Dhruba Jyoti Deka
Though immigration is a regular consequence, most of the developed countries are maintaining zero tolerance towards illegal immigration since last 3 to 4 decades. Illegal immigration from Bangladesh to North Eastern states of India has been a big issue since the war of independence of Bangladesh in 1971 that ended up with the defeat of mighty Pakistani occupation forces.
During the Bangladesh Liberation War more than 10 million Bangladeshis crossed Indian border to avoid Pakistani army’s genocide. As India backed the then freedom movement of the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), the Indo-Bangla border was ordered to be opened up for the Bangalis as Pakistani army’s genocide and brutalities were one of the worst ever notorious ‘war violence’.
Bangladeshi immigration at that time was not a big concern for the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as Indian army achieved second historical win in any war against Pakistan since the division of Indian in 1947. Under such situation, Bangla-speaking immigrants from the war hit East Pakistan mostly settled down in Assam and Tripura, and some did spread within Kolkata [West Bengal] and the rest of the part of India. Majority of Bangladeshi immigrants spread in Tripura and Assam that resulted in change of the socio-ethnic identity of both states. In Tripura, the ethnic Tripuri became the minority and the Bangladeshi immigrants became the majority.
Observing the socio-ethnic condition of Tripura, concerned youths of Assam came waged a movement against illegal immigration. The movement against illegal immigration instantly grew as the ‘Biggest Student movement in the World’, as the entire movement was carried out by young students studying here and there. More than a thousand of Assamese youths lost their lives in the movement and it finally ended up with the ‘‘ between the then Home and Chief Secretary of India in the presence of the then Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi and the movement leaders on August 15, 1985.
Gone are those days. After signing the treaty with the government of India, the movement leaders came into the political power of Assam with the party named ‘Asom Gana Parishad’. The ‘Asom Gana Parishad’ continued ruling Assam from 1985 to 1990 – ignoring the major concern of the ‘‘. The same ‘Asom Gana Parishad’ came into power for the second term in 1996 defeating the Indian National Congress government in the state. But the immaturity never turned matured. Instead of keeping their promises to the people, the Asom Ganar Parishad leadership continued following the dictated of the central government. The tenure of Parishad turned worst to the highest order and ultimately had turned them into a hostile force thus finally joining hands with Hindust Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Illegal Immigrants must go after 16th May – slogan of Modi in 2014:
With lots of lies, cries, blank promises, BJP projected prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as a firebrand opponent of the illegal immigrants in Assam and they repeatedly said – “They [illegal immigrants] need to pack their bag and baggage to leave India after 16th May”.
But, after coming to power in 2014, BJP government realized that the issue was not very simple as promised in the election campaign. This realization was similar to that of two-term rule of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).
Assam will be corruption and Bangladeshi free state – Slogan of Sarbananda Sonowal in 2016:
Once an AASU (All Assam Students Union) and AGP leader – Sarbananda Sonowal – later joined BJP in 2011 and he was portrayed as the aspirant Chief Minister of Assam by BJP for State Assembly Election in 2016. Mr. Sonowal too started lying and making blank promises in the election campaign, similarly as the central leadership.
Sonowal, once a participant of ‘Assam Movement’ against illegal immigrants befooled the voters of Assam through blank promises saying ‘border’, ‘currency’ and ‘defense’ were not in the hands of the provincial government and that was with the government of India.
NRC (National Register of Citizens of India) up-gradation in Assam and role of BJP:
As the NRC up-gradation is under the supervision and surveillance of the Supreme Court of India, no one is allowed to speak about the NRC procedure in a public platform. Hence, honoring the Supreme Court of India, we shall not violate the law. But – there is the ‘but’ created by the BJP itself – as BJP is playing the illegal Bangladeshi immigrant issue as a trumpcard, keeping eyes on upcoming 2019 general election.
Hindutva and the illegal immigrant issue:
As it’s Hindutva motto, the BJP has already shown the ‘Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016’ as the trump card eyeing the upcoming election of 2019. It’s crucial – really crucial! As the ‘Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016’ proposes citizenship for non-Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, thus are creating a mass hysteria amongst the illegal Muslim immigrants who came to India during the period of Bangladesh Liberation War and afterwards.
The trump card is not played to hijack results of the upcoming 2019 elections – but to permanently dissolve the government of India’s agreements.
It would be a great blunder to think that without BJP’s backing; the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina will not be able to ensure her third consecutive term. Bangladesh is scheduled to hold the general election during December this year.
Narendra Modi has put his own burden on the Bangladesh Prime Minister in playing the losing game to win – as the Indian Supreme Court’s verdicts put lots of pressure on ruling BJP government over the illegal Bangladeshi issue. Neither Modi can extradite the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, nor Sheikh Hasina can receive them – the real problem lies behind this ‘policy’.
BJP and Awami League – both are desperate to grab the power in 2019 – but their strategies are facing some uncomfort due to the Supreme Court of India.
No wonder, common people always have to suffer unless ‘pure democracy’ is established.
To be continued…
Dhruba Jyoti Deka is a Journalist from Assam, India. Mr. Deka has served several vernacular Assamese dailies from 2002. Deka is a Journalist by his passion and Cyber Security Adviser/Consultant by profession.