The year 2019 shall always be remembered for several path braking achievements. This year has been important as it saw paradigm shifts in India, starting from the Balakote retribution to thumping victory of PM Modi to scrapping of provisions of Article 370/35A to Citizen Amendment Bill, has made this year an important one in all its historic sense. People shall remember the year 2019 for long time to come as these major decisions shall impact the Indian nation for all times to come as it resulted in shunning pessimistic India to a new Resurgent India.
Though much has been written about the other major issues however, an important step at the closing of the year is the passing of Citizen Amendment Bill. The introduction of the bill and its passing in both the houses of Parliament is a big achievement under HM Sh. Amit Shah.
The reasons for the introduction of this bill is due to the grave human rights violations happening in neighboring countries where minorities are treated as second class citizens and these hapless people are left at the servitude of Jihadi forces who under the state patronage have carried of extermination of these people. The fact of the matter is that there is no respectable place for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhist and Christians in our neighboring countries which include terror state Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The minorities in these countries are persecuted, converted and killed. Womenfolk of minority families are kidnapped and then converted whereas their parents are left with only one option to accept the fate accompli or be ready to get killed.
It was post partition that an agreement between PM Nehru and then Pakistani PM Liaquat Ali Khan was formalized to ensure the protection of minorities in their respective countries. This agreement was formalized in the backdrop of large scale rioting and violence against minorities in Pakistan including now Bangladesh by the majority community. The decision reached included;
- Refugees would be allowed to return safely and dispose of their properties.
- Women abducted and property looted would be returned.
- Minority rights would be enforced.
- Forced conversions would not be given recognition.
Though India honored the agreement in spirit but the same was violated by Pakistan where it become national duty of Pakistani’s to persecute minorities, whereas in India it become national duty of every Indian to protect and nurture their minorities. This goes without saying that in India the population of Muslims rose from 8% to 15% whereas in Pakistan the population of Hindus receded from 23% to 1.5%. Same goes for Bangladesh where minority Hindu population got reduced from 18% to 8%. This statistic makes it clear how minorities are treated in these countries’ vis a vis India. The anti Hindu mindset of Pakistani Government has largely contributed in ethnic cleansing of the Hindus in Pakistan. Demolishing of Hindu temples and other religious shrines are common practice in these three countries and these systematic plan against them have made these minorities insecure in these countries which has eventually made them flee their home and hearths. Therefore, for these persecuted minorities India is their natural choice where freedom of religion is guaranteed for every citizen. It is this backdrop, it becomes necessary to guarantee the lives of these persecuted minorities and ensure their assimilation in the Indian milieu. Same is true for minorities in Bangladesh where human right violations are been violated continuously as minorities are hacked to death and burnt alive whereas in Afghanistan less said the better. The current day Afghanistan is an epicenter of Jihadi wave and our heart bleeds when one sees the drastic slide in the Afghan history which once was the center of Hindu-Buddhist learning. Hence, the move by the central government under the leadership of PMModi is timelyand the decision is based on the principle of humanity and core values of Indian ethos.
Passing Away of Kashmiri Pandit Legends:
The year also saw passing away of community legends who with their head and heart served the Kashmiri pandit diaspora in various fields. The recent passing away of legendry Sh. M. K. Kaw has further jolted the community. Sh. Kaw was an eminent bureaucrat who in various official capacities worked for the preservation of Kashmiri language and created an opening for KP wards in various Universities across the country. Sh. Kaw was also a prolific writer and thinker. His books are the reflection of his great ideals which he lived all along his life. His valuable contribution shall be remembered by all for times to come. Naad team pays homage to this great son of Kashmiri pandit community who was a true Karma Yogi, as in him community have lost a friend, philosopher and guide.
We in Naad also take this opportunity to pay our respects to other great scholars like Dr. M.K. Teng, Dr. T.N.Ganjoo, Sh. A.N.Kaul who left us this year. I pray that the work of these selfless stalwarts inspires our youth so that they take up the community work to greater heights.
– Sunil Raina Rajanaka