ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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CAA–NRC–NPR and Its Discontents

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 is unconstitutional for its discriminatory and arbitrary provisions. The linked exercises of the National Population Register and the National Register of Citizens threaten to disenfranchise crores of people, rendering them stateless and without rights. The combination ofCAA withNPR–NRC would produce consequences that are detrimental to the stable and harmonious functioning of our society and policy.

The spontaneity, breadth, youthful energy and social composition of the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) are unprecedented, at least in my living memory. In some states, there has been a brutal repression of these protests, but despite this the protests have continued. Those in support of these orders (the CAA is in fact now a law) have mainly argued along the following lines: First, that the CAA will not affect Indian Muslims since it is about giving citizenship and not about taking it away. Second, that no decision has been taken about the NRC. Third, the NPR has nothing to do with the NRC. Fourth, even if an NRC is carried out, Indian citizens will not be affected.

My basic argument in this article will be that the CAA is unconstitutional. Even if the amendment is held to be constitutional, the protests are justified and should continue. If the CAA is held by the Supreme Court to be unconstitutional, the NPR and NRC should still be objected to, since they are exercises that will be extremely detrimental especially to the poor and the marginalised.

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Updated On : 14th Feb, 2020
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