Karnataka

NRC will divide India into two countries, says Dwarakanath

C.S. Dwarakanath, advocate and former chairman of Karnataka State Backward Classes’ Commission, at a press conference in Kalaburagi on Wednesday.

C.S. Dwarakanath, advocate and former chairman of Karnataka State Backward Classes’ Commission, at a press conference in Kalaburagi on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Arun Kulkarni

‘It will be impossible for nomads to prove citizenship’

Strongly opposing the National Register of Citizens (NRC), C.S. Dwarakanath, advocate and former chairman of Karnataka State Backward Classes’ Commission, said that if implemented, it would divide India into two countries: one with minorities who prove their citizenship by furnishing the required documents, and the other with a majority of indigenous people who cannot prove their citizenship in NRC thanks to the absence of required documents.

“There are over 100 nomadic tribes in Karnataka alone. The population of some tribes is just 15. Their total population is around 150 million as per the 2011 census. These nomads don’t have any permanent residents. There are 80 million people belonging to other tribes. They don’t own any property. There are 17 million people who don’t have houses. How can all these people prove their citizenship in the NRC process? It is simply impossible,” Mr. Dwarakanath, who made an in-depth study on nomadic tribes in the State, said here on Wednesday.

Terming the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) unconstitutional, he said that the Act violated the basic principles of the Constitution.

“As per Article 14 of the Constitution, all are equal before the law. The State cannot discriminate against its people based on any cultural identity including the religion. The Act in question, however, offers citizenship based on religion and is, thus, unconstitutional. Never in the history of independent India that the citizenship was offered on the basis of religion,” he said.

Pointing to the “illogical explanation” to select six religious minorities — Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains, Christians, and Buddhists — from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to offer citizenship under the CAA, Mr. Dwarakanath said that the government did not explain why other religious minorities from other countries were left out.

“Many people think that it is anti-Muslim and anti-lingual as well. Many Tamils have migrated from Sri Lanka during the civil war. They are not included in the Act. The government should consider the cultural identities or the geographical regions in offering citizenship. Doing so goes diagonally opposite to our tradition,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 5:50:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/nrc-will-divide-india-into-two-countries-says-dwarakanath/article30628500.ece

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