NRC a 'base document' for the future, the development of Assam hit by 'armchair commentators': CJI

NEW DELHI: The president of the Supreme Court of India (CJI) defended on Sunday the current exercise of the National Registry of Citizens (NRC) and said that before that there were conjectures about the number of illegal immigrants in the state that had fueled the panic . , fear and vicious circle of anarchy and violence and would be a base document for the future.

Judge Gogoi, who heads a trial court that monitors the NRC process in Assam, also criticized the chair commentators who, he said, are not only far from reality, but also have a very distorted image because to which Assam and its development agenda have been affected.

The CJI, a native of Assam, said that NRC is neither a new nor novel idea, since it found expression already in 1951 and the current exercise is an attempt to update the NRC of 1951.

The NRC is not exempt from disputes. Let me take this opportunity to clarify it. The NRC is not a new or novel idea. Its expression is already in the year 1951 and in the particular context of Assam in 1985 when the Act was signed. In fact, the current NRC is an attempt to update the NRC of 1951, said Judge Gogoi, who was addressing a meeting here during the inauguration of the book 'Post Colonial Assam (1947-2019)' written by veteran journalist Mrinal Talukdar.

He said that before this exercise there was a great deal of guesswork about the number of illegal immigrants who in turn fueled panic, fear and the vicious circle of illegality and violence.

He regretted that the careless and irresponsible reports of some media only made the situation worse.

There was an urgent need to determine a certain degree of determination of the number of illegal immigrants that the current exercise provides. Nothing more and nothing less. The whole exercise is nothing more than the manifestation of one of the most peaceful means by which those interested seek to remedy the error and omissions of that turbulence whose effects changed the course of life not only of people but also of communities and culture throughout the region, he said.

The CJI commended the citizens of Assam for showing great magnanimity and great enthusiasm in accepting several deadlines in order to prepare the NRC.

The final updated NRC in Assam was launched on August 31 of this year, excluding the names of more than 19 Lakh applicants in the state.

A total of 3,30,27,661 people had requested to be included in the NRC. Of these, 3,11,21,004 have been included in the document and 19,06,657 excluded.

The names of 1.9 million people were published as part of the NRC draft at midnight on December 31, 2017.

The CJI said: It is necessary to say so and record that the people who objected, including these deadlines, are playing with fire. At the crossroads, we must bear in mind that our national discourse has witnessed the emergence of armchair commentators who are not only far from the realities of the terrain, but also seek to present a highly distorted image.

He said that the emergence of social networks and their tools have also fueled the intention of such chair commentators, who thrive through their double-spoken language.

They launch unfounded and motivated rants against democratic functioning and democratic institutions. They try to hurt them and tear down their due process. These commentators and their vile intentions survive well in situations where the facts are far removed from citizenship and the rumor factories flourish. Assam and its development agenda has been the victim of such chair commentators, he said.

Judge Gogoi said that people must resist the urge to find errors and defects everywhere and the constant desire to play in the gallery degrading institutions and their efforts should be avoided and discouraged.

Regarding the exercise of the NRC, he said: It is an occasion to put things in proper perspective. The NRC is not a document at the moment. 19 lakhs or 40 lakhs don't matter. It is a base document for the future. It is a document that one can refer to in order to determine future claims. This, in my opinion, is an intrinsic value of the NRC.

The CJI said that the functioning of the institutions is evaluated especially by the media and particularly by social networks.

In addition to the CJI, the Supreme Court judge, Hrishikesh Roy, was also present during the function along with the 1975 IPS officer, AB Mathur, who last year was designated by the Center as an interlocutor to hold talks with the United Front of Liberation of Assam (ULFA) and other groups. in the northeast

Judge Roy praised Talukdar for his efforts in writing the book and said that several historical aspects about Assam have come to light through his work.

The superior court judge also joked that he believes that if the CJI decides to write a book, it would be a best seller.

Speaking on the occasion, Mathur said he is currently holding talks with three groups in Assam and one in and the talks are progressing very satisfactorily.

He said that the people of the Northeast want peace and there is a will that it is time to develop the region.