India’s Migrant ‘Prob­lem’

India Today - - UPFRONT -

Af­ter an elec­tion sea­son in which home min­is­ter Amit Shah used in­flam­ma­tory lan­guage for il­le­gal im­mi­grants (“ghus­petiyon”), and re­peated prom­ises this month to root out in­fil­tra­tors, data from the 2011 cen­sus shows that the num­ber of Bangladesh­i im­mi­grants is on the de­cline. Shah’s threat to extend the Na­tional Reg­is­ter of Cit­i­zens from North­east­ern states to the rest of the coun­try doesn’t square with the cen­sus data, which finds immigratio­n rates to be below 0.5 per cent in the ma­jor­ity of dis­tricts. Besides, many of th­ese im­mi­grants are of In­dian ori­gin who have re­turned from the US, UK, Canada, Aus­tralia and the Gulf. The cen­sus fig­ures be­lie the gov­ern­ment’s con­cern about il­le­gal im­mi­grants, even ac­count­ing for the un­der-re­port­ing of ‘il­le­gals’.


In­dian res­i­dents born out­side, says 2011 cen­sus; 6.2 mil­lion in 2001; immigratio­n rate: 0.4%, down from 0.6%


peo­ple liv­ing in India born in Bangladesh (2011). Down from 3,084,826 (2001). Re­duc­tion in part due to deaths of Par­ti­tion-era and 1971 mi­grants


Bangladesh­i-born res­i­dents in As­sam (2011). 56,550 from be­fore 1991; only 722 be­tween 20072010. Over 40 lakh left off draft NRC in As­sam (2018)


Pak­istani-born im­mi­grants in India. Down from 997,106, likely due to deaths of Par­ti­tion-era mi­grants


more Nepali-born im­mi­grants in India (2011), sec­ond only to Bangladesh­i­born im­mi­grants; 778,091 (2011), up from 596,696 (2001)


UAE-born im­mi­grants (2011), up from 29,823 in 2001. Also, rise in US-born im­mi­grants: 36,000 (2011), up from around 3,000 (2001)


im­mi­grants from Myan­mar (2011), up from 49,086 (2001); the fig­ure doesn’t ac­count for the es­ti­mated 40,000 Ro­hingya refugees since 2015, be­ing treated as ‘il­le­gals’

Il­lus­tra­tion by TANMOY CHAKRABORT­Y

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