Fear and disquiet have gripped nearly two million residents of Assam, and their loved ones, after their names failed to show up in the final updated list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). But the unremitting tragedy of the Bengali-origin people of Assam is that even those whose names appear on the list have no assurance that they will not be deemed ‘illegal immigrants’ sometime in the future. They are a people for whom there is still no closure, no prospect of permanent security and dignity of citizenship.
Anxieties about land, culture and migration have, over decades, created entrenched fissures in the social and political life of Assam. People on all sides of these bitter divides had hoped that the conclusion of the six-year-long process of updating the 1951 citizen’s register in Assam would resolve finally this long-festering dispute. But despite the immeasurable toll of human suffering that the process extracted from millions of very impoverished people, it is evident that it has resolved nothing. Read More