There is no lack of understanding that the updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of 1951 had to be undertaken in Assam alone because of the large number of foreign nationals who had been living in Assam for years and were determined to remain in the State since they had decided not to return to their country. True, States like Tripura too had similar problems. But the population of such States was much lower than that of Assam and the increase in population due to illegal immigration also much less. What has become a very important but difficult task is the identification of the illegal migrants from Bangladesh who have remained in Assam illegally for decades. All over the world, the identification of illegal migrants has been achieved through the detection of major differences in the physiognomy and speech of such migrants. In the case of Assam, this task has been exceedingly difficult because physical and linguistic differences are not sharp enough to be detected too easily. There is hardly any difference in the appearance of a native of Assam and someone from Bangladesh. As for the difference of language, it is not impossible for someone from Bangladesh to pick up a smattering of Assamese in just a couple of months if the motivation is strong enough. So, both in terms of physical appearance and language, the indigenous people of Assam are extremely vulnerable when it comes to the task of keeping out foreigners illegally living in the State. The task has been made even more difficult through decades of neglect by our officers. As a consequence, we have arrived at a stage of pretence that we are no longer able to undo. Nor can we afford to live with such pretences. This is how we compound the sins committed by those of our earlier generations that arose from their unwillingness to put in the extra bit of effort that was needed for the security of the country and its people. The irreversible consequences are too disturbing to contemplate.
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