India’s BJP party is on the drive to curb the Muslim population in the country, the 300 million minority that they cannot control.
In the eastern state of Assam, where NRC checks were recently applied, more than 1.9 million people were branded stateless because their names did not appear on the official citizenship list.
Panic has swept through the Muslim community, which makes up 34 percent of the West Bengal population, following last month’s announcement by the Indian Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) would be implemented throughout the country.
According to the government the NRC campaign has been designed to identify genuine citizens of India while declaring anyone without valid papers as stateless.
India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has assured Hindus and other non-Muslim communities that they will be given citizenship status following proposed changes to the country’s Citizenship Act 1955. But no Muslims will be given a second chance.
The BJP government plans to introduce a citizenship amendment bill in the next session of Parliament to allow for stateless Hindus to be declared Indian citizens, but no such reassurance has been made to the millions of Muslims living in the country.
And fears are particularly heightened in West Bengal which the BJP is hoping to capture in the next assembly elections. Muslims there are worried that by introducing the NRC, the BJP might try to disenfranchise the sizable Muslim population.
In the North of West Bengal there have been reports of suicides over the NRC threat. Reports have suggested that at least 16 people had died in the last month in NRC-related cases.
Muslims are worried about where they will get their legacy certificate. People are not so particular about maintaining documents. They think that the way people in Assam had to present their forefather’s data will be the same in Bengal.
Hundreds of men and women with similar concerns are standing in line outside the government Block Development Offices to correct and produce documents that will help prove their nationality.
For Muslims in India, these are nervy times, many have even considered changing their names and religion to Hinduism in an attempt to prevent them and their children from being made homeless.
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