Resources of India are meant for only its own citizens
The primary duty of a nation is to provide for and take care of its citizens. The entire concept of nation is based upon having fixed boundary and population which resides legally inside the boundary forming that nation. The problem of illegal migration has troubled Assam since a long time. In fact, the first Citizens register was formed in 1951 as a consequence of Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act, 1950 which necessitated a check on undocumented immigration from open border with East Pakistan.
The problem of illegal Bangladeshi migration to Assam reached crisis level in 1971 where to flee the atrocities of Pakistani army, millions poured into India from East Pakistan as Bangladesh was then known. This caused enormous burden on resources of India to an extent of becoming unsustainable. The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in an interview to BBC clearly stated the problem of illegal migrants in India was one of the primary and pressing issue to go to war and liberate Bangladesh. Unfortunately, even after Bangladesh became an independent country, illegal immigration did not stop but continued to happen on large-scale hence resulted in economic conflicts and heightened cultural differences, also led to formation of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU). The 6-year long Assam Movement culminated into signing of Assam Accords by the Union of India and AASU on August 15, 1985 at behest of then Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, for detection, deletion and expulsion of all such immigrants in the territory of Assam.
Section 5.8 of the Assam Accord reads as “Foreigners who came to Assam on or after March 25th 1971 shall continue to be detected and expelled in accordance with law. Immediate and practical steps to be taken to expel such foreigners.”
But the Accord hardly did anything to practically solve the problem. The government led by Rajiv Gandhi completely failed in its operation hence
worsening the situation. As a consequence of the political fiasco regarding the cut-off date for foreigner identification, the updation of NRC didn’t see the light of the day and finally in 2013 the Hon’ble Supreme Court gave the nod for updating the NRC to verify the legitimate citizens of the state as per the Accord.
In consort with the mandate of the apex court of the country, the Central government and the State government were directed to update the long pending NRC complying The Citizenship Act, 1955. The court established midnight of December 31, 2017 as the deadline for publication of final draft of the NRC.
1.9 crore out of the 3.3 crore applicants were identified as Indian Citizens on this date, however this wasn’t the complete draft and the same was to be published by midnight of July 30, 2018. According to the latest draft, 40 lakh people were found to be illegal immigrants residing in the state of Assam.
All Nations of the world act against the illegal immigrants entering their countries according to their laws. It is the duty of Government to have secured borders, ensure that money of citizens which flows to Government in form of various direct or indirect taxes is used for the development of the nation and benefit of its citizens. The resources of the nation are meant exclusively for its citizens and since they are not inexhaustible in nature, they shouldn’t be made available to cater the needs of millions of illegal immigrants. Many illegals resort to crime and illegal activities as they do not have roots in society nor any concern for it, others do it as they know can always escape back to their own country and be safe from persecution there. The economic and social cost of illegals is devastating for India. Around 40 Lakh illegal people are residing in Assam affecting the daily lives of the native Assamese and sucking away on the economic opportunities meant for Indian citizens. The number of illegal immigrants in other states is equally large and some experts believe that it may go as high as 10 crore illegals living in India. They are a threat to the national security and Assam Accord of 1985 promised that illegals would be expelled. The Congress Government for their vote bank politics did not take serious action on expulsion of illegal immigrants and permitted many of them to get voter identification cards.
The National Register of Citizens should be fully implemented in accordance to the process laid by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The immense numbers of immigrants have caused and have been causing additional load on both the state and the Central government. The distinctive identity of the Assamese people is facing a grave threat of being outnumbered in their own native land.
India cannot be a ‘Dharamshala’ where illegal migrants from other countries come to partake in the State Resources meant for Indian citizens. The government needs to take following steps to solve the problem of illegal immigrants. Firstly,the process of detection has to be done efficiently and as quickly as possible so that a final list of illegal immigrants can be officially published. Secondly,the voting rights along with any other state benefits or subsidies availed by them are to be immediately stopped pending legal steps to expel them from India. Thirdly, dedicated fast track courts which are adequately staffed and have required resources to determine the status of illegal immigrants should function expeditiously. Fourthly, The property of such illegals should be seized and auctioned and that money be used for the entire process of identification, deletion, expulsion of illegal immigrants. Fifthly, That FIR should be launched and thorough investigation done where ever illegals are found even after expulsion with fake ration cards, Aadhaar, election card or any other such documents, so that all officials which aided and abetted the stay of illegals in India also gets punished. These steps will ensure that illegal immigrants are thrown out and also prevent future illegal immigration into India.
(The writer is an advocate)
Read More – October Edition of Opinion Express Magazine