Echoes of Trump in Modi’s border politics

22 May, 2019 12:00 AM printer

The outcome of India’s general election may help determine a central question at the heart of the contest - what does it mean to be Indian? Prime Minister Modi and his BJP party, like US President Donald Trump, have focused on borders to shape a particular vision of India’s future.

Shanti Chandri has lived in the small, impoverished village of Dimilapar, outside Assam’s capital city of Guwahati, for half a century, reports BBC.

The diminutive 79-year-old says she fears her 50 years as a resident will be erased after the state publishes its updated National Registry of Citizens (NRC), a census created in 1951 to determine who was born in India and who might be a migrant from Muslim-majority East Pakistan, now known as Bangladesh.

The census, conducted only in the north-eastern state of Assam, counts citizens who can prove they were residents of India before 24 March, 1971, just before Bangladesh declared its independence from Pakistan.