‘NRC should be undertaken at all-India level’

RSS says there were people from other countries living in India even after their visas had expired

New Delhi: Hindu fundamentalist outfit Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Tuesday said the opposition to National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft report in Assam was unnecessary and the exercise should be undertaken at an all-India level.

“Our country is not a ‘dharamshala’ (shelter home). In Assam, the problem is huge, which started after 1971. People came from Bangladesh and illegally settled there. They posed a huge threat to our culture, language and identity,” head of RSS in Assam Shankar Das told media.

He said there were people from other countries living in India even after their visas had expired.

“We want that NRC should happen all over India, for a self-reliant and self-respecting nation like ours. It is a must exercise to know who are our real citizens. Our problem is so big that exercise like census does not suffice. I am glad that such an exercise started with Assam,” Das said.

He assured the local Assamese people that a fair chance would be given to all before a final list of citizens is published.

“There is no need to fear as it is not final draft, people will get enough opportunities to prove their citizenship. We have been trying for this exercise for decades now. It should unfold nationally,” he said.

The final draft of NRC was published on Monday with over 28.9 million names out of the total 32.9 million applicants in Assam. Around 4 million applicants did not find a place in draft NRC.

NRC was part of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) 2014 election campaign.

Anger over the draft stalled Parliament on Tuesday. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that no one would be deported based on the draft.

“The NRC draft is not final; all those missing from the citizens’ list will receive a letter and will be given a fair chance to produce proof of their citizenship between August 30 and September 28,” he said in Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Parliament).

Singh urged the opposition parties not to politicise the issue.

“Even someone whose name is not on the list can approach the foreigner’s tribunal. No coercive action will be taken against anyone; hence there is no need for anyone to panic,” he added.

BJP President Amit Shah said the 1985 Assam Accord signed by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was the soul of NRC.

Meanwhile, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said there was no demand for a citizen’s register in his state, as suggested by some political parties.

“Everything is in order in Tripura and everyone has valid papers. Hence, it is not an issue for us. I don’t feel it is even a sensitive issue in Assam and its chief minister is capable of handling the situation,” he said.


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