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NRC final draft analysis (Part-2): Why were 4 million people excluded?

Ashraful Hussain 26 Sep 2018
Since the publication of final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), we have been engaged in field study, discussion and getting opinion of people from various walks of life, information of various sources in preparation of this report. Field study reveals that there are a section of families whose names didn't appear in the NRC even after having sufficient and valid documents. Though the reasons in relation to this are unknown (till preparation of this report) many people allege some sort of anomaly or partiality on the part of NRC authority.

NRC Assam
 
A section of families have either the men's or the women's names. Maybe because of technical issues the other part of legacy data didn't find place in NRC draft. There is yet another section, whose names are there in the NRC, with exclusion of a person or two in their families.
 
In this piece, we would like to discuss a few principal reasons why many names of Indian citizens might have been dropped:
 
1. There are bits of information published district wise, though there is no detailed information published by NRC authority. It is already clear, from discussion with several persons of both lower and upper Assam and Barak valley, that the dropped outs are mostly poor and illiterate, working class with children and women in a large number.
 
  • A large number of women were left out because they used Panchayat certificate and or had a D voter reference case.   
  • Children might have been dropped out because of use of certificates issued more than a month after birth or certificates of private schools or certificate without counter signature. Children of D voters are also dropped out.
  • If the mother was dropped for use of Panchayat particulars, her children also were dropped. Altogether 4,800,456 women used Panchayat documents as linkage: many of these are excluded.
  • A child born prior to 2003, having any of the parents in NRC must have been enlisted. Born prior to 2003, many children of D voters with suspicious Panchayat papers are dropped and the reasons are not known.
 
2. Along with names of children of declared foreigners, names of D voters (whose proceeding is pending in FT or SC) and their children, too, didn't find place in NRC. It commonly known that a section of people are termed ‘foreigners’ or ‘doubtful’ citizens without any investigation and thus compelled to frequent FTs or court. For example, the son of an old man with his name in the NRC of 1951 is declared foreigner by one FT. How is it possible that the son of a citizen included in 1951 NRC can be deprived of citizenship? How can the son be designated a foreigner when his father is a native?
 
3. Many women, who belong to other states and are permanent inhabitants of Assam by marriage, didn't find place in NRC as their particulars didn't reach NRC authority as per norms and guidelines. Sources say, of 609,355 applicants only 298,497 have received a response from the concerned states. Altogether 310,851 such applications are yet to reach concerned authority.
 
4. Those who have proved to be Indians through FT during 2014-2018, that is, after the deadline of NRC application, could not be included in the register. According to the local registrar of NRC, they wouldn't be able to include names even after receiving opinion of FT or order of SC. They reasoned that they have instructions to include names as per list received from Border police of Assam, FTS or concerned departments.
 
5. Many names are dropped in the last phase due to dissimilarity in family tree. There are instances of existence of two persons of same name in a particular village. Both or one might have been there in 1951 NRC. In such cases both the parties were called for hearing. If either of the parties surrendered and produced alternative correct information, it is observed that many people were dropped on this issue. There are still some families who could not come to a solution in this regard.
 
6. A few issues were found with Refugee Card holders. Some families didn't appear in the NRC despite possessing Refugee Cards. Altogether 140,743 Refugee Cards have been submitted as documents. For unknown reasons, legacy data code could not be generated against a number of refugees and so they remain excluded from NRC.
 
7. In some cases, legacy data code generation was either late or impossible. It is also found that many people had particular records in their hands, but the counter copy could not be found with concerned authority due to misplacement or destruction. A large number of people didn't find place in NRC due to this reason.
 
8. Verification of a section of applications could not be completed in time owing to technical or other reasons. Verification report of many Panchayat documents used by women didn't reach NRC authority and those applications are known to have set aside. This situation is largely evident in case of linkage collected in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) from different institutions as there is no Panchayati Raj system.
 
9. There are certain instances of obvious negligence on the part of NRC authority. The fact Dr Makhan Lal Das may be cited. Das retired as a lecturer of Assam engineering college. He submitted his family application online in time. His residential address is Adabari Kamakhya Nagar and the NRC Service Centre is near Maligaon Railway Colony. Family tree was proved through Maligaon NSK. Yet his family didn't appear in the first draft even after due verification. A month before the final draft publication, Das received a call from Garigaon NSK stating that nothing had been done to his family application. Das was informed that he fell under Garigaon NSK. But, according to his address he should be under Maligaon NSK, Das let us know.
 
Das visited concerned NSK thrice with family tree and other related documents. He was informed by the NSK that everything was alright. Yet in the second draft, his family didn't appear. Forefathers of Das lived in Barpeta town. His father and father-in-law are enlisted in 1951 legacy data. But, because of technical difficulties and negligence, his family remains excluded.
 
Similar mistake of NRC authority is noticed in case of deprivation of Parul Bala Rai, a 42-year old woman of Golakganj, Dhubri. An NSK called Rai by issuing a notice. On her visit, the NSK told her that her verification would not be done there. She was told that she would receive another call letter with correct name of center. But neither did she receive any call nor did she find her name in the NRC draft. Multiple cases with similar stories are received from various sources.
 
10. It has come to light that despite being legally Indian, a section of illiterate and little learned people are booked for using fake birth certificate of their children. It has to be noticed that in the face of necessity, many illiterate people took help of brokers in order to collect birth certificate. Many such certificates were fake. Once the certificate is found to be fake, there is no question of inclusion in the NRC. Multiple children of many families remain excluded because of such pranks played by dishonest people. It must be spoken that we have to be conscious of this - one may be punished for forgery, but not deprived of citizenship.
 
11. The names of Orphans, adopted children, ‘illegitimate’ children are also excluded from the register. Similarly problems are doubted in case of nomads without paternal identity. Many adopted children would have no valid legal paper. Some complications are also evident in this regard. Generally, inmates of CCI, shelter home, SAA are kept there being handed over through legal procedure. But in rural India it's a different story. Near relatives adopt a child immediately after becoming orphan. The foster father plays the real father in all particulars. Obviously the birth certificate and other subsequent particulars of such child may not match. Illegitimate child who has grown up without conclusion from the court has seen yet a different problem which is growing complicated. Some illegitimate children used father's identity merely knowing from mother. But the father did not admit such child in the family tree and other documents. Many were excluded for this reason also.
 
12. Marriage documents from unrecognized or fake kazis also became a factor in the process. The government didn't ever try any awareness in relation to legality of kazi. People solemnized marriage without knowing legal status of a kazi. Many marriage registration certificates of such kazis have been rejected by the NRC authority and consequently many Muslim women remain excluded.
 
13. There are these indigenous persons who could not apply for NRC update owing to ignorance, incapability, and other genuine reasons. A few kinds are mentioned:
 
A. Jab tak chai gaas thakbe, ke humke khedabe (No one can deport us from here till the tea gardens exists) - utters an adivasi tea garden worker. Remarkable is that, a sect of labourer said that they never applied for NRC.
 
B. Some women could not fill in the application for inter-caste or inter-religious marriage. Though a few might have tried, they did not receive cooperation from parents' family. Even if some applied, they could not produce evidence or linkage and so remained excluded.
 
C. A section of lone old men without children have helplessly been away from applying for NRC. One might be worried for them while others would say "He is going to die. What would he do with NRC?"
It would not be easy for him to search for legacy code, either.
 
Though the complete draft of NRC is published, the pending process of it may be disturbed by undesirably motivated people who don't want a correct NRC. Patronized by the ruling party and other organizations, some people will try to raise question on citizenship of many in the guise of objection.
Similar process was observed prior to Assam Agitation. Groundless objection disturbed a huge number of people.
 
We are much hopeful this time that the process of objection will not be this arbitrary or callous. We have to be keen towards the factors that no bad element gets a chance to hinder the process or cause communal unrest or spread harmful rumours or create law and order situation. We should be ready to identify and foil the ill efforts of others who might try to create unrest of any kind in the name of NRC.
 
Most of the genuine citizens dropped from the NRC are poor working class people with little or no education. Understanding the main reasons for their exclusion, we should take steps to help them fill in the application form along with valid documents. Teams/organisations could train the enthusiastic people advancing to help the applicants.
 
We should explain the rules and phases of correction if the name of any poor, illiterate and ordinary man is misprinted and also extend a helping hand. For the lack of awareness and understanding, many names may remain incorrect in the NRC and be the root of various problems in future. We have to keep an eye that no foreigner finds path into the NRC and at the same time no native remains excluded. Besides being cooperative, we have to be skeptic in all processes in this regard.
 
Email of Author: ashraful1947@gmail.com

NRC final draft analysis (Part-2): Why were 4 million people excluded?

Since the publication of final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), we have been engaged in field study, discussion and getting opinion of people from various walks of life, information of various sources in preparation of this report. Field study reveals that there are a section of families whose names didn't appear in the NRC even after having sufficient and valid documents. Though the reasons in relation to this are unknown (till preparation of this report) many people allege some sort of anomaly or partiality on the part of NRC authority.

NRC Assam
 
A section of families have either the men's or the women's names. Maybe because of technical issues the other part of legacy data didn't find place in NRC draft. There is yet another section, whose names are there in the NRC, with exclusion of a person or two in their families.
 
In this piece, we would like to discuss a few principal reasons why many names of Indian citizens might have been dropped:
 
1. There are bits of information published district wise, though there is no detailed information published by NRC authority. It is already clear, from discussion with several persons of both lower and upper Assam and Barak valley, that the dropped outs are mostly poor and illiterate, working class with children and women in a large number.
 
  • A large number of women were left out because they used Panchayat certificate and or had a D voter reference case.   
  • Children might have been dropped out because of use of certificates issued more than a month after birth or certificates of private schools or certificate without counter signature. Children of D voters are also dropped out.
  • If the mother was dropped for use of Panchayat particulars, her children also were dropped. Altogether 4,800,456 women used Panchayat documents as linkage: many of these are excluded.
  • A child born prior to 2003, having any of the parents in NRC must have been enlisted. Born prior to 2003, many children of D voters with suspicious Panchayat papers are dropped and the reasons are not known.
 
2. Along with names of children of declared foreigners, names of D voters (whose proceeding is pending in FT or SC) and their children, too, didn't find place in NRC. It commonly known that a section of people are termed ‘foreigners’ or ‘doubtful’ citizens without any investigation and thus compelled to frequent FTs or court. For example, the son of an old man with his name in the NRC of 1951 is declared foreigner by one FT. How is it possible that the son of a citizen included in 1951 NRC can be deprived of citizenship? How can the son be designated a foreigner when his father is a native?
 
3. Many women, who belong to other states and are permanent inhabitants of Assam by marriage, didn't find place in NRC as their particulars didn't reach NRC authority as per norms and guidelines. Sources say, of 609,355 applicants only 298,497 have received a response from the concerned states. Altogether 310,851 such applications are yet to reach concerned authority.
 
4. Those who have proved to be Indians through FT during 2014-2018, that is, after the deadline of NRC application, could not be included in the register. According to the local registrar of NRC, they wouldn't be able to include names even after receiving opinion of FT or order of SC. They reasoned that they have instructions to include names as per list received from Border police of Assam, FTS or concerned departments.
 
5. Many names are dropped in the last phase due to dissimilarity in family tree. There are instances of existence of two persons of same name in a particular village. Both or one might have been there in 1951 NRC. In such cases both the parties were called for hearing. If either of the parties surrendered and produced alternative correct information, it is observed that many people were dropped on this issue. There are still some families who could not come to a solution in this regard.
 
6. A few issues were found with Refugee Card holders. Some families didn't appear in the NRC despite possessing Refugee Cards. Altogether 140,743 Refugee Cards have been submitted as documents. For unknown reasons, legacy data code could not be generated against a number of refugees and so they remain excluded from NRC.
 
7. In some cases, legacy data code generation was either late or impossible. It is also found that many people had particular records in their hands, but the counter copy could not be found with concerned authority due to misplacement or destruction. A large number of people didn't find place in NRC due to this reason.
 
8. Verification of a section of applications could not be completed in time owing to technical or other reasons. Verification report of many Panchayat documents used by women didn't reach NRC authority and those applications are known to have set aside. This situation is largely evident in case of linkage collected in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) from different institutions as there is no Panchayati Raj system.
 
9. There are certain instances of obvious negligence on the part of NRC authority. The fact Dr Makhan Lal Das may be cited. Das retired as a lecturer of Assam engineering college. He submitted his family application online in time. His residential address is Adabari Kamakhya Nagar and the NRC Service Centre is near Maligaon Railway Colony. Family tree was proved through Maligaon NSK. Yet his family didn't appear in the first draft even after due verification. A month before the final draft publication, Das received a call from Garigaon NSK stating that nothing had been done to his family application. Das was informed that he fell under Garigaon NSK. But, according to his address he should be under Maligaon NSK, Das let us know.
 
Das visited concerned NSK thrice with family tree and other related documents. He was informed by the NSK that everything was alright. Yet in the second draft, his family didn't appear. Forefathers of Das lived in Barpeta town. His father and father-in-law are enlisted in 1951 legacy data. But, because of technical difficulties and negligence, his family remains excluded.
 
Similar mistake of NRC authority is noticed in case of deprivation of Parul Bala Rai, a 42-year old woman of Golakganj, Dhubri. An NSK called Rai by issuing a notice. On her visit, the NSK told her that her verification would not be done there. She was told that she would receive another call letter with correct name of center. But neither did she receive any call nor did she find her name in the NRC draft. Multiple cases with similar stories are received from various sources.
 
10. It has come to light that despite being legally Indian, a section of illiterate and little learned people are booked for using fake birth certificate of their children. It has to be noticed that in the face of necessity, many illiterate people took help of brokers in order to collect birth certificate. Many such certificates were fake. Once the certificate is found to be fake, there is no question of inclusion in the NRC. Multiple children of many families remain excluded because of such pranks played by dishonest people. It must be spoken that we have to be conscious of this - one may be punished for forgery, but not deprived of citizenship.
 
11. The names of Orphans, adopted children, ‘illegitimate’ children are also excluded from the register. Similarly problems are doubted in case of nomads without paternal identity. Many adopted children would have no valid legal paper. Some complications are also evident in this regard. Generally, inmates of CCI, shelter home, SAA are kept there being handed over through legal procedure. But in rural India it's a different story. Near relatives adopt a child immediately after becoming orphan. The foster father plays the real father in all particulars. Obviously the birth certificate and other subsequent particulars of such child may not match. Illegitimate child who has grown up without conclusion from the court has seen yet a different problem which is growing complicated. Some illegitimate children used father's identity merely knowing from mother. But the father did not admit such child in the family tree and other documents. Many were excluded for this reason also.
 
12. Marriage documents from unrecognized or fake kazis also became a factor in the process. The government didn't ever try any awareness in relation to legality of kazi. People solemnized marriage without knowing legal status of a kazi. Many marriage registration certificates of such kazis have been rejected by the NRC authority and consequently many Muslim women remain excluded.
 
13. There are these indigenous persons who could not apply for NRC update owing to ignorance, incapability, and other genuine reasons. A few kinds are mentioned:
 
A. Jab tak chai gaas thakbe, ke humke khedabe (No one can deport us from here till the tea gardens exists) - utters an adivasi tea garden worker. Remarkable is that, a sect of labourer said that they never applied for NRC.
 
B. Some women could not fill in the application for inter-caste or inter-religious marriage. Though a few might have tried, they did not receive cooperation from parents' family. Even if some applied, they could not produce evidence or linkage and so remained excluded.
 
C. A section of lone old men without children have helplessly been away from applying for NRC. One might be worried for them while others would say "He is going to die. What would he do with NRC?"
It would not be easy for him to search for legacy code, either.
 
Though the complete draft of NRC is published, the pending process of it may be disturbed by undesirably motivated people who don't want a correct NRC. Patronized by the ruling party and other organizations, some people will try to raise question on citizenship of many in the guise of objection.
Similar process was observed prior to Assam Agitation. Groundless objection disturbed a huge number of people.
 
We are much hopeful this time that the process of objection will not be this arbitrary or callous. We have to be keen towards the factors that no bad element gets a chance to hinder the process or cause communal unrest or spread harmful rumours or create law and order situation. We should be ready to identify and foil the ill efforts of others who might try to create unrest of any kind in the name of NRC.
 
Most of the genuine citizens dropped from the NRC are poor working class people with little or no education. Understanding the main reasons for their exclusion, we should take steps to help them fill in the application form along with valid documents. Teams/organisations could train the enthusiastic people advancing to help the applicants.
 
We should explain the rules and phases of correction if the name of any poor, illiterate and ordinary man is misprinted and also extend a helping hand. For the lack of awareness and understanding, many names may remain incorrect in the NRC and be the root of various problems in future. We have to keep an eye that no foreigner finds path into the NRC and at the same time no native remains excluded. Besides being cooperative, we have to be skeptic in all processes in this regard.
 
Email of Author: ashraful1947@gmail.com

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