Assam NRC | B’deshi people are not illegal immigrants: Bangladeshi author-in-exile Taslima Nasreen

Guwahati, August 3: Taslima Nasreen, the controversial Bangladesh-born author living in exile in New Delhi, batted for illegal immigrants stating no person should be called an ‘illegal immigrant’. The Lajja-famed author also said, “India has enough Muslims”.

Her statements came at a time when the country is witnessing political tension and turmoil over the publication of the complete draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

Taking to the microblogging site Twitter, Taslima said, “No person shld be called illegal immigrant. B’deshi ppl who illegally enter India, their acts are illegal based on Indian law, but they r not ‘illegal’ (sic).”

She later added: “India has enough Muslims. India does not need more Muslims from neighbouring countries. But the problem is, Indian politicians need them (sic).”

Citing a World Bank data, Taslima also said that the Bangladeshi “economic migrants can go back to Bangladesh from India”.

It may be mentioned, Taslima, who is also a former physician, has lived more than a decade in Europe and the USA. She moved to India in 2005 but was banished from the country in 2008. She has been staying in Delhi on a resident permit long-term, multiple-entry or ‘X’ visa since 2004. Taslima, who has been at the loggerhead with the fundamentalists, has been barred from returning either to her home in Bangladesh or to her adopted home in West Bengal.

Taslima was physically attacked following the publication of Lajja. In the novel, she had written against the Islamic philosophy which angered the Muslims of Bangladesh. In October 1993, a radical fundamentalist group called the Council of Islamic Soldiers had also offered a bounty for her death.

The Assam government released the second and final draft of NRC on Monday. 2,89, 83,677 persons were found eligible out of 3,29,91,384 applicants in the final draft of the NRC. Names of 4,007,707 people were not included in the final Draft NRC.

The NRC contains names of Indian citizens of Assam. The NRC was prepared in 1951, after the Census of 1951. The NRC Updation of 2014-2016 across Assam includes the names of those persons (or their descendants) who appear in the NRC 1951, or in any of the Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of March 24, 1971 or in any one of the other admissible documents issued up to the midnight of March 24, 1971, which would prove their presence in Assam on or before March 24, 1971. The register of 1951 is being updated to weed out illegal migrants from Assam.