Despite countless electoral setbacks in the last 6 years, the former Congress President, Rahul Gandhi refuses to budge as he digs his heels in on the irrational rants to counter the BJP. While addressing the media, the Gandhi scion made an absurd claim that the entire NPR exercise is the second demonetisation by the Modi government.
— Congress (@INCIndia) December 28, 2019
Continuing his fear-mongering, Gandhi said that the money made off the NPR exercise will be transferred to the 15 men. These are those 15 men who Rahul Gandhi habitually cited in his election rallies to allege that they are capitalist cronies of PM Modi. Gandhi also took a swipe at PM Modi about the detention centres operational in Assam.
However, the unfounded allegations and hackneyed assertions made by Rahul Gandhi beg a set of questions that he should answer:-
- How is NPR related to Demonetisation?
The NPR is a register of the usual residents of the country. It contains information collected at the local (village/sub-town), subdistrict, district, state and national level under provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. The idea of NPR was first floated by Congress and it was already implemented in 2010 by the Congress-led UPA government.
Demonetisation, on the other hand, is a cancellation of the legal tender status of a currency unit in circulation. Anticipating positive changes on the liquidity structure as a whole, nations often adopt Demonetisation policy as a measure to counterbalance the current economic condition.
It is nerve-racking for a rational brain to understand the connection between two disparate policy events such as Demonetisation and NPR. Rahul Gandhi, with his infinite wisdom, should throw some light on the relation between the two and acquaint the lesser mortals as to why he conjoined the two separate exercises.
2. How is the money going to be made off NPR?
In his latest rant to corner the central government, Rahul Gandhi claimed that the money made off the NPR exercise will be handed over to the 15 capitalist crony friends of PM Modi. He asserted that the money will be taken away from the poor and transferred over to the 15 industrialists.
NPR is a population register of the usual residents of the country. Far from extracting money from the poor, it is aimed for optimal use of resources for the betterment and upliftment of the poor. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in his recent interview with ANI, stated that the data from NPR helps the local government in better planning and allocation of resources as per the local demand. However, such nitty-gritty is lost on the Wayanad MP, whose only aim to slam the central government, without understanding the underlying logic behind the implementation of the NPR.
In addition, the NPR was first implemented by the Congress-led UPA government in 2010. Was it a money-grubbing exercise then that Rahul Gandhi is hinting at? Did UPA-II make inordinate money of the NPR implementation in 2010? Where did the money go? Why didn’t Rahul Gandhi raise his concern then?
These are some uncomfortable questions that Rahul Gandhi first needs to answer before making a bizarre claim that money made off the NPR exercise is transferred to 15 industrialists.
3. Who will have to get in line for NPR?
Rahul Gandhi asserted that like during the demonetisation, people had to get in line outside the ATMs and Banks to withdraw money bills, similarly, in NPR, people will be again forced to join the queue. However, Gandhi failed to mention why would people get in the queue.
The NPR activity is essentially a survey in which a government official comes at the residence of the inhabitants to seek mundane details about them. The NPR data is collected during the data collection for census of India which takes place every 10 years. Where is the question of people leaving their houses and everyday essential work to join the queue? Were people asked to get in queue during NPR’s implementation in 2010 as well?
4. Religion is not even asked in NPR. How is it against Muslims then?
Congress party had claimed that the NPR will be used for religious profiling of the Muslims and the ‘doubtful’ ones will be marked by the government officials who will later be stripped of their citizenship when the NCR kicks in.
The bone of contention has been about the inclusion of two new questions about the place and date of birth of the parents. However, the official document of the NPR says that those questions are optional and one can provide relative answers to those questions and not the exact details.
However, there is no provision in the NPR to seek details about the inhabitant’s faith. It is bewildering then to believe the claim made by the Congress party that the NPR will be a discriminatory exercise against the Muslims of the country. When details about Religion is not sought, how is the NPR going to be against Muslims?
5. Why did Congress build detention camps?
In the ongoing chaos, one of the less-known realities that have eluded a large section of the trigger-prone population is that all the detention centres that exist in India were built by Congress government.
The state of Assam currently has 6 detention centres. All of them have been set up inside jails in the Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Tezpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Silchar districts of Assam. In 2008-2009, under the Congress-led Tarun Gogoi government, the first detention centre came up in Assam. The detention centre was built after scathing judgment from the Guwahati HC which ordered the deportation of more than 50 Bangladeshi nationals finding them guilty of acquiring Indian citizenship “fraudulently”.
The former Congress President needs to answer why did the Congress party, which is so vehemently opposing the detention centres, actually build them? What was the motive behind building the detention centres if not for keeping the illegal immigrants who snuck into India through unlawful means?
6. What is Congress’ stand on illegal immigrants in India?
India shares porous borders largely with Bangladesh and Myanmar. There are multiple infiltrations reported from the Pakistani side despite the overwhelming presence of Armed Forces along the border. In such a scenario, there are many illegal immigrants who manage to evade border authorities and sneak into India in the dead of night. What is Congress’ stand on the illegal immigrants in India who are a burden on the country’s economy, notwithstanding the security risk they pose? Should they all be made eligible for applying for the Indian citizenship or should they be stratified into groups for their citizenship request consideration? Where should they be held, in jails or detention centres or they should not be held at all?
7. Is Congress trying to consolidate Muslim vote bank by burning the country?
Large swathes of India are witnessing violence over the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act that intends to grant citizenship to persecuted minorities from the neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Protests have erupted after Congress along with other political parties stoked fear and insecurity among the Muslim citizens about their citizenship being at stake due to the legislation of the CAA.
Having lost innumerable elections to the BJP, especially the 2019 General elections, does the wilted Congress left with the only option of consolidating Muslim community to turn their electoral fortunes? Is Congress partaking in the process of burning the country to win over the Muslim community? Is Congress sacrificing nation at the altar of regaining political prominence?
8. Does Congress believe that every Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afghani should be given citizenship?
Congress has opposed the inclusion of only persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan under the Citizenship Amendment Act, saying it is discriminnatory against Muslims. Is Congress of the opinion of granting citizenship to all Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Afghanis? Does Congress concur with the Akhand Bharat idea of a united Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh under the Union of India?
9. Does Congress oppose naturalisation of persecuted Hindus, Jains, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs and Buddhists from the neighbouring countries?
The Congress party has openly supported the calls for protests against the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act. It has gone to the extent of justifying the lumpen behaviour of the anti-CAA riots to settle its political score with the BJP. It has resolutely stood behind the vandals and the rioters who are demanding revocation of the CAA. Rahul Gandhi should answer if the Congress party opposes the admittance of persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to the Indian citizenship?
10. Is Rahul Gandhi even aware of the full form of the NPR and the difference between NRC and NPR?
Perhaps, the most important question that Rahul Gandhi should answer is if he knows the full form of the NPR and what it stands for? Is he aware of the differences between the NPR and the NRC? Does he know that the NRC and NPR are fundamentally two different exercises with altogether separate provisions?
Going by his irrational tirades in which he links the NPR to Demonetisation, it is all but difficult to believe that Rahul Gandhi is indeed aware of the basic specifics of the NPR. Recently, a Professional Congress member made a fool of herself when she spectacularly faltered in answer basic questions on NPR.