Research conducted by a Mumbai University professor has deflated the highly controversial issue of Bangladeshi migration which was being politically exploited by the Shiv Sena for a long time.
The study says the Shiv Sena-BJP combine deported only 2,793 Bangladeshis from Mumbai during its tenure lasting from 1995 to 1999. On the other hand, the Congress-led government, which ruled the state from 1990-1994 and during 2000-2004, deported 3,189 and 2,340 Bangladeshis respectively during those two stints in power. The deportation data was obtained from the Mumbai Police.
The Shiv Sena, which has been milking the migration issue, used to claim that there were 5-6 lakh Bangladeshi migrants in Mumbai.
The study by Vanita Banjan is the part of her PhD thesis ‘Migration and nation states in Asia: Bangladeshi migrants in India’, which was submitted to the University of Mumbai earlier this year. A professor of political science at SIES College, Sion, Banjan was awarded the degree in July this year. The study also covered Bangladeshi migration to north-east Indian states.
“The Shiv Sena-BJP win in 1995 is attributed to the migrant issue which it had fanned. Anti-Bangladeshi propaganda also struck the chord among the people. However, it was nothing but exasperated reaction of the local population to their enervation to cope with internal migration. This manifested itself by targeting Bangladeshis,” Banjan said.
The research said: “The Shiv Sena chief spewed venom against migrants by suggesting that the only thing they brought to Mumbai was population. They didn’t contribute to the growth of the city and only caused its deterioration. He also lamented that migrants transformed the city into a ‘toilet’.”
The study said, “Shiv Sena noticed that ethnic Gujarati and Tamil communities flourished at the expense of the Marathis.”
Deportation of Bangladeshi nationals (As per the Mumbai police, special cell, records)
2009-2013 (till February): 7,698 arrested and 3,009 deported
(*The figures tabled in assembly on 13 March 2013)