Union Home Minister Amit Shah has made it very clear that ‘‘Hindu refugees’’ would be treated fairly and they will get citizenship of the country even if left out of National Register of Citizens.
Earlier this month, Amit Shah had said in the Rajya Sabha, “I want to repeat our stand on NRC. We want to stop infiltration and also push every single infiltrator out of the country. As far as Hindu refugees are concerned, we are bringing the Citizenship Amendment Bill to give them Indian citizenship.”
He said that the party will deliver on its manifesto promise to provide citizenship to Hindus persecuted in neighboring countries. The 2019 BJP manifesto also mentioned about providing citizenship to persecuted minorities of neighbouring countries, i.e., Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan. “Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs escaping persecution from India’s neighbouring countries will be given citizenship in India,” reads the BJP manifesto for 2019 general election.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 which was passed by Lok Sabha in January this year also provides for citizenship to ‘the persons belonging to minority communities, namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan’. However, this bill lapsed in June with the end of the first term of Modi government.
The 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. Earlier this year, 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.
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.
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.
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.