Bangladeshi Infiltrators: Hidden Economic Killers
Bangladeshi infiltrators pose a big threat to Indian Economy as well as the National Security
Rakesh Kumar Singh
It is rightly said that economics is everywhere; one has to look for it minutely. Rag pickers, construction site workers, housemaids, rickshaw pullers, restaurant waiters, weavers, fruit vendors, these are often of low interest areas for the economic discussion. In contrast, what matters more is stock index performance bonds on day to day basis, but hidden facts tell a different and alarming story. The above
mentioned areas relate to unorganised sector which constitutes nearly 86 per cent of workforce of India. Bangladeshi infiltrators have crossed the borders
illegally and are prepared to challenge migrants of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and other states.
Silent Economic Fight: A Small Observation
Atal Behari Vajpayee’s statement in the Parliament regarding low income of
rickshaw pullers of Delhi because of Bangladeshi infiltrators says a lot. Nobody notices the fight between Indian and Bangladeshi rag pickers underneath the flyovers of Delhi or in ghettoised colonies. For general people it’s
something of less interest but for them it’s an economic fight for survival. Figures say that the Bangladeshi
infiltrators are higher in number in north and east Delhi. Informal sector
constitutes 50 per cent of GDP, highly contributed by these 350 million workers. Don’t they have any economic right?
Jihadi attack on Hindus during the Kali Puja & Deepawali in Bangladesh, 15 temples destroyed, over 100 injured
In a recent incident of communal violence in Bangladesh, a mob of radical Muslims destroyed more than ten temples and attacked hundreds of houses of Hindus in Brahminbaria District of Bangladesh during the Kali Puja and Deepawali celebrations.
Everywhere, be it plantation workers in Assam, Bengal and rag pickers in urban areas or maids in urban colonies, there is a never ending Indian-Bangladeshi economic fight. It’s not only the individual war for livelihood but also reduction in per capita gain from state sponsored welfare schemes. It’s quite ironic that there was a time when Hindus fled from Bangladesh to India to avoid religious persecution and at the same time Muslims fled due to economic degradation, and now there are around 2 million Bangladeshi rag pickers in Delhi in spite of the fact that in 1998 around 30 lakh Bangladeshis were deported.
ISI for Greater Bangladesh
ISI planned reality for this purpose through Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). They have
The most dominant factor behind the migration can be divided among the “push” and “pull” factor present between the two economies. “Push” factor being the petty economic
conditions in an economy whose
outcome is lack of means of livelihood and that ultimately push or compel
people to leave their native lands in hunt for opportunities for advancement and better livelihood. The “Pull” factor, on the other hand, is the presence of higher employment opportunities, wages, facilities and comforts of modern life in another economy that pull the infiltrators towards them. Apart from better
economic opportunities in India other multiple factors like sympathetic Bengal Government, cultural linkages, political and government support, vote bank politics which grants them
citizenship, etc. have paved the way for Bangladeshi infiltrators to India.
Theft of Tax Payers’ Money: How and Why?
Migration in jobs in unorganised sector has also caused high pressure on Infrastructure. It also puts pressures on economic resources as well as social welfare schemes. In short, the low wage labour productivity has deprived the local labour of such avenues of
employment. It is believed that a Bangladeshi unorganised workers saves an average of Rs 30 per day and they all together sends around 1500 crore every year to family members residing in Bangladesh.
Indian resources are also being used for building hundreds of
unauthorised mosques and madrasas inside the country as well as at
Indo-Bangladesh borders. These
illegal migrants are also involved in all kinds of illegal activites that can take place in the country from stealing to murders to terrorism. India’s national security is haunted by the idea of bigger Bangladesh. In a recent report, 71 Bangladeshi nationals were arrested in Kerala and some in Jharkhand too
for carrying forged documents that
identified them as Indians. A Bangladeshi national arrested by the Assam police revealed that ISI had plans to turn the North-East into a
conflicted region. The illegal migrants are largely involved in drug
trafficking, proliferating guns and fake currencies.
Economic Assistance in Wrong Hands
The average number of Bangladeshi
residents in India is said to be around 5 crore. In Delhi it’s easy to find them in slums of Seelampur, Taimoor Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, etc. In the name of vote bank politics the local leaders help them to carry ration cards and voter ID cards. Thus, the initiatives taken by the
government for providing necessary food items to people under BPL at
subsidies are not reaching in the right hands. The illegal migrants who
are taking advantage of these schemes through their ration cards and voter ID cards are making our people suffer in hunger and face lack of other
The long term problem lies in the rise in their population. In future the number of family members dependent on state subsidies will rise too. It will be a huge burden on state and central exchequer and will cause fiscal deficit. So, the
initiatives provided by State and Central Governments offering a sustainable livelihood to our needy people will
go in vain.
Long Term Repercussion: Threatening Economic Survival
The Indian economy is growing at a faster rate and the migrant workers get plenty of employment in the
construction, agriculture and tertiary sectors. During the election campaign in the summer of 2014, honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi relentlessly criticised rivals in Bengal and Assam for allowing Bangladeshi infiltrators to stay in India, terming them a drain on resources that were meant for the locals.
Products like tea, petroleum and
forest produce have been holding the economy of North-East so far. Most of the population there has agriculture as their means of livelihood. Even so, there is nominal surplus, the bulk of these illicit Bangladeshi infiltrators
transform this already limited
livelihood into theirs. These
infiltrators colonise the river banks foremost; afterwards they gradually capture the local lands too. As a result, there is a clash between these
infiltrators and the natives for the land. Even though there are laws existing that have been made to prevent alienation of tribal land, but they are highly unpopular in Assam. Meanwhile, on the other hand, Muslim migrants have bought lands on massive scale in the districts present at the border of Bengal and Bangladesh namely 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, West Dinajpur, etc. The same condition is also present in the bordering districts of Assam.
The migration has, gradually but
surely, resulted in loss of land and
livelihood for the poor farmers. The result of the whole phenomenon is
highly economic in nature as the Bangladeshi infiltrators have come in search of better living conditions and livelihood. Also, the impact of these illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators keeps on going severe on India’s economy; as they are willing to labour for long hours and at a very less rate of wage. As of now, it is appropriate to say that if there are around 20 million Bangladeshi infiltrators in India, so as millions of Indians hiring them for labour. This suggests that there are some Indians in different regions who are accepting these illegal migrants as labour (may be to save money or it could be the fact that they are ignorant of such issues) which encourages
others too to migrate to these places to contribute in unorganised and
underground economic sector – for example as tea plantation workers in Assam and Bengal or as rag pickers, rickshaw pullers, domestic helps in big
metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai.
(The writer is Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Ramanujan College, Delhi university)