Assam is in a political flux after two recent exercises—the updated national register of citizens this summer and the citizenship amendment bill, which endorses non-Muslim minority immigrants from Bangladesh as Indian citizens.
Muslims constitute nearly 35 per cent of Assam’s 33 million people and the high birth rate among the community is a major source of friction over the state’s most volatile issue—undocumented immigrants, especially those from neighbouring Bangladesh.
There is no way the government can put lakhs of people in detention centres, pending the final resolution of their citizenship. The political fallout would be disastrous both nationally and internationally, writes GK Pillai.
The more immediate source of tension in Calcutta currently is the possibility that the forty lakh people who were declared illegal by the neighbouring state could try to flee Assam and enter the city as refugees.