the fact that desperate and disturbing narratives are being circulated to create confusion among people over this matter by various vested interests, nationally and internationally, disregarding the existential problems faced by the indigenous communities of the State since the British occupation of the region in the nineteenth century.”
The preface further states, “Many attempts have been made to drive a communal wedge in a multi-cultural society of Assam on linguistic and religious lines before and after the publication of the draft NRC. ANS felt that all cobwebs of confusion should be removed by publishing a booklet based on the historical development of the influx issue that led to the upgradation of the NRC. The NRC for Assam is a vital document for registering the genuine citizens. Therefore, we believe that all genuine citizens living in Assam should be registered and all foreigners should be excluded from it.”
On the other hand, Deka also stated that the ANS would advocate a humanistic approach on migrants. “We feel that detaining illegal migrants in detention camps is not a humanistic approach at all, nor dividing them on religious basis, in order to grant citizenship to illegal Hindu migrants is a proper solution. The illegal migrants need to be given opportunities to earn livelihood with dignity until the countries from which they illegally entered can be persuaded through diplomacy to take back their citizens towards whom they have a responsibility,” he said in the preface.
ANS members including journalist Prasanta Rajguru, publisher Paresh Malakar, educationist Akhil Ranjan Dutta and others were also present during release of the booklet.