The exclusion of millions from the draft Assam citizenship list is a humanitarian crisis

2018-08-28 06:00

THE exclusion of 4 million people from the draft Assam citizenship list represents a humanitarian problem of enormous proportions. The future of these potential stateless people hangs in the balance. Stripped of citizenship, they will become vulnerable and face threats to their lives, lands and livelihoods.

For those who have been living in a place for generations, the prospect of being sent to detention camps or being deported is hard to think of. Poor, illiterate residents were asked to produce pre-1971 documents as proof of citizenship. Strangely, even those who were in possession of Aadhaar and passport were left out of the national register of citizens.

They face the risk that they will be discarded as stateless persons within Assam — their home for years, if not decades or generations. Whatever the outcome, the issue comes at a very sensitive time, when Indian society is extremely divided, with mob attacks and lynchings becoming common, and with most of the victims being either Muslims or Dalits. The controversy over the NRC could add fuel to the fire.

This is how genocides begin — how the nightmare of the Rohingya began.

ZAAKIR SAID,

Westville

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.