‘Maid in India’ episode is part of larger problem

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‘Maid in India’ episode is part of larger problem

The number of illegal aliens grows, menacingly and threateningly, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and, if not “Attock to Cuttack”, a phrase recently used by the Prime Minister, then definitely from Mysuru to Malda

This past week, India’s National Capital Region was witness to a first of its kind violent incident. A large mob attacked a gated posh society in Delhi’s suburbs, ran riot and damaged private property. All this happened with the local police failing to respond in adequate measure to first prevent the mob from storming the gated society, and then from stopping the mob from almost lynching their targets — a man, a woman and a child, cowering in the toilet of their home till they were taken to a safe house by other residents.

The gated society is located in Noida, which is under the administrative jurisdiction of the Uttar Pradesh Government. The residents are upper middle class professionals from varied fields. The mob came from a nearby illegal bustee of migrant workers, popularly known as ‘Bangladeshi Colony’.

What preceded the attack is a dispute with a woman from that bustee who worked as a maid in one of the apartments in the gated society. Her employers accused her of theft. Apparently she confessed to have stolen Rs 10,000 and wanted her employers to deduct the money from her salary. They refused to do so, saying they would report the theft to the society’s manager.

The maid is said to have fled at this point. Subsequent details available till now are confusing. One version has it she spent the night in one of the blocks, another says she took shelter in a flat. The mob attack was ostensibly to protest over the missing woman.

The woman was found. She alleged that she had been denied her wages and when she demanded her salary, she was beaten and held hostage. Available CCTV footage debunks her story. The findings of a medical examination too invalidate her allegations. Police investigations should help pin the truth.

The real story, however, is not about the maudlin ‘Maid in India’ narrative being peddled by Left-liberal activists, some of them masquerading as journalists, in English language publications far and wide -— as far as The Washington Post, whose readers would not know Noida from Khirkee Extension.  Hating those who have worked hard to live a better life is fashionable and politically correct.

What should concern Indians is that a mob can gather and run riot with such seeming ease. What should worry them is that the mob likely comprised foreigners, in this case illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, who have acquired sufficient muscle power and political patronage to cock a snook at law-enforcers, indeed the law of the land. And, what should both concern and worry citizens of this country is that migrants can grab public land, set up a bustee and normalise their presence.

The police has been quoted in some media reports as saying the people who attacked the gated society have “documents”, indirectly washing their hands of determining their legal status. We do not know what these ‘documents’ are but they must be based on established practice followed by Bangladeshis to legalise their illegal presence in India. It is common knowledge, acknowledged by Government officials and politicians, that there exists a flourishing racket that thrives on providing documents, including Aadhaar cards, to illegal immigrants and arranging for the inclusion of their names in the voters’ lists, which in turn entitles them to an Election Commission card.

Recent media disclosures about how Rohingya Muslims, who illegally entered India and made their way to Jammu to set up bustees there, provide a glimpse of this racket. How else could they have acquired ‘Permanent Residence’ in a State where Indians who are not ‘original subjects’ of Jammu & Kashmir cannot claim similar status?

There was some talk of a special team headed by the J&K Deputy Chief Minister investigating the scandal involving Rohingya Muslims who should not be in that State in the first place, leave alone being accorded ‘PR’ status. Nothing further has been heard about the investigation.

The callousness of the BJP towards the issue of illegal immigration which the party kept raising through its decades in opposition, stands out for its striking duplicity. When in power, the party has not so much as lifted its little finger in admonition. We can kiss away the promise to “detect, delete and deport” made during every election campaign, most recently by candidate Narendra Modi in 2013-2014.

We have not seen any pro-active action by the Modi sarkar in the past three years to improve border management in the east. India’s boundary with Bangladesh remains as porous as ever. Bangladeshis continue to pour in. Cattle smuggling also continues unabated.

Trans-border movement of Jamaati criminals looking to foist jihad on Indian soil, a trickle in the past, has become easier than before. The rapid Islamisation of West Bengal bears witness to this, as does the incipient demand for a separate ‘Islamistan’ in Assam.

Anybody visiting border areas in the east will hear stories of corrupt officials, venal politicians and BSF personnel on the take facilitating this “external aggression on India”, which is how the Supreme Court described illegal immigration from Bangladesh while striking down the IMDT Act gifted by a cynical Congress to the hapless people of this country.

The man who singlehandedly fought and felled the IMDT Act is now the Chief Minister of Assam, heading a BJP Government. Now that he is in office and in power, Sarbananda Sonowal has shown little or interest in taking his war on illegal immigration to its logical conclusion.

In a sense, Sonowal’s disinterest (different though it is from the active encouragement to illegal immigration by West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is using Bangladeshi settlers to expand the political hold of her Trinamool Congress on the benighted State) mirrors the indifference of the Modi sarkar. All that we have heard on illegal immigration in the past three years is the Home Ministry abjectly admitting in Parliament that more than two crore Bangladeshis are living illegally in India.

Meanwhile, the number of illegal aliens grows, menacingly and threateningly, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and, if not “Attock to Cuttack”, a phrase recently used by the Prime Minister, then definitely from Mysuru to Malda. I will let M Venkaiah Naidu to come up with a more rhyming phrase; after all, in the past, he has been among the most garrulous on deporting alien nationals.

This is not to suggest the violent mob which attacked the gated society in Noida necessarily comprised Bangladeshis. But it needs to be stated that not all Bengali-speaking people are Bengalis from West Bengal. The Noida incident provides an excellent opportunity to test this thesis.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has demonstrated that he and his administration in Uttar Pradesh are not encumbered by bogus political correctness or bothered about misleading narrative in the mainstream media that has abandoned truth to embrace righteous causes built on lies. So here is what he can do:

He can instruct officials to investigate the antecedents of the residents of ‘Bangladeshi Colony’. If they are indeed from Cooch Behar, as they claim, it can be verified — tracking down their original homesteads or families. He can instruct the Noida Authority to reclaim the land occupied by the bustee. Or ask the relevant village to do so if the land is not part of the one acquired by Noida. And, he can demonstrate that unlike his feckless colleagues, he is willing to keep Uttar Pradesh free of a menace that sooner rather than later will pose a near insurmountable internal security threat across India.

Make no mistake. Malda and Murshidabad offer warning signals. They can be ignored only at the peril of protecting India’s interest, and the interest of India’s 125 crore Indians that the Prime Minister says are the dearest to him and the closest to his heart.

(The writer is Commissioning Editor & commentator at ABP News)

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