PULLQUOTE

India Today - - UPFRONT -

“Delhi ke an­dar awaidh ghu­s­paithiye hain... in ghu­s­paithiyon ko nikaalna chahiye ya nahin nikaalna chahiye? Desh mein kar­o­don ki sankhya mein ghu­s­paithiye ghuse hue hain. Deemak ki tarah chaat gaye hain desh ke bhav­ishya ko.”

In a now in­fa­mous re­mark, BJP pres­i­dent AMIT SHAH, speak­ing at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, com­pared the “crores” of il­le­gal im­mi­grants he claims have en­tered In­dia, to ter­mites eat­ing the coun­try from within. While not re­spond­ing for­mally, Bangladeshi govern­ment of­fi­cials have told re­porters that Shah’s rhetor­i­cal ex­u­ber­ance was “in­ap­pro­pri­ate”. Of course, the im­agery Shah con­jures has a long his­tory, much of it—at the risk of provoking the BJP’s hy­per­ven­ti­lat­ing hordes on so­cial me­dia— Nazi and fas­cist. Surely, it doesn’t need say­ing that it is never a good idea to com­pare hu­man be­ings to in­sects and par­a­sites. The Na­tional Reg­is­ter of Cit­i­zens ap­pears in prac­tice al­ready to be lit­tle more than an ex­er­cise in xeno­pho­bic cathar­sis. What, be­yond the fan­tasy of de­por­ta­tion, will be done with the mil­lions made state­less? Pre­sum­ably ex­ter­mi­na­tion, un­like with ter­mites, is not an op­tion.

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