While the turmoil in Dhaka over student protests, violent reprisals and attacks on the media have understandably grabbed centre stage in the English press, Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) and how and if it will affect Bangladesh is also a matter of concern.
A report in the The Indian Express states that Taslima Yaslim, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Law in Dhaka University highlights in The Daily Star on August 10 the statements by political leaders on “illegal Bangladeshi migrants” and even talks of deporting them. She even recalls the Indian Prime Minister’s campaign rhetoric: “During the 2014 elections campaign, Narendra Modi had been quoted as saying that he would ‘send these Bangladeshis beyond the border bag and baggage’.”
The report further states that Taslima seems to suggest, with some hyperbole, that Bangladesh has much to worry about, given the potential “4 million Stateless people”: “In addition to being labeled illegal migrants, what is worrying for Bangladesh is that in search of an answer as to what would be the fate of these potential Stateless individuals, the possibility of deportation to Bangladesh had been mentioned at various forums.
Moreover, the 2014 Supreme Court directive itself had asked the Government of India to ‘enter into necessary discussions with the Government of Bangladesh to streamline the procedure of deportation’.” But she also adds that “there is, however, also an argument that it is unlikely that the issue of deportation would ever be formally raised by the Indian Government considering its delicate diplomatic relationship with Bangladesh”.