For long has been the opinion that tens of millions of Bangladeshi Muslims had been facilitated to infiltrate into Assam and to some extent West Bengal and even Bihar by the vote-hungry political parties in power. That there has been a massive influx can be inferred by two facts - unusual increase in the population of Assam and Bengal, census after census and more and more districts in Assam and Bengal becoming Muslim majority.
Growth of Muslim Population ( Fig in %)
While Muslims of Bangladesh are entering into India ostensibly for better economic prospects, but surely also to “Muslimify” the border states, the Hindus in Bangladesh had been having to migrate to India because of the discrimination and deprivation that are being inflicted by the Muslim majority in East Pakistan /Bangladesh ( since 1972). That this is true can be inferred from the fact that the more than 30% Hindu population in East Pakistan / Bangladesh in 1947 is now only about 7% and is still declining . That there is an ethnic cleansing had been studied by Richard Benkin and this great man has been sensitising the nations of the world about theuninterrupted ethnic cleansing of Hindus that has been going on in Bangladesh. Actually, even in Pakistan the Hindu, Sikh population which was over 17% before 1947 is now about 1%; obviously again due to ethnic cleanings and enforced conversion.
2. The problem is historic. When in Assam Mohammed Sadullah was Minister ( 1924, 1929-35) and Premier (April 1937 to Sept 1938; Nov 1939 to Dec 1941; Aug 1942 - Sept1946) he encouraged the East Bengal Muslims to come and settle down in Assam, ostensibly for improving the agricultural production but assuredly to alter the demographic composition of the Assam state. When SyedaAnwaraTaimura was Chief Minister (Dec 1980- June 1981), she too connived at Bangladesh’s Muslims’ infiltration into Assam. When Fakhruddin Ali Mohammed was Minister in Assam (1957-67) he almost blatantly connived at Muslim infiltration from Bangladesh. Indira Gandhi had to remove him from Assam. She brought him to Delhi into her cabinet and later as president.
3. It may be recalled that the Cabinet Mission ( 1946 ) that came to India at the conclusion of the Second World War proposed that Indian provinces be grouped into A,B,C categories, two of them namely the North West and the North East being Muslim majority and the other one Hindu majority. The North East group was to consist of undivided Bengal and Assam. This would have resulted in two Muslim states squeezing the Hindu majority state, India between them. It was Gopichand Bardolai a sturdy Congress leader of Assam who mobilised the people’s opinion in Assam to resist this grouping as it would mean the “minoritsation” and consignment of Hindus in Assam to the mercies of the Muslim majority. Actually, if the Cabinet Mission plan was accepted ( it was accepted by Congress but later rejected by both Congress and Muslim League) the whole of Bengal and Assam would have become another Pakistan from which all Hindus would have had to flee.
4. The native Hindus of Assam and the tribes there had been consistently opposing the infiltration of Bangladeshi Muslims into Assam and thereby disturbing the demographics in Assam state. It is true that along with Bangladeshi Muslims, Hindus from Bangladesh came to Assam and that is because of the ethnic cleansing measures in Bangladesh. India is the only Hindu majority country (besides small Nepal). Hindus anywhere in the world subjected to religious, administrative and legal discrimination can take refuge in the only large country namely Bharat that is India.
5. The Congress party opposed the exchange of minorities between Pakistan and Hindustan as originally proposed by Md. Ali Jinnah and his Muslim League. The exchange was cogently and vehemently advocated by Dr.Ambedkar in his book, “Pakistan or India Divided” as the only permanent solution to the Muslim problem in India. If the exchange of minority populations had been done in peaceful manner before partition as a condition of partition, the decimation of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist population in Pakistan and Bangladesh would not have happened. Under Gandhiji’s lead, the Congress opposed the exodus of Muslims from India to Pakistan while millions of Hindus and Sikhs and Buddhists from West Pakistan and East Pakistan had to leave their lands of birth for generations and become refugees in India. That the Congress party is not uncomfortable if Hindus become refugees is further evident from the fact that from the Muslim majority Kashmir valley of the J&K state of India, 400,000 Hindus had to flee for fear of a holocaust and they are now refugees in India. No Indian governmenthad the guts or the moral fibre to resettle these Hindu Kashmiri pundit refugees in Kashmir itself in a safe area.
6. In Assam, the student launched a movement in the 1980s (which morphed into the Assam GanaParshad ) again the facilitated infiltration of Muslims into Assam, their enrolment into electoral rolls and getting citizenship and other entitlements. It is as a result of those persistent agitations and the Congress governments lukewarmness about identifying the infiltrators and pushing them out, the Supreme Court in response to a PIL had to intervene and direct that there should be verification of the nativity of those who are in Assam and prepare an updated National register of Citizens. The forty lakhs that the National Register of Citizens has identified as of non-Indian origin, seems to be but a fraction of the many more who had somehow managed through various means to establish that they are traditional natives. That the Congress party and some regional parties are creating a furore against the NRC shows that all these have been building up minority vote banks. It is not only in Assam or Bengal but even in far off states like Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Karnataka Muslims are being built into vote banks by various appeasement measures like backing the demand for 12% reservations for Muslims, establishing separate schools and hostels for Muslim students; constructing Urdu ghars and ShadiKhanas and showering gifts like Shadi Mubarak ( Rs. 100,000 in Telangana) and sending Muslims on Haj with government money (even as the central government is stopping that on order from the Supreme Court) and the establishment of Urdu universities, Islamic Cultural Centers, payment of salaries to Imams and muezzins etc.
7. A truly national party and its government should not buckle under the baseless charges of Muslim phobia against the BJP government in Assam or elsewhere which identify the illegal residents preparatory to their deportation. The Amnesty International jumps into the fray and says that India is making these four mln people and more stateless persons and that it is inhuman and against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ( Is it ignorant of the Islamic Declaration of Human Rights which differentiates Muslims as a different species of human beings). Government should not buckle under the pressure of the foreign selective do-gooders and indigenous pseudo- seculars, left-liberals and congenitally anti-Hindu and anti-India Marxists and communist parties. If the government buckles, it would be a tragedy for Hindus in their only homeland that is Bharat.
8. The declaration of the intention of MamataBanerji in Bangla, that is West Bengal to carry out its own exercise to list Indian nationals in the state of Bengal is most welcome. District after district in West Bengal is becoming Muslim majority. And the % of population of Muslims in West Bengal now is fast approaching what it was before partition showing that both by furious breeding as well as infiltration that proportion is increasing. Those who undertake and help the honest identification and listing of the infiltrators and their progeny would be doing the most patriotic duty though such lists may not be recognised by the local or any other government. But the identification and publication of such a register would certainly mobilise public opinion elsewhere in order to force governments to carry out the same exercise in West Bengal as was done in Assam. This country should not become a repository for those people who historically have been inimical to Hinduism and have the most hateful record of inhuman and uncivilised conduct towards the conquered Hindu people and their places of worship and their culture.
9. Finally, all Hindus among the forty million outside the NRC must be given Indian citizenship as these had to come to India, unable to bear the atrocious treatment given to them as kafirs in the Muslim majority state of Bangladesh ( which already reduced the 30% Hindu-Buddhist minority to 7%). Chakmasare Buddhists and were native to and the majority in Chittagang Hills region of East Pakistan / Bangladesh . This region should have been severed form Pakistan in 1947, just as Muslim-majority Sylhet was severed from and made part of East Pakistan / Bangladesh. The Congress party did not press for it (just as it did not press for severance of Hindu majority Tharparkar District from Sindh, and its merger with Gujarat). The BuddhistChakams, just like Hindus had to flee from East Pakistan / Bangladesh , to escape oppression and forced conversions. They are part of the Hindu Dharmic fraternity and so should be given Indian citizenship. Bangladeshi Muslims infiltrators in Assam should be gathered into camps and gradually deported to their country. Malaysia and Saudi Arabia hunted such illegals and deported them not withstanding that they are coreligionists.
(Dr. T.H. Chowdary is a Padma Sree awardee and is Chairman of PragnaBharati, Andhra Pradesh; andDirector of Centre for Telecom Management & Studies. He is a former Information Technology Advisor to Government of Andhra Pradesh and a former Chairman and Managing Director of Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. Views expressed are personal.)