Monday, Aug 15, 2022
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NRC Update: Assam Grapples With Fear, Confusion and Hope

The NRC was meant to end all doubt over who is a citizen and who’s not in the state. But, as the date of the final draft nears, there’s more fear than clarity.

A Wounded ­History Photograph by Sandipan Chatterjee

Right after a spread of freshly dug ginger laid out to dry under a blazing July sun, the car eases ginge­rly past an elephant feasting on banana leaves off a roadside tree. It’s not a wild one, it belongs to someone. Savour the various shades of meaning the word ‘belong’ carries: animals belong to people, people bel­ong to places. ‘Who belongs here?’ is a question that knives through Assam’s collective being right now, just like this newly macadamised four-lane highway cuts through its physical geography. Even in this remoteness, this picture-postcard Assam, we are not far from a place that would ring a bell across India. A deep, ominous ring. Nellie....

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