Pakistani Hindus’ Plight: Struggle for Citizenship
Struggle for “GharWapsi”
By : Himadrish Suwan
Columnist and Citizen Journalist
Youngest Awardee of the I.A.E.W.P(Affiliated to United Nations ECOSOC ,UNICEF, DPI) Global Award for Media & Information Activism 2014
The condition of Hindus in Pakistan is miserable not only because they are in minority but also their temple, daughter, life, religion are not safe. The Hindus of Pakistan are not only maltreated ,deprived and secluded both economically and otherwise , their honour and dignity is at stake. You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan.
You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.” Thus spoke Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the first governor general of Pakistan in his presidential address to the constituent assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947. This hypocritical assertion stands out as a classic exposition of non-partisan secularism.
Sixty-six years later the cynicism of Jinnah’s statement is supremely evident in the plight of the Hindus. They are not free to go to their temples as they have been will fully destroyed. They are not equal citizens of one state but victims of a religious apartheid. They live in a state of perpetual dread with their daughters, property and religious places being constantly targeted.
Despite hearing such plights of Pakistani Hindus the Indian government is challenging the sentiments of Pakistan Hindus who are struggling for citizenship. The Indian government needs to do more. India’s responsibility towards the Hindus of Pakistan is not a matter of gratis, it is a political and legal obligation. The situation is worse or so called same in Bangladesh where the Hindu’s are in minority and there are considerable high number of restrictions on their culture and lifestyle. Statistics prove that there are limited options with the minority Hindu in Bangladesh as the Bangladeshi Hindus are forced to convert their religion to Islam else they are chucked off . The plight of minority Hindus is quite terrifying.
It’s ironical that the government is providing immediate citizenship to Bangladeshi infiltrators but refusing same to Pakistani Hindus. Any infiltrator from Bangladesh should be pushed back to Bangladesh and any Hindu from Bangladesh has been persecuted and is a refugee. They should be given Indian citizenship. About 50,000 Hindus have come from Bangladesh who should be given permanent citizenship here and all Hindus should be ensured of food, education, health and employment .Infiltration is a national issue and not isolated in Bengal alone. Along with Bengal, there are about 3 crore infiltrators in Assam, Delhi and Mumbai. They are using India’s resources and employment but the Hindus are devoid of the same. Pakistani Hindus are struggling for Indian citizenship and living life of poverty with no shelter and food.
The 78 families have petitioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Union minister Dr. Harshvardhan for help. Nearly all of them arrived with visas procured for pilgrimage but now don’t want to return. The group has asked for visa extension. Their resolve to stay here is summed up by a 70-year-old who worked as a daily wager in Latifabad under what he described as “slavery-like conditions” most of his life. “We would rather die here than return,” Shobha Ram says. St Stephen’s Hospital ,Tiz Hazari has reached out to them with medical assistance, food and counselling but survival is hard.
The plight of innocent Pakistani Hindus and their struggle for Indian citizenship is very hard to satisfy and in lieu of the same I have filed a Right to Information with the Ministry of Home Affairs , Government of India to basically know what is the step Government of India is taking in the view of citizenship to Pakistani Hindus. I have asked through RTI that who will be responsible for the death due to severe cold of Pakistani Hindus as they are left near river Yamuna without shelter and food.
In recent years, there have been a string of attacks on Hindus , the alleged forcible conversion and kidnapping of Rinkle Kumari, which sparked global outrage. It’s shocking that the government of the biggest democracy in the world cannot take care of few Pakistani Hindu’s. The demand of the innocent Pakistani Hindu’s for citizenship is legitimate and must be considered as a matter of urgent public importance in sake of humanity.
## Right to Information :: Registration Number: MHOME/R/2014/62998 , Dated : 17 December 2014 , Ministry of Home Affairs.