National Register of Citizens in Assam: A Teach-In

November 3, 2019 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

National Register of Citizens in Assam: A Teach-In
By: Prof Urmitapa Dutta & Abdul Kalam Azad

The Northeast Indian state of Assam bordering Bangladesh is currently witnessing the largest mass scale disenfranchisement in human history. Nearly 2 million people have been disenfranchised and are at risk of indefinite detention and statelessness. This was done by updating the National Register of Citizens or NRC, a list established in 1951. The vast majority of those affected are Bengal origin Muslim communities in Assam. This teach-in will offer a humanitarian perspective of the NRC and its impact on people, showing how the NRC policy is a form of state sanctioned violence. Specific topics include:

A historical perspective of the NRC
The human costs of NRC on local communities
Grassroots resistance and activism

About the speakers

Urmitapa Dutta is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA. She is currently a Scholar-in-Residence at the National Center for Institutional Diversity and Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Urmitapa is committed to feminist decolonial praxis and seeks to (co)create communities of resistance. A scholar activist, her program of research focuses on everyday violence in Northeast India. Working alongside and in solidarity with communities/groups in India, she seeks to denaturalize oppressive conditions and articulate experiences silenced by officially sanctioned narratives. Her recent work focuses on citizenship, migration, and gender-based violence in Northeast India.

Abdul Kalam Azad is a researcher and grass-root community mobilizer from Assam. He is one of the leading campaigners for Miya Poetry Movement to reclaim identity and seeking human dignity and justice for his community. He is pursuing his PhD from Vrije University Amsterdam and working on citizenship crisis in Assam.


Association for India’s Development, MIT & Boston Chapters

Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia

Coalition for a Democratic India