There seems to be no end to the misery of those afflicted by the process of getting their names on the Assam National Register of Citizens. Even the ones who have their names on it have to appear at foreigner tribunals if the names of their extended family members are missing. Such a tedious process has even caused deaths in the state, including that of a 40-day-old baby.
In Karwaan-e-Mohabbat’s new video, Anar Hussain and his wife Zabeda Khatun narrate the story of how their 40-day-old baby died of heatstroke. The couple had to travel to a hearing centre in relation to Zabeda’s sister’s name being misspelt in the NRC, even though their own names were on the list.
The centre in Barpeta was located 50 km away from their residence, and the heat was too much for the baby. According to the couple, they received no help from other people at the site. Most of their requests for water were turned down, possibly because of ethnicity and religion.
The NRC procedure requires several members of the family to be present even if one name is missing. Until now, the anxiety around losing citizenship has caused 51 deaths and suicides.