70 Years After Partition Hindu-Sikh Exodus From Islamic Nations In Indian Subcontinent Continues, But No One Cares
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee chief Manjinder Singh Sirsa said that a fresh batch of 180 Sikh families has arrived in the capital region from Afghanistan on Thursday (3 September) on long term visas.
Sirsa informed that there has been an "exodus" of Sikh and Hindu families since the deadly attack on a Gurdwara in Afghanistan by radical Islamists that left 25 dead. A 6-year-old child was among the victims.
On 25 March this year, terrorists armed with bombs and guns attacked the Gurdwara Har Rai Sahib in Kabul. Even the funeral service next day for the slain Sikhs was disrupted by an explosive device.
In July 2018, a convoy of Sikhs and Hindus was attacked by an Islamic State suicide bomber as they were on their way to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the eastern city of Jalalabad. Nineteen people were killed in that attack, including Awtar Singh Khalsa, one of the country's best-known Sikh politicians at the time.
The small Sikh and Hindu communities in Afghanistan have reportedly made multiple appeals to the Indian government for “immediate evacuation”.
Sirsa thanked the central government, particularly home minister Amit Shah and union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal for facilitating long-term visas for these families.
The Indic communities in the subcontinent continue to silently suffer at hands of radical Islamists and bear the consequences of the Partition 1947.
Currently, Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan number around a 1,000 each. This would constitute a 99 per cent decline in three decades.
According to Sikh rights activists quoted by an India Today report, there has been a decline of about 80 per cent in Sikh, Hindu population in Pakistan in just two decades.
Hindus dwindled from 22 per cent in 1951 to 13.6 per cent in 1974, to 8.96 per cent of the Bangladeshi population today.
Compare this to India. In India, the Muslim population increased from 9.8 per cent in 1951 to around 15 per cent today.
The persecution of the Indic communities in the subcontinent is deeply embedded in its history — invasion, occupation, ethnic cleansing, genocide, forced conversions, and the 1947 Partition — and intertwined with historical hatred against polytheists, pagans and “idol-worshippers”.
But it rarely become a subject of focus of international fora, or even the Indian parliament, despite the fact that India has had to bear the burden of refugees, and that the Indian leaders like Mahatma Gandhi etc. had promised a safe haven to Indic minorities of newly formed Pakistan, “whenever they decide to come to India”.
Abhinav Prakash, a noted scholar and an Assistant Professor at the Delhi University puts it bluntly:
“It wasn't partition of India. It was Hindus losing large parts of Indian subcontinent. For the first time in history Hindus don't exist in those places. It was no solution to Hindu-Muslim problem. It was simply a defeat of Hindus in just another episode of the history.”
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