Several netizens are sharing a page from the instruction manual for updation of the National Population Register (NPR) 2020, with the claim that while festivals of all religions have been listed, those celebrated by Muslims have been excluded by the Ministry Of Home Affairs.
One Twitter handle by the name ‘@CitizenKamran’ shared the page, writing: “This is Page 39 of the NPR 2020 manual. There is no Eid or Bakrid or Milad-e-Nabi or any other Muslim festival. A clear signal on what will be outcome of NPR. Disenfranchising crores of Muslim citizens.”
A clear signal on what will be outcome of NPR.
Disenfranchising crores of Muslim citizens. pic.twitter.com/3JHZx0CN3D
— Kamran Shahid (@CitizenKamran) December 29, 2019
Is The Claim True?
Muslim festivals haven’t been just excluded from the NPR manual 2020, as on checking, one can find that the same list of festivals was used in the 2011 NPR manual too. The data collection for preparation of NPR in 2011 was undertaken, during the House listing Operations of Census 2011.
— Marya Shakil (@maryashakil) December 29, 2019
According to a Home Ministry official, these festivals are listed to aid the NPR enumerators to help a number of people to remember their month of birth by citing English or Gregorian calendar and these significant Indian festivals.
The official added that the page related to the festivals is supposed to be read along with the pages of the manual dealing with the date of the birth-related question.
While the Annexure V listing ‘Important Festivals corresponding to Gregorian Months’ is on page number 32, it comes under point number 6 – ‘Instructions for filling up of summary sheet’ in the table of contents.
The document guides NPR enumerators and supervisors as to how they should go about the date of birth of the person being registered under the NPR.
It also guides them on how to handle different circumstances, like when the member-only knows the year of birth, when the member knows age in completed years but not the year of birth etc.
The document helps enumerators figure out the month of birth of a member being registered who knows only his/her year of birth – for this reason, the Annexure lists important festivals, and mentions the corresponding Gregorian month in which they fall.
For example, if the member’s birth was before the rainy season, the enumerator can estimate the month of birth if he knows whether the birth was in the month during which important festivals like Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti, Makara Sankranti, Pongal, Republic Day etc. took place.
It is thus clear that the list of festivals is meant to guide enumerators to figure out the month of birth of informants who know only their year of birth. The list was used in NPR 2011 manual as well, and is not a new one prepared for 2020.
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