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

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The Citizenship Question Should Also Interrogate the Insider-Outsider Binary

The National Register of Citizens in Assam has brought to the fore long-standing concerns over who the state recognises and who it deems foreign.

Determination of Citizenship through Lineage in the Assam NRC Is Inherently Exclusionary

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam along with being a communal issue is also extremely gendered in nature. In the process of granting citizenship, the state ensures and renaturalises heteronormativity. A process of ascertaining citizenship through lineage can never be inclusive of people who are outside the norms of heterosexual familial structure.

Does Religion Define a Citizen?

This reading list assesses the ramifications of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The Citizen Finds a Home

On a fact-finding trip to the Karbi Anglong district of Assam, the authors find that the “crisis of citizenship” is a structural phenomenon rooted in the history of capitalist development and community dynamics in the state. The current political dispensation of establishing the “Hindu” Bengali as the “citizen” is not only a breach of the universal principles of “citizenship,” but also has deeper implications for the unresolved ethnic conflicts in the state.

National Register of Citizens and the Supreme Court

The imminent withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 by the union government in the face of strong protests by the residents of the north-eastern states is hardly a victory for constitutional principles or morality. It leaves “illegal migrants” in a continued limbo and heightens ethnic tensions in the North East. It also shifts the focus to the Supreme Court, which has taken upon itself the extremely delicate task of overseeing the preparation of the National Register of Citizens in Assam.

Revisiting the Nationality Question in Assam

A series of articles published in the Economic & Political Weekly during the 1980s’ Assam Movement—when the nationality debate was at its zenith—offer a context against which the issue can be revisited.

Preventive Detention under Judicial Scrutiny

The verdict of the Gauhati High Court in favour of political activist Akhil Gogoi reiterated the need to ascertain the constitutional validity for preventive detention, irrespective of the circumstances and pretexts of the detention. The judgment also called for an inquiry into the serious procedural shortcomings that led to the preventive detention order against Gogoi, as well as the “laxity and casualness” of the state in exercising power under the National Security Act, 1980.

The Communal Politics of Eviction Drives in Assam

Over the years, in Assam, there has been a disturbing denial of citizenship rights of Muslims, who are branded as Bangladeshis. In the aftermath of an eviction drive conducted by the government in Kaziranga National Park, the article focuses on the narrative that the villagers have to offer, while interrogating the nature of Assamese nationalism.

A ‘Safe’ Judgment

The triple talaq judgment of the Supreme Court is a partial victory for Muslim women since it declares instantaneous triple talaq as unlawful, but not unilateral triple talaq. Even in the case of the former, it does not declare instantaneous triple talaq as unconstitutional but only unlawful and that is a significant difference. Indian courts, even in respect of legislated laws, have not been very encouraging when it comes to personal laws being challenged on the grounds of discrimination and dignity of women.

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