In the present scenario, it looks like the Central Government is really adamant about giving refuge to Hindu Bangladeshis, who are the victim of religious persecution in their country. However, this decision will land the Sonowal Government in Assam in deep soup.
Firstly, if the Hindu immigrants from Bangladesh are brought to India, they will mainly go to three States- Assam, Tripura and West Bengal. We don’t see much hue and cry in West Bengal over this issue because linguistically and culturally, they are the same. However, in Assam, the situation is different.
At present, 34 percent of Assam’s population comprises of Muslims. There is a section in the State which perceives the growing number of Muslims in Assam as a threat. So, they would naturally want the number of Muslims to reduce. If Hindu immigrants from Bangladesh are brought here, then this problem would be solved to a large extent. But that will give rise to a new problem. Bengali speaking people will become the majority and Assamese speaking people will become minorities. So, in this scenario, government will need to make a choice between Hindu majority and Assamese majority.
Will the Hindus from Bangladesh want to come to India?
A lot also depends on whether the Hindus in Bangladesh will actually want to come to India. The situation of Hindus is not as bad as is being made out in Delhi. Many of them are quite well off. So, why would they leave everything in their homeland for an uncertain future in India? Secondly, if the Indian government actually brings the Bangladeshi immigrants here, it would be proved that there is religious persecution in Bangladesh. This will be very shameful for the Bangladesh government and it would also have large scale international implication.
In the post Uri scenario, losing the support of Bangladesh will be the last thing India will want. So, in such a scenario, it will be difficult to say what will be the outcome of this entire issue. If BJP actually gets the Citizenship Amendment Bill passed in the Winter Session of Parliament, their problem will actually increase manifolds in Assam.
Haidar Hussain (former Chief Editor of Asomiya Pratidin)