Before I go ahead, a quick disclaimer that I am adherent supporter of stricter border control, stringent implementation of immigration laws and understand the implication of demographic change. The illegal migrants not only put an extensive strain on our scarce resources, specially when we have more than 1.25 billion people to take care of.
It is the organisational philosophy of the ruling party which has taught me to put the country first and I hope that the following view will be read with an open mind.
Respected Mr. Shah, while addressing a rally at Gangapur in Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur district ahead of the state assembly elections comment was made about Bangladeshi’s being a termite which are eating our resources and making it hollow. This might have gained a lot of applauds from the audience but in today’s world where the audience is global, I would urge you not to reference and associate illegal migrants with any country, specially the likes of Bangladesh with which we have friendly relations.
There is ample evidence that lot of illegal migration does happen along our eastern borders, but calling out nationality does leave a long-term impact. While the Prime Minister has called each and every Indian as an ambassador of our great nation it becomes important that all Indians do have some sense of long-term vision of our foreign policy.
Calling out Bangladesh specifically does put our friendly nation in a tight spot where. The hostile block in Bangladesh can easily associate it with Bangla Pride would leave no option with Sheikh Hasina but to defend its national, which every sovereign nation would do. This can also be seen by the statement which was issued by the Bangladeshi government which called this statement as unfortunate. This is exactly the same dilemma which Government of India faces whenever H-1B visa comes up in America. Imagine if any other country would openly call out Indian migrants living who are living illegally in western countries. This would put unwarranted stress on our foreign office and govt on how to manage domestic sentiments and foreign relations together.
A good relation with neighbors is driven when the citizen of two countries have respect for each other’s culture, self-esteem and nationality and not just by good relationship between bureaucrats. It is important not to associate illegal migrants with a country. A prime example would be Australia and New Zealand. Both countries do not see eye to eye on a sport field and have a good amount of banter for each other. And whenever the citizen of either country is indulged in any illegality, the politicians make sure that they focus on failure of law and order, justice and just the illegality of the crime rather than focusing on the ethnicity of the criminal.
Being Bangladeshi is not a crime, but to be an illegal immigrant is a crime. Stroking the Bangladeshi sentiment again and again solves no issue, but creates an unwarranted aggression towards a nation. Many Indians, due to diverse nation of ours, would not able to distinguish between an Oriya from a Kannada, an Assamees from a Bangla leave aside identifying a Bangladeshi national.
Bangladesh, to the best of its capability has supported us in our war against terrorism and at the same time is also dealing with a very radical opposition. Being called out by party president of the ruling government not only makes the things harder for the Hasina government but we would not succeed in winning the support and heart of millions of Bangladeshi people.
Onus of stopping them from entering illegally is on us and their settlements are evidence of failure by our system and government. I humbly request not to callout countries name, specially when they are our friendly country in a neighbourhood where the dragon is looking to exploit any anti-India sentiment and by calling countries like these we only going make things harder for our friendly neighbours.
I hope this will be read as a constructive criticism and the supporters start seeing long term plans and vision and to the government in establish the regional dominance.