Merwah Hamid Qureshi
Gone are the days when minorities enjoyed the considerably equal rights in India. The past glory associated with democracy, secularism and liberty has been replaced by the authoritarian, saffron and Hindutva approach fostered by the contemporary government. Launching the schemes like NRC, promoting discriminatory laws like CAA, illegally occupying the lands of minorities, mob lynching them publicly, constructing Nazi styled concentration camps for them, destroying their worship places and treating them as third grade citizens have welcomed the era of BJP’s saffron terror by marking an end to the era of Nehruvian secularism. This saffron terror has not only been unleashed upon the minorities but fellow Hindus have also become the victim of RSS’ wrath. Dalits are being killed for they never mattered for the upper caste Hindus. The Indian government has not even spared the Hindus siding by the minorities; in fact they have been persecuted badly for their support towards marginalized and socially alienated factions of the society. Moreover, the Hindu migrants are being mysteriously poisoned as well.
The latest incident of poisoning of migrant family reveals that India couldn’t even provide the basic security to the migrants living there since years, let alone welcoming and securing the fresh migrants.
On 9th August 2020, 11 members of the Hindu family -migrated to India from Pakistan- have been poisoned to death. The reports show some incoherence in the facts collected from the crime scene and point towards the aspect that they had been poisoned mysteriously by someone else. The migrant family members migrated from Sindh, Pakistan to Rajasthan, India in 2015 not knowing that they’ll be murdered in cold blood. The family, however, settled there in 2015, doesn’t have the Indian citizenship. This incident somehow unveils the false and crippled security framework India has enthusiastically promised and widely advertised to be provided to the persecuted minorities, from other countries, in the form of CAA. According to CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) that has been passed in December 2019, India extends Indian citizenship to illegal migrants who are Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist, and Christian from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and who entered India before 2014 following the religious persecutions. CAA excludes persecuted Muslims from the neighboring countries. The Indian government glorified CAA as a positive step towards providing a security framework to the minorities. Sadly, the latest incident of poisoning of migrant family reveals that India couldn’t even provide the basic security to the migrants living there since years, let alone welcoming and securing the fresh migrants.
The Hindutva factions promoting xenophobic ideologies and spreading terror in the name of Hinduism have saffronized the once pluralistic and multicolored India.
The security status of minorities and migrants from neighboring countries comes in sheer question because the already settled members of majority factions are being killed in the once secular India. Furthermore, religious extremism in India seems to have been on the rise as well. USCIRF (US Commission on International Religious Freedom) in its annual report of 2020 stated, “In 2019, religious freedom conditions in India experienced a drastic turn downward, with religious minorities under increasing assault. Following the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) re-election in May, the national government used its strengthened parliamentary majority to institute national level policies violating religious freedom across India, especially for Muslims. The national government allowed violence against minorities and their houses of worship to continue with impunity, and also engaged in and tolerated hate speech and incitement to violence.” The USCIRF recommended US government to declare India as the Country of Particular Concern on the grounds of religious persecutions. It is quite evident that India doesn’t appear to be a safe place for her own minorities, let alone minorities from the neighboring countries. The Hindutva factions promoting xenophobic ideologies and spreading terror in the name of Hinduism have saffronized the once pluralistic and multicolored India. Therefore, India seems to have become a living hell for minorities and migrants. It could be anything but a safe haven for the persecuted ones.