Sheila Dikshit : Women of Substance ”The Sheila’s Regime and the Transforming Delhi ” By : Himadrish Suwan

“Our work speaks for itself. When people look around, they can see the good work I have done in Delhi” ~Sheila Dikshit

The “15 years” of the Congress rule in Delhi was “HISTORIC” .  A teacher before she plunged into politics by default , the longest serving woman chief minister and the women of substance .  In the last 15 years the entire look of the capital has changed. Delhi is now counted in the category of one of the best cities in the world. Delhi is a never resting city of the world with diversity of languages, ethnicities, culture, and heritage and most importantly the tourist attraction. It is called the city of ranges.  Especially the last 15 years, Delhi has transformed completely.

Dikshit’s  development oriented & statesman like approach is the reason what is Delhi today. Ever since Sheila Dixit  became the Chief Minister, the state of Delhi witnessed tremendous development in varied fields. Be it sprawling bridges, well-connected Metro line or the stupendous performance in the recently over Commonwealth Games, the city has transformed into a global hub under the wise leadership of the iron lady. The metro rail has been a unique achievement of the Shiela Dikshit government. It’s  a fact that the idea  and the concept of metro  was of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee led NDA  government .However the way it was carried forward by the Sheila Dikshit government and administration once again attests to the CM’s foresight. The fact is that she understood that metro is the need of the hour for Delhi and at present almost the whole of the Delhi is well connected by metro rail .

Delhi’s transformation and growth is visible be it ‘World Class’ Infrastructure or  Strong  State Economy. (Airport, Highways  & Roads, Economic Growth exceeding  10% p.a. for last 5 years), Efficiently Managed State budgets  (Revenue Surplus). Delhi had the best managed fiscal across all states with Highest Per-capita  Income in the Country, Significant Improvement in Health, Water & Sanitation. Special Focus on Girl Child & Education, Substantial Improvement in Healthcare  (Doubled Hospitals to 38 and 5x increase in  Ambulances, Created Significant Power Capacities  (Peak Capacity doubled to 5600MW with  24×7 Power supply).

The historic years of good governance by the Sheila government will always be part of the history as government may come and go but the Sheila Dikshit’s 15 years of good governance will always be alive. Women of substance lost the battle not because of the local issue’s but because of the national issues and the parties national image. The mood at the Delhi Congress office and lack of visible support from the party men was an indication that the party was not expecting a fourth term for  Dikshit. In all fairness, it is difficult for any party to overcome anti-incumbency of three terms, but what made the task even tougher was that the party was facing double anti-incumbency owing to the nearly 10 years of UPA government. Undoubtedly, Delhi has transformed itself into a global hub under the leadership of the iron lady.

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Uniform Civil Code : Need of Hour Right time for India to Implement a Uniform Civil Code after more than 68 years of Independence By : Himadrish Suwan

It is melancholy that in our country we connect every roots with roots of religion. We often speak of implementing the Indian Constitution within the Indian territory & we often reiterate that we believe in Supremacy of the Constitution then how it is that the Uniform Civil Code has still not be formed when the Indian Constitution itself demands it. Article 44 of the Constitution of India reads: ‘The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India’. Its in our directive principles unfortunately we are ready to adopt other directive principle’s, but why can’t we adopt a UCC. We can adopt Right to Work, we can adopt Right to Sleep ,we can adopt Right to Education, we can adopt Right to Food and most probably we will be adopting Right to Health irrespective of Cast , Creed , Sex or Place of birth then why can’t we adopt a simple and a must needed Right a Right to equal laws.

The cases of Shah Bano Begum and Sarla Mudgal , expose the domination of religion over a community be it Muslim or Christian or any other minority group. It is a tyranny of the minority over majority. The unity of India would be at stake if religion is allowed to tighten its grip over Indian society. We have been a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and the State has no religion; it favours none and is a foe to none. Humanism is our creed and a Common Law for all Indian is our ideal. We believe and subscribe to rule of law and it is only a Common Civil Code that would help establish the rule of law. It is the panacea for all our ills. I strongly believe that there cannot be gender equality till such time India adopts a uniform civil code, which protects the rights of all women and yes this is the “actual time when India must implement a Uniform Civil Code”.

The claim that the sentiments of the minorities are not considered while implementing a common law is thus beyond comprehension. UCC does not insist people from one religion to start practicing rituals of other religions. The best, and the most strong reason to get this up and running should be the fact that we get rid of all gender discriminating laws, and send a blow to the patriarchal nature of our society.

Until 1947 both India and Pakistan had governed Muslims under the Shariat Act of 1937. However, by 1961 Pakistan, a Muslim country, had actually reformed its Muslim Law According to the constitution of India, it has been said in our directive principles and the Supreme Court has said three times to form a Common Civil Code but still we have not yet initiated a process in favour of UCC. In  developed countries of the world, there does not exists two laws for two different communities. When others can have it , why cant we. If Muslim countries can reform Muslim Personal Law, and if western democracies have fully secular systems, then why are Indian Muslims living under laws passed in the 1930s. It can be seen that much of the Muslim personal law is totally outdated and inhuman, but it is not allowed to be changed due to vote bank politics.

I submit that those who have not allowed changes in the Muslim personal law have done a great disservice to Muslims. Retaining the outdated personal law has contributed to keeping Muslims backward.

Let us focus on individual issues on the basis the women of these minority communities suffer let us start about the policy of Triple Talaq. The injustice in Muslim Law can be seen in the fact that a Muslim husband can divorce his wife by simply saying ‘Talaq, Talaq, Talaq’, without ascribing any reason, whereas a Muslim wife cannot do so. Is this Rational. It means that if a men even write on a wall talaq talaq talaq its Talaq,now I have heard the modified version of Talaq- Talaq through SMS. Is this with contrast to what we often says “India where Women are worshipped” . The Next, The Muslim husband need not give any ground for divorce, he can divorce his wife whimsically or merely because he has lost interest in her, whereas a Muslim wife has to plead some ground for divorce mentioned in section 2 of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, and she has to produce witnesses or documentary evidence in support of that ground, and prove it. This is not only very unjust to the wife; it is also violation of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution. Next, the Quran rules out that Husbands are a degree above their wives. A male gets a double share of the inheritance over that of a female. A woman’s testimony counts half of a man’s testimony.  Slave-girls are sexual property for their male owners. A man may be polygamous with up to four wives,  Husbands may hit their wives even if the husbands merely fear highhandedness in their wives (quite apart from whether they actually are highhanded—as if domestic violence in any form is acceptable). Mature men are allowed to marry prepubescent girls. This is what  to be followed in the 21st Century, If yes then that’s the reason India is still struggling  to be so called  a “ Developed Nation” .

The main reason behind the miserable state of our innocent minorities is the absence of Uniform Civil Code  as there is no modernisation of their personal law, as  An archaic law cant apply in 21st century .Its not just my opinion ,Maulana Maududi founder of Jamet-E-Islam a part of muslim law board in his book he says the right of women law known a mohameden law is very different from Shariat .It has immensely damaged the civil life of women and he further says the muslim law practiced today  is itself a problem.

It may be tough to predict the future of this code but the time has come to revisit this important but long delayed issue now for the sake of national unity. One should not be surprised if there is an overwhelming support for a uniform code from the minority community and particularly from the women. It’s a bold step which the Present NDA government led under the leadership of Narendra Modi has taken that they are ready for the debate at-least as others have just made fools of minorities and I submit that those who have not allowed changes in the Muslim personal law have done a great disservice to Muslims and the Minority group should support the move in favour of a Code to Unite India,it will benefit each and every Indian atlast .

“India Needs Modi than Modi Needing India” Narendra Modi : India’s Reformer in Chief By : Himadrish Suwan Himadrish Suwan is University of Delhi Student and the youngest recipient of the International Association of Educators for World Peace Global Award for Media & Information Activism 2014 (affiliated to United Nations ECOSOC,UNICEF, DPI).

No politician in India has been tainted in such a unabated manner and no one has withstood it with much pliability and audacity as him .Started with unfortunate 2002 Godhra incident where the Charges against Narendra Modi were baseless and entire false propaganda was planted to defame the then Chief Minister  and incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi  .The opponents aimed at converting falsehood into belief among the general population and influential intellectuals. As the old saying stands ‘’Truth alone triumphs,not falsehood’’.Today, the lid over the entire planned conspiracy has blown, and  IPS Sanjiv Bhatt and Teesta have been exposed. His dark patch started with the unfortunate 2002 incident which was a well planned conspiracy by the centre to create fear among the Muslims against the gladiator which is still evident. The unfortunate planned riots were followed by the state elections the results of which made the psephologists run for cover. Narendra Modi’s name is already etched in the books of Gujarat history, and will always be remembered for his glorious developmental vision and execution. Plaudits to him!!

A common man has risen from amongst us in form of Narendra Modi , the reformer in chief  . Modi’s journey from a tea seller to the Prime Minister has been one of struggle, dedication, determination, hard work and perseverance. An average Indian finds his own reflection in the struggle of Modi. All my life I have heard the uber  famous line “Iss desh ka kuch nahi ho sakta” and after all I have seen one man just like you and me who is a hope for 1.2 billion Indian’s. He has laid out an ambitious vision to reduce corruption , poverty, improve education, empower women and girls and unleash India’s true  potential with  ‘’Ache Din’’ ahead. He believes that inept governance is responsible for all the perils in the society and the solution to all the perils is ‘Development’. He is unusual ,he has garnered support cutting across the traditional vote banks politics. He may be criticised by his opponents but one must remember no stones are thrown on a fruitless tree . India needs Narendra Modi more than Modi needing Delhi. He is a hope, he is an aspiration, he has committed himself, he has strong convictions, he is resilient, and he has the right intent. A well deserved recognition by the U.S President. As the saying goes great men think alike and this is what Mr Obama’s comment on Modi indicates. Modi and Obama think alike and welfare of people anywhere dominates their thoughts.
The Bharatiya Janata Party won the 16th general election by tapping the aspirations of  India, the mandate signifies the aspirations of the common mass . After winning a majority on its own, the BJP, in its first policy statement -the Union budget, initiated a step to reboot the Indian economy in order to attain “acchhe din”(good days). Well, the reformer in chief  is aware of the high expectations of 1.25 cr. Indians. Modi has won muslim heart by presenting them the real meaning of Hindutva earlier the opponent criticised Modi in the name of Hindutva and illiterate and semi-literate voters were grabbed in the vicious circle of rumours. It is melancholy that in our country we connect every roots with roots of religion without having knowledge of religion and its true identity. Narendra Modi’s USP is his integrity and nobility. The incumbent Prime Minister is known for his penchant for hard work.. A lover of traditional music and a devotee of Lord Mahadev, he will face the biggest challenge of re-modifying India with his unshakable USP.

Narendra Modi has lived up to his name, Nar + endra = Leader of Men (Sanskrit). The lion eats last, the man who laughs last laughs best. Opposition’s, media, anarchists, have had their hyena time. Now its the lion’s turn. The Modi’s good governance process seems to be running in momentum. 100 days is not enough to judge a government but it’s enough time to understand and predict its future. The Chief reformer and his team looks sanguine to consummate those hopes and aspirations. In the hindmost 100 days  the control and administration has moved from an epoch of policy  immobility  to an epoch of policy primacy. The Narendra Modi’s ambitious projects such as Jan Dhan Yojana , Beti Padhao : Beti Bachao , Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan ,Smart Cities, Disbanding planning commission , weeding out archaic law are utterly a stride towards cognizance of the Modi’s India-the India 1.25 cr reckon upon.

The Modi’s  foreign stratagem appears geared to reinvent India as a more merciless , reliant  and taut nation. No suspicion he has shove India as the “biggest opportunity” for both business investment and career-building in the current global economy. Plaudits to him and his zeal.   He has consummate astounding blooming and economic growth and at the same juncture invigorated societal inclusiveness. Even as the relentless and pervasive hate campaign against him has continued unabated in the past he has toiled hard to regain the confidence of the minorities. Indian faction is now admired all around the sphere and time has changed promptly. Now the World is seeing India with immense craving and buoyancy. The rings of change are swift moving! From expeditious  resolution moulding to tactile exertion on the deck level, from ameliorated output to India’s stature on the world stage increasing. India is truly undergoing phenomenal metamorphosis! Narendra Modi’s startling triumph gives India its peerless odds ever of opulence.

Plaudits to him and his zeal.

Land acquisition bill debate: Why the ‘prestige war’? Land Bill, A step in right direction. By : Himadrish Suwan

In 1841 ,the  British Prime Minister Lord Derby said in the House of Commons “The duty of an opposition is very simple; to oppose everything and propose nothing. This holds true in today’s political situation .The Bengal Resolution of 1824 was the first such land acquisition legislation enacted  by the British government  and in later years the politics of Land has continued in swing  with  different government’s at the centre the bill has continuously  reformed and modified  in accordance with the economic roadmap planned by the incumbent government at the centre. In 2013 the UPA –II government enacted the so called historic legislation which was termed “pro- farmers” and the Bhartiya Janata Party supported the UPA government legislation.

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency bill has kicked up a storm. Being dynamic is paramount for long term survival. Now ,the Modi  government is keen to make amendment to the bill for realization of pet project “Make In India” which will attract foreign investors and in a way reform the Indian economy. According to an HSBC Global Research around a third of the top 100 stalled projects which make up around 93% of all stalled projects in the CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy) records are stuck due to land acquisition issues. According to the ministry of finance estimates that the stock of these stalled projects amounts to Rs.18 trillion and that more than half of these are from the infrastructure sector. Thus the NDA government will have to find a middle ground where the farmers have a regular source of livelihood and share in good governance.

Through the populist and so called “pro-farmer”  UPA II legislation ,the UPA government went on pursuing farmers but the general elections verdict proved that it did not impress the farmers , at last “ Ye Public hai sab jaanti hai” . People were fed up with policy paralysis , in-efficient governance , acute corruption and unemployment. Hence, because of societal inclusiveness  and development people voted for the BJP government . For development Manufacturing and infrastructure are some of the ways forward and that demand land.

The new legislation  therefore, provides for a job to landless labourers in not to the farm labourers as  most of them are who earn a pittance. MGNREGA has become popular and the new government continues to support it. Therefore, to say that the government is pro-capitalists and not pro-farmer is patently imprecise. The most urgent reform needed today for the  growth and development is the fresh amendments  as development cannot proceed without it and no industrialisation can proceed . Superpower China follows the 1999 enacted  land acquisition law which allows it to take any land without approval from the owner and the result of which is quite evident. At present around 49% of Indian population is involved in agriculture and hence often its termed as “Agrarian Economy” and in return it contributes to only 13.7% of India’s total GDP.
India is contemplated to have a sturdy economy but inert India is lingering far behind its competitors .The problem is quite clear. In India the government is on the whims of their coalition partners and opposition and this has led to acute policy paralysis in recent years. Political decisiveness has a major effect on the economy of the country. For example If China wants to build a rail network, it will find  way through forest and villages in its course but In India, any projects faces a number of impediments like land acquisition, stringent labour laws, hoards of regulation by the environmental ministry and red tapism. This has led to adverse business environment in the country well reflected in the ‘ease of doing business’ index by World Bank placing India at a rank of 134, a well below china having a rank of 96.

The Congress mega  Kisaan rally proclaiming the new ordinance of being anti-farmer but they should know that the UPA II Land Acquisition Act which the present government is trying to amend in fact failed  virtually across the spectrum. Industry was extremely disappointed and interestingly  Congress Chief Ministers written to then Prime Minister  of India Dr.Manmohan Singh, complaining  that it was unfair to people and development . In fact , the Congress should answer that do they have any alternative model of governance which can reboot Indian economy .

The main utility of the Land Acquisition bill is that it guarantees neutrality and fair dealing with farmers as clear norms on the process of acquiring land and rule for compensation packages will ensure that the process of land acquisition is transparent. The existing Act kept 13 most frequently used acts for Land Acquisition for Central Government Projects out of the purview. These acts are applicable for national highways, metro rail, atomic energy projects, electricity related projects, etc. The present amendments bring all those exempted from the 13 acts under the purview of this Act for the purpose of compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement. Therefore, the amendment benefits farmers and affected families in a larger context. Second, the proposed changes in the Land Acquisition Act would allow a fast track process for defence and defence production, rural infrastructure including electrification, affordable housing, industrial corridors and infrastructure projects including projects taken up under Public Private Partnership mode where ownership of the land continues to be vested with the government. Third , As per the changes brought in the Ordinance, multi-crop irrigated land can also be acquired for purposes like national security, defence, rural infrastructure including electrification, industrial corridors and building social infrastructure.

The new Land Acquisition Bill promises four times the market price of the land(4X) ; Job to family who gives up land ; 1/5th of developed land to be returned back to the farmers . According to an estimate around 30 crore landless people will get employment in the industrial corridors following amendments to the land acquisition bill. It’s a need of hour to have a balanced approach. Justice to the land owner is must and one cannot be done at the cost of the other.  The Opposition and other agitators are creating confusion for their own personal reasons. Land Acquisition Bill is a such law that is going to change the outlook of India in near future. Ever since the Modi government came to power, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been potently propagandizing  for  his pet project ‘Make in India’  which aims to boost the domestic economy which is the need of hour. Now, the challenge with the land acquisition bill is to balance the benefit to farmers with the cost to industry and hence a balanced approach is must.

The Problem and Plight of Residents of Unauthorised Colonies in Delhi

The issue of unauthorised colonies has always been a part of the manifestos of different political parties and organisations at the time of Delhi vidhansabha elections. But in fact the issue of unauthorised colonies are only raised during elections for mere vote bank politics and nothing after that. Whether it was under the BJP led Sahab Singh Verma rule or 15 years of congress led Sheila dikhsit rule the issue of unauthorised colonies were only meant for manifestos. It’s very unfortunate that the residents of unauthorised colonies have been subject of vote bank politics for years which in fact is a negative side of Indian democracy. The residents have been fooled for long but now the residents they themselves are aware of the situation.

I myself live in Paryavaran Complex(Near Sainik Farm,Pin :110030)which is an unauthorised colony and at the time of every  elections the representatives of different political parties or their affiliated wings would approach us and request for votes. The question rises are we only meant for mere vote bank politics .We have been fooled for decades having expectations from different parties but all have just used us as tool of mere negative politics. It is quite interesting to see that when the elections approaches every political party whose party is in the centre talks about getting an ordinance or a bill to regularise unauthorised colonies. Whether  its BJP  or Congress  both have played the game with the residents of unauthorised colonies. Here , the question rises whether there is anyone serious for the residents of unauthorised colonies or the people will suffer for a decade more in hunt for a solution.

Unauthorised colonies have one of the largest share/sector in corruption. In unauthorised colonies construction is illegal as per law established but ironically one has to pay heavy amount even if he is renovating his/her own owned house. The BJP led Municipal Corporation of Delhi(MCD) through its agents collect heavy amount even if one renovates his or her own house/property leave the professional builders aside. For every floor the MCD charges around lakhs  irrespective whether a builder is involved or  the owner himself or herself.  Moreover, the virus of  corruption in unauthorised colonies have spread to a great extent. The MCD agents for the sake of their duty come and demolish structures of the building under-construction .Its more painful when the builders are left out and the common man who is the owner of property is subjected . The question rises here that , do we have two laws in our country one for the “Seths” and other for “Aam aadmi” . The same MCD agents who demolish the building of the owners and let the builders building go off,  gets hefty amount from the builders. In all  the sufferer is the “Aam Aadmi”  the law is different for them. This all chain and share of corruption is executed with the help of MCD agents and Builders. The builders pay heavy amount to not destroy their property in order the MCD demolishes the self owned property where the builders have zero involvement. Its ironical that if you are renovating or constructing your building with a builders involvement the probability of MCD or DDA interference is less than  one percent but on the same hand if you yourself is constructing the building then the probability rate in ninety nine percent. Our Prime Minister talks about corruption free India but he should be aware that BJP led MCD has one of the largest share in corruption. The time is to act and not to frame policies.

During the MCD demolition drive the owners are full of fear because every time there property is subject to demolition .  I had conversation with few residents of Paryavaran Complex and what they said was legitimate. Amitabh Chiranjeev , a owner himself in Paryavaran Complex says “ I am reconstructing my own house again but then also my property is subject to demolition and also I have to pay hefty amounts to agents. Its two years now my building is under construction as on a regular basis they come and demolish the property”. Another resident Nisha Sinha said that” The police always threat us during demolition drive that we should come out from the under construct property else we will file an FIR so what’s the point of living , don’t we even have right to life ”. Similarly Dr.Kameshwar Sahay  a retired doctor he says that” 15 years  back I purchased  property in paryavaran complex but now when my property is at its last stage due to damaged walls and pillars , I am unable to reconstruct my own property as I don’t have so much money to spend on agents ”. It’s a fact that the plight of the residents of unauthorised colonies are legitimate and the administration should act accordingly in a more transparent way , as “every problem has a solution”.

The residents of unauthorised colonies pay on a regular basis their property tax, water bill , electricity bill , government owned telephone bill but then also the residents are denied of basic amenities . The Problem and Plight of Residents of Unauthorised Colonies in Delhi is legitimate and it’s a need of hour that the government should act now and stop fooling the residents just because of mere vote bank politics. At last “ye public hai, ye sab jaanti hai.”

Achchhe Din haven’t arrived for youth High Expectations from Union Budget….

Achchhe Din haven’t arrived for youth

High Expectations from Union Budget…..

Himadrish Suwan

Himadrish Suwan is University of Delhi Student and the youngest recipient of the International Association of Educators for World Peace Global Award for Media & Information Activism 2014 (affiliated to United Nations ECOSOC,UNICEF, DPI).

The Bharatiya Janata Party won the 16th general election by tapping the aspirations of young India. After winning a majority on its own, the BJP, in its first policy statement,- the Union budget, initiated a step to reboot the Indian economy in order to attain “acchhe din”(good days). The expectations were high, with the “aam aadmi” eagerly looking for “achchhe” announcements. But the budget in-fact proved to be a more of a ‘corporate’ budget, with nothing for the common man.

India is the 3rd largest economy after the U.S and china and by 2020 will become the youngest country with an average age of 29 years, 64% of Indian population will be in the working class age group. This demographic potential offers India and its economy an unprecedented edge.

India is day by day becoming young and is having world’s largest 0-6 age group which will count to India’s youth making it world’s youngest nation in near future. As every homo-sapiens have problems, dreams and desires this young India too has his own desires and dreams. Today’s youth first want to fulfil their own needs and then only they are willing to support certain causes, as an age old saying goes “nothing is enjoyable with an empty stomach”. With change in the society and the new economic policies of liberalization, globalization, privatization, Indian way of living is undergoing a rapid change, every individual wants his own space in the society, social status, and a life of luxury. This young India don’t want a jobless growth but what it wants is a growth in GDP with growth in employment opportunities.

But it is irony that in a country like India where a girl who can top world’s most difficult examination (Indian Administrative Services) is also writing a bank clerk examination simultaneously, showing the high level of job insecurity in Indian youth. Though on a verge of becoming world’s youngest nation India’s growth rate is not up to the expected levels, even though the prolonged and continuous planning by government we have not yet been a developed nation despite all the ability and resources. According to a report published by IRIS Foundation collaboration with united nation habitat about the state of urban youth in India reported that one fifth of the Indian urban population lives on less than a dollar a day.

The income level in the cities may appear to be higher but the cost of living is also increasing constantly resulting in shrinking savings, inadequate access to healthcare and lack of quality education. Maternal mortality remains the top cause for the death of young women in India. Half of the urban women are anaemic pointing to inadequate food and nutrition. The unequal access to opportunity and lack of emphasis on education remains a persistent problem. An urban area has 93% more chances of acquiring training than in rural India. They acquire much needed exposure to the world, but a major problem in the development of India as a super power is that it’s not able to provide employment opportunities to its much talented youth and thus they have to look west for employment.

If the economy is to grow robustly, the apprehension that it could take a toll on the environment in the way goods are created and the way they are used .I hope that in this budget or in the subsequent one, the finance minister will bring in this aspect as to how we protect our environment as we grow, because ultimately it’s supposed to be about quality of life. The present divide between the haves and the have-nots is going to increase, so unless you provide basic employment to the masses of India, and learn from examples like China, where everything co-exists, this is what the Finance Minister should look at in the upcoming budget. Indian youth is full of desires and ambitions, is highly productive and will make India a superpower provided if government is able to sufficiently utilize their potential by providing them better opportunity, job security, infrastructure, better environment to work, motivation and sense of pride.

Well, Jaitley is aware of the high expectations. He quoted after the 2014 union budget “I don’t think I should be satisfied. We have to take India back to growth rate of 8 to 9 per cent”.

Pakistani Hindus’ Plight: Struggle for Citizenship Struggle for “GharWapsi”

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.

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