Election times are opportunities for raising issues of governance. However, there are many who see virtues in polarization. Regrettably, we in the BJP are accused of benefiting from polarization even if polarization is encouraged by political opponents.
The issue of infiltration of Bangladeshis into the Indian territory is one such case. A section of the Congress leadership in Assam had consciously followed the policy of encouraging infiltration since they wanted to offset the domination of the ethnic Assamese in Assam. Mass infiltration of Bangladeshis has changed the demographic character of Assam, West Bengal and some districts of Bihar. Any patriotic Indian could be seriously concerned with this Infiltration. It is pressure of economic resources. It is a pressure on land. It impacts national security. The fact that every district in Assam adjacent to the chicken’s neck have witnessed a significant demographic change on account of the infiltration is serious security concern.
It is not only the BJP’s stand that infiltration must be stopped and the infiltrators must be sent back. The Supreme Court described it as a silent invasion of India. It struck down the regulations which place the onus on the government rather than the infiltrator on issues of identification of citizenship. The root cause of social tension in several parts of North-east is infiltration. Some political parties in Assam and West Bengal have regrettably made infiltration into a secular cause because infiltrators are their vote bank.
Narender Modi’s stance against infiltrators is justified and legitimate. We must also understand the difference between an infiltrator and a refugee. A refugee is a person who on account of his religious beliefs or political views is persecuted. An infiltrator gate crashes only for economic opportunities. To place them at par would be naive. I have a lurking suspicion for critics of this view understand the distinction but compulsions of vote bank won’t make them agree to this view.
Omar Abdullah on the Kashmiri students
Omar Abdullah is partly correct when he is protesting against the harassment of Kashmiri youths in NOIDA. He is wholly wrong in linking Narender Modi to the NOIDA incident. That is on account of his political motivation.
Children from North-East and Jammu & Kashmir must be encouraged to study and work in various parts of India. They must be welcomed in the rest of India. This will encourage an emotional integration. Any form of personal harassment is a terrible signal either in the North east or Jammu & Kashmir. Even occasional tales leave a terrible impact because they can be exaggerated and overstated. The cause of national integration is dearer to all of us than an occasional difference of opinion. Omar is therefore right in protesting against the NOIDA incident. He is terribly wrong in dragging Modi into it.