Home >Opinion >Quick Edit >Opinion | That’s bad advice

When emotions run high, tempers need to be calmed. At such times, author and activist Arundhati Roy’s bizarre advice does not help. If government surveyors ask for details to fill the National Population Register (NPR), people should supply fake data, she reportedly said. They should cite their names as Ranga-Billa, the notorious kidnappers of the 1980s hanged for murder; as for their address, she suggested citing 7 Race Course Road, the Prime Minister’s official residence before that street was renamed Lok Kalyan Marg. As a non-cooperation movement, this is a non-starter.

As the Centre says, the NPR is not linked to the National Register of Citizens, a proposal that has evoked worries that people would be classified as non-citizens unless they prove otherwise. The NPR is just a database, and evidence will not be demanded for the data we feed it. Efficient administration is its aim. But the government, too, should ask itself why suspicions have arisen over the NPR. In 2014, Kiren Rijiju, who was our junior home minister then, had allegedly stated in Parliament that the NPR was the “first step" towards an NRC. Such links between the two have been seized upon by activists.

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