The problem of illegal immigrants is pronounced in the border States (Editorial, “Lessons from Assam’s carnage,” May 6). Many of the problems in the region can be solved by focussing on sustainable development and by looking at a development model that would have West Bengal and its neighbouring States as industrial development hubs.
Persecution on the basis of religion, race, colour and nationality has a long history across the world. What is happening in Assam is a familiar story.
It is said that the Hindu population in Pakistan is around one per cent, with an overwhelming majority having fled to India during and after Partition. Communalism is practised directly, clandestinely or tactically by all parties in India. Yet, our country cannot become a home for every asylum-seeker as we just cannot afford it.
That illegal immigration is taking place unabated in the northeast is a fact; we need to stop it. The Congress has indulged in vote bank politics for the last 50 years without making any effort to find solutions to problems.
Therefore, if the BJP raises the issue, it is the truth. It appears as if the secularists are more dangerous than the communal forces. Rather than thinking of a radical solution, India and Bangladesh must sit together and discuss the issue threadbare.
It is painful that there is unabated violence in Assam which is being exploited politically. The government should take immediate steps to act against the culprits and ensure that no innocent person suffers. This should then be followed by rehabilitation and socio-economic development to ensure meaningful employment. The government must hold community meetings at regular intervals to remove any prevailing misunderstandings. The intelligence agencies must provide robust information to tackle any eventuality. It is hard to believe that the government can be totally unaware of the ground realities.