With the National Register of Citizens exercise reaching its final stage in Assam, its extension at a nationwide level next year seems imperative. The incumbent BJP government has not only maintained a strong and unambiguous stand on the NRC, but has also taken stern action in the state of Assam as far as deporting the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants is concerned. Now, there are indications which suggest that the NRC exercise could be taken up at a national level next year in order to get rid of illegal immigrants living in India. The most obvious indicator has been the strong language in which the BJP party president Amit Shah has made it amply clear that the present government is not going to tolerate the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
Recently, on a one day visit to Jaipur, Amit Shah addressed BJP office bearers and workers and made it clear that each Bangladeshi infiltrator will be identified and made to leave India. In another speech, the BJP chief stated that illegal Bangladeshi immigrants are like termites and each one of them will be struck off the electoral rolls. Therefore, the BJP is clear on its stand that illegal Bangladeshi immigrants will not be tolerated on Indian soil and they will be sent back, no matter what.
Amit Shah has done well to set an agenda around the NRC for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and therefore setting the stage for implementation of the exercise at a nationwide level. The demand for a nationwide NRC has been reinforced by Odisha’s actions disenfranchising suspected Bangladeshi infiltrators whose names were featuring in the electoral rolls. A number of BJP-ruled states have been speaking in favor of the NRC. In fact, chief ministers of other North-eastern states have also spoken in favor of this exercise. The people of North-eastern states have been demanding an Assam-like NRC to be carried out in their states as well. Meghalaya chief minister, Conrad K Sangma has also said that the NRC will be carried out in the state in a phased manner, thus, joining the chorus demanding NRC in states other than Assam as well.
It is inevitable that a nationwide NRC exercise to identify and send back illegal Bangladeshi immigrants is carried out from a national and administrative point of view as well. It cannot be ignored that the influx of Bangladeshi immigrants irreparably alters the demography of the state that the immigrants illegally occupy. In 2016, the center informed the Rajya Sabha that 2 crore Bangladeshi immigrants were illegally staying in India. This is a measure of the dangerous propositions this issue has acquired. The presence of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants leads to potential religious and ethnic conflicts between the Bangladeshi intruders and the rightful Indian citizens. The rights of the indigenous people cannot be lightly violated by allowing the Bangladeshi immigrants to illegally and blatantly transgress the international boundaries. Apart from this, the influx of illegal immigrants and their occupation is an affront to India’s territorial sovereignty and integrity. No respectable and rising global power can allow illegal immigrants to occupy its land without any cogent reason. It is only natural that India exercises its sovereign rights and sends back the illegal immigrants.
It seems that notwithstanding what the usual suspects like the Congress and Mamata Banerjee might have to say, the BJP has made up its mind that it is not going to let the situation drift out of control. A nationwide NRC to identify and deport illegal Bangladeshi immigrants is thus very much on the cards.
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