Wildly fluctuating and suspiciously rounded figures (10 million in 1997 by CPI’s Indrajit Gupta, 20 million by BJP’s L.K. Advani in 2003, 12 million by Congress’s Sriprakash Jaiswal in 2004) of alleged illegal Bangladeshi migrants, based on nothing in particular or attributed vaguely to ‘intelligence reports’, have dominated the discourse on the ethnic strife in Assam. Yet, official census figures tell a completely different story.
- In the last three Censuses (1991, 2001 and 2011), decadal growth rates of population have been lower than the national figure.
- Also, it’s incorrect that abnormal population growth automatically suggests illegal migration.
Population in Dhemaji district grew dramatically by 74.72 per cent between 1971 and 1991. But 95 per cent of the population happen to be Hindus.
- Tripura has a 900-km border with Bangladesh (as compared to 270 kms for Assam) and yet illegal migrants do not seem to be an issue there.
The BJP Member of Parliament, Bijoya...