Movement is an integral part of human existence. While talking about transborder migration from Bangladesh to India, we are, however, aware that this is a controversial subject. The partition of Bengal in 1947 was the cruelest partition in the history of the world and caused forced illegal migration from erstwhile East Pakistan. It is estimated that there are about 15 million Bangladeshi nationals living in India illegally. West Bengal has a border running 2,216 km along Bangladesh. The present study highlights push-pull factors of illegal Bangladeshi migration based on perceptions of respondents obtained from a qualitative survey done on the basis of purposive sampling in Kolkata and 24 parganas and two districts of West Bengal (WB), an Indian State. The economic push factors that motivate people to leave Bangladesh are instability and economic depression, poverty, lack of employment opportunity, struggle for livelihood, forced grabbing of landed property from minority group, and lack of industrialization in Bangladesh. About 56% of the respondents expressed that lack of industrialisation/lack of employment/economic insecurity would be the probable cause of this migration. Among the demographic factors, population explosion in Bangladesh and lowest human development index may be the most important cause of illegal migration from Bangladesh to West Bengal. Hindu minority group faced problems in connection with matrimonial alliances. Educational curricula, which were framed according to Islamic preaching and curtailment of facilities enjoyed by Hindu minority group, were responsible factor for illegal migration of Hindu minority population. Another cause is social insecurity. Political instability, fear of riots and terrorism in Bangladesh, inhuman attitude and activities of the political leaders, absence of democratic rights, Muslim domination, religious instigation by political leaders, insecurity feeling of Hindus, are the major crucial issues that require to be mentioned as political push factors. About 59% of the respondents are of the opinion that religious fundamentalists/insecurity of the minority group/discriminating law and order against Hindus may be the factors that motivated migration from Bangladesh to West Bengal. In terms of ethnic cleansing, one can witness elimination of groups of minorities by dominant ethnic group, curbing their rights controlling their influence in a state’s system. Double standards are observed in punishing criminals. Police officials do not record complaints from minority community. According to 85% of the respondent economic opportunity in terms of job opportunity, economic security prevailing in West Bengal worked as pull factors for migrants to West Bengal. Geographic proximity of Bangladesh and West Bengal, the linguistics and cultural similarities, same food habit, homo-ethnic climate, belief of getting shelter, cordiality, fellow-feeling, acceptance power of people of West Bengal have contributed to the movements of population from Bangladesh to West Bengal.


Peak Period of Migration, Migration and Religion, Push Factor, and Pull Factor

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