Despite having published the first part of the draft tiol Register of Citizens (NRC), Assam now faces the more daunting task of identifying the foreigners in Assam. Having identified a sizeable chunk of the Indian citizens of Assam, the State is up against the formidable challenge of proving that a foreigner is indeed a foreigner and not an Indian tiol. What makes the task far more difficult than it need be is an acute shortage of the manpower required for the task. One important fact of life about the Indian citizen living in Assam is the number of relatives the person has in different parts of the State. The illegal migrant from Bangladesh who pretends to be an Indian citizen living in Assam cannot me any relatives living in Assam who are Indians. This is one important means of separating the Indian citizen from someone who is a foreigner and is merely pretending to be an Indian citizen or is marking time in the State in the hope of being able to prove his Indian citizenship by hook or by crook some day in the none too distant future. The other distinguishing factor is bound to be his language. Even though there are many Bangla-speaking Indian tiols in Assam, the Bangla spoken by the migrant from Bangladesh is strikingly different from the brand of the language spoken in Assam. The task of identifying the migrants from Bangladesh is not going to be as difficult as it is made out to be. It is the task of sending them back home that is a Herculean task. It is a pity that no one in power heeded the offer of Bangladesh to take the Bangladeshis back when the offer was first made. Today the task is far more difficult also because the business of vanishing from the scene is something that the migrant from Bangladesh has turned into a fine art.
Of Vanishing Foreigners