A few weeks back, after anti-CAA protests hit the road, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Home Affairs said, “Sucha list is likely to include a lot of common documents to ensure that no Indian citizen is unduly harassed or put to inconvenience.” (Source: The Hindu)
Also, the government has said that one need not have to show parents’ documents compulsorily to prove citizenship. This also came in the aftermath of the massive protests against the Citizenship Act that erupted across the country. (Source: India Today)
(Courtesy: India Today)
Here are a few things to underline here:
• The government is trying to create a forced narrative that the common documents that most of the people have (like ration card, voter ID, birth certificate, more) are sufficient to prove citizenship. So, when the government decides to implement NRC, stay ready to hear more of this narrative on propaganda news channels and newspapers.
• Assuming that the government will really do its best to ensure citizens aren’t “unduly harassed” is quite stupid. If they were that thoughtful, millions of people in Assam wouldn’t have been harassed – they wouldn’t be harassed right now. 19,06,657 people were excluded from the Assam final NRC list. That’s not just another number. That’s human lives. Nearly 20 lakhs people!!!
(Courtesy: Telegraph India)
• If parents’ birth date isn’t important, if the government is really creating a list of citizens as a normal process, they already have that extensive data of the citizens (with intrusive details) through Aadhar. Why do they want to spend thousands of crores of rupees in NRC? And the fact that this much money would be spent at a time when the Indian economy is in such a distressing position – it’s completely mindboggling. From healthcare to education to railways – everyone can do with such a massive sum.
While demonetization choked our economic structure – the lethal combo of CAA-NRC will kill the social structure of the country.
Coming to your exact question…
No one knows.
We don’t really know what documents the government will “really” ask when NRC is implemented.
We can only look at Assam and take guess.
So, with Assam as a model, per The Wire
, here are 14 documents that are valid to be on NRC:
• 1951 NRC
• Electoral roll(s) up to 24 March (midnight), 1971
• Land and tenancy records
• Citizenship certificate
• Permanent residential certificate
• Refugee registration certificate
• Any government-issued license/certificate
• Government service/ employment certificate
• Bank or post office accounts
• Birth certificate
• State educational board or university educational certificate
• Court records/processes
• Any LIC policy
The cut-off date for Assam was March 24, 1971. Meaning, to prove your citizenship, you need one of these documents that were made before 1971.
(Of course, when NRC is implemented PAN India, the cut-off date would be different.)
In case, you don’t have any document prior to 1971, then you must produce your parent’s documents of before this cut-off and then prove your link to this parent though another valid document.
To prove your relationship with your parents, you require one of the following documents:
• Birth certificate
• Land document
• Board/University certificate
• Bank/LIC/post office records
• Circle officer/gaon panchayat secretary certificate in case of married women
• Electoral roll
• Ration card
• Any other legally acceptable document
Again, the case of Assam is exceptional. When it comes to PAN-India NRC implementation, from the cut-off dates to the documents required – everything will likely be different.
(Courtesy: Business Today)
But now here comes an interesting thing:
You don’t exactly have to provide documents for NRC. The list will be made from the data collected through NPR or National Population Register. This is why there’s all the new controversy around NPR.
NPR is not Census.
NPR comes under the provision of the Citizenship Act 1951, while census comes under Census Act 1948.
The government will do NPR where all your details will be collected. It is here are you to produce your legal documents and parents’ birth date and place. Your information will be recorded. And then the NRC list will be created.
NPR is the first step of NRC, per the website of the Census of India.
Now, there are many different dynamics to NPR since nothing is “official”.
The Hindu reported on 30th December that NPR form is ready for roll out and that people would be asked about parent’s birthplace; they would be asked for documents. The government later clarified that people don’t have to show their documents. You can read that article here
All in all, when NRC is implemented, many of the people in the country would fail to prove their citizenship. The worst-hit will be poor and women. Millions of people would be harassed – just like it happened during demonetization. And then later – just like how government shifted the narrative after knowing that demonetization was a failure by saying that it wasn’t intended to scrap out black money – they would say, after knowing NRC was an utter failure, that they did it just because they wanted to send sweets to people’s home for being such good citizens!
If you have understood the “chronology”, get ready with your papers.