Time To Bell The Cat
Illegal immigration from Bangladesh to India has been a perennial problem. There are various reasons attributed to this influx. India has a long and porous border with Bangladesh and people on either side of the border have socio, cultural, religious and linguistic affinity. These factors along with availability of better economic avenues in India are mainly responsible for the large inflow of illegal migrants to India. In the initial years, the migrants used to settle in the border states adjoining Bangladesh. Later on they started spreading out into the interiors of the country. Illegal migration has not only disturbed the demographic profile of our border states, but has also affected the political set—up. Today, there are many constituencies in some of the eastern states, where most of these illegal migrants decide political future of a number of candidates. The biggest problem facing by India is on the country’s economy and security is due to continuous migration from Bangladesh from British period, till date for various factors. The rising population, no- availability of land, unemployment, floods and cyclones push Bangladeshis to India for a better economic opportunity, good education and various Islamic interests.
Illegal immigration unfettered can create security threats at the individual, national and international levels, such as exploitation of migrants, social tensions and economic and political instability. Illegal migrants must be denied all benefits flowing from the government, and their access to private sector employment, as well as acquisition of properties must also be curtailed. A process of gradually disenfranchising the illegal migrants needs to be initiated. The Supreme Court of India, in a landmark judgement, in July 2005, had observed that “there can be no manner of doubt that the states of Assam is facing external aggression and internal disturbance on account of large—scale illegal migration of Bangladeshi nationals” and directed the Union of India “to take all measures for protection of the states of Assam from such external aggression and internal disturbance as enjoined in Article 355 of the Constitution”. Illegal migration and their settlement will remain a security challenge for India if no immediate concrete actions are taken that would involve deporting and checking illegal immigration. In fact, the deportation of the illegal Bangladeshi migrants has the potential to create a major political and communal problem particularly the people involved have the support of the politicians. Border security and border management on India’s eastern border needs to be looked upon as an important national security issue. This issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants should be taken up seriously by the political leadership without any vested interests. The book Bangladeshi Migrants: A threat to India is an effort of highlighting the real problems faced in Indo- Bangladesh border management. The author of the book P K Mishra was one of the first from the BSF to have served as Additional Director General in a paramilitary force. He remained deployed with the troops in the extreme border of Indo-Bangladesh from 1971 till 1990. What has been brought out in this volume is the grass root problems of this issue as witnessed by the author during his term at those borders. The author in this book has suggested measures with a wealth of information which will open the eyes of our political leaders to understand the demographic changes witnessed in our eastern Border States. In nut shell, this book is an eye opening account of the real problems faced by our country due to these illegal migrants.
By Nilabh Krishna