Deport the Infiltrators
The painstaking efforts of the Government of India and the Government of Assam in compiling the National Register for citizens are laudable. Although it can be said that parting is always painful and it would be frightening for Bangladesh to face suddenly an influx of four million people as it would hit the economy instantly. But India cannot and must not be a dumping ground of refugees from across the world. We are a developing nation with very limited resources and the second largest population on earth. We have severe issues and problems with serving the needs and requirements of our own population. Lakhs of children are malnourished, around one-third of the population lives below poverty line and access to basic education and healthcare is still a luxury for a huge section of the population. Against this backdrop, how can we support such a massive population of illegal immigrants? But the so-called secular political parties have throughout aided and abetted the illegal immigration taking place along the Indo-Bangladesh border. These illegal immigrants form the core support base of such parties and hence these parties encourage such illegal immigration. Therefore it is time these political parties rise above narrow vote-bank considerations and act in national interest. Our border with Bangladesh must be sealed and further illegal immigration stopped. Having said that, it cannot be gainsaid that the NRC is indeed the heart and soul of the Assam Accord signed in 1985 between the AASU representatives and the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Had the NRC been updated a long time back, the numbers would have been much smaller. But the so-called political parties ruling Assam and at the Centre did not do so for their own vested interests. Since the illegal immigrants were supposed to be their vote-banks, they were apprehensive of taking concrete action to identify and deport them. But better late than never. Now that the NRC has been updated, it is pertinent for the government to accurately identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and detain them at detention centres. The issue should be taken up with the Bangladeshi authorities for ensuring their deportation at the earliest. They should not be allowed the rights and privileges that an Indian citizen enjoys and are enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
Furthermore, it is apt to mention that the secular brigade has been arguing that when people have been allowed (or they have managed) to be in India for so long, when they have built their lives and become part of local economies and communities, they cannot and must not be rendered state-less on the basis of a list. What a fantastic sermon! They had surreptitiously sneaked into our country with the connivance of security forces and political leaders and eating away our resources and causing catastrophic changes in demography and creating Kashmir-like situation in Assam and the North-East, instead of taking a stern action, this brigade has the audacity to give this kind of sermon! The stark reality is that the police could not identify perpetrators of many violent crimes of jihadis and the judiciary could not punish them adequately. This is the bitter reality of massive illegal immigration from Bangladesh into the north-eastern states and West Bengal–one that has completely altered the demography of the entire region.
The staggering differences between the 1971 census data and 1991 census data of Assam points out the stark demographic changes which have taken place. Yet, the secular brigade acts like an ostrich with its head buried in the sand. It refuses to acknowledge the bitter truth of massive
illegal immigration from Bangladesh. It refuses to acknowledge the severe pressure on the society, economy and ecology of the states bordering Bangladesh as a result of such illegal immigration. Instead, it shamelessly bats for the illegal immigrants and their right to squat on any piece of Indian territory they fancy. In this perspective, the solution to illegal immigration needs to be found and that too, soon. Hence, it would be sensible for the Prime Ministers of both the countries to formulate a policy that would enrich both nations and strengthen ties. After all that is what good neighbours do.
By Deepak Kumar Rath