The art of turning benevolence into malevolence
Sh Anurag Singh Thakur
A very secret message was broadcast from Delhi to Islamabad in early 1950. The message was sombre, yet anguished in tone. The message read, “I feel that it is urgently necessary that both Governments (India and Pakistan) should make some declaration in regard to the Bengal situation (violent attacks on Hindus). Whatever our future policy may be, the present policy must be clearly enunciated. My suggestions were that both Governments should announce publicly that they will compensate the sufferers among the minorities and take the responsibility of rehabilitating fully in their former places all those who have been rendered homeless or who have recently migrated. “
The sender was sceptical of the sincerity of the other side. So, he even proposed some penal measures, saying, “…Further that they (the governments) will make every effort to punish the guilty and for the recovery and return of looted property. A warning should be issued that those who possess such looted property should return it within a few days otherwise they will be liable to punishment.”
This message was from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to Laiquat Ali Khan, Pakistan’s first Prime Minister. While Pandit Nehru and his successors all the way up to our current Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi have honoured the commitment to protect minorities and ensure their prosperity, Pakistan definitely has broken the promise.
Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians in Pakistan have faced enormous violence, forced conversion, rape and loot in the hands of the radical elements of Pakistan. The infamous blasphemy case of Aasiya Bibi, a Christian, is well known. Aasiya Bibi was beaten by violent mob in Pakistan for drinking water from same utensils as the majority community in Pakistan. The Pakistani government, by design or default, has neglected the pleas of these communities to protect their rights.
These same communities have faced murder, rape and loot in Bangladesh and Afghanistan too. This is not to say the governments of Bangladesh and Afghanistan have remained silent. But, the radical elements are too entrenched in the society to be able to sufficiently protect the minorities in these countries. The pertinent threat of Taliban in Afghanistan is a well-known global worry. Taliban remains active in many parts of Afghanistan and frequently resorts to violence in even peaceful, government controlled localities. The infamous incident of bombing of Bamiyan Buddha by Taliban marked the era of Taliban. The once 50,000 plus booming community of Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Hindus is today less than 1000 in Afghanistan.
Tens of thousands of people from these communities have been living in India since Independence. India is the only place they call home now. Where else could they go? And yet, this country and its governments, until now, were doing injustice on these refugees by not giving them citizenship. This despite the Gandhi sultanate promising to accept these people as citizens. Many leaders of the Congress party had requested for providing citizenship such as Ashok Gehlot and Tarun Gogoi. Even Mamata Banerjee wanted these humans to be accepted as citizens of India. They were all the people who were in India since late fifties, participating in our economy and abiding by our laws. And yet, we failed them as a democratic nation.
Today, when The Narendra Modi government is providing citizenship to these people, the ‘Anarchy Brigade’ is back to business. For years, this brigade accused BJP of human rights violation here and there, without any proof. And yet, under the garb of human rights, they systematically rigged the government systems. This brigade never shied away from using Mahatma Gandhi’s name. And yet, they never accepted his preaching to allow minorities from Pakistan to India, if the minorities want to for any reason. Because they were afraid of their vote bank. However, we are duty bound for India’s constitution and Bapu’s words. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act will be written in golden words in history’s pages. This act reinforces India’s position in South Asia and the world as a mature and responsible democracy.
However, this period will also be noted for how the anarchy brigade manufactured fake news and tried putting the country on fire. First they tried spreading lies about the CAA that it will take citizenship of Indian Muslims! Such a blatant white lie from the house of Congress party is an insult to Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru. However, when the smart citizens of this country neglected it, they immediately connected it to NRC, manufacturing mischief. There has not been a single government meeting on All India NRC. Even the Assam NRC that is being talked about was decided by Rajiv Gandhi government and implemented under Supreme Court’s supervision. That such arson and violence should happen during the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev is reflective of Congress and its allies’ state of affairs.
Even as India is gearing up to become a $ 5 trillion economy, the anarchy brigade was hell bent on jamming the wheels and dip us into anarchy.
But, the common Indian citizen is very intelligent. Especially after Prime Minister’s speech in Ramlila Maidan, India is assured and will gear up to reach the skies. No amount of fake news, violent protests and arson can divert the Prime Minister and his team from taking India to greater heights. Such incidents only strengthen our resolve to work harder towards forging New India.
The writer is MoS for Finance and Corporate Affairs