12,251.65-100.7
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

View: India has a moral responsibility towards religious minorities

It is a well-documented fact by several international organisations, including the United Nations, that in the theocratic states of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, the religious minorities Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Parsis — have been persecuted for decades. The Muslims in these three countries are not persecuted on the basis of religion.

ET CONTRIBUTORS|
Dec 14, 2019, 11.00 PM IST
0Comments
ANI
1
Protestors hold placards as they stage a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019.
By Arun Anand

The latest amendment to the Citizenship Act is being wrongly projected as anti-Muslim and affecting the interest of the original residents of the Northeast.

These misconceptions have partly arisen due to a lack of understanding of the issue. Then there has been a deliberate campaign to spread disinformation on this. A look at some of the key facts related to this issue would help in doing away with such misconceptions.

First, this amendment is not aimed driving a wedge between Hindus and Muslims. This amendment is based on the historical evidence that shows dramatic reduction in the number of minorities in three of our neighbouring nations that have declared themselves as Islamic nations.

It is a well-documented fact by several international organisations, including the United Nations, that in the theocratic states of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, the religious minorities Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Parsis — have been persecuted for decades. The Muslims in these three countries are not persecuted on the basis of religion.

So when these minorities come to Bharat, which was their habitat when the country was undivided, it becomes the moral responsibility of the country to grant them relief by providing them citizenship.

Second, one must understand that according to various estimates, lakhs minorities have already moved to Bharat and have been residing here for decades. They are already part and parcel of our economic structure. Many of them have their second or third generation living here. They have jobs, houses, offices, shops and they are living like most other Indians except the fact that a sword is hanging over their heads that they could be evicted out of Bharat anytime. What this amendment does is to officially mainstream these refugees. There are not many minorities left in Pakistan or Bangladesh. So the apprehensions of a massive influx of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians from across the border are unfounded.

Third, an impression has been created that these religious minorities would come in large numbers and change the cultural and ethnic profile of the northeastern states. The fact, however, is that only six lakh of the total refugee population in 1971 settled in Assam. The Bengali-speaking Hindus who have come from across the border are largely settled in West Bengal and there is no conflict of language and ethnicity there. The largest influx of refugees, many of whom refused to go back fearing religious persecution, was in 1971.

The government of India, at that time, settled them in refugee camps across the country, including many northern states. Those who did not go back and preferred to stay back in Bharat are already settled in these states.

So there is no possibility of changing the profile of northeastern states. In fact, the threat of changing this profile is more from the nearly three million illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh.

They have been largely settled in Bengal and Assam and are gradually spreading out to the rest of the northeastern states. They have come here not seeking refuge due to religious persecution. A large number of them have Indian voter IDs, ration cards and even Aadhaar.

They are not only illegally feeding off our economy but also becoming a major threat to internal security as a section of them is hobnobbing with terror organisations.

Thus, illegal Muslim immigrants need to be identified and deported to ensure that the profile of the Northeast does not change. The National Register for Citizens will help in doing that.

(The writer is CEO of Indraprastha Vishwa Samvad Kendra and has authored two books on the RSS)
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)

Also Read

Under Imran Khan government, religious minorities remain discriminated against

Karnataka cabinet to discuss on religious minority tag to Lingayats

Religious minority communities in India felt increasingly vulnerable in 2017: US report

800k to 2 million religious minorities detained in Chinese internment camps: US

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service