NRC and the havoc of illegal immigration
| Onkareshwar Pandey - 08 Aug 2018

NRC and the havoc of illegal immigration

  • Major Saras Tripathi

New Delhi, Aug 08, 2018

Presumably, the most invincible “Hindu” kingdom of “Ahom” is fragmented and is fighting to preserve its character and identity. “Ahom” (modern Assam) was the longest surviving kingdom of India that could dissipate almost all invasions from within and without, including Muslims and Mughals. In its 600 yearlong rule, from 1228 to 1826 the Ahoms could preserve the multi-ethnic non-Islamic character of their kingdom. The only other kingdom which can be compared was Mysore in down south. But the British East India Company takeover of Ahoms in 1826 altered all that was preserved for several hundred years. Tea plantation beginning from 1828, relocation of Bengali and Bihari labourers in the tea gardens, division of Bengal in 1905, division of India in 1947, West Pakistani (Pakistani) atrocities in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and consequent intrusion in Assam, poverty and joblessness in Bangladesh, and subsequent migration of Bengalis in general and Bangladeshi Muslims in Particular, created havoc in the state. The need for NRC and its publication is the result of all the mayhem population invasion of Bangladeshi Muslims has created in Assam.

NRC is the list of Indian citizens which is meant to decide who is a bona fide Indian citizen and those who fail to enlist in the register will be deemed, illegal migrants. The first list was made in 1951 across India according to the census of that year. It is for the first time that it is being updated and that too only in Assam. Now, it is not linked to census but one has to link oneself to a family member whose name had appeared either in the NRC of 1951 or to any of the state’s electoral rolls prepared till midnight of 24th March 1971. The date 24 March 1971 is chosen as it was the date of the beginning of Bangladesh’s war for liberation and an agreed date in Assam accord of 1985 between the then PM Rajiv Gandhi and AASU and AAGSP. This agreement was signed after long agitation, bloodbath, destruction and ethnic conflict. It was agreed that whosoever has entered India (Assam) after this date has to be identified and deported. Since almost all such deportees were Muslims, no government could gather the courage to implement it. Fed up of political parties’ vote bank politics, in 2009 Assam Public Works (APW), an NGO filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding identification of Bangladeshi foreigners in the State and deletion of their names from the voters’ list. Once again, finally, the burden fell on the Supreme Court and it ordered in 2013 to complete the exercise by 31 December 2017, leading to the present updating of NRC.SC monitored preparation of NRC was to identify the illegal (deportable) immigrants.  

After gigantic bureaucratic exercise under MrPrateekHajela, out of 3.29 Crore population living in Assam, 40 lakh have been found to be illegal immigrants, and more or less are to be deported. However, there is still the discrepancy in the list. Many genuine citizens of Assam have been left out of the NRC, including one from the extended family of ex-President Late Fakharuddin Ali Ahmad and a few ex-servicemen.

Many dimwits are blaming (and some claiming too) Modi and Assam government for identifying and planning to “throw out” Muslims from Assam. Nothing can be more moronic than this. Neither this government can be blamed nor can it claim any credit for this. As it is we do not have the treaty with Bangladesh to send back these illegally immigrated foreigners. It is a complicated matter and puts the BJP governments at center as well as in the state, on notice as to how they are going to send these illegal occupants of our land and resources back to their own country (Bangladesh). Further, it also will test the resolve of the nation to fight illegal intrusion including that of Rohingyas, amid rhetoric and political shelter being provided to them by the so-called “secular” dispensations. 

(Writer is former Major of Indian Army and a renowned Security Expert)

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