Assam keeps burning and, as usual, the country sleeps. The current riots (more than 100 killed and more than 400,000 displaced; as per official figures) are not the first, and they certainly are not going to be the last.
The Indian media does not care, because it is not worth their effort and resources to cover the events in a state which is not even in the consciousness of majority of their viewers. The janta does not even have the north eastern states in their general idea of India. As for the political parties, all the seven states in north-east account for just about 20 seats in the Lok Sabha, so it is not worthwhile for them to think about the welfare of these areas, thus, they are left to the direction of Bangladeshis, Separatists and Missionaries.
East Bengal’s attraction for Assam goes back more than a century. Even during the proposed partition of Bengal in 1905, the Muslim League had demanded “Bange-Islam”, the target of which was to flood the sparsely populated Assam with Bengali Muslims.
During the Second World War, a big push was given to this infiltration. Mujib-ur-Rehman, the former Muslim league leader, who became the first prime minister of Bangladesh, and who is the “secular” doyen, according to the secular intelligentsia, had always coveted the mineral rich wealth of Assam (“Eastern Pakistan must include Assam to be financially and economically strong.”). He had remarked that very slowly, but surely, the Bengali Muslims through the demographic growth, would overwhelm Assam one day.
On the other hand, Gopinath Bordoloi, the first chief minister of Assam in independent India, who despite being a Gandhian, was oblivious to all these dangers, as the bloodbath (just a few years ago) and the resulting partition had failed to open the eyes of his likes and hence he saw the influx, as some sort of a coexistence.
Mujib-ur-Rehman is not alive today, but he would have been delighted that the Bangladeshi population is being given more than just help, for capturing Assam by the power hungry politicians of India’s grand old party.
It is no secret that Congress Party has encouraged and abetted illegal immigration of Bangladeshis to build their vote bank in Assam. Dev Kant Barua (one who said, India is Indira and Indira is India) had famously remarked that the party would be in power as long as the Alis (Bangladeshi migrants) and Coolies (tea garden labourers) are there.
For over three decades now, Bangladeshi immigrants have been given help to cross the border, to get citizenship, ration cards and even localities to stay permanently in Assam. The only thing they need to do in return is vote for the Congress. Rest all is taken care of.
Even the census was not even carried out in Assam in order to keep the extent of Bangladeshi infiltration a secret. But it is no secret, now that over one-third of the Assam population is Bangladeshi Muslims.
We have reached a phase now, where the entire north eastern part of the country being ingested by Bangladesh, is a very frightening reality, and not just a nightmare. And it is the secular government of independent India that has steadfastly allowed and encouraged the infiltration of Bangladeshis in India to such an extent that today 2 to 4 percent of India’s population consists of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
Separatist organizations like the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) have heavily targeted the non-Assamese population, but they do not lay a finger on Bangladeshis in return for a safe haven in Bangladesh. There are already MLAs of Bangladeshi origin in the Assam Assembly who make it sure that their brethren are in comfort, in India.
More than one-fifth of the 294 assembly constituencies in West Bengal, have a high concentration of voters who happen to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, in addition to the 40 assembly seats in Assam that depend on the votes cast by illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators.
The day is not far when there will be Bangladeshi MLAs in other states of the country as well. Or a Bangladeshi Chief Minister of Assam, maybe even a Bangladeshi Mayor of Navi Mumbai. That will surely prove our secular credentials.
These immigrants have not only become the de facto citizens of India, but have proved to be more than a thorn in the flesh. They are heavily into criminal activities across all states in India which include robbery, theft, illegal trafficking of narcotic drugs and liquor, smuggling of pornographic films and vulgar literature. In many rural areas of West Bengal and Assam, it is them who have the ownership of most of the land, which is mostly captured by driving away the original inhabitants.
India’s north eastern border is very porous and a spot for the various smuggling, prostitution, narcotics rings that operate between the two countries. Illegal immigrants always manage to get in, either by collaborating inhabitants of the border villages or by bribing the paramilitary forces, in many instances. The paramilitary forces themselves come under attack from the immigrants with many cases of loss of lives which is promptly ignored by the secular media. In many villages, the Bangladeshis cross over from the border, sell their wares in India, and by night, return again.
Even in Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura the Bangladeshis have married the local women in large numbers and as a result, a new race has been brought into existence, who retain the name of their mother’s clan in spite of being sired by Bangladeshi fathers. Using their wives’ Scheduled Tribe status, the Bangladeshi husbands are able to purchase vast tracts of land which are normally reserved for the “janjaati”. The havoc caused by all this is seen in Nagaland, where the majority of the labour force is now Bangladeshi, who also occupy most of the shops in the main markets of Kohima (more than three-fourths of the local businesses are now no longer in native hands).
More than three-fourths of the markets remain closed during Muslim festivals and observances. There have been many protests on this, but they are quelled down, when the Bangladeshis threaten to discontinue the safe haven given to the Naga separatists.
In April 1992, Hiteshwar Saikia, the then Chief Minister of Assam, said on the floor of the State Assembly that there were about 3 million illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in the State. The Muslim United Front leaders declared that he must withdraw his statement within 48 hours, or they would bring his government down. Saikia withdrew his statement.
During his tenure, the then governor of Assam, Lt Gen (retd.) S.K. Sinha had submitted a detailed 42-page report to the President in November 1998, the salient points of which are given below :-
“Large scale illegal migration from East Pakistan/ Bangladesh over several decades has been altering the demographic complexion of this State. It poses a grave threat both to the identity of the Assamese people and to our national security. Successive governments at the center and in the State have not adequately met this challenge. I felt it is my bounden duty to the Nation and the State I have sworn to serve, to place before you this report on the dangers arising from the continuing silent demographic invasion.”
“The unabated influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh threatens to reduce the Assamese to a minority in their own State, as happened in Tripura and Sikkim. The long-cherished design of Greater East Pakistan/ Bangladesh, making inroads into the strategic land-link of Assam with the rest of the country, can lead to severing the entire land mass of the North-East from the rest of the country. This will have disastrous economic and strategic consequences.”
“This silent and invidious demographic invasion of Assam may result in the loss of geostrategically vital districts of Lower Assam. The influx of these illegal migrants is turning these districts into a Muslim majority region. IT WILL THEN ONLY BE A MATTER OF TIME WHEN A DEMAND FOR THEIR MERGER WITH BANGLADESH MAY BE MADE. THE RAPID GROWTH OF ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM MAY PROVIDE THE DRIVING FORCE FOR THIS DEMAND. IN THIS CONTEXT IT IS PERTINENT THAT BANGLADESH HAS LONG DISCARDED SECULARISM AND HAS CHOSEN TO BECOME AN ISLAMIC STATE. LOSS OF LOWER ASSAM WILL SEVERE THE ENTIRE LAND MASS OF THE NORTH-EAST FROM THE REST OF INDIA “
Fifteen recommendations were made by him, including effective border fencing, ID cards, updating the national register of citizens, and repealing the illegal migrants (Determination of Tribunals Act), which applied to Assam, and was causing massive migration. He also recommended that the migrants which were not recognized as Bangladeshis by the then Sheikh Hasina Wajed government should be declared as stateless citizens and their voting rights should be revoked.
The result? Twenty Congress MLAs in Assam wrote to the president demanding Lt. Gen. Sinha’s ouster from the post of Assam’s Governor. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi issued press statements stating that the governor’s actions were “constitutional impropriety”.
Late General Jameel Mehmood, GOC Eastern Command, in the 1990s had warned both the chief ministers of West Bengal and Assam (Jyoti Basu and Tarun Gogoi, respectively) that “if action was not taken against the Bangladeshi infiltrators, we would have to redraw the boundaries of India in the North-east.” He had also written to the Army Headquarters that a Kashmir-like situation cannot be ruled out in near future.
The result? Nothing, as expected.
Nagaland Chief Minister has time and again reported various incidents of Bangladesh migrants being given combat training in the jungles of Assam and Nagaland from Naga separatists. This has been ignored as well.
In spite of the Supreme Court cancelling the IMDT Act in 2005, the government brought it in through the back door by amending the Foreigners Act. The Guwahati High court has already declared (via a judgment on 23rd July, 2008) the Bangladeshi migrants as kingmakers, with 11 out of 27 districts in Assam having a migrant majority.
The ironically named All India United Democratic Front is the second largest party in the Assam State Assembly today. It is run by and voted to power, by the migrant factions and its influence is growing every day, with them garnering the support of minorities all over the country.
Sometimes, one wonders, what is it that will spring us into action? Gang rapes and murders in every neighbourhood everyday? A direct-action-day type scenario in some city every month? Or a nuclear attack on a major metropolitan city by either of our beloved neighbours?
What kind of a depraved people are we, who produce such leadership, who think of nothing in allowing immigration, at the cost of the rights and safety of the local population for the sake of a few hundred thousand votes?
What kind of society have we become that produces and elects such leaders whose vision does not extend beyond the next election, whose only objective is to make as much money as possible when in power, and to siphon resources from whatever is in their immediate reach; whose only talent lies in winning elections; whose only capability lies in blocking roads and taking out processions; whose only constructive work is creating lobbies and vote banks, and who have no desire to build a strong nation or an efficient and a meritocratic society.
The sad part is that the entire society in the country today operates by selfishness and short-sighted petty gains. Leaders, civil servants and the police are merely the ghastly mirrors in which the society sees its ugly face, every now and then, and vehemently denies that the horrid face which stares back is theirs. The only reason that the voters cast their vote is for freebies like reservations and bribes which their propped up leaders promise them when they come to power.
Hence, minority appeasement and caste politics seem to be more important than development and national security.
Populist measures are more important than justice.
Political correctness is more important than truth.
Self denial is more important than desire to progress.
Fate has already been more than generous to us.
Entire people have been wiped out for much lesser follies. But ours don’t seem to end and it is just a matter of time when the patience of fate runs out as well.