Expendable Refugees and Valuable Illegal Immigrants – Vote Bank Politics of Congress Party

Congress party general secretary Digvijay Singh was recently in the news for proclaiming that Hindu Bengalis who have migrated to India from Bangladesh are not refugees but illegal immigrants. This was rightly met with protests by various organizations[1]. Emphasis added.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s comments on Hindu Bengalis, who migrated to India from Bangladesh, at a public meeting at Karimganj on February 17 continue to draw flak from various organizations. This time the All Assam Bengali Youth Students’ Federation has come down heavily on the Congress general secretary and Assam in-charge for his ‘controversial’ comments.

In a press statement, Federation president Bimal Mahanayak said, “Digvijay Singh had said in the meeting that Hindu Bengalis who have migrated to India from Bangladesh are not refugees but illegal immigrants. Such a reckless comment coming  from a senior leader like him is sad. This comment only exposes his ignorance about the history of the country. We strongly condemn this comment.”

Incidentally, this same Congress party has for years turned a blind eye to illegal immigration by Bangladeshi Muslims into Assam. The reason being that these illegal immigrants have historically voted for the Congress in return for their patronage. Not many people know that for years the Foreigner’s act of 1946 that is applicable to the rest of India wasn’t even applicable in Assam. There was this IMDT (Illegal Migrants Detection Tribunal) act (a Congress party construction to harvest illegal Bangladeshi Muslims as vote bank) which outrageously put the onus on the citizen plaintiff to prove that an alleged illegal immigrant is actually illegal. Among other similar hindrances in proving the illegal status of the immigrant. Readers will note that with the Foreigner’s act of 1946 its the other way round, as it should be. In 2005 when the Supreme Court finally struck down the IMDT act as anti-national and unconstitutional, the Congress party promptly amended the Foreigner’s act of 1946 to include the same provisions of the now defunct IMDT act, for Assam. A few months later after this gross travesty, “Madam G” went to address a rally in Assam and in front of a massive crowd of illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants solemnly declared that to safeguard their interests, even though the IMDT act was now defunct due to the SC’s decision, the Congress party had modified the Foreigner’s act of 1946 only for Assam with the exact same provisions as in the IMDT act. As a result of this anti-national political patronage of illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants, there has been large scale change in demographics and today Assam is in a very precarious state. A few years back there was some clash between these illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants and some native people of Assam. There were reports with video recordings on how the illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants raised Pakistani flags. The Congress govt. at that time instead of taking on the illegal immigrants painted the native groups as culprits.

In gross injustice to the people of Assam and in fact entire India, the Congress govt. in Assam and the center decided to use 1971 instead of 19th of July 1948 (as per the constitution) as the cut-off date for updating the National Register for Citizens (NRC). When the govt. started this undertaking to update the NRC, a group formed by the illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants when on a rampage, destroyed property and rioted. And guess what, the Congress govt. capitulated and cancelled revising the NRC. The point is that the Congress govt. had already granted the wish of these illegal immigrants by using 1971 as the cutoff date instead of the constitutional date of 19th of July 1948. However that wasn’t enough. These illegal Bangladeshis Muslim immigrants wanted to ensure that the initiatives to revise the NRC be scrapped altogether, obviously because a revised NRC would show up how many lakhs of Bangladeshis are migrating to Assam illegally even today, more than 39 years after the 1971 cut-off date.[2] In this regard, I highly recommend the very informative article by D. N. Bezboruah[2]. Excerpts below. Typos corrected and emphasis added

When an elected democratic government is out to win elections solely on the votes of aliens illegally residing in the State, it has already sent out the unequivocal signal that the aliens can do no wrong, that they are “more equal” than the real citizens and that they will be treated as sons-in-law of the government as long as they vote for the ruling party, take three or four wives and multiply like rabbits to create more voters for the coming years. It is only a government that has subverted the Constitution, dispensed with immigration laws and thought of nothing else except winning the Assembly elections for the third successive term next year to perform a  diabolic of hat trick of regime that can do such harm to its own people.

The revision of the National Register of Citizens of 1951 became imperative because having messed up the whole business of illegal influx of Bangladeshis into Assam by subverting the Constitution and the laws of the land with something like the Assam Accord and the IM(DT) Act, what was eventually ensured was not a cut-off date of even 25 March 1971, but rather an unchecked illegal influx of Bangladeshis into Assam even in the 1990s and the 21st century. The IM(DT) Act which entrusted the detection of illegal migrants to tribunals and placed the onus of proving nationality on individual Indian citizens of Assam for 22 long years did a lot of mischief. It helped the State government to perpetuate its pretense that there were no Bangladeshis in the State and that everyone called a Bangladeshi was actually an Indian citizen! This continued illegal influx from Bangladesh is proved by the very abnormal increase in the number of voters in the State during the last two years.

While the Congress party and its minions capitulate to rampaging, rioting illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants, they spare no effort to call the law-abiding, genuine migrants and refugees (the Bangladeshi Hindus) illegal. Needless to say, the Bangladeshi Hindu refugees and immigrants are by no means as potent a vote bank as the illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants. Thanks to petty anti-national politics of the Congress party, these Bangladeshi Hindus who have had to migrate to India to escape religious persecution and atrocities, in the hope of a better life are now treated as expendable and mendaciously declared as illegal by their general secretary.

Ironically, having reached huge numbers after years of political patronage by the Congress party, the illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants have now organized themselves under a different political party called Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF), which is led by one Badruddin Ajmal, a hardcore Deobandi. As a result they now mostly vote for the AUDF and not the Congress party. The crocodile that the Congress party fed for so long in return for short term political gains has now grown up. Make no mistake, it won’t be far-fetched to say that in the not to distant future, Assam will go the Kashmir way. In fact that process is already well underway.


The Sentinel, Assam has more[3][4][5] on Digvijay Singh’s perfidious statement.


[1] ^ http://www.sentinelassam.com/ghy_city/story.php?sec=1&subsec=0&id=65188&dtP=2011-02-21&ppr=1#65188

[2] ^a ^b http://www.sentinelassam.com/mainnews/story.php?sec=1&subsec=0&id=42618&dtP=2010-07-25&ppr=1#42618

[3] ^ http://www.sentinelassam.com/cachar/story.php?sec=2&subsec=12&id=65714&dtP=2011-02-25&ppr=1#65714

[4] ^ http://www.sentinelassam.com/ghy_city/story.php?sec=1&subsec=0&id=65345&dtP=2011-02-23&ppr=1

[5] ^ http://www.sentinelassam.com/cachar/story.php?sec=2&subsec=12&id=64913&dtP=2011-02-19&ppr=1

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