Illegal immigration has become a major headache for India and an imminent threat to its national security. . This important topic had been sidelined by the Congress party throughout its long rule in the Centre. Showing no concern for the residents of the border-states, Congress party and its leaders has been reluctant to take up the issue of illegal immigration. The difficulties faced by the people of the North-eastern states due to the influx of a large number of Bangladeshis include, but are not limited to, the loss of employment, business opportunities amongst others. These accompanied with the destruction of the natural beauty, balance of the society and local culture due to the ever increasing burden of illegal Bangladeshis was never a cause for concern. Almost all the North-Eastern states suffered due to the inactivity of the Congress party in this regard. India and Bangladesh share the fifth largest border in the world, a distance of 4,156 kilometres. This porous border has witnessed a large influx of illegal immigrants since the mass exodus during the 1971 war.
West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram are the states which share the land border with Bangladesh. They also share the major burden of the illegal immigrants from the poverty ridden country. The largely unfenced border is used for the smuggling of livestock, drugs, fake currency and all kinds of illegal goods. The poor, unemployed immigrants arriving in huge number from Bangladesh are prone and susceptible to radicalization. Taking up whatever place they could, earning their bread through begging, stealing until they reached an area where there was nobody to question them. Being unskilled, they took up petty jobs, worked in the fields at half the rate, dashing the hopes of the local workers who now had nothing to look forward to. As their numbers increased, domination replaced humility. The women were teased and molested. The people were forced to listen to the radical fanatics and local dialects were replaced by Bengali. The indigenous people were stopped from practicing their own culture in their own land because it apparently hurt the ‘sentiments of the orthodox muslims’, the illegal migrants were slowly beginning to rule the land through power in numbers. Many districts with a sparse population recorded an unprecedented growth in the number of illegal Bangladeshis after the 1971 liberation war of Bangladesh and this continued to happen till early 2000s.
When the Modi government came into power it started assessing the damage which had taken place. This brilliant decision paved the way for a coherent and practical policy making along the border lines. The exchange of 162 enclaves carried out on the 1st of august, 2015 ended the centuries old confusion.
The second decision taken was to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to identify illegal Bangladeshis currently residing in India. This tough decision will open the gates for deportation of the huge number of illegal Bangladeshis which has been living in India since decades. The extremist groups and leaders too have come under the radar of the Intelligence agencies.
The Centre and the State government of Assam, both are today led by the BJP, and with their unanimous consent they have decided to clamp down on the immigrant problem in the state. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal of Assam was sworn in on 24th May 2016. A firebrand leader, Sonowal had already taken the Bangladeshi infiltration issue to the Supreme Court in 2005. The Supreme Court struck down the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act, 1983 terming it as unconstitutional and termed Bangladeshi infiltration as “external aggression”. It was a huge victory for Sonowal who had taken the issue to the SC with grave concerns over the illegal population residing in Assam.
Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma put forward a question on illegal immigration in the Assam Assembly earlier this week. His primary concern was Arabic being taught in Madrasas across Assam. The idea was direct and simple, if Assamese is not taught in Arab countries, why should then Madrasas teach Arabic in Assam? What’s the use of teaching a language which does not give you a job or helps in earning a livelihood in your country?
#Listen: Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma questions Assam Assembly whether Assamese language is taught in Arab? Then, why should Madrasas of Assam teach Arabic here? @ShrrinG @OneTipOneHand_ @dhaval241086 @iMac_too pic.twitter.com/o77Nrq96aJ
— যাযাবৰ Manas (@JajaborManas) April 6, 2018
The issues being raised today point to the course of action BJP is willing to take in the next few days. Illegal Bangladeshis will be dealt with according to the law and PM Modi is in no mood to go soft over the illegal immigration crisis in Assam and other border states.