?How often in recent history has the Supreme Court provided direction, logic and a moral basis for policy when the executive has been purposely directionless, illogical and amoral? We are in the danger, happily so, of losing count. Add to that impressive and inspirational list of judgements Tuesday's(December 5) court ruling striking down the current central government sponsored amendment to the Foreigners Act.? We cannot say it better than the Indian Express editorial comment on the UPA government'srepeated attempts to undermine the Constitution and weaken national unity with the sole objective of creating a vote-bank and hanging on to power.
The Congress stealthily introduced two Assam state specific notifications, negating key provisions of Foreigners Act in February 2006. This was done with an eye on illegally migrated Bangladeshi Muslim voters, on the eve of state assembly polls. These were intended to subvert an earlier Supreme Court order of July 2005 on Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act. The apex court had struck down the IMDT Act then, making strong strictures on the absolute failure and absurdity of the Act, which put the onus on the complainants rather than aliens to prove that they are foreigners who should be deported. As a result not a single Bangladeshi was detected and deported under the Act, though the estimate of illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators is anywhere between 30 and 50 million in the country. The Supreme Court scrapped the IMDT Act, describing it as ?unconstitutional?. It provided the people of Assam and the country some hope that at last the deportation of aliens will speed up.
This was not to be. The Congress and its Left allies decided to pander to Muslim divisive politics and ignore the court ruling. They looked for ways and means to circumvent the Supreme Court. To reassure the aliens, the Congress made changes again in the Foreigners Act, before the 2006 April assembly poll, and kept the notifications a secret. When this gross attempt to subvert the Supreme Court verdict was discovered almost accidentally, the UPA tried to justify it by asserting that it was meant to avoid unnecessary harassment to citizens. But the central government failed to convince the apex court as to why this privilege was especially designed only for the citizens of Assam, who in any case were getting swamped by alien immigration. The demographic subversion of the state had become a matter of national concern, only that the UPA preferred to look the other way, if not actively encourage the systematic external aggression. Bangladesh, by ploy, is trying to convert vast swathes of Indian territory in the north-east ripe for demographic invasion.
It is in this context that we say the Supreme Court, by rejecting the government notifications dealt a severe blow to the UPA'sattempts to create a separate regime for identifying illegal migrants in Assam. Law of the land must be universal for all states, and that the 2006 government order has been a cover-up for non-implementation of the 2005 Supreme Court direction, the court said. The court further noted that the government order failed to serve the purpose of Foreigners Act 1946 to detect illegal migrants and that government legislation cannot violate a substantive law enacted by the Parliament. The Supreme Court gave four months to the centre to constitute tribunals to deal with illegal migration. It pointed out: ?The government is duty bound to protect the state and the nation from aggression.? This clearly is a convincing slap on the face of the Congress.
The Congress and the Left have not responded to the severe court indictment yet. The Assam edition of the Muslim league, Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF) is a friend of the communists. They are now supporting the minority Congress government in the state. A number of impartial academic and Home Ministry studies have documented the dangerous implications of the alien influx. Even the CPM West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee has highlighted the problem of Bangladeshi infiltration in his state. But the centre is still sanguinely invoking false and pretentious arguments of ?minority concerns? and sociological theories of poverty and unemployment to cover up its crass opportunism in cultivating anti-Indian vote baskets in the border state. It is futile to hope that this government will come to its senses, even at this late hour, sustained as it is by all sorts of divisive elements in Indian polity.