MISLEADING: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi falsely claimed that NRC would not be introduced anywhere in the country except Assam. The Centre has already notified the Central Population Register on August 14, 2019 in Goa which is identical to NRC.
BY RAJAN NARAYAN
The government on Tuesday very cunningly coverted the National Citizens Register into the National Population Register. This will be in addition to the Census to be held in 2021 and will be conducted with the same NRC questions between April 1, 2020 till September 31, 2020. Unlike in NRC no proof will be demanded as according to Prakash Javadekar I & B Minister insisted that they had faith in the people. Migration patterns will also be studied.
The Modi Government (on December, has sneaked in the NRC in the form of National Population Register which will ask the same 21 questions. The only difference is that no proof will be sought and production of Aaadhar won’t be compulsory. Since answers are mandatory if you do not give the right answers, you may be liable to imprisonment.
This is what demonstration across 18 states against the Constitutional Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) proves. Obviously, the Sangh Parivar is rattled. Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing a gathering in Delhi insisted that the NRC has not been bought before Parliament. That no rules have been framed for an all- India NRC. Modi claims that directive for setting up an NRC was given by the Supreme Court. And now the bloody lie in which Modi claims that the CAA won’t affect any Indian citizens Hindu or Muslim. That it is aimed at providing citizenship to persecuted minorities specifically Hindus, Christians, Buddhist, Jains and Parsis in Islamic countries like Pakistan and Afganistan where they are harassed.
The big lie is that Muslims are not included in the list of harassed communities who qualify for Indian citizenship. It is well known that the Muhajirs who rushed to Pakistan during Partition in the hope of a better life are harassed by the ruling elite who are all Punjabi Muslims. Former president of Pakistan, Musharaf Khan, who has been recently sentenced to a brutal death, will not only be hanged but his body dragged through the city squares, is a Muhajir. Contrary to their belief that Muslims will get a better deal in Pakistan, Muslims who migrated are much worse of then their counterparts in India.
The Modi government is obviously running scared. It took a large advertisement in The Times of India (not in local papers). The advertisement states: “DO NOT GET MISLED BY MISINFORMATION ON THE CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT.” The Modi government claims that CAA does not affect Indian citizens of any religion. Which is why the Babri Masjid was demolished with the sanction of the Supreme Court. Modi & Company claim that the CAA applies only to minorities from three countries — Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
It does not apply to Muslims of Indian origin even in these three countries. The Sangh Parivar in the advertisement released on behalf of the Government of India insists that no nationwide NRC has been announced and if and when its announced rules and guidelines would be framed so that no Indian citizen faces any harassment. This is a blatent lie as on August 14th 2019 a Central notification on the National Population Register was published in the Goa Gazzette. The very fact that magistrates in Mumbai are not accepting government issued Aadhar cards, Pan cards and sale deeds as proof of Indian nationality from members of the Muslim community shows that they intend victimizing Muslims.
As far as the NRC is concern Home Minister Amit Shah in Parliament has referred to Muslims as “termits” and has threatened to search and extern every Muslim refugee from India. Obviously the thanedars (police) of Amit Shah will decide who is a genuine Muslim and who is a Bangladeshi who has infiltrated into the country.
covering his tracks
In his clarification Modi claimed that for registration under the NRC “there is absolutely no compulsion to submit any documents by/of the parents. It would be sufficient to provide details of your birth.” How do you furnish details of your birth if you do not know the details of the birth of your parents? Narendra Modi has an answer for even that, “If you do not have the details of your birth than you will have to provide the same details about your parents.” What do you do if your poor illiterate parents despite being born in the country, living all their life in Goa for instance, did not register your birth certificates? What do you do if in their ignorance they did not even register their marriage certificate? If they did not register their marriage certificate will their children be called najaiz or nalayak? Or will Modi offer to parent all the children whose parents did not register their birth certificate? In the Ramayan did King Dasharath of Ayodhya register the birth of his children from his three queens — Bharat, twins Lakshman and Shatrughan and Rama birth? If you remember Ram was the eldest and favorite son of King Dasharatha. In the Mahabharata did Dhritarashtra of the hundred sons through Gandhari register their birth? Did the warring cousins of the Kaurava and Pandava clans register their marriages?
Coming to the present the Publicity & Information Bureau (PIB) has issued a note explaining that “citizenship can be proved by submitting any documents relating to date of birth and place of birth.” However, the decision is yet to be taken on acceptable documents. This is likely to include voter ID cards, passport, Aadhar, licenses, insurance papers, school leaving certificates, documents relating to land or home or other similar documents issued by government officials. The list is likely to include more documents so that an Indian citizen does not have to suffer unnecessarily.
Amit Shah has twittered that citizenship of India may be proved while giving any documents relating to “date of birth or place of birth.” Indian citizens do not have to proof any ancestry by presenting documents like identity cards, birth certificates of parent/grandparents dating back to pre-1971. On whether the NRC will require old documents difficult to collect, the PIB note says “there is nothing like that. Common documents will only be required to prove identity.”
When the NRC is announced at the national level than rules and instruction will be made in such a way that no one (except Muslims) will face any problems. If the person is literate and does not have relevant documents the authorities will allow the person to bring witnesses. Also other evidence and community verification will be allowed. The very fact that the PIB has issued such a press note proves that NRC will be introduced across the nation very soon.
Muslims are not the only likely victims of the CAA and NRC. Indeed, the most helpless victims will be the huge tribal population of the country. The tribals who are the original inhabitants of Goa and India.
gaudi land seized
There is historical evidence that (as in the case of the native Red Indians of the United State of America) the Brahmins of the Indian sub-continent are outsiders and migrated from elsewhere in search of a homeland and when they came they dominated all the native people and grabbed their land. This is most evident in Goa where the Saraswat Brahmins, less than 5% of the population, own 80% of assets including land. They converted the older natives, particularly the tribals, into slaves with titles like mundkar (tenants). The mundkar then lost their right to property or even the home they were residing in while working for the bhatkar or landlords till after Liberation.When the first chief minister of Goa, Dayanand Bandodkar, enacted the Tenancy & Mundkar Act that gave the so called lower castes their rights. The Mundkars Act ruled that the land belonged not to the landlord but to the actual people cultivating the land. Similarly, the act stipulated that those who were staying on landlords’ property were entitled to 350sq mts each in villages and 250 sq mts meters in urban areas.
But for Dayanand Bandodkar who himself was from the backward classes, the poor and the humble of Goa would never got their rights, freedom from working for the bhatkar free of charge or schools to study and upgrade their education.
Coming to birth certificates and marriage certificates even as late as 1983 when my Gaudi maid from Aivao village got married she did not have a birth certificate. I had to get an affidavit prepared which was then approved by the village head Guru Shirodkar which was then submitted to the mamlatdar. I also had to produce eight witnesses to prove that she was a member of the scheduled tribes. Indeed, Goa’s scheduled tribes were not even recognized by the center till a decade ago. It was only a decade ago that the Gaudi, Kunbi, Velip people were classified as scheduled tribes on put on the national registry of tribes. Though the Dhangar who look after cattle and move from place to place are recognized as scheduled tribes in Maharashtra, they are not accepted us as such in Goa. So what will happen to them when the National Register of Citizens comes into force? Unfortunately for them they do not believe in any of the religions including Hinduism listed for securing citizenship under the CAA at NRC.
TRIBALS ARE ANIMISTIC
I recall the local bhatkar setting up a Shanta Durga temple in Aivao village. The tribals have been traditionally animists worshipping nature as in trees, stones, tribal gods and goddess, and do not accept any formally organized religion. It is only in recent years that they have started registering the birth of their children and marriages. Even now the above 50 population in any tribal villages whether it is in Aivao or Fartoda does not have a birth certificate. They never felt the need to prove that they were born in Goa which became part of India only in 1961 after Liberation. The tribals of Diu and Nagar Haveli and Daman were liberated by freedom fighters in 1954.
ODXEL LAND GRAB
Even the church has exploited scheduled tribes. A large part of the land at Odxel (Dona Paula) belongs to the tribal people. Since the Don Bosco order could not remove the tribal huts from the beach front they struck a deal with prominent builder Peter Vaz. The deal was in return for the relocation of the tribals in a remote corner away from the seashore, Peter Vaz would get a 10,000 square meter plot on which now the hotel Bay 15 stands. Vaz also promised to build a school for Don Bosco which is only partially completed.
The ground reality is that the entire land on which the provincial Headquarters of the Don Bosco order stands belongs to tribals who are still fighting their cases. So how will they classify in National Register of Citizens? Since the register does not have a special category for animistic tribals worshiping gods of another kind and not drawn from the Ramayana or Mahabharata?
I am equally concerned about people like me who are agnostics. Who do not believe in any religion. Who believe that Ram, Jesus Christ and Allah, have to shoulder the burden of billions of people and I at least do not want to further burden them. Right from the age of 14 years when I lost my sister in spite of all my prayers I can no longer even unconsciously pray.
VOICE OF THE PEOPLE
The voice of the people cannot be silenced. This has been proved again and again in history. The Roman Pontius Pilate crucified King of Jews, the young Jesus Christ, who was in his 30s. Wasn’t this the beginning of the collapse of the decadent Roman Empire? Prophet Allah tried to stop the wars between the various tribes of Arabia and died of an illness while he was being harassed into fleeing from Mecca to Madina in Saudi Arabia. Dictators have always died by the sword. Hitler who killed millions of Jews in concentration camps (similar to detention camps of today’s Assam) in the end had to commit suicide in his underground bunker in Berlin. The Italian dictator Mussolini who was Hitler’s associate was also killed. In the case of India, Mahatma Gandhi who liberated India from British rule, was killed by a Hindu Maha Sabha member, Nathuram Godse. Indira Gandhi who declared Emergency was killed by her own Sikh guard.
FREEDOM OF WORSHIP
So you see you can fool some of the people sometimes but not all the people all the time. India is too big a country to try to rule people by force. The Constitution of India promises its people freedom of speech, movement and worship. You cannot discriminate between Hindus, Muslims and Catholics, who have a right to their own places of worship and even their own schools and colleges. Neither CAA or NRC will work in this country. Judging by the rebellious uprising across the country from young and old this is the beginning of the end of Sangh Parivar ruling this country which deserves better, much, much better.