A left-leaning writer has added fuel to protesters’ anger over a new citizenship law in India by asking them to fake their personal details during the National Population Register (NPR).
Arundhati Roy, above, a harsh critic of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government, made the call when violence over the law and a proposed citizens’ registry showed signs of abating.
Roy’s incitement against NPR comes a day after Home Minister Amit Shah clarified during an interview with ANI that NPR is not linked to National Register of Citizens (NRC) and no one will lose citizenship under NPR.
NPR offers data about people living in India, citizens or others, while NRC is a database of Indian citizens, he said.
But Roy told a group of protesters at Delhi University on Wednesday that NPR will serve as NRC’s database and people should oppose NPR by giving wrong names and addresses to officials who visit them to gather data.
After Roy’s remark, many people may now be encouraged to lie to officials since NPR involves no documents or biometric. All information provided by a resident will be deemed correct by NPR officials.
Roy also tried to spread fear and divide the society by claiming that NRC targets Muslims of the country.
She alleged that the government is trying to push the provisions of NRC and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) through NPR in the face of massive protests.
She exhorted opponents of CAA, NRC and NPR to pressure state governments not to implement them.
Responding to her call to lie to NPR officials, Subramanian Swamy, a MP, told Times Now that Roy is a danger to society and she should be arrested.
The writer is creating hatred against the Hindu community by backing the Muslim community and provoking them, he added.
BJP leader Uma Bharti was upset over Roy’s suggestion of names such as ‘Ranga-Billa’ to anti-CAA protesters whenever NPR officials come to collect data.
Ranga-Billa were hardcore criminals who committed rape and murder. Arundhati’s suggestion of the name reveals a disgusting mentality. Her views are anti-women and anti-humanity, Bharathi said.
Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan said officials should first get a register of the so-called intellectuals like Roy who should be ashamed of making such statements betraying the nation.
The government says NPR data will help them gain information about residents in an area to design and adapt welfare schemes.
Although NPR was introduced in 2010 by a Congress-led government, that same party is now making a great hue and cry about it.
The process for the current NPR will start from April next year and end in September.
While the NRC plan is still in its infancy, opposition parties drew wrong conclusions about it and fuelled violent protests after the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Bill by both Houses of Parliament this month.
Opposition parties are creating acrimony over every step the government is taking out of sheer frustration after losing the national elections this year.