Unrest over citizenship policies could imperil India’s census
Next month, some 3 million enumerators will fan out across India in a once-a-decade ritual, gathering data for one of Asia’s oldest and most respected censuses. But this year could be different. Social scientists in India fear political unrest will disrupt the count, compromising critical demographic data for years to come.
In particular, they worry that opposition to controversial new citizenship policies could cause many of India’s 1.3 billion people to refuse to participate in the census. The new NPR, to start in April, will ask respondents when and where their parents were born, for example; such information can be used to determine citizenship. Many observers believe the NPR is intended to help construct the register of citizens.
BJP leaders, meanwhile, have tried to calm protests by promising not to create the national registry of citizens any time soon. And last week, the home minister told Parliament that no one would be marked “D” for “doubtful citizen” in the upcoming population survey. But Sen and some 200 other experts say the government should consider postponing the NPR entirely.
Understanding India’s citizenship controversy – By Rudabeh Shahid and Champa Patel (Mar 19, 2020, Atlantic Council)
Global concerns and the complexities of CAA – By Luv Puri (Mar 19, 2020, The Tribune)
Not just the minorities but many Hindus battling for the ‘Idea of India’ – By Saeed Naqvi (Mar 21, 2020, National Herald)
Withdraw NPR, repeal NRC: With coronavirus looming, Modi needs to assure protestors they can go home – By Shoaib Daniyal (Mar 18, 2020, Scroll.in)