By Moorthy Muthuswamy, May 2001
The announcement by Vajpayee that the government is thinking about issuing work permits to the illegal should encourage even more illegal immigration from Bangladesh. Needed are policies that make Bangladeshis realize that they are better off in their homeland. For the detection and deportation of foreigners in Assam, the national cut off year of 1946 should be used instead of the Congress enacted year of 1983. India has failed to act in its interests in Kashmir and is now struck with a bleeding wound in the form of Article 370.
A sensitive question has arisen whether Bangla Hindu illegal should be treated any different from Bangla Muslim illegal. There should be little doubt that the secular India is home to every one regardless of religion. However, it must be realized that India is the only home where non-Muslims can live free and secure. It is relevant to note that both Pakistan and Bangladesh are constitutionally Islamic. Bangladesh has seen its non-Muslim population reduced from about 35% in 1947 to about 10%. Disturbingly, this pattern has repeated in every Muslim majority region, including India’s very own Kashmir valley. These facts require that non-Muslim illegal from Bangladesh be given a reprieve. I urge the readers and the news media to put sustained pressure on ALL parties and the government to enact laws that eradicate the threat of Bangladeshi Muslims. This may well be a litmus test of India’s character as a nation to act decisively in its interests rather than stumble from one crisis to another as it has done until now.