A touchy, sensitive issue of the illegal immigration from Bangladesh, which has been raised several times. I am hoping that in the recent meet between Indian External Affairs minister and the Bangladesh Premier, this would have been brought up by the Indian minister.
Why is this a big problem? Because India has enough resource issues already in the Indian states surrounding Bangladesh, with average 5 times more population than the ideal according to this Wikipedia source. Out of the 8 Indian states near Bangladesh (Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram), the immediate neighbors of Bihar and West Bengal have very high population density above 1000 persons / sq.km (Note : ideal for India is 197 persons / sq.km).
The problem gets compounded multi-fold, because once the illegal immigrants get into India, they can spread out to other states very easily because of the ubiquitous availability of Indian trains.
If you look at the Indian railway maps and the traffic, you will see that the corridor between Assam and NCR is the most densely traveled in the entire India. This leads to illegal immigrants getting into states like Uttar Pradesh, which already has high population density of 828 persons / sq.km. Not only this, these people travel to states as far south as Kerala to do labor work. A typical example is the Guwahati-Trivandrum express (Indian railways train no. 12516), which I have personally traveled in from near Chennai to Kerala, and witnessed the migration (illegal or not). Mind you – not even ticket checking in even reserved compartments, forget about identification).
Doesn’t India have enough population to deal with, on its own? Does India need this additional head-ache?
Some measures of eradicating this issue have been considered – like National Population Register and Aadhar card, which are good, and need to be fast-tracked. The identification schemes should be implemented in the Indian states neighboring Bangladesh at the first place on priority, as that’s where the illegal immigration needs be contained.
There are challenges like lookalike of Bangladeshis with Indian Bengal people, cultural similarities, same language, which are impediments to effective implementation, but modern technologies like fingerprint, retina and genes identification should be implemented, and mere photo identification and signature has not proven sufficient!
Will the Home ministry take fast action before the problem gets out of hand? It’s a very necessary step towards containing India Population.