NRC, NPR will create huge chaos, say lawyers, activists

People should be out on the streets protesting as the custodian of the Constitution is not the Supreme Court, but the people of India, says senior advocate Mihir Desai

Published - February 02, 2020 12:47 am IST - Mumbai

Forewarning:  Senior advocate Mihir Desai at the Mumbai Collective at YB Chavan Centre on Saturday.

Forewarning: Senior advocate Mihir Desai at the Mumbai Collective at YB Chavan Centre on Saturday.

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR) took the centre stage at the annual Mumbai Collective – Celebrating Freedom and Pluralism – event at YB Chavan Centre in Nariman Point on Saturday with lawyers and activists saying the move by the Central government will create a huge chaos, and that it should be opposed.

Senior advocate Mihir Desai, renowned civil rights lawyer and one who has represented many who have fought for their fundamental rights at the Bombay High Court and the apex court, said, “The NRC and NPR are going to lead to huge chaos and therefore we must oppose it now. Even if tomorrow, the Supreme Court of India upholds the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the NRC and others as being constitutional we should still be out on the streets protesting against them because the custodian of this Constitution is not the SC, but the people of India. We should never give that up.”

‘Against marginalised’

He said, even if there is no CAA, you have NRC and NPR which are still dangerous not because of demarcating Muslims but because the government will act against marginalised people throughout the country. The combination of poor people, women, Dalits, Adivasis with CAA makes it even more lethal.

“That’s why we are opposing all three,” he said and added, “Boycott is a very good method of protest, but it has to be a mass boycott otherwise you will have people being targeted.” He said if 10 out of one lakh people boycott, they will be targeted. Speaking at a session titled ‘ Hum Kaagaz Nahin Dikhayenge ’, he said, “The boycott has to be mass, and if it is not then we have to rethink our strategies.”

Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty, Deputy Editor, The Wire, who hails from Assam, spoke of NRC and the agitation there. She said it is a fight for identity and added, “Everybody is xenophobic. It’s very important to see why they are and what is the role of it in perpetuity.”

Vickram Crishna, an activist for privacy and protection, spoke on ‘Democracy Offline? On Internet Shutdowns’ and questioned why technology in India is supporting the oppressive and regressive regime in our country. He was one of the petitioners against unique identity (UID) before SC and mentioned that in the U.S., it is illegal to investigate the digital data of a citizen but it isn’t illegal here despite Right to Privacy being a constitutional right.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.