The picture seems to be photoshopped or perhaps is all too familiar, the rhetoric is banal and the promise forgotten. Mr Amit Shah on his electoral whirlwinds in Jaipur came up with the pet BJP slogan of ‘throwing out every single Bangladeshi immigrant from the soil of India’ sounds such a cliche’ in view of the record of the BJP led NDA from 2014-2018.
BJP may wallow in the fact that it carried out the NRC in Assam but it came out of the SC judgement on the issue of illegal B’deshi Immigrants raised by by now CM, Sarbanand Sonowal, then an AGP political worker.
However, action taken by the Modi government on illegal immigrants is hardly worth recollection after four years of a majority government rule, especially of a Hindu Nationalist Government which has put the issue of Illegal Immigrants as a core matter in its speeches and manifestos over the years.
Amit Shah in his election speech once again and with amazing countenance picks up the B’deshi Immigrants issue in Rajasthan which has no direct effects of, but as a starter for his election campaign based on the fears of the electorate. The politics of the issues far outweighs the action taken against the illegal immigrants. So called secular parties would cry foul over this assertion by Shah, while BJP will announce the armageddon for illegal immigrants.
Both the scenarios are really made for consumption of the TV and print media viewership and readership. We are assured of over the counter and cacophonous debates of dullards introduced as political analysts, are in fact, spokespeople for various political parties in the country. Election rhetoric notwithstanding, the cold facts based on figures shows a different picture.
The Congress has criticised the inaction of Modi government calling it duplicitous and deceptive while has put forward the figures given by Parneet Kaur as MoS for Home in Parliament in 2013.
The figures given by Randeep Surjewala in a press conference says, ‘Congress deported over 80000 illegal immigrants to Bangladesh’ for the period from 2005-2013. Whereas, according to Congress and as per figures given by Kiren Rijiju BJP has deported just about 1800.
The difference in figures is huge to leave any scope for a debate as far deportations are concerned but the matter of the fact is that the governments over the years have been lacking the political will to deport the millions. The NRC in Assam has opened a can of worms as the Assamese have asked that illegal immigrants irrespective of the their religion should be deported or their rights seized to save the future of indigenous people of Assam.
This has created a conundrum for the Modi government as NRC includes approximately 1.2 million Hindus who have fled Bangladesh including few Buddhist Chakmas. The govt is keen to bring in the Persecuted Minorities Bill to grant citizenship to minorities in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The Bill is primarily aimed at granting citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists in these countries as they are among the most persecuted people in the World. The election rhetoric raises further suspicion about the intent or more appropriately the Will of the government to go about the job at hand, ie., deportation of illegal immigrants. Government has failed to even convince the top court of the imminent threat posed by Rohangiya refugees in J&K. The legal officers so far haven’t been able to articulate the government stand on the Illegal Rohangiyas who have clandestinely settled in and around Jammu.
Government has been found lacking in matching the rhetoric with prudent steps on this contentious debate. While the government keeps a straight face at its inability to deport immigrants, the party apparatus is given the go to ratchet the rhetoric on illegal immigrants and demands of a nation wide NRC on the issue.
Many State units of the BJP are asking for an NRC, the Bengal unit facing a formidable Mamata is issuing veiled threats of holding NRC. It’s the government which must step up to the task of deporting illegals and approach the SC for a comprehensive NRC. It’s in the interest of the Nation and not the Party.
Political parties have their own agendas to pursue but the government is bound by the Constitution to be seen as protector of the Constitutional mandate.
Amit Shah must be playing to the galleria to consolidate his vote but the action on ground suggests a lukewarm response to this important issue.
Modi, in view of disparate opposition is likely to comeback to power, maybe with a truncated majority and form a government of his own in 2019 again. It’s imperative that the election rhetoric is replaced by a firm action plan against the imminent threat posed by the altered Demographics in the North East. Various reports starting from Lt Gen SK Sinha in 1980s to another report by TV Rajeshwar in early 1990s are implicit in their conclusions. The threat of a Greater Bangladesh is not merely a Conspiracy Theorist’s dream but a likely scenario in very near future. The population of Muslims in both Assam and Bengal are above 30% and it’s not a natural growth but a sustained trickle of illegal immigrants in the region.
Bangladeshis are on record saying that, “Our people need land to live and can’t be pushed to the sea, the natural course of immigration would be India, where else”. Meanwhile, we run for 2019 with a high decibels campaign on the issue of Illegal B’deshi Immigrants.