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Spare Indians of NRC-CAB pain, asks Hindu editorial

Spare Indians of NRC-CAB pain, asks Hindu editorial

The Hindu has written a scathing editorial on the Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement of a proposal for a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC). In the editorial titled ‘Senseless: On nationwide NRC’ the newspaper states that the announcement “is worrisome on several counts, not the least of which is the apparent inability to learn from the experience of carrying out the humongous exercise in Assam.”

On government’s decision to re-introduce the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Parliament the editorial noted that the CAB ‘envisages the grant of Indian citizenship to all refugees from minority communities in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In all three nations Muslims are in a majority.” It observed that “the Bill effectively denies benefit to Muslim minorities from other neighbouring countries, including Myanmar where Rohingya Muslims face persecution.”

The Home Minister also announced that the NRC process would “naturally” be conducted in Assam again with the rest of the country. Calling it as illogical and bizarre, the editorial noted “Given that the NRC process in Assam was rooted in the specificities of the 1985 Assam Accord, and as the government never tires of saying, a court-mandated process, extending it to the entire country is both illogical and bizarre.” It added, “For the government to repeat the exercise merely because the numbers thrown up are politically inconvenient for the ruling BJP, makes no sense at all. If there is a lesson from Assam, it is that there is no right way of going through a process such as the NRC.”

Expressing fear of denial of rights to Muslims, the editorial read, “Like the CAB, which pointedly discriminates against Muslims, and is loaded against the right to equality and equal protection before the law as enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution, there are genuine fears that a nationwide NRC will target Muslims.”

Finding it an exercise that may land Indians into trouble, the editorial suggested, “Given the dangers that lurk within such exercises, the government would do well to abandon the nationwide NRC-CAB combination. Indians can certainly be spared this pain.”

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