By Ravish Kumar
Ninety percent media did not cover NRC. No information about NRC was allowed [through media] to go to the common person. The only thing public was told was that it was vital to count the Bangladeshis [in India] and deport them. This is how public opinion [in favour of NRC] was formed. This is the reason why they [BJP] do not want to talk about NRC anywhere but Assam. During the election they ran away from it and started dilly-dallying.
You have absolutely no idea of the havoc the NRC has created. A BJP MLA from a district in UP phoned me and said, ‘I do not want to be named. But what I have been seeing every morning is that poor Muslim men and women—the level of education of every community in the country is bad; and theirs is even worse—come at my door and request to help them with a proof of address.’
If an MLA or MP certifies [that the person is known to him and is the resident of the place] on the basis of it an Adhar [ID card] is issued.
A childhood friend of mine, with whom I used to ride [to our school] on a bicycle, kept phoning me for several days. At times when I am exhausted and tired, I do not answer his phone. He is a very close friend and I take him for granted. After a couple of days, I answered his call and said, ‘What is it? Why have you been pestering me? Why couldn’t you send a simple text?’ He is from my own state and is a journalist as well.
‘Do you know about NRC? What documents do you need for this?’ He asked
‘What do you have to do with it?’ I asked.
‘There is so much panic, My mom is worried. In his government job my father’s name didn’t have Mohammad in it. But in school we wrote his name preceded by Mohammad.’ He said and asked ‘Will our application be rejected because of this?’
How much the NRC has terrified a particular community, you cannot learn about it from reporting. You learn about it only through your social contacts. And if someone is [sadist and] taking pleasure from how they have reduced 15 crore people to this [being a pathetic and halpless lot], what can one say about it?
People in large numbers are going in collectorate offices and tehsildar offices, where some land record is kept and who can certify [that the land belongs to the certificate holder]. They are desperate to prepare their documents. In this process bribery is also taking place.
Many of you who came to America and didn’t have anything. But there was a system in this country and using that system from your zero position you rose to become millionaires and billionaires. Now you are sending this money to fund a policy that wants to stop a system in India [from which you benefited] here.
[The problem is:] How will information reach to you when there is no media [to inform you]. When the information-seeking-army has been eliminated you will not get any information. That’s why you will always be lured [and enticed] with a samosa, a pastry and a gulabjamun to come to a stadium and chant slogans there.
This is really a problem that NRIs have a big population. They are the influencers [who fund and influence policies in India] but do not have information. You should be loyal to your country of origin, at least to the extent, that you desire something for her that has helped you progress here [in the US].
Imagine if an NRC register is introduced here and you are asked to go back saying that you are not loyal to this country. [As a matter of fact if this is a good thing] You should [ then go ahead and] demand yourselves [that such registration is made mandatory] here as well.