NEW DELHI, Sept 3 - West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee may be opposing the update of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam tooth and nail, but the Muslim population in her own state has recorded a growth rate of 310.95 per cent.
According to an analysis published in Economic and Political Round Up between 1951 and 2001, while the growth rate of Hindus in West Bengal was 198.54 per cent, the Muslims recorded a growth rate of 310.95 per cent.
This significant upswing in population growth rate of Muslims in West Bengal is attributed to illegal migration from Bangladesh. West Bengal does not witness any socio-political unrest against them. This could be because of similarities of language and culture, which generate a feeling of oneness with the illegal migrants among the local people and induce them to sympathise with the illegal migrants.
However, drastic increase in the percentage of Muslims in the population of West Bengal and growing instances of forced migration of Hindus from their own land because of preponderance of illegal migrants, the issue is gaining traction among the local people, the article said.
During the recently concluded Monsoon Session of the Parliament, the West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC MPs created uproar inside and outside the House opposing the update of NRC in Assam. The Trinamool Congress president had taken a lead in dismissing the NRC, declaring it as a product of �vote bank and divide and rule policy� of the BJP.
On July 31, the West Bengal Assembly passed a resolution condemning the NRC for Assam. West Bengal Parliamentary
Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee, who moved the motion in the Assembly, said the NRC is nothing but a game plan for vote bank politics.
Meanwhile, the article explained that disproportionate increase in Muslim population is an indication of illegal migration from Bangladesh in almost all northeastern states, where it has shown a very high rate of growth. From their bases in Assam, West Bengal and other northeastern states, the illegal migrants from Bangladesh have started moving into other urban centres of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Chennai.
The article says that there is no national consensus in India on how to confront the problem of illegal migration from Bangladesh. A large number of political parties don�t accept immigration as a major challenge.
This lack of consensus in India has emboldened Bangladesh to say that most of the alleged Bangladeshis in India are essentially Bengali-speaking Indian Muslims and not Bangladeshis. This stand is identical to what is said by political parties like TMC, it said.