The Political Terrorists
SHAMELESS VOTE_BANK POLITICS
By Poonam I Kaushish
New Delhi, Aug 21 : Till yesterday Mary Kom was an unknown 29-year old Manipuri. Today, Magnificent Mary, bronze medalist in boxing at the London Olympics has won national accolades. Undoubtedly, she has put distant Manipur on the world map, but as the adage goes, one swallow does not make a summer. Even as the country rejoices in her achievements, her fellow brethren from the North East are fleeing Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad etc to the safety of their homes. Knocked out by hate SMS, “Leave immediately or face unspecified action.” Socking ‘secular’ India a deathly communal body-blow!
Clearly, the chickens have come home to roost for our polity in picturesque and neglected North-East. Wherein, the en masse exodus of North Eastern people from various States is the backlash for the large-scale violence in Assam which rendered over four lakh homeless in Bodo-Muslim immigrants clashes since July. Underscored by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s blunt assertion: “Assam is sitting on a volcano, you don’t know what happens where.” Leaving a shaken and dumbfounded Centre red-faced.
The tragedy of it all is that even now our polity continues to take a blinkered myopic view. Cutting across Party lines, our Right Honourables in both Houses of Parliament united in one voice to express concern over the safety of the people from North Eastern States and their right to live anywhere in the country. Said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, “What is at stake is unity… and communal harmony of our country.” Sic.
Alas, none wanted to address the most critical questions. Who are the perpetrators behind the hate mails? What action is the Government contemplating against the various Muslim organizations responsible for the North East people’s flight?
Undeniably, this sad state of affairs is because asli Bharat is in the vicious grip of the Political Terrorist. Borne out by our netagan’s diabolical machinations of vote-bank politics resulting in a secular-communal divide. Illegal immigrants have been allowed to don a communal face to satiate the greedy Indian political animal. Most political parties have recklessly imported them into North Eastern States from neighbouring Bangladesh to inflate their vote banks. So what if it’s slowly turning the country into Asia’s waste paper basket.
Brushing under the carpet the brutal truth that the recent violence in Assam is just ethnic cleansing of non-tribals (read illegal migrants), reminiscent of the Nellie massacre of 1994. Already, murmurs of ‘Assam for Asomese’ are gaining ground and could explode into a ‘people’s anti-foreigner war’ reminiscent of the 1970’s. Equally dangerous is that the illegal immigrants are not taking this lying down but retaliating against the asli Bharatvasi.
Undeniably, the genie of unbridled and unabashed Muslim appeasement unleashed by successive State Governments has virtually led to a situation where the genie itself is threatening to gobble up Assam. Think. Eight of Assam’s 27 districts have a Muslim majority population and hold the key for 60 of its 126 Assembly constituencies.
Over 85% of the total encroached forest land is with the Bangladeshis. According to intelligence reports, “In the 70 years between 1901 and 1971, Assam’s population increased from 3.29 million to 14.6 million – a 343.77 % increase” over a period when the population of India went up by only about 150 per cent!
Illegal migrants have settled in various other Indian States, including West Bengal, Nagaland, Manipur, Bihar, Tripura, UP, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and even Delhi. Further, the Muslim growth rate in areas bordering Bangladesh was more than 60 per cent compared to the districts far away, where the growth rate varied between 30 and 50 per cent (1971-1991). Needless to say, this unnatural growth reads illegal migrants. Any wonder that all parties talk about the need to put a stop to this. But when push comes to shove, mum is the word.
But more worrisome is the fact that Pakistan’s ISI mercenaries are slipping into the country from Bangladesh in the garb of immigrants. With no method of differentiating between a militant and an immigrant, it poses a grave security threat. Even madrasas have been infiltrated by the ISI which is using these as their addas of propagating hatred leading to proliferation of Islamic fundamentalism.
Where do we go from here? Pander to rabid rabble rousers? Pander to the politics of vote banks? Allow the Push and Pull theory of illegality continues. The Push back to poverty vs. the Pull of India’s rich pastures. The option is narrow. The solution must be clearly dictated by India’s primary interest — its integrity and stability. Pakistan’s long-term designs against India need to be sternly thwarted. The proxy war from across the border stands testimony to this. Kashmir must not be repeated elsewhere.
For starters, the Home Ministry should come out with a White Paper disclosing the harsh facts and spelling out the Centre’s plans to combat this grave threat to India’s freedom and integrity. More importantly, to protect the interests of the genuine citizen. All bonafide Indians must be issued multi-purpose identity cards to establish their national identity, mere ration cards will not do.
Today, most Bangladeshis flaunt these to avoid deportation. If necessary, work permits could be issued to the migrants for, say, two years. With a firm rider: No voting rights and no permanent settlement. North Block also needs to look at its immigration laws and plug the loopholes urgently.
For the long-term, our politicians will have to cry a halt to vote-bank politics. True, this is easier said than done as power is indivisible from politicians. However, in matters of national security there is no place for communal agendas or narrow sectarian politics. In practical terms, strict policing and border management is needed.
The time has come for the Congress-led UPA Government to apply its mind to drawing up an agreed “Common National Programme”, in consultation with all other Parties. For it can be nobody’s case to support the cause of the illegal migrants who are slowly but surely changing India’s demographic landscape. And threatening the livelihood of citizens and the identity of the indigenous people. Leading to a serious identity crisis.
Is the Government capable of defusing this treacherous power keg? Mere assurance of being pro-active will no longer do. The Centre needs to brace itself for a long and hard struggle ahead. The poison of vote-bank must end. No sane and self respecting country allows foreigners and their protectors to play ducks and drakes with national integrity and security.
Remember, even in a globalised world one needs one’s own identity. A sense of belonging to one’s roots. The need of the hour is to understand the seriousness, deal assertively with the issues and set up time-bound measures once and for all. When vote-bank politics dictate our leaders’ political ideology and their attitude and stance on everything is weighed on the voters’ scale there is no hope in hell for the aam aadmi. Will our leaders heed? — INFA
(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)