Source: Gulf News.
Guwahati: Illegal migration from Bangladesh has been the dominant theme of Assam politics since independence. However, over the years, successive federal governments or state governments have done little to curb this.
Immigration from Bangladesh or erstwhile East Pakistan has a colonial history. People were brought in as a British policy into Assam to further the British policy of ‘grow more food’. But after independence and mostly after the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, the reasons for this illegal influx are purely economical.
“The reason why so many have crossed over from Bangladesh to India boils down to simple economics,” says Prof Syed Munir Khasru, Chairman of the Institute of Policy, Advocacy and Governance in Bangladesh. “Bangladesh has a population density of 1,150 per sq km and a per capita income of Rs46,870 (Dh3,112.94), whereas Assam with a population of 397 per sq km and a per capita income of Rs84,400 is a greener pasture.”
“According to the Census of India 2001, two million people have migrated to Assam since 1951,” says Walter Fernandes, Director of the Guwahati-based North Eastern Social Research Centre. “Considering the immigrants’ natural population growth, the number of migrants rises to 4 million.”