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

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Text and Subtext of the NRC

The underlying narrative of the National Register of Citizens conceals more than it reveals.

By now, those who were lobbying for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) may feel that the finalisation of the draft and its adoption would bring them some degree of relief from the “menace of the outsiders.” “Outsiders,” according to these complainants, were illegitimately stepping on the opportunity structures that exist in the areas ­under the consideration of the NRC. In addition to this possible gain from the exercise in question, some of the complainants also perhaps heaved a sigh of relief. They now hope that once their identity as citizens of India has been confirmed by the “due and impartial” process, they would be able to exercise their social right to appear in public without the sense of anxiety and gaze of suspicion.

Arguably, the main text of the NRC suggests that such an exercise would create healthy social and moral conditions within which an “Indian” could claim that they would be in a better position to exercise the moral duty they owe to each other rather than to an outsider. As far as the Indian government is concerned, it seems to be formally suggesting that it is interested in creating “fair” conditions in which one is prompted to think that they have a duty towards one’s own and ­perhaps not to the outsider. It means, once the question of the outsider is tackled through the NRC, there will be no outsiders, only insiders who owe one another.

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Updated On : 5th Dec, 2019

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