Life worse than death for Hindus in Pakistan-III

Life worse than death for Hindus in Pakistan-III

By Pramod Kumar

The Government of India might have shown reluctance to grant asylum to the agonised Pakistani Hindus living in refugee camps at Majnu Ka Tilla and Bijwasan in Delhi for the last three months, the local Hindus wholeheartedly came forward to help them. Soon after the news of their plight spread, a number of voluntary organisations, lawyers and social activists stepped in to arrange for food, sanitation and even education for them. Noted spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Guruji also met them and assured every possible help.

After decades long persecution in Pakistan these traumatised Hindus had entered India in September 2011 with no plans to go back. Though their visa has expired on October 6, 2011, they are adamant not to return. Some human rights activists also have come to their rescue. “We have moved applications for long-term visa and subsequently the Indian citizenship. They need to be granted the status of refugees immediately so that they can earn livelihood, as under visa extension nobody is allowed to work. In such cases for applying Indian citizenship it is mandatory to stay here for at least 7 years,” said senior advocate and general secretary of Human Rights Defense (India) Shri Rajesh Gogna. He pointed out that over 5000 Pakistani Hindus, presently staying in Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, Haryana and Delhi, are waiting for asylum and Indian citizenship.

“It is purely a matter of human rights and not the religious one. Protecting the Hindus living in any part of the world is the duty of Government of India. Israel had enacted a law during the forties allowing the Jews living in any part of the world to settle in Israel at any stage of life, provided one is not involved in any criminal activity. There should be a similar law for Hindus in India. If we can offer red carpet to Bangladeshi infiltrators why can’t we do it for the Pakistani Hindus who are the sufferers,” asked Shri Gopal Agrawal, vice president of the HRDI.

The refugees are overwhelmed with the support they are receiving in India. “We are surviving only because of the help from generous people here. We have food and shelter and our children too are studying. Now we need help from the Government,” said Rukma Devi (70), one of the refugees. The refugees are keen to educate their children. There are daily classes in the camps. Not only the children, but the elders are also learning Hindi and mathematics.

Many people as well as organisations including the Akshardham Temple Trust, Bharat Swabhiman Trust of Swami Ramdev, Art of Living of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Ghaziabad-based Shiv Shakti Trust of Devi Maa, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, Arya Samaj, Sewa Bharati, VHP, etc. have provided generous help. The HRDI had adopted them in the very beginning and is fighting for their cause. Recently, a delegation of the refugees met senior BJP leader Shri LK Advani who assured every possible help. They are also planning to meet the leaders of other political parties. “Our overall objective is to ensure protection and safety of the 30 lakh Hindus presently living in Pakistan. The Government of India must take concrete steps for their safety,” added Shri Gogna.


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