Rumors about Bangladeshi immigrants made us turn against our fellow citizens

The Bellandur area in Bengaluru, Karnataka saw an unauthorized demolition drive this Sunday where over a hundred makeshift homes were razed to the ground in the suspicion that they belonged to illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, a charge that was later proven to be incorrect.

This was an illegal act and the officials involved in passing this order be prosecuted (maybe even put in jail) because the people living in those huts are being made to go through an unspeakable amount of suffering for no fault of theirs. The state should restore their homes and provide them adequate compensation as well.

First of all, none of those poor souls were Bangladeshis. Multiple news reports have established that they were Indians. So it is clear that the municipal authorities have made a fool of themselves. But even if they had been illegal immigrants, shouldn’t there have been a more sympathetic way to handle the entire matter instead of making them homeless and cutting off their water and power supply? It is evident that people who were living in those shanties are not well off by any standards and that they would have invested a significant part of their earnings in those houses which were by themselves not hygienic enough to live in. What the hell are they supposed to do now? Did those responsible for passing such orders possessed not even a speck of compassion?

Politicians play their part
This rumor about immigrants was spread by many residents in and around the migrant colony area. The sad but predictable part in this entire saga was that Arvind Limbavalli, a legislator belonging to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tweeted a video featuring those shanties and claiming that illegal Bangladeshi immigrants were staying there, effectively providing an official seal to this baseless allegation.

Now this person is an elected member of the state legislature and the fact that he is openly lying on social media, trying to portray genuine Indian citizens as immigrants without any proof. Shouldn’t he be suspended over this? And is this case not fit for defamation?

Normally an event like this would have invited widespread condemnation for this politician from across the society. But our prejudice against certain groups run so deep that we can demonize them openly and many in the public won’t bat an eyelid. Instead, such statements or actions will receive widespread support and can also help you win elections.

Termites? Really?

The tirade against illegal immigrants from Bangladesh is not just aimed at them but it is trying to paint anyone who looks or speaks like them or someone who follows the same religion as them (Majority of Bangladeshis follow Islam). This has become a serious issue and the time has come for us to address this phobia before any more houses are demolished.

The honorable Home Minister of India has referred to illegal immigrants from Bangladesh residing in India as Termites’ in several of his speeches back in 2018. Not only was that remark highly insensitive but also incredibly short-sighted. Since all of this was being said with the purpose of gathering more votes, any electoral gains for the BJP were easily offset by the damage to our relations with a country like Bangladesh and their Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, someone who has worked tirelessly to maintain a good rapport with India.

We all know that there is this problem of illegal immigration between India and Bangladesh. Many of us have heard of stories about Bangladeshis entering India illegally to seek better prospects and maybe a lot of them are settled here for good. So it does become imperative to address this issue by making sure that infiltration is reduced to a bare minimum and that anyone who is coming from across the border needs to be identified and if possible deported. Of cour,se it goes without saying that the whole process needs to be carried without subjecting those immigrants to any sort of harassment.

Will you deport them all?

The illegal immigrants from our neighboring country do not run in crores as our politicians may have you believe. The state that was affected the most by the illegal immigration problem was Assam. But even there the final number is around 19 lakhs which may come down further. The impact of immigration does not look to be as severe as that in Assam.

But regardless of whatever the actual number of immigrants may turn out to be, there is a very good chance that it will be almost impossible to identify them all. Many of them are already living in our country and it is possible that they may also have some sort of local identification like Aadhar, Voter id, PAN card etc.

Even if you are able to identify some or most of the immigrants presenhereafterer doing due diligence, do you think Bangladesh will accept them with open arms? Will you make all of them stay in detention camps (many of them are already locked in those hellholes)? Or will you advocate throwing them in the Bay of Bengal?

Anyone who supports this is either not aware of what happens in detention camps (please go and see Schindler’s List immediately) or is displaying their bigotry towards people from another country. And for those who only want to send Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh to these camps while granting partial or total citizenship to those from other religions (specifically Hindus) – Congratulations!!! You have crossed the basic threshold of being a bigot, apart from crossing all limits of decency and humanity.

Is that why you are among those who are supporting the highly contentious and entirely flawed legislations like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) – to throw out as many Muslims out of this country as you can and realize your dream of Hindu Rashtra? If the answer is yes then I have nothing else to say to you.

Image Source : Google Images

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