Ethics of my Nation

By Rachith Aiyappa Comment

India is many things. It is and will always be my home.

Today, Assam's final Register of Citizens (NRC) was published. Long story short, of the 3,30,27,661 who applied to be included in the document, 3,11,21,004 found their names published in the first draft. In other words, 19,06,657 were left out (Source: DH). The government has given those who have been left out, 120 days to file appeals.

What follows in the coming months will be large scale deportation of those who do not find their names on the NRC's final list.

To fall into yet another understatement, this is heartbreaking. What hurts me dearly is even though I understand the need to carry out such a procedure, I have not been able to come to terms with it! I find myself failing to think of an alternate solution to help those who are Indian in every sense of the word but have failed to come up with a document to prove so! The inability to secure proper documents at the time of birth might have been a result of the flawed system in the first place! I do not think this has been acknowledged enough!

An umpteen number of articles floating around regarding the NRC gives me the following vibe :

...Oh! We (the administration) know that the process of NRC and deportation will not be perfect. We acknowledge the flaws and that a lot of people who were been born and brought up in India might be deported. But we are willing to overlook that cause we have to believe that a majority of illegal immigrants will be deported if we follow through with this procedure and that is good. In other words, the unlucky legit Indians who might be thrown out in this process aren't that important to us and we can do without them, given we will be deporting a much greater number of illegal immigrants...

Telling me my country deported x number of illegal immigrants successfully but in the process lost out on one Indian citizen is not acceptable to me!

I often pride myself being a part of and a contributor to the Indian Jugaad. It works! I wouldn't be surprised if it works with the NRC too! I hope it does.

Of course, the fragile situation of why illegal immigrants exist in the first place is a conversation for some other time. I am not stating that India needs to stop working to fix such a situation. Instead, I would not want India to forget what we stand for while dealing with such a fragile situation.

The status quo seems to suggest today's India is not the India my forefathers envisioned.

India is many things. It is and will always be my home. For someone else, the definition of home changed overnight.