New India' Will Soon Need Its Own Gulags - By Harish Khare - IAMC
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New India’ Will Soon Need Its Own Gulags – By Harish Khare

The honourable home minister of India must be applauded for stating so loudly and so boldly that not a single “ghuspethia” will be allowed to remain in the country. It needs to be noted that this proclamation, made on Monday at a conclave of Northeastern states, is very much a consistent part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s sales pitch; as the BJP president, Amit Shah had been holding out the same threat all through the last Lok Sabha elections, in and out of Assam.

Nor is the BJP unapologetic about spelling out the political subtext of this “ghuspethia” threat: it is aimed and directed against Muslims. In the wake of the predictable confusion and concern after the publication of the National Register of Citizens, Assam’s finance minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, reportedly argued that “a Hindu cannot be a foreigner in India”. The BJP has been protesting the exclusion of a number of Bengali Hindus, Buddhists, Koch Rajbongshi, Chakmas and Hajong from the NRC; and, horror of all horrors, very many “suspected Muslim Bangladeshis” are included in the Supreme Court-monitored exercise of verification.

For the next few years, the BJP will use the NRC, and its unavoidable imperfections and errors, to keep alive animosities, anxieties and suspicions over the existential categories of the insider and the outsider; those well-meaning, moderate but naive voices who thought that the BJP would be content to use the NRC to apply a closure on Assam’s festering sores find themselves rudely jolted.…