Manufacturing Refugees: unpacking the NRC crisis

All the folks screaming the N Card aka Nationalism Card on social media on the NRC issue are those from states which have not experienced the birth pangs of partition as inter generational trauma. It was Bengal and Punjab who paid the steep price for independence seven decades ago. The Bangal lost his home. I grew up in Muscat with the stigma of a lost ‘Bari’. Nostalgia as a weapon knows no geographies. The Maharashtrian Brahmin in Nagpur would see the episode as history, not lived experiences.

The balkanisation for the Bangal started in 1905 and continued through 1946-47, 1965, 1971, 1985 and now 2018. The landed Ghoti will not realise the pain either. The century plus affair with proving the right to remain in the middle of a global migration crisis next door in Sitwe to the Levant to Niger does not require any more theatres of pain.

The NRC debacle is a powerful signalling tool as it cements a tiered citizenship for minorities with Assamese Cultural and Linguistic Sub Nationalist thought as the epistemic basis. The devices of instilling tiered citizenship continues its thread from low intensity violence to lynching. I am not mentioning larger episodes of violence such as Amdavad and Muzaffarnagar.

Human tragedy harvested as political fodder is an old dog’s trick. State led disenfranchisement of citizenship rights has led to horrors in Sitwe. Rwanda and Bosnia were not too far back. The battle for 2019 will pass through Fancy Bazar.


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