BJP president Amit Shah kicked off his party campaign in West Bengal for the Lok Sabha elections on 22nd January, 2019. He accused the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) of misleading the people on the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Assuring the people, Shah said that Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh refugees in the state “need not be afraid” because the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be granting them citizenship in the country.
Targeting the TMC at Malda rally, Amit Shah said, “They are very fond of infiltrators. To expel the infiltrators, NRC was brought but they misled the people of Bengal by saying Bengalis will be driven out. I want to assure all refugees living in Bengal — Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh — that they need not be afraid. We have brought the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to grant citizenship to each and every Hindu Bangladeshi. No one will be left out. Whether the person is a Buddhist, Sikh or Christian. Those who have been oppressed and have come from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh will be granted citizenship by the BJP’s Narendra Modi government.”
This statement of Amit Shah on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, unsurprisingly, created a furor among the pseudo-seculars. The pseudo-seculars and the left-liberal intelligentsia of the country are always quick to pounce on any incident where a crime is committed on a Muslim and jump to the conclusion blaming the Hindu community. However, they turn a blind eye to the atrocities committed to the Hindus and other minorities in our very neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh.
A look at the history of atrocities of Hindu minorities in neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh sends a chill down the spine and makes a compelling argument for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Anusha Meghwar, a 16 year old girl from Tharparkar, Pakistan was abducted, forcibly converted to Islam before she was forcibly married. The incident happened in the Sindh province of Pakistan where child marriage is a punishable offence.
Another case of a Hindu female child forcefully converted & married off. Disgusting but there will be no action taken as politics comes first for all players.#Islamkot #Tharparker #Sindh pic.twitter.com/nPs7076Uf5
— Reham Khan (@RehamKhan1) January 20, 2019
Kapil Dev, a human rights activist from the Sindh province of Pakistan also tweeted on the incident and exposed Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s hypocrisy.
Those who ask me why Pakistani Hindus leave their motherland, they must know this reason!
Another Hindu girl, Anusha Meghwar, 16, becomes victim of forced conversion and marriage. According to Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act any marriage under 18 years is illegal. pic.twitter.com/RsEAZ8Di4o
— Kapil Dev (@KDSindhi) January 20, 2019
In Pakistan, Hindu persecution has become an almost accepted norm. News cycle is filled with stories of abduction, murder, rape of Hindus in the country. A similar incident happened last year in the Sindh province where a young Hindu girl, Ravita Meghwar was forcibly converted and married to a Muslim man.
Even the minority Christians are not spared. Not very long ago, the world witnessed the anti-minority hatred that runs through the veins of the mainstream Muslim majority Pakistan population. Recent attacks on the Christian community include an attack on a church in Quetta in December 2017 that killed nine people and injured 57. A suicide attack targeting Christians celebrating Easter at a Lahore playground in March 2016 left 70 dead and more than 340 wounded.
The situation is similarly bad (if not worse) in Bangladesh. Hindus in Bangladesh (and erstwhile East Pakistan) have faced ethnic cleansing since 1947. In 2017, at least 107 people of the Hindu community were killed and 31 fell victims to enforced disappearance. According to a report presented at a press conference, Poilash Kanti Dey, general secretary of Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Mohajote (BJHM), came up with some startling statistics on the atrocities of Hindus in Bangladesh. Poilash revealed that 782 Hindus were either forced to leave the country or threatened to leave. Besides, 23 were forced to get converted into other religions. He further mentioned that 25 Hindu women and children were raped, while 235 temples and statues vandalized during the year. The total number of atrocities happened with the Hindu community in the year 2017 is 6474.
Even the Rohingyas who have faced “ethnic cleansing” in Myanmar have not spared the Hindus in the community. According to an Amnesty International report, hundreds of Hindus were massacred by the Rohingyas. Tirana Hassan, Crisis Response Director at Amnesty International said, “Our latest investigation on the ground sheds much-needed light on the largely under-reported human rights abuses by ARSA during northern Rakhine State’s unspeakably dark recent history.”
The history of persecution of Hindus in the SAARC countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan begs the question if India, the motherland of Hindus, would not grant protection to Hindus then who will?
According to the 2011 census report, the population of minorities in India has increased in fact. On the other hand, the population of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh have reduced considerably.
The reports and statists are a slap on the face of pseudo seculars and left-liberals of India who complain of minority atrocities in the country. The Modi government has rightfully stepped in and decided to grant citizenship status to the minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill not only grants them relief from persecution but also provides them the respect they deserve, which the neighbouring countries have not provided them, unfortunately. It is a moral duty of the nation to protect and shelter the persecuted Hindus of the world. India is the natural home for the Hindus and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to do precisely this duty.