Then & Now: It Doesn’t Add Up
- 30 lakh foreigners in Assam in 1992, says then CM Hiteswar Saikia in the assembly. Two days later, he says not a single illegal immigrant lives in Assam.
- 1 crore foreigners in India, including Assam—then Union home minister Inderjit Gupta tells Parliament in 1997.
- 50 lakh foreigners in Assam out of 1.2 crore in India, says junior home minister Sriprakash Jaiswal in Parliament in 2004. (He too withdraws the number later).
- 2 crore Bangladeshi infiltrators in India, says junior Union home minister Kiren Rijiju in Rajya Sabha in 2016.
Some stories remain unfinished; the plot goes awry, the end falters, the twist in the tale never comes. But still it makes for fascinating reading. Like the story of the NRC in Assam—nearly 35 years in the pipeline and four years in the making. Yet, when the “end”...