In another time not long gone past, the Supreme Court would have dismissed at the threshold the plea for spreading the red-carpet for the thousands of Muslim Rohingays who have illegally entered India without even waiting for the response of the Union Government. For, the Constitution simply does not empower their Lordships to make the laws as well as to interpret them. You don’t have to be a genius to know that the decision whether the Rohingyas are to be admitted or not lies squarely in the domain of the political executive. Judiciary can have little say in this.
However, thanks to a series of self-goals by the executive, a handful of judges now think nothing of expanding their remit far beyond the boundaries drawn up in the division of powers and functions between various branches of the State.
Not that the higher judiciary has not been assailed by the same infirmities of conduct and character that have led to the erosion in the public standing and power of the executive in favour of the judiciary. The latest example of gross judicial misconduct and alleged corruption is in the news these days with a former chief justice of a high court facing arrest in a medical college scam. But let that pass for now. Back to the Rohingays.
It is strange that the very left-liberal elements who seemed to endorse the denial of further visa to the Bangladeshi writer Tasleema Nasreen, who faces a serious threat from the Islamic fundamentalists in her home country, now want fully undocumented Muslim Rohingays given a free pass to settle anywhere in India.
The humanitarian grounds cited by top lawyers, some of them closely connected with the Congress Party, cannot pass muster either. Because it is laughable to extend humanitarian aid to those fleeing from military repression in Myanmar without first guaranteeing the same to tens of millions of homeless poor who, having entered the country illegally, now stake claim on its meager resources. India cannot be a ~dharmshala~ for all comers, can it be?
Remember that the same people who essentially for political reasons want India to play host to illegal Rohingya immigrants - by no stretch of imagination can they be called refugees going by the legal definition - were a party to the demand to evict illegal Bangladeshis from Assam and other parts of the country.
After all, Parliament back in 1983 did pass the Illegal Migrant (Determination by Tribunals) Act. Not a single illegal Bangladeshi might have been deported under this law, but the fact that the Supreme Court spoke clearly and loudly on the need to deport all illegals must inform the deliberations of the apex bench hearing the Rohingya petition.
Illegals distort socio-economic conditions, destabilise local communities, a good number eventually pose security threat, and generally act as a pressure group against national interest. The demographic havoc wrought by the illegals, for years vociferously welcomed by the Congress Party for electoral reasons, is there for all to see in much of Assam and in the border districts of West Bengal.
Secular politicians play footsie for the sake of votes with the most rabid maulvis and mullahas spouting venom against this country. Also, various minority loudspeakers rooting for unregulated entry of Rohingyas whom you hear on nightly television these days are not motivated by any lofty ideals.
Their heart only bleeds for fellow Muslims. It is strange that wealthy Muslim potentates and dictators sitting on mountains of unearned petro dollars should have no inclination to admit them in their vast and sparsely populated jagirs.
No country, rich or poor, opens its borders without first checking the antecedents as to who it is who seeks shelter. Britain voted recently to quit EU essentially on the question of unchecked flow of immigrants choking the sinews of its economic systems.
More than one European country in recent times has erected high walls to keep out people flowing in illegally from the war-torn West Asia and Africa. Yes, India has a long history of welcoming outsiders, letting them settle here. In most cases, that open-heartedness proved harmless barring an exception or two. But remember that the biggest ingress not only caused a life-long strife within the society but it also ended up partitioning the country.
Not wanting to earn any brownie points from those who tend to wear liberalism on their shirt sleeves, we make bold to assert that not too far in the future we might be forced into a second partition, especially when the bleeding hearts pleading human rights remain blind to the concerns of both national sovereignty and national security.
It is significant that seventy years after the partition, Muslims have felt emboldened enough to float their own separate, Muslim-specific political organisations. It might also help to keep in view that the Rohingyas too have been sucked into the global Islamic jihadi network, with their Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army drawing more than spiritual sustenance from the likes of Hafiz Saeed and al Qaida.
As for funding, well…, the ever generous Saudi Arabia with its hordes of petro dollars is ready to spread the cult of Wahhabism at the point of the sword, if necessary, in each and every part of the world.
Meanwhile, it is not without significance that a few thousand illegal Rohingyas have already settled near the LoC in Jammu and are said to have got themselves Aadhaar cards as well. Clearly, the forces inimical to the national interest were behind their entry and settlement.
Why they did not settle in the Kashmir Valley is easily answered. For those hell-bent on altering the demographic character of Jammu would use the Rohingyas to achieve their objective. Already, Ladakh and Kargil have seen an increasing influx of Muslims from other parts of the State, with the local ethnic communities feeling socially and economically pressured. Notably, India’s border with Myanmar is far removed from the Rakhine State from where most of the Rohingyas are now being driven out for sheltering the jihadi terrorists of the Arakan Rohingyas Salvation Army.
The highest court in the land, it is safe to assume, will not pronounce on the petition regarding Rohingyas without considering fully the potential for trouble, now or in the not-so-distant a future, that always lies in an unregulated entry of illegals into the country.
The human rightswallahs, ~sare jahan ka dard inkey jigar mein hain~, one among whom asked why pellet guns were not used against protesters in Gujarat or Maharashtra, as if the people there were seeking to break India, are in the business of burnishing its self-image, or even doing these things at someone else’s behest.
Grandstanding has always been far removed from the motives of those who under no circumstances would jeopardise larger national interest. And that interest lies in showing the door to Rohingyas. We already have enough troubles on account of millions of illegals crowding around in almost every big and small town and kasaba in the country. Period.
Apropos the recent tutored tour of the US by Rahul Gandhi. Orchestrated by Sam Pitroda, a poster, most likely printed in India, inviting people to the reception for “our beloved leader” at a hotel in New York underlines the desperation of the organisers. It reads like a mini directory of the NRIs based in the US. Nearly two hundred names, all of them holding some post in the Indian Overseas Congress, are listed. There are a dozen national presidents, an equal number of national vice-presidents, executive vice-presidents, joint secretaries, general secretaries, treasurers, joint treasures et al. If all these two hundred odd people clutching some meaningless nomenclature in the IOC showed up with a member or two from their families, it would have constituted a full house for the visiting vice-president of the Congress Party. Well done, Pitroda. You are assured of a high post should the Congress Prince graduate to something more meaningful, more purposeful.
R Rajagopalan is a senior correspondent in New Delhi. The views expressed here are his own and do not reflect those of Asianet Newsable