Edit/Op-Ed

Branding Own Citizen as Infiltrators

M.A.J Siddiqui for BeyondHeadlines

The recent clashes between Bodos and Muslims in Assam, killing over hundreds of innocent Muslims and displacing over 5 lakhs citizens has once again generated more discussion on the issue. The present clashes have developed many a new penetrating and controversial analysis. It posed the question whether the Bengali speaking people are Bangladeshi infiltrators, does these clashes would dominate the Parliamentary elections. Whether Bodos are predominant population in Bodo Land? This article gives answer to all such questions based on facts and logic.

History of Bengali speaking people in Assam is much older than the history of Bangladesh itself.

Assam was annexed in the year 1826 by Britishers by defeating Burmese through the treaty of Yandaboo. At that time this part of Assam was full of Marshy land, forests and water bodies. Peasants from neighbouring provinces namely East and West Bengal were invited for habitation. These peasant were mostly Muslims, they have cleared the jungles, made this fertile land as cultivable land ready for habitation. This settlement of Bangali Muslims since 1800 was in the Surma valley(which may now be called as lower Assam) Mr. Ishwara Topa in his book “Facts about India” Page 214 described the people of this valley as “the valley is linguistically and socially a part of Bangal and its inhabitants have few points of contacts with the dwellers in the Brahmaputra(Assam) valley” further he explained that Assam is naturally divided in to 3 divisions, namely Brahmaputra(Assam) valley, Surma Valley and the hills. The total population (as per 1931 censes) Hindus are 56.3% and are preponderate in Assam valley. Whereas Muslims constitute 31.9% of the population and are preponderate in Surma valley, Tribal’s predomination in this 3rd natural division namely Hills and they constitute around 11% of the population.

Further the history shows that though all the religious entities in Assam were the citizens of British -India even than the relation between the tribal (Indigenous Citizen) the Assam Hindus (Brahmos and Aryas) the 2ndentrant the Bangali Muslims the 3rdentrantswere strained due to the factors of economic exploitation and economic interest and economic domination.

Thus it can be proved beyond doubt that the history of Bangali speaking Muslim in Assam is around 200 years where as the state of Bangladesh was born in the year 1971 i.e. just 4 decade ago.

The Bogey of infiltration:

Migration and immigration of people from one place to other is a natural phenomenon in the history of mankind. Because of this, development and expansion of knowledge, civilization and Technology do happen. In our country, History says Dravidians are the Indigenous people, then came the Aryans, Mongols, Arabs and Europeans nations etc., do came to India, most of them made India as their home and few returned back.

Migration or immigration of people is because of two main reasons.

  1. Security point of view
  2. Economical prosperity

We the Indians saw the flood of Refugees (Sharnarthis) in the year 1947, when we faced bifurcation and Independence of our country. People who are in minorities, if feels unsecured flees to those areas where they are in Majority, therefore Hindus from East Pakistan or West Pakistan who felt unsecured in their home country migrated to India, Mr. L.K. Advani, Mr. Manmohan Singh and many more came to India. We welcome them all. So also few Muslims migrated to Pakistan but we never heard that people like Nawaz Shareef or Benazeer have migrated to India.

Bangladesh is a Muslim country with 86% of Muslims carved out from India with pre dominated
Muslims areas of East Bengal and Sylhet district of Assam during the first formation in 1947 as east Pak and got independence with support of India from Pakistan in the year 1971.During that war like situation in Bangladesh if Migration took place which religious community from the Bangladesh should come to India? Hindus or Muslims. Naturally Hindus might have migrated to India as they find their fellow religion people in India, Muslims cannot leave Bangladesh where they are in majority to India to become a minority, the censes record completion work of Mr. Nilim Datta in his article “ The Myth of Bangladesh and Violence in Assam” proven this facts.

Deicidal growth in 3 districts of Assam:

From above table it can be convincingly proved that people from Bangladesh did come to India, not Muslim but the Hindus.

Economic factor:

Assam is one of most backward state of India 90% of its population reside in villages. It ranked 12th among 16 major states when ordered in descending order of Human Development Index as per 1991 censes, 52% of rural Assam leaves below poverty line. It is the state where only 26.4% of dowelling are having electricity facility, 10.9% of population have Pucca house, more than 19.25% of youth between the ages 15-29 year are unemployed. Aggarwal & Goyal (200) and Dubey & Ganopadhyay in book “Poverty, Health and Education in Assam Achievements and challenges”.

The Unicef, National report on Bangladesh, Nov 2009 reveals the current social economic conditions of children and people of Bangladesh. As independent Nation of 15 Crore people it has developed very fast compare to any N-E state in India, certain compensation are as follows.

 

From above statically facts it is observed that the world on both side of Bangladesh –Assam border is not much different, slightly better on Bangladesh thus there is no charms for any individual to cross the border as infiltrator, people of Bangladesh do know that their neighbours in India not America.

Bodos in Bodo land:

The 4 districts of Assam namely Kokorjhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri are not the boarder districts of Assam, they never experienced the Surge of Migration of Bangladeshis even during war period 1970-71 the deicidal growth of Kokarjher is even less the Assam state.

            Particulars                               1991-2001                               2001-2011

Kokarjher (Bodoland)                          14.49%                                    5.15%

Assam                                                         18.92%                                    16.93%

The population density of Boda land is least compared to any district of Assam.

Population                                                       Population density /Sq.Km

  1. Assam                                                                               397
  2. Kokarjhar                                                                          280
  3. Cacher                                                                               382
  4. Dhubri                                                                               941
  5. Goalpare                                                                            541

Bodos are not in majority even in the Bodo land. The census report 2001 reveals that

                        Bodos                          32.37%

                        Bengalis                      21.06%

                        Assamis                       20.28%

                        Sonthatis                     16.7%

 Religious wise the percentage is as follows:

                        Hindus                                    65.6%

                        Muslims                                20.36%

                        Christians                             13.72%

Bodos with a population of just 30% have desire and demand to rule over 70% of non Bodo people. The BJP led NDA Govt. In 2003 has illegitimately authorised these militants to do so by constituting Bodo council.

Bodos do not have problems only with Bangali speaking Muslims, they do have problems with the Santhali Adivasis who constitute 16.7% of Bobo land population. They terrorise these people looted their homes and displaced them about 23,163 families of these Adivasis were displaced in 1990 and are still in relief camps from past 22 years.

Therefore the entire ethnic/Tribal issue in Assam including Bodo problem is to be relooked in to, and it seems to be law & order problem, rather than a political issue:

India and the issue of immigration and infiltrators

India has about 7 neighbouring countries, namely China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma), Srilanka, Nepal and Bhutan. People from these countries do enter India as legal migrants or illegal infiltrators. We have sufficient strong laws to identify and deport the illegal nationals, certainly we cannot make India as grassing land for foreigners. If at all any Bangladeshi infiltrate came to India we can deport him as per our law but where is the necessity to politicize and publicize the issue. The record shows that we have made 25-3-1971 as the cut off date for citizen ship, the ULFA who formed a Govt. Only on the Bangladeshi issue and ruled Assam for ten years and signed a Assam accord with central Govt. In the year 1985 could identified and deport Bangladeshi to an extent of 256 only in their 10 years tenure.

Bangladeshi infiltrator a riddle raised by right wing parties.

The poor pariwar people though raised the Bangladesh issue and appreciated the act of killing Muslims by the Bodo extremist, by doing so these people forget that they have also endorsed the killing of innocent Sikhs in USA by a fanatic, if the killing of Muslim is correct how killing of Sikhs be wrong.

Similarly this issue has also raised question on the performance of Border security forces. Our Jawans are protecting our National border in all the seasons and in all time, therefore it will not be correct to drag our National institutions of importance in such a silly politics.

Elections 2014 – the Politics of Phobia

The divisive force has started the campaign for their election, hatred, fear, threats, roamers, suspicion are their tactics, these are the people who see a Bangladeshi in every Bangali speaking Muslim, they see a beard behind every bomb blast, even in Makkah Masjid bomb blast. The present Bodo Issue seems to be their handy work. The fleeing of North East people from BJP influence pocket like Bangalore and Mumbai based on SMS. The debate in Parliament and terming the Muslim youths in BJP led Govt. as terrorist shows that the politics of polarization and phobia has started and it will continue till the General Elections. Perhaps absorbing this mind set Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam our former president said “though we are the Nation of one Billion people but behave as a Nation of one million people”

India has already moved ahead from 70-80 decades now we are making youths to feed the global market and teaching the children as the citizens of the world in this new pyridine hatred, fear Marathi-Bihari, Bodo-Bangali conflict never works out in any Election. It is sure that “the Bangladeshi Bhagwan cannot make the fortune of any political party in 2014 Elections”.

 

Map showing Bangladesh surrounded by west Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram

 

 

Why infiltrators problem in Assam only?

(Author is associated with Human Welfare Foundation, A.P. Chapter. He can be reached at hwfapchapter@yahoo.com . The views expressed here are personal.

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