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Updated: August 8, 2012 19:54 IST

Riots & the bogey of Bangladeshis

Banajit Hussain
Comment (49)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Many Muslims from erstwhile East Bengal settled in Assam in early 20th century. But vested interests are out to prove that their descendants today are illegal migrants

During the humanitarian crisis that has unfolded in Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon and Chirang districts of the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) and the adjoining Dhubri district, we have witnessed the tragedy of nearly 400,000 people belonging to the Bodo and Muslim communities being forced to move to 273 temporary refugee camps. These people will stand internally displaced, scarred and traumatised for months to come, if not years. So far, it is estimated that 65 persons have lost their lives and around 500 villages have been torched to the ground. The magnitude of this human tragedy is overwhelming considering the short span of two weeks in which it occurred. It poses a serious threat to the already fragile state of secularism in the region whose demography has always been so diverse. It urgently calls for a restoration of trust and confidence amongst all the people affected by the riots.

Polarisation

What is surprising is that rather than focussing on the immediate need for a humanitarian call to stop the killings and the violence on the part of community leaders and the administration, an atmosphere of extreme polarisation has been brought about, with leaders of both the Bodo and the Muslim communities hurling allegations and counter allegations at each other.

To make matters worse, leaders of the Bodo community, large sections of mainstream Assamese society, and a section of the media and the political class took it upon themselves to allege and prove that the responsibility for this human tragedy lies squarely on “illegal Bangladeshi migrants” and that the undifferentiated Muslim masses inhabiting western Assam are “Bangladeshis”. The social media was also chock-a-block with rumours — like the one about boats laden with guns and bombs being sent from Bangladesh to arm the illegal migrants in their alleged bit to take over Kokrajhar district.

It cannot be simply assumed that the BTAD leadership and the mainstream Assamese society are innocently mistaken in believing that all Muslims inhabiting this area are illegal migrants from Bangladesh. Rather it is a conscious “mistake” laced with communal undertones. The rhetoric of “illegal” migrants flooding the region that appears to be fuelling the attacks is backed largely by what seems to be paranoia about the perceived growing numbers of Muslims in the area, all of whom are assumed to be “illegal” migrants.

It is a well documented historical fact that a large number of peasants from erstwhile East Bengal migrated and settled in Assam in the early decades of the 20th century. However, in the prevailing atmosphere of jingoism and xenophobia, it is not enough to just state that migration of East Bengali Muslim peasants in the early decades of the 20th century is a well documented historical fact. This historical fact needs to be reiterated today, especially when a constitutional authority like the Election Commissioner of India, Harishankar Brahma, in his overzealous attempt to prove that illegal Bangladeshis are behind the violence, claims that this stream of migration into Assam started during the late 1960s and early 1970s (“How to share Assam,” Indian Express, 28th July, 2012). However, if one looks at the census data, his claims appear unsubstantiated and historically flawed. One wishes that a constitutional authority like him would be careful about and be aware of the country’s official demographic records.

Hypothetically, if we take the entire population of 33 lakhs in Assam in 1901 to be “indigenous”, and we apply the all-India rate of population increase of 74.82 per cent between 1901 and 1941, then the population of Assam in 1941 should have been 57.69 lakhs instead of 67 lakhs. That means approximately 9.31 lakh people had migrated into Assam in this period. Applying the same all-India rate of population increase during this period, the Muslim population in 1941 should have been 8.8 lakhs, instead of the 16.9 lakhs it actually was. From this, it can be inferred that the increase was due to the settling of migrants in the State and that the majority of these Muslim peasant migrants who settled in Assam during this period were East Bengali Muslim peasants. It is worth mentioning that Muslim East Bengali peasants first settled in undivided Goalpara district (which included Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Chirang and Dhubri till the 1980s), before they spanned out to other parts of lower and central Assam. From 1901 to 1931, 4.98 lakh East Bengali Muslim peasants are recorded in Goalpara district alone.

If one is to believe the assertions of the Election Commissioner, then the question that immediately arises is — where are the descendants of the lakhs of East Bengali Muslim peasants who settled in this area before Partition? In all probability, many of them today are languishing in the relief camps with the imminent threat of being identified as Bangladeshis.

False claim

It has also been claimed by various people, including the Bodo leadership, that the Bangladeshi population in Kokrajhar district — where the violence erupted first and which is also the political seat of power in BTAD — has increased by leaps and bounds in the last decades. Contrary to what popular perception might hold, even a cursory glance at the census data gives a different picture. There has been no alarming increase in Kokrajhar district of the Muslim population in decades. In 1971, the Muslim population in Kokrajhar (then it was a sub-division of undivided Goalpara district) stood at 17 per cent, with no census being conducted in 1981. It stood at 19.3 per cent in 1991 and, in 2001, it stood at 20.4 per cent.

Even though the religion-wise census figures for 2011 are not yet available, provisional results from the 2011 census show that the decadal growth rate of population between 2001-2011 for Kokrajhar district is 5.19 per cent, interestingly, marking a decline of 9 per cent as compared to the decadal growth rate of 14.49 per cent between 1991 to 2001. (The decadal growth rate for Assam between 1991 to 2001 was 18.92 per cent and 16.93 per cent between 2001-2011.)

There can only be two plausible reasons for this 9 per cent decline in population growth between 2001-2011. One possibility, though highly unlikely, is that the population growth rate has remained more or less the same as it was between 1991 and 2001, but the death rate has shot up by 9 per cent. The other possibility, which seems more plausible, is that there has been a considerable out-migration from Kokrajhar, especially after the formation of the BTAD in 2003. Since the Bodos (who constitute 20 per cent of the population in the BTAD area) hold a monopoly over political power in the area, it is unlikely that there has been any significant out-migration of the Bodo population from Kokrajhar district. The Koch Rajbangsis, who constitute roughly 17 per cent of the total population of the BTAD, have been campaigning for and demanding a separate homeland — Kamtapur — which territorially overlaps the BTAD, thus making it unlikely that they would out-migrate, abdicating their political claim over the territory. In all probability, the out-migration involves other non-Bodo communities, including Muslims.

By now it should be clear that simplistic propositions like ‘Bangladeshi illegal migrants are the root cause of the violence’ not only prevent us from understanding the complex reality of the situation but also reek of communal propaganda. The demographic reality of western Assam is a mosaic of different ethnicities with their own claims of identity and territorial aspirations.

In the light of this, some glaring questions stare us in the face. What informs this fear of the growing number of Muslims? How are these fears of the swamping of the ethnic and cultural identity of the Bodos being fuelled, and by whom? How and when did all Muslims in the area get classified in the public mind as “illegal migrants from Bangladesh?” Looking for answers to questions like these, rather than raising the bogey of numbers and formulaic xenophobic explanations might make the difference, literally, between life and death in this region today.

(Note: All data are either calculated or taken from census data from 1901 to 1991 provided in the Gazetteer of India Assam State Vol-1, 1999 and Provisional Totals, Census of India, 2011)

(Banajit Hussain is a former Research Fellow at the Democracy and Social Movement Institute, Sungkonghoe University, Seoul)

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If this article is to be believed, all migration happened before 1900 and there is never any mirgration thereafter. The agitation is now communual and Hindus want to send back all muslims staying in Assam to Bangladesh! Banajit does not know the ground realities and he has tried to prove mathematically something which is a social and security problem. He is wrong and it is surprising for Hindu to publish this poor article. Issues in Assam are clear- identify illegal migrant after 1971, defranchise them and then proceed to send them back. Migrants could be from Bangla Desh or Nepal or Myanmar and he could be a Hindu or a muslim. This should be done with strong political will and without playing games which Congress played for many years in Assam. Secondly, tribal and ethnic features of Assam and NE states should be maintained like in case of Kashmir. Further, illegal migrants from all other states should be identified and deported urgently. This can be a national mission!

from:  Surendra Barsode
Posted on: Aug 9, 2012 at 16:17 IST

Banajit, being a research fellow, try to be reasonable with your
approach and numbers. We appreciate your point of view with respect to
successive flow of migrants coming from Bangladesh to the plains of
Assam. Ethnic imbalance due to human migration are existing in various
parts of the world. Bangladesh is India's life-long neighbor.
Therefore, adjustments have to be made both fairly and amicably.
Diplomatic dialog between India and Bangladesh is on-going. Efforts are
on to reduce the pressure of ethnic imbalance through measures,
including boarder fences and national identity cards etc. are in the
making. Meanwhile, the flow of illegal migration to India is still
unchecked. Whatever, one says about the situations in Assam, it is a
fact that the continuous, unabated flow of Bangladeshi migrants have
created an abrupt imbalance in the region. Even third-generation
Bangladeshis settled in Assam are feeling that pressure of imbalance,
leave alone indigenous Bodos and Rajbanshis.

from:  Sashi Mozumder
Posted on: Aug 9, 2012 at 16:05 IST

Interesting. All data are made used to justify that there are no large scale immigration in Assam. Whereas
he has not mention of growth of Muslim population in other 13 districts where the growth of minority
population is much higher than national average growth of population. This shows his lack of willingness to
learn the ground reality rather try to confused the people with his unsubstantiated facts and figures. I would
advise the writer to take stock of the population growth in all 13 districts instead of sticking to just one district.

from:  Monjib
Posted on: Aug 9, 2012 at 12:20 IST

The author needs to take note of the point that the recent catastrophe was not about the bangladesh migrants who settled earlier ,but the recent surge in the numbers due to 6000 people crossing border on to India everyday which has been conformed by intelligence as well as assam state governer. Moreover the statistics of census 2011 pointing about 11 out of the 27 districts being muslim majority shows the situation being pathetic.the article needless to say is biased to the core and instead of confusing the matter ,We should dwell into reality and concerns of bodo and remaining population of assam

from:  ravi teja
Posted on: Aug 9, 2012 at 12:10 IST

Minority appeasement and vote bank politics will ruin this country soon. The original inhabitants will be marginalized and before long will be lost for ever.

from:  Viswanath
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 19:47 IST

I have always held up Hindu as an objective paper.In my view it has
always played a crucial role in the intellectual fermentation of this
country,but the reporting on the recent Assam riots issue have left a
lot to be desired.The Assam riots are not a Hindu -Muslim issue as
Khilonjia Assamese Muslims have never felt threatened.The Hindu in its
various news reports have always seemed to argue that there are no
Bangladeshis in Assam.In doing so it has undermined the historical
evidences and sociological perspectives are enough to substantiate
that migration has occurred and will indeed continue to occur even
without bringing the demographics to question.Also it almost makes the
collective Assamese feeling of falling prey to this meance as merely a
xenephobic criteria.I belive its not from kazairanga to nagaon there
has been unprecented upsurgue .There may be a drop in the degree of
migration ,but to say there has been no migration is living in an
unrealistic world.

from:  Ibu Sanjeeb Garg
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 16:37 IST

The author tried to prove his point statistically !!!!!
But incomplete data.... He used those data's only which favor his study
but not those which contradicts. He fails to respond how the population
of Assam grew by around 350 % from 1901 to 1971 while in the same period
India's by 150 %.

from:  Vineet Kumar Singh
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 16:20 IST

First, a sincere appreciation to the writer who has done good
research and reflected an accurate demographic picture of the
region which provides some reasons for the violence in Assam.
As the jurisdiction of BTAD comes under BTC which has been accused
of not sharing the benefits of development with non-bodo people
living in this region which consists of four districts and region
has a mixed population including communities such as Bodos, Koch-
Rajbangshi, Rabhas, Adivasis, tea tribes, Assamese and Bengali
Hindus and Muslims.So, it is more or less a conflict due to
unbalanced regional and people-centric development which demands
inclusive development. While the central government has done a lot
in developing this region though still today rural areas are far
behind, but this time appraoch of state government has been
pathetic in dealing with such situation like for example timely
deployment of army could save the life of people and resources that
has been destroyed.

from:  Neeraj
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 16:16 IST

Friends, Mr, Banajit Himself does not belongs to Assam. How he can judge the real problem of Assam or Kokrajhar, just by looking at figures. Human emotions and cultures can't be calculated in numerical numbers. Mr. Hussain you are doing the same thing that most of the politicians do, NUMBER game, to get political benefit. Also, please look at the words of Assam's CM regarding Kokrajhar incident "... Assam is siting on a volcano right now....".

Who knows Assam better, You or Mr. Tarun Gogoi?

from:  Bhargav
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 15:49 IST

The article has come from a very naive point of view. It dosent matter if it is 1 or 1 lakh, crossing border without permit is illegal. By painting the situation on lines of religion and community, the writer is covering the illegality by giving it humanitarian face. The actual numbers of the illegal migrants is not shared. And when contrasted with that of Bodos. The numbers are rather staggering. As to when a person joined a local community can only be answered by the locals. And the retaliation by bodos in today's scenario (though unfortunate) gives a clear picture.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 15:40 IST

Migration from East Bengal and particularly from Mymensingh area into the adjoining districts of Assam began on a large scale during the early years of the 20th century. The figures in the census of India 1921 and 1931 prove this particularly with the comments of CS Mullan who was Census Superintendent for Assam in 1931. With independence and the partition of India, the cut-off date for Indian citizenship was July 1948. Unfortunately for Assam, the Indira Gandhi - Sheikh Mujibur Rehman an agreement of 1971 extended the cut-off date for East Pakistanis who entered Assam to March 1971. Following the Assam accord, this was enacted into law by adding section 6 A to the Citizenship Act. As far as the Bodo areas are concerned, these were constituted into tribal belt in 1950 under the Assam Land Revenue Regulation. The presence of all Bangla people who came into the Bodo area after that date is unlawful and needs to be vacated. That will cause considerable human problems but the alternative of allowing them to remain in the tribal land to dominate the indigenous Bodo people is far worse

from:  Hilary Pais
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 15:26 IST

it's very sad the a news paper like THE HINDU publishes an article like this; it's grossly biased and mis-informed. The current problem is for illegal migrants in recent years in areas like, dhubri, nalbari, barpeta, kokrajar, bongaigaon, karimganj, hailakandi etc and all of these illegal migrants creating problems for the native people; there are lots of illegal activites done by these migrants, and congress govt is supporting them for vote bank politics. The migrants have cut down the forests in many parts of assam; even in Kajiranga, the world-famous national park, there are wide spread forest cutting done by these migrants to set up villages and camps. People who stay there know this very much and it's open secret. Only now this has been in national news.

from:  animesh
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 15:03 IST

This is an excellent Analysis by Mr Banajit Hussain. I have never seen this kind of analysis even a single person from Assam .In the name of illegal migrants the muslim population of Assam are tortured by the indigenous assamsese people.this kind of violence is not new in Assam .I am sure the there are not even a single Bangladeshi in Assam. If you see their lifestyle in Assam then you will find that they are far better condition in Bangladesh .I had visited numerous numbers of Char areas in Assam and find that hardly they are getting any facilities for education and health.

from:  Salim
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 14:57 IST

Most of the time we make judgements based on emotion rather than facts. Having friends on both the sides and staying together with them, I can see the fear they have of each other: The fear of LOSING. And both the sides exaggerate their respective cases to bring the neutrals on their sides. That Bodos have suffered deprivation for long time is a fact, but on the other hand to label all minority as immigrants is unfair. Immigration to Assam has been going on for a long time even before independence. Settled cultivation of wet paddy was infact introduced by the muslim peasents of Mymensingha of present-day Bangladesh. But immigration slowed down after Independence. Now there is the claim that immigration from Bangladesh is massive and that has disturbed the demographic structure of the state. This maybe true but then there are also a substantial number of muslims who are as indigenous as any other community of Assam. But in the FEAR of LOSING they will become a part of collateral damage.

from:  bhogto
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 14:47 IST

There seems to be no drastic increase in Muslim population in the region as the numbers speak for themselves. When there are rogue elements brandishing guns in the Bodo area, how will there be illegal migration on large scale?

from:  Yashwanth P
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 14:32 IST

The author has forgotten to take into account Sylhet district of Assam which was merged with East Pakistan.Most of the 9.31 lakh people would still be in technically East Pakistani territory. The left over people would only be 30-40% of that 9.32 lakh (in 1941 terns)and not more .... how did this small population multiply to the present numbers if not for illegal immigration ?

from:  Hari
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 14:31 IST

Bengali Muslims should migrate to friendly West Bengal rather than keep fighting in hostile Assam. West Bengal TMC govt is very much pro-muslim & would welcome them with open arms. Also West Bengal have many more employment opportunity than Assam.

from:  Shaleen Mathur
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 14:26 IST

There are completely contradictory analyses and views on this issue. I
wonder why not the government do a thorough analysis and give an
official stand so that the people (at least outside the region) know the
actual situation. It is not a philosophical question where we keep on
arguing from different points of view, it is a question of peace and
harmony in Assam and hence should be settled to the satisfaction of
everyone living there.

from:  Anil
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 14:26 IST

excellent article ! India being an example of a nation with most diverse culture, it would be very unfair to harbor xenophobia and people must not forget that India has been a place of mixed culture. History is the witness that people from central Asia, west Asia and many other part of the globe have migrated to India and enriched the Indian culture.If we keep thinking from a narrow perspective then in that case most of the part of the Indian subcontinent is inhabited by the immigrants.Let's think broad and make our country a better place to live in !

from:  Sudarshana Sharma
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 14:16 IST

Your article is based on the common hindi proverb 'Ulta chor Kotwal ko daake'.I can't stop laughing at the retardness of this article.Instead of commenting from far, you need to go in assam and check it for yourself.The illegal immigration problem has been faced by Assam after the bangladesh war and to assume that the indigenous pepole to accept these migrants with open arms , is your own hypothesis. No one can forfeit the loss of their property at the hands of these4 migrants. So, don't just sit and write some stupid stuffs.

from:  sidhartha sharma
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 14:16 IST

Such one sided articles dent the credibility of The Hindu.One hopes to find an article giving the other side of the story

from:  Devadas B
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 14:03 IST

Any one who relies on irresponsible comments by Mr Brahma and does not verify them would rather see the entire community with hate. This is excellent proof to nullify such comments.

from:  abhinav
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 13:58 IST

What is the meaning of "torched to the ground" from the text "So far, it is estimated that 65 persons have lost their lives and around 500 villages have been torched to the ground"?

from:  Rabindra Pathak
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 13:57 IST

Mr. Hussain, Please get your facts correct. Between 1951 and 2001, the overall Muslim population of Assam has gone up from 24.9% to 30.9% whereas the Hindus have decreased in numbers from 72.1% to 64.9%. While arguing that the infiltration of non-Assames, Bangladeshi Muslims in particular, must be addressed firmly, it does not justify the carnage of violence being unleashed.

from:  Arun Murthy
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 13:45 IST

The issue of Bangladeshies migrating to India is well known. It is not a question of the period of migration and quoting questionable statistics and arriving at some hypothetical solutions. Right from the year 1971, several important personalities and various governors have raised the issue of illegal immigration from Bangla Desh. The matter is well known as there have been several agitations too. Today these migrants have spread to Delhi and other states like Maharashtra, Bengal, Bihar and even to the south india. Attempts to deport the illegal immigrants were set at naught by our own Government in west Bengal. The colonies around river Yamuna are full of these illegal immigrants. That the The Central Government is aware of this is no secret.In Maharashtra Shiv Sena has been vociferous about the illegal immigants. But despite all the hue and cry, nothing gets done to solve the issue due to the destructive vote bank politics. The Government is also not serious and therefore the problem

from:  s. narayan
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 13:29 IST

This is an effort to guard the unreality and shade the truth. Hindu is notoriously known for favouring a community over the other by disregarding the reality and truth. Article is far from reality.

from:  Sudheer
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 13:27 IST

Thanks to The Hindu for printing this article and Mr.Hussain for this analysis.There will be arguments and counter arguments but the point raised by the author are worth a look in by those who matter- the politicians and the bureaucrats.

from:  M.Salah
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 13:11 IST

It is a very biased article and it is very clear from the article itself that it is distorting the facts. Assam case is a repetition of what happened to kashminri pandits in Kashmir, now Bodos who are the original inhabitants of the place are being projected as minority and the muslims are being projected as majority or more in numbers than what was actual/ is reality.. If this trend is not debated and corrected, what is happening in Assam will happen all over India. The propaganda that now muslim population in India is 30 percent has already started in media though actual census figure is less than 14 percent.

from:  Prakash
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 13:10 IST

Rhetoric always dumb the actual facts. This article is an excellent analysis with facts and figures. When one does not have a factual data to counter this analysis, they turn to rhetoric - the simplest way to substantiate propaganda lies.

from:  Mohideen
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 12:54 IST

some person who is sitting in south-korean university is explaining
the situation of Assam!. First of all the writer should clarify who
are the vested interests, the native people of Assam or someone
else. Again the writer has mentioned that all the data has been
from Gazetter of India, it is my humble request that is not a place
for data analysis. In my opinion if there is not answer we
shouldn't inclined to manipulation. A better option can be to visit
Assam and collect data from common people, perhaps this may give a
clear picture of what is going on.

from:  S. k gupta
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 12:53 IST

Banajit,How can you assume that All India average rate of Increase in
population should be same with Assam's rate of population increase??
Your whole logic solely depends on the above assumption.So I feel your
conclusion that Most of the bangladeshi immigration happened in early
decade of 20th century falls from some serious fallacy.
Otherwise good attempt.And I also Believe the ongoing ethnic riot has
been given Communal colour by BJP and such parties.I am assamese,I
know..Assamese (muslim or non muslims) fight only for the integrity of
ASSAM and its culture.We assamese never fight for religion.I am
assamese speaking muslim.I dnt know when and from where my forefathers
came from..But Assamese society recognises and accepts people like
me,because assam is in my blood.me and people like me were not
attacked in 1983 and nor now..and nor will be.
I condemn the recent riot as worst case of political gang war(Hugrama
and Badaruddin are the reasons behind it.They both are criminals)

from:  firoz
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 12:43 IST

There is no conclusion of this article. I could not understand what writer want to conclude. Does he want to say that
- Infiltration is not the cause of the problem
- Why should be start from censum taken at 1901. There was a census taken after independence also.
- Is there no infilteration in Assam. If yes the how much?

One thing I would like to say that when there is encroachment for a long and peaple are silent or tolerant it does not mean that every thing is OK. Actualy such a thing build up to a state when it would be untolerable and such things would happen.

Worst part is that now this is going to become a permant kind of issue for decades. We are going to hear this news once in 3-5 yes. Life, progress, culture every thing will be disrrupted again and again. Those who had come from Bangadesh, due to our nation failure to stop them, will find it worse to surver, may be more worse than their own country.

from:  Santosh
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 12:38 IST

Banajit Da, I am a native of Assam. I understand the complex nature of the demography of our state. Assam has never belonged to mainstream Assamese people alone; it has equally been lived-in and 'cultured' by our plains/hills tribes and Muslim brethen. Having said that let us not turn a blind eye to the issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, who (we do not need rocket science to find this out) now form a significant percentage of the population of our state. It is no longer feasible to say (or demand) that we need these migrants out, because that is an impossibility. Rather than playing denial it will serve better if we accept that the migrants are here to stay (anyway their country is going under water) and look at ways to work around this! Thanks!

from:  Madhusmita Hazarika
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 12:33 IST

This article is biased and it is not giving the excat info. about what had happened in Assam.

from:  suneel
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 11:34 IST

This article is biased and one sided. Is the author prepared to
send out all the illegal migrants now ? There are Muslims already
settled in Assam. No doubts about them. They have their own identification and roots in Assam. The question is about only the
illegal and questionable fraud migrants who have invaded our
country.They are the terrorists who attacks and kills our swadesis.
They have to be shunted back and sent out. Congress party is using
them as their Vote Bank. Therefore, Congress and Muslim leaders are
not interested in checking them.

from:  K.Sanckar
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 11:20 IST

The author has not gone to the depth of the issue.he is selective in
placing the data before readers.Those who can take pain to dig deep only
and always knows the truth.
Guys do your own research,it won't cost much of your time,start slowly
and steadily.

from:  Rakesh Bhatt
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 10:53 IST

The only solution of this kind of problem in Assam, basically in lower
part of the state is government should update the NRC. But the problem
is, some of the civil (?) organizations stand against it. The question
is, if they are not illegal migrants why should they fear when
government start to update the NRC? If they can furnish sufficient
proof, nobody can cleans them.

from:  Bipul Kr Rabha
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 10:50 IST

This article is a definite eye opener. After viewing a number of arguments on this issue on news channels and reading so much about it in newspapers, I was still under an impression that the root cause of this massacre is the ignorance of the government that failed to take concrete steps to stop illegal immigration. Its also appalling see an elite government official such as the Election Commissioner of India taking a loose stand on the issue by making a statement which is not backed up by the census data of its own government.

from:  Rishi Sharma
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 10:27 IST

In this article the writer tried to establish that Bengladeshi migration is not the core reason for the present communal riots. With figures widely quoted show that he made the point. But to keep a blind eye on the migration part is not a right approach to solve the problem. Assam is in the boil for decades now. Remeber AASU agitation in the 70s & 80s . But we never tried to solve the issue. Illegal migration through the pores border was an established fact. Now, as per govt. report, no migration takes place. So it is not difficult to identify illegal migrants keeping a cut off period. It may not be easy to deport the people who thus identified. It may be a very small percentage as the writer says.They will go back as some leading as Swaminathan Iyer had stated in some of his earlier articles that a reverse migration in the offing and if no political compulsion played its part identified migrants will go back. But first we should have courage to identyfy illegal migrants.

from:  T.V.Padmanabhan
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 10:02 IST

The article throws light on the hues and cries about illegal immigrants. Only in Assam, a special category of voters called D voters is given. It is pathetic that we can't identify our own citizens. This is cashed by the communal elements to foment more and more violence, thereby declaring themselves as the saviors of the community.

from:  Mohamed
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 08:44 IST

Why the author is playing with numbers in inconsistent way? He first starts with hypothetical population data of 1901. He gives growth rate and total number of Muslims for the period 1901 - 1941, i.e, before independence of India. After that he do not tell about what is the total population and growth rate of Muslims in Assam in Independent India. Then he jump to a particular district Kokrajhar and provides statistics from 1971 not from even 1941. Any person takes data in bits and and find any conclusion what he/she wishes.

from:  Anand Bhushan
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 08:44 IST

@Ahir Bhairab Borthakur: How do they convert villages into Bangladeshi settlements? Do they forcibly evict people, or do they buy the land at prevailing real estate prices? If it is a forced eviction, why does the police and courts not intervene? Since only citizens can buy land in India, any large scale purchase by illegal immigrants must be tackled by the government -- in fact, every individual land sale must ascertain the buyer. Are you sure that there is no civilized way to deal with this issue? In any case, I feel that the government and its governance are poor.

from:  Thomas George
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 08:31 IST

Inter country, inter state, inter town and inter village migrations are
a rule rather than exception in the process of evolution.People migrate
for a better life or escape poverty or escape torture in the name of
religion ethinicity etc. Countries are built on migrations the world
over. With resources running short, some countries such as India have
started putting restrictions for people from poorer countries. Rich new
countries such as USA,Canada etc have now put restrictions for other
reasons.The world needs to better understand why people migrate and have
compassion for those who migrate.

from:  P.Tauro
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 08:04 IST

It's a cogent and to a large extent, a valid point raised by Mr.Banajit Hussain. At the outset, our condolences to the people killed in the violence. One point that he misses out is that there have been migrations from Bangladesh (which is erstwhile East
Pakistan) ever since its formation in 1971. Bangladesh is a study in contrast.
1. It is one of the densest countries populationwise next only to City State nations and on average is extremely poor. Hence there is extreme pressure on land in Bangladesh and the desperate urge to migrate to more prosperous neighbouring regions.
2. Though Bangladesh is predominantly a Muslim population country, their national language is Bengali. 3. Keeping in mind all these intricate issues, the state and Central Govts. will be better advised to increase the vigilance along the border so that the allegations of illegal migration from Bangladesh are put to rest.
Let's pray and hope that peace prevails in the region.

from:  Kaipa
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 07:57 IST

A good Investigation indeed. And am happy that it is coming from
Hindu.
There is a Problem of different ethnic groups claiming their identity
which is strongly linked with their territorial Aspirations. Which is
the fact!!
Broad consensus should be brought among the various groups by the
leaders and concurrently the so called "Illegal Immigrants" should be
countered and stringent border security is required to prevent further
inflitration. And the govt must decide what it has to do with the
existing Bangladeshi Muslims.

from:  sai
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 07:47 IST

Great article. The numbers speak for themselves. Hopefully it'll make
things a lot clearer for readers.

from:  Nahela
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 06:07 IST

Banajit Hussain...no use of giving it whole incident a communal
colour...Assam has always been a very tolerant society and people from
all religion lived harmoniously for centuries...You must understand
one thing and look at history as an unbiased researcher - For decades,
Bangladesh is on a spree to grab land...and Assam has been always the
worst suffer. If you visit Assam, you'll see how villages after
villages have turned into populated Bangladeshi settlements. No
country or community will tolerate this...but we had for years.
To sum up, for Bangladeshis it's just another piece of land...but for
natives here, it's their identity.

from:  Ahir Bhairab Borthakur
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 05:43 IST

Excellent analysis with very good reasoning.I wonder how one could
came at the conclusion on the core issue of illegal migrant despite
knowing the demography of Assam.It is historical fact that the
immigrant came to this place as a peasant in the early twenty
centuries. Even those who settled there after the 1971 war are not
called immigrants.Then how senile is the issue of illegal migrant.The
so called migrant are very much citizen of India as the bodos are.But
it is true that only the politically vested interest are supporting
the bodo despotic attitude.There must be some measure need to be
adopted to whip the lawlessness in the BTAD. Above all the secular
character of our country should not be tarnished by such incidents. we
as a nation are peace loving,helped the Bangladesh in their war of
liberation.And killing our own countrymen in the name of a other
goodwill country is definitely not our kitty.So better the govt. act
skilfully to settle the issue without any biasing to anyone.

from:  Sikander
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 02:24 IST

This article is rather incomplete and biased.
Anyone who has links in Assam will speak otherwise.
The question that needs to be raised is when how to settle the disturbance.
The usage or calculation of data is irrelevant and makes no real statements.
Last, but not the least, this article looks like a calculation n miss-representation of the issues burning in Assam.
Look at both sides of the mirror and you shall find the true Image.

from:  siddhartha das
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 01:40 IST
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