TODAY -

Protective Thinking: Can NRC Update save Assam & Northeast Region ?

Pakinrichapbo *



The article by renowned writer Mr. Sanjoy Hazarika in Hills Times newspaper has been an eye opener to me and hope to all followers of NRC news of Assam. The acclaimed writer have stated that illegal immigrants emerged through the final draft of NRC cannot be deported as there is no such arrangement between India and Bangladesh. Leaving aside Bangladeshi immigrants, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has accused Assam Government of targeting Bengali communities of Cachar, the drama never ends.

Besides the assurance given by Assam State Government and Supreme Court that sufficient time shall be given to those left out from the list of final draft which is 40 Lakh declared illegal immigrants to prove their genuine citizenship yet the high number of people left out involves another highly risky business which may create new social disorder in Assam and surrounding states if the Assam state government, Central government and Supreme Court appears partial, indecisive when deciding the legal status of the immigrants.

Before I embark on the given topic, I like to begin by adding little history lesson to help readers understand how political dynamics in the region of past and present Assam do always leave impact in surrounding north-eastern states starting from pre Independent India where Governor of Assam appointed by British Govt of India governed the almost entire Northeast region and how the establishment of British administrative rule in Assam begins to change the social and political life of different ethnic groups living in Northeast region.

Remarkably even in post Independent India, the transformation in social and political outlook of different communities has not stop till today as one witnesses almost all major ethnic groups harbouring their own political interests. Assam is Northeast India and Northeast India is Assam, this is one of the reasons why alarmed people living in surrounding timid states after observing the Assam government policy has start demanding their respective govt to begin the NRC update in their states.

The indigenous citizens of Assam including whole northeast region need to seriously study if NRC update can really safe Assam and northeast region in the days to come.

I also feel observing the living reality of Assam that Indigenous ethnic groups of Assam cannot decide everything from the historical angle of when and how Assam became a refuge for immigrants from Bangladesh and other parts of India without causing human right violations and adding unending miseries into the lives of fellow humans i.e. illegal immigrants, observers agrees that India still fails to recover from India Partition of 1947.

Itís not that, I donít acknowledge the fear of indigenous citizens regarding the huge change in demography of Assam but the act of banishing 40 lakhs people from their homes requires unimaginable amount of sub-human emotions like the Nazis Germany when dealing with Jew of Germany. The readers should also give effort to understand the logic that, what appears possible in pre 1960s cannot be possible in 2018 or beyond.

The renowned Writer has also pointed out it is difficult to differentiate between Muslims of Bengal and Bangladesh apart from that many has make Assam their true home and run schools and institutions establish by them, these are several factors worth pondering upon. The failure of past Assam government to deport illegal immigrants in the early years of mass migration to Assam has now put Assam in a dilemma about population explosion of immigrants.

Assam is not alone in this immigration issues, internationally: Europe and America are now facing the same immigration crisis. To bring out the elephant in the room, the fear of immigration overtaking Assam or in any European countries are the fear of Muslims take over along with their radical elements.

But now Assam and North-eastern states has put up Bangladeshis immigrants tag touching both Muslims and Hindus as illegal immigrants, in fact Hindu immigrants were given special treatment but now began to target all religious groups a new strategy to pass message that they are not against Indian Muslims or my understanding wrong with the message.

Every identity groups of ethnic communities has every right to worry and fear the huge explosion of illegal immigrants but can the fear factor alone bail us out in the long run. Most immigrants are in labour sector and their workforce are in high demand not only in Assam but neighbouring states like Nagaland and Manipur, so can we just packed them and send them away after they have build most of the infrastructures standing today in Assam and elsewhere.

If Assam state government has no power to deport them quickly, central government in proper coordination with Assam state government and respective state governments in Northeast should seriously focus to invest in educating the immigrants populations especially their childrenís whom we see most of the immigrants children receives no quality education while many donít even attend schools nor get disciplined in young age due to their parents low income as daily wage labourers this is one of the very reasons when they hit adolescent age most of them turn to crime and anti social activities due to their poor upbringing and lack of discipline.

I do not deny there are many wealthy influential immigrants but majority are in labour sector. They may be illegal immigrants but they are human too and not all Muslim immigrants are terrorist ever ready to create terror in our north-eastern states. If majority of immigrants Muslims including Indian Muslims are terrorists, New Delhi will be losing sleeps every night.

And now, can Central Government and respective states government need to explore several options of transforming these illegal immigrants into loyal Indian citizens like their fellow Indian Muslims citizen.

Before exploring such options straight away kicking them out like animals would only create multiple crisis, after all as Humans, letís respect human rights of other human being. If Assam no longer wishes to accommodate illegal immigrantsí, New Delhi ought to arrange settlement for the illegal immigrants elsewhere in mainland India where majority of their fellow Muslims lives.

After all it is the ultimate results of Indiaís foreign policy in then East Pakistan which lead to mass exodus into Assam and North eastern states and now washing off their hand is not the right approach to settle decadeís long conflict which put Assam burning till today.

Lastly the peopleís constant fear of change in demography of Assam yet relying on the services of illegal immigrants for so long has put Assam in dilemma for so long. The same logic applies to other North-eastern states. If we want their services we ought to like them too, their current situation is no less than African Slaves in then Europe and America.




* Pakinrichapbo wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is an Advocate from Peren in Nagaland and can be contacted at pakinchawang(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on August 31, 2018.



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