The state of statelessness

It is to experience the worst imaginable nightmare, not a natural disaster but a man-made malaise
It is frightfully disturbing to learn that 40 lakh people, currently living in Assam, find no place in the draft of the National Register of Citizens. Therefore, they could be deprived of their Indian citizenship and become stateless. Can those of us secure in our nationality ever put ourselves in the shoes of such disenfranchised people? What is it to be deprived of citizenship, to experience the horror of statelessness?
Citizenship and belonging
Citizenship is frequently associated with political rights but it is linked, first and foremost, to belonging. To be a citizen is to belong to a particular politically organised community — the state, in the widest sense. True, it is not the only form of belonging. One can belong to a village, to a language-, religion- or occupation-based community. But particularly under modern conditions, belonging to a politically organised community has become more important than other belongings. Our identity as citizens is more basic than other identities. Why?
This is because everything we need or desire, and any reasonable goal we pursue, depends today on our membership of a state. We may have moral rights as human beings but they are ineffective or meaningless without social-political recognition within a legal regime supported by the state.
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