The other day Amit Shah arrived to inaugurate a Durga Puja pandal in Kolkata and reiterate the government’s commitment to implement the National Register for Citizens (NRC) in West Bengal.
The declaration set all sorts of tongues wagging. The first point that opponents seized on was the difficulty of producing documents to prove citizenship in a country so poor as India. For what it’s worth, poverty is not actually a natural calamity; it’s not like an earthquake nor a volcano. If a place is poor, there are ways for it to get rich. Observe how those who have advocated economic policies for 70 years that maximized poverty in West Bengal are also most vocal in asking how NRC can be implemented in the backdrop of widespread poverty. Clever of them to think of benefiting from West Bengal’s poverty both coming and going.
The second point that opponents seized upon is this: The NRC will obviously be accompanied by Citizenship Amendment Bill which will give immunity to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, etc, but not to Muslims. Is it not unfair to genuine Muslim citizens of India? Does it not violate the right to equality of all citizens?