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Top British weekly blames Amit Shah over 'destabilization' in Assam over citizenship


By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded attack on Union home minister Amit Shah, who is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most trusted Man Friday in the ruling establishment, top British weekly “The Economist” has said that the recent “rant” of the top politician calling immigrants from Bangladesh in Assam “termites” and “infiltrators” is not just “a standard bluster from a nativist politician railing against illegal immigration.”
Calling it as suggestive of “threat to stability” waiting to take place, the weekly says, “The supposed illegal immigrants are overwhelmingly Muslim. The purge is exacerbating sectarian tension in a state that saw bloody Hindu-Muslim riots as recently as 2012, when some 400,000 people were displaced.” Despite such state of affairs, Shah considers the campaign in Assam against “illegal” immigrants “such a success that he wants to replicate it throughout the entire country.”
According to “The Economist” though Shah wants all these people will be “deported”, ironically, the neighbouring Bangladesh, from which they are said to have migrated, “will not accept them, since in most cases there is no evidence that they are anything other than Indians, too poor and uneducated to navigate the complex bureaucracy of citizenship.”
Published in “The Economist’s” latest print edition under the heading “Show me your papers”, the periodical says, “India’s hunt for ‘illegal immigrants’ is aimed at Muslims”, as “Many are in fact citizens.” Pointing out that Muslims make up a third of Assam’s population, it claims, “The state’s shifting demography is mainly the result of a higher birth rate among Bengalis already in Assam, not migration.”
Yet, it says, Amit Shah’s party, ,BJP, which dominates both the state and national governments, “has not stopped from vowing to collar lots of illegal immigrants. While four million were declared foreigner last year, and another 100,000 this year in June, the weekly states, the saffron party wants that “since so few of them exist, more had to be invented.”
The periodical says, “Like so many of the BJP’s schemes, the hunt for illegal immigrants is openly anti-Muslim”, it adds, “Some Hindus have been caught in the dragnet, but Shah says they do not need to worry, since the government has drafted a bill to make it easy for Hindu refugees to claim citizenship. Christian, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Sikh refugees can too -- just not Muslims.”
All this is happening, believes “The Economist”, because “anything that polarises voters by religion benefits the BJP, especially in nearby West Bengal, where Muslims are over a quarter of the population and the BJP is locked in a political knife-fight with a regional party it accuses of coddling Muslims, the Trinamool Congress.”

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