There are instances clearly pointing to the fact that the Hindus have been persecuted in Pakistan and over the years have had no home to live. Several girls from the Hindu community along from those of other minority communities like the Christians are abducted every month and forcibly converted. Reports suggest that Christian and Hindu minority women were forcibly married off to their abductors or rapists. Here's why the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill becomes extremely important.
The partition of India resulted in the severe persecution of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan.
As of 2010, Pakistan had the fifth largest Hindu population in the world. However there has been a historical decline in the population of Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists in the areas of Pakistan. Post 1947, around 4.7 million Hindus and Sikhs moved to India. In the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition, the Hindus in Pakistan faced riots and mobs attacked the Hindu temples in Karachi and set fire to 25 temples in the provinces of Sindh. The shops of Hindus were attacked in Sukur and Hindu homes were attacked in Quetta. These instances clearly show that the Hindus have been persecuted in Pakistan and over the years have had no home to live. In this context, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill becomes extremely important.
No country to live:
A member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan claimed in 2010 that several girls from the Hindu community along from those of other minority communities like the Christians are abducted every month and forcibly converted.
Due to this persecution, many Hindus continue to flee Pakistan. It was even stated that the abduction of Hindus and Sikhs is a business in Pakistan along with forced conversion of Hindus to Islam. Forced conversions, rape and forced marriages of Hindu women have become a norm in Pakistan.
The rise of the Taliban forces in several areas of Pakistan too has only made matters worse for the religious minorities and with no support from the local system, this has forced the Hindus to flee from Pakistan.
It may be recalled that in July 2010, 60 members of the Hindu community in Karachi were attacked and evicted from their homes following an incident in which a Hindu youth drank water from a tap near an Islamic Mosque.
The rise of the Taliban has been a major factor in the increasing persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan such as Christians, Hindus and Sikhs. The Hindus who were living in Swat were forced to wear head gear as a symbol of dhimmi.
In July 2010, 60 members of the Hindu community were attacked and ethnically cleansed.
The reason why the Hindus and other members of the minority community are fleeing from Pakistan is because they have been treated as second class citizens.
Statistics showed that in 2013, there were around 1,000 Hindus migrating from Pakistan to India every year. In May 2014, records went on to suggest that 5,000 Hindus were migrating every year to India from Pakistan, clearly suggesting that the persecution was only increasing in alarming numbers.
The Pakistan Hindu Council said that it was religious persecution, especially forced conversions that was the main reason for Hindus to flee from Pakistan to India.
There are also reports prepared by the National Commission of Justice and Peace that suggested that Christian and Hindu minority women were forcibly married off to their abductors or rapists.
In 2010, there were 57 Hindus who were forcibly converted by their employer. The reason that was given was that his sales had dropped as Muslims had started boycotting his food items as they were prepared by Hindus.
At the time of partition, Hindus represented almost 15% of Pakistan’s population. Today it has dropped to just 2%. The fact is that the Hindu community was never accepted or trusted in Pakistan.
To drive across their point the Pakistanis have intentionally meddled with the school text books, which brazenly preach hate against the Hindus. The Hindus are repeatedly described as extremists and eternal enemies of Islam. On the other hand, the text books say that Islam only delivers the message of peace.
In addition to all this, Islamic radicalisation that is growing at a rapid pace has only added to the problem of the minorities in Pakistan.
Time to give them a home:
Analysts say that India is the only country that the Hindus have. Where else can they go and hence the Citizenship Amendment Bill becomes really important.
The Hindus and other minorities are persecuted in Pakistan and live there as second class citizens. Should they also live in India as second class citizens with no rights, the analysts also ask.
It is not just Pakistan, but there are several Hindus and members of other minority communities who have come from Bangladesh and have been living in India for several years. They live as refugees with no rights and this Bill only aims at giving them a right to live as first class citizens.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar said that the people will welcome this Bill in the interest of the nation. The primary intention is to grant Indian citizenship to those facing persecution in their home countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that these people will get a better tomorrow.
The Bill seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Modi also said that hundreds of people from the neighbouring countries who are facing persecution in these countries and those who have faith in Mother India, will get a better future as a result of this Bill.
Last Updated 6:25 PM IST