The release of the final draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam is an issue of national importance, so observes the editorial in Organiser. The editorial further says that on such a sensitive issue, “we need a national consensus and firm resolve and not petty politics of protecting illegality”. Illegal immigrants, the editorial contends, have been treated “as a solid vote-bank” by outfits like the Congress, Communists and the Trinamool Congress. “Identifying them and taking subsequent legal action against them would disturb their political equations on the ground. It is the primary reason for defending these illegal immigrants. Giving it a Hindu-Muslim colour is an extension of the same ‘secular’ politics based on communal considerations. The international campaign against the release of this court-monitored exercise was sadly termed as ‘deleting Muslims’, without realising the fact that the original inhabitants of Assam who are followers of Islam are not facing any problems,” says Organiser. “Even when the earlier NDA Government took a firm stand on the issue and had sent back the 213 illegal migrants to Pakistan in February 2003, similar voices were raised,” it adds.
A report appearing in the The Indian Express states that the editorial also comments on the changing demography of the border districts of Assam and West Bengal (calling it a certainty), and connects it to the “growing menace of radicalisation and criminal syndicates”. It says: “Many Metros are facing the problem of this illegal influx. No wonder there is a growing demand to take up such [an] exercise (NRC) at the national level. On such a sensitive issue, we need a national consensus and firm resolve and not petty politics of protecting illegality.”