DON’T PANIC — ORDERS THE GOVT OF INDIA

Here is a fascinating lesson in political anthropology from India.

Hitherto unknown facts have revealed that there are 2 types of Assamese found to inhabit the state of Assam. The first type or the majority are known as National Assamese and the second type is what should be known as the Foreign Assamese. While the difference between the 2 types of Assamese is very clear it is also very complicated and it is all based on a draft list that as the name suggests — is merely a draft, which will and can be redrafted as per requirement.

The list has been called the Draft National Register of Citizens and according to the Government of India no Indian national will be allowed to be listed as a Foreign Assamese and no Foreign Assamese will be considered an Indian. It is on the basis of this promise that 4 Million 7 thousand 7 hundred and 7 people have been given the tag of a Foreign Assamese. The government is very categorical in pointing out that the Foreign Assames group of people are not exactly foreign nationals because that cannot be convincingly arrived at and yet they are not Indians so naturally the next best category they can fit into is that of being foreign Assamese.

Photo: rajnathsingh.in

In these complicated times the administration is asking everyone to stay calm. The Home Minister of India has emphatically emphasised that the final drafting of the draft National Register of Citizens in Assam was completely ‘impartial’ and if someone’s name has been left out then they will be able to appeal against it. To quote “People who feel their name should have been part of the NRC can file claims and objections.” was what he said. There is a time frame given for application and the whole process of changing ones description from Foreign to National Assamese…the deadline expires on 28th September.

Do not panic…DO NOT PANIC oh! you 40 lakh people because the Government of India is asking you not to. The Government of India which refuses to recognise you as the citizen of India demands that you not panic. The Government of India that has in one draft stroke done to more than 4 million people what the Government of Myanmar had done to their Rohingya population and Donald Trump did with the Mexican children and the Government is telling everyone not to spread panic.

So here is the deal as to why the Foreign Assamese should not panic — because the GOI (Government of India) has assured that those who are not National Assamese and not citizens of Bangladesh will under any circumstances be deported. In that case they can stay and work in India but not own property, have very bare minimum rights and can always be threatened. So all you Foreign Assamese you are free to practice your religion (quietly if you follow Islam), have children, deposit your savings in Indian banks and never ever leave the country because you are not citizens so you have no passport. The meddlesome UN cannot pry into your affairs because obviously you are not a refugee and if you are not a foreign refugees you get no refugee papers or status. You and your progeny are stuck here in Assam for good so DONT PANIC!

And the people of Assam, both National Assamese and Foreign Assamese, should feel proud because beginning 1951 Assam is the only state in the country where every once in a while the onus of proving Indian citizenship resides on the notional citizen of the state…so naturally the Final Draft National Register of Citizenship is applicable only to Assam…so Indian Indians and Foreign Indians everywhere else need not panic at all…TILL THEY COME FOR YOU.