The spectre of deportation

The last date for filing claims and objections for Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) has been extended by the Supreme Court to December 31, from December 15. This exercise of compiling the NRC in the first place has sparked a debate around its political, economic and humanitarian consequences, and its implications for India’s relationship with its neighbours, particularly Bangladesh. In fact, there was some disquiet in Bangladesh when the Indian Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat, lent support to the NRC drive, claiming that those settled in Indian territory without legal jurisdiction posed a threat to national security. Two-way traffic Few seem to realise that there are legal as well as illegal Indian immigrants in Bangladesh too. According to the latest available Bangladesh government estimates of 2009, more than 500,000 Indians were working in Bangladesh. More recently, Bangladesh was reported to be among the highest source of remittances to India, behind the United Arab Emirates, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the U.K. Many Indian citizens are securing coveted employment opportunities in Bangladesh through multinational companies, non-governmental organisations, and trading activities. To put things into perspective, most of them are employed in advantageous jobs in Bangladesh while Bangladeshis in India are largely employed in low-paying jobs. The ruling establishment in India maintains that the NRC is an administrative task overseen by the Supreme Court, and not a political gambit. However, some members of the ruling party have been making hateful anti-migration and anti-Bangladeshi comments that reflect poorly on the prevalent positive relationship between Bangladesh and India. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured the Bangladesh government that those excluded from the NRC will not be deported, Dhaka has so far been silent on the issue, terming it as an ‘internal matter of India’. This is seen as a signal that Bangladesh, already stretched in terms of resources and manpower to host Rohingya refugees, would not be acceding to a request of taking back Bengali-speaking Muslims in case deportation is initiated. Yet, some remain apprehensive, pointing out that Bangladesh had been similarly unconcerned about the Rohingya issue, which did not prevent the country from ultimately hosting more than a million Rohingya. Neighbourhood first? Mr. Modi came to power with proclamation of a ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. Midway in the final year of his term, the reality speaks quite differently. Nepal, once a time-tested ally, has tilted towards China since the 2015 Nepal blockade barring the entry of fuel, medicine and other vital supplies and holding the state to a literal siege. Nepal now has been given access to four Chinese ports at Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang and Zhanjiang in addition to its dry (land) ports at Lanzhou, Lhasa and Xigatse, as well as roads to these facilities, ending India’s monopoly to its trading routes. The India-Bhutan relationship has also been strained ever since India temporarily withdrew subsidies on cooking gas and kerosene in 2013, constraining bilateral ties. The Doklam stand-off in the summer of 2017 reinforced Bhutan’s scepticism towards Chinese expansionist plans across the region. Simultaneously, Thimphu has been underlining the landlocked kingdom’s aspiration to affirm its sovereignty. It has, for instance, stepped out of India’s diplomatic influence, as evidenced by its withdrawal from the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) motor vehicles agreement. The India-China power play has also cast its shadow over Sri Lanka and the Maldives in the last few years.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/the-spectre-of-deportation/article25760093.ece

About ChinmayaIAS Academy - Current Affairs

Check Also

INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY (IRENA)

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), hydrogen will make up 12% of the …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Get Free Updates to Crack the Exam!
Subscribe to our Newsletter for free daily updates