Advertisement

Migration and Its Impact on the Society and the Economy of North-East India

  • K. R. Dikshit
  • Jutta K. Dikshit
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER)

Abstract

No other region of India has experienced such a huge, continuous and prolonged immigration as the North-East of India. Much of the brunt of this immigration is born by Assam, especially the Brahmaputra valley. There has been an equally intense immigration in Tripura during the last four decades, but Assam stands apart as a state, which has witnessed the severest impact of immigration from East Pakistan and subsequently Bangladesh. Starting from the recruitment of Bengali officials during the early years of British rule, continuing immigration as tea plantation workers and subsequently the peasants from Mymensingh looking for land to reclaim and settle in Assam – all have meant additional burden on the resources of the state. The population of immigrant Bangladeshi population has grown rapidly and has changed the demographic composition of the state. Today, in six districts of Assam, Muslims, with an inflated population because of illegal immigration from Bangladesh, form the majority religious group, and more districts are likely to turn into Muslim-majority districts. As a community, they have begun to exercise influence on the politics of the state. In the process of immigration, the Bangladeshi immigrants have suffered worst reprisals, but the immigration has continued unabated. The people of Assam perceive this illegal immigration as a threat to their economic security and cultural harmony. Another foreign immigrant group in Assam is that of Nepalis who are ubiquitous in all parts of the state but remain confined to service industry like transport and dairying.

The single most important factor that has contributed to this illegal mass exodus from Bangladesh to Assam is a steep population density gradient. While Bangladesh has a population density of over 1,000 persons to a km2, Assam’s density of population is less than 400 persons to a km2.

Tripura is another state in the North-East which has experienced huge influx of Hindu refugees and illegal migrants. The immigrant population was accommodated in the state compassionately, though occasional violent clashes did occur between the original indigenous population and immigrant population. Following the adoption of Bengali language as the language of the state and Hinduism as the faith of the royalty, the erstwhile kings and their subjects willingly absorbed the cultural influences from Bengali Hindu society. It was not difficult to assimilate the immigrants in their fold. Today, unlike in Assam, the immigrant Bengali community contributes greatly to the economic and cultural development of the state.

Keywords

Immigrant Population Illegal Immigration Migration Stream Plantation Worker Displace Person 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Banthia JK (ed) (2001) Census of India 2001. First report on religion. Government of IndiaGoogle Scholar
  2. Barpujari HK (1998) North-East India: problems, policies and prospects. Spectrum Publications, Guwahati, 185 pGoogle Scholar
  3. Bhuiyan JC (2006) Illegal migration from Bangladesh and the demographic change in the North-East Region. In: Kumar BB (ed) Illegal migration from Bangladesh. Concept, Delhi, p 85Google Scholar
  4. Census of India (1901) Assam, Reports, vol IV-A,  chapter 3, pp 33–34
  5. Census of India (1911) Assam report, pt. IV-A, p 35 (footnote)Google Scholar
  6. Census of India (1931a) Report, vol III, pt. 1-A, p 48Google Scholar
  7. Census of India (1931b) Birthplace and migration, vol III, pt. 1-A,  chapter 3, p 44
  8. Census of India (1951) Assam, Manipur and Tripura, vol XII, pt. II-A, tables, pp 112–135,  chapter 13
  9. Gait EA (1906) History of Assam. Thacker, Spink & Co., Calcutta, 2006 – Reprint LBS Publications, Guwahati, p 354Google Scholar
  10. Godbole M (2000) Task force report about the number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in India. Quoted by Prakash Singh, former DGP, Assam, In Kumar BB (2006) Illegal migration from Bangladesh. Concept Publication Co, New Delhi, p 78Google Scholar
  11. Guha A (1978) Immigrants and autochtones in a plural society: their interrelation in the Brahmaputra valley in a historical perspective. In: Dubey SM (ed) North-East India. A sociological study. Concept, Delhi, p 44Google Scholar
  12. Hazarika S (2006) Illegal migration from Bangladesh: problem and long-term perspective. In: Kumar BB (ed) Illegal migration from Bangladesh. Concept, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  13. Kumar BB (2006) Illegal migration from Bangladesh. Concept, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  14. Lyall CJ (1883) Report on the census of Assam. Government Printing Press, Calcutta, p 28Google Scholar
  15. McSwiney J (1912) Census of India, 1911, vol III, Assam, pt. I, report, Shillong, p 5Google Scholar
  16. Misra U (1980) Fresh tension in upper Assam tea belt. Econ Polit Wkly 15(3):1301Google Scholar
  17. Misra U (2006) Historical aspects of the illegal migration from Bangladesh. In: Kumar BB (ed) Illegal migration from Bangladesh. Concept, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  18. Nair K (1961) Blossoms in the dust: the human element in Indian development. Gerald Duckworth, London, pp 139–140Google Scholar
  19. Rai B (1993) Demographic aggression against India. B. S. Publishers, Chandigarh, p 175Google Scholar
  20. Saikia A (2006) Global processes and local concerns. Bangladeshi migrants in Assam. In: Kumar BB (ed) Illegal migration from Bangladesh. Concept, Delhi, pp 187–211Google Scholar
  21. Sarfaraz A (2003) Environmentally induced migration from Bangladesh to India. Strateg Anal 27:422–437CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sharma KM (1980) The Assamese question: a historical perspective. Econ Polit Wkly 15(31):1321Google Scholar
  23. Sinha Lt. Gen SK (1998) Report on “Illegal Migration into Assam”, para 1 of the letter to the President of India written on 8th November 1998Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. R. Dikshit
    • 1
  • Jutta K. Dikshit
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PunePuneIndia

Personalised recommendations