This is an excerpt from the article published on May 19 in a Bangladeshi newspaper, The Daily Star:
Of course, there are many Bangladeshi immigrants inside India. There will always be. The real question about Jaipur is — who are these people in the “Bangali Para” — what were they doing all this time? Working for middle class Indian families, of course. Everyone in India knows exactly why these people are there — to work. As household help, cleaners, sweepers, cooks, maids, taxi drivers, tailors, weavers, jewellery makers, construction workers. Keeping Shining Indian rolling along. Yesterday, they were your convenient and easy source of cheap labour. Why are they a problem today? As India develops as a hyper-growth Asian tiger, with Bangladesh next door, immigration is inevitable. Until we become a medium growth country, we will be as a “Mexico” to India’s “United States.” Bangladeshis, hungry for work, willing to work, with families to feed, will cross the borders. Only after we economically develop (a SAARC zone of “co-prosperity”?) will immigration flows reverse, like the Indians who are now returning from America and Europe, looking for opportunities in India.
Sometime in the last few years, it has become easier and acceptable to bring out the Bangladeshi “militant cell” bogey. That there is Islamist politics inside Bangladesh is not in question. But that they have the capacity or agenda to wage cross-border forays — this still needs to be proven. The proof always seems to come from shaky sources. The US has listed HuJI as a global-standard “terrorist organisation.” And they have been so right, so many times before?
Is it our responsibility to ensure that poor countries around us develop at the same speed? Can we blame them when our own governor doubts the intention of our police when they round up illegal immigrants? Governor S K Singh appeared to suggest that “ideology” could be behind the arrests in Rajasthan after Jaipur serial blasts. I heard another Congress leader suggesting that Bangladeshis have a right to live and earn their living in India. I have never agreed with the saffron politics when it comes to our own Muslim brothers but I don’t see how we are expected to provide employment and suffer illegal activities by outsiders. It is not about religion it is about our security. It is the duty of the Bangladesh Government to provide employment, food and self respect to their citizens. We have millions of Indians suffering abject poverty. How on earth can we be expected to take take of others even on humanitarian grounds till we solve our own problems? Even after that helping somebody and supporting illegal migrants and jeopardizing our security are two different things. Last year in London I heard a Bangladeshi leader on Channel 4. He was questioned about growing unemployment in Bangladesh. He had a shocking answer. He suggested that with a booming economy next door they need not worry. If it was a joke I don’t think it was a good one, If he was serious people back home should make sure that he is never elected again.
It is high time political parties unite against the threat of terrorism. When a bomb explodes nobody is safe.