Is India’s Secular-Left-Liberal-Islamist alliance to eviscerate Hindu interests and Hinduism about to win another propaganda battle? Nearly a year after the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in December 2019 – a law to fast-track citizenship to persecuted Hindu and other minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan – there ar reports that hopes are fading among refugees who expected to benefit from its provisions.
Not only has the Supreme Court not taken up this issue for an urgent decision, but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre has not discovered the spine to notify the rules for granting citizenship. Or so it is claimed.
There are also reports that many disappointed Hindus from the neighbouring countries are packing their bags to go back to Pakistan despite the oppressive atmosphere they face there. Other Hindu refugees have expressed serious disappointment with India’s attitude to them. (Read here, here)
Caught between aggressive Islamists at home, and a Hinduphobic Left-Liberal-Islamist alliance against the CAA, not to speak of the general apathy among Hindus for their cause, India appears to be letting down Hindus once more. However, the truth probably lies elsewhere. With covid impacting travel, the movement of some Hindus who are not refugees seems to have triggered these reports.
A headline in The Economic Times, ‘Pak Refugees Head Home as Wait for Indian Citizenship Lets Longer’, indicates that slow movement on CAA is the problem. But the real story is the liberal betrayal of a genuine Hindu cause. It takes a lot of courage for a Hindu refugee to give up his home and property in Pakistan in order to move to India just to protect his faith and shield his family from the conversion mafia and indignities inflicted on them back home.
But instead of a friendly reception, he has found the same set of Hinduphobes taking to the streets and threatening him and his family once again. The Indian state appears to be watching helplessly, and ordinary Hindus are apathetic enough to look the other way.
India’s sham secularism, sham liberalism, stands exposed once again. The hypocrisy stands doubly exposed, for the same people who opposed the CAA as anti-Indian Muslim now suggest that the failure to make rules under the law is somehow letting down those it is intended to help.
Last December, just as the Hinduphobic anti-CAA agitation and riots gathered steam, one “secular” media house managed to find a Pakistani Hindu who not only despised India, but extolled the virtues of Pakistan. A Pakistani businessman called Ravi Kumar, whom Quint met on a flight, is quoted as saying this:
Firstly, our life in Pakistan is not miserable. We are very much a part of the mainstream. I am a Pakistani at heart. Secondly, India is the last place I would like to migrate to. I have been to Bombay thrice — to source rice for West Africa — as Pakistan did not have enough surplus for export. All three times it has been a dreadful experience. Right from the time you land, you are questioned and hounded as if you are a terrorist. I had to report to the police station every day. And all that the authorities did was to pick my pockets. I spent most of my time waiting at police stations than at business meetings. I don’t like the undignified way I am treated in India. Now I am on my way to source rice from Thailand — over-flying India.
Clearly, a Hindu Quisling in Pakistan can profit from his identity as long as he does not aspire for equal political rights, but the real issue is what he pointed out about India: our negative attitudes to businessmen, and total lack of empathy for our Hindu brethren from Pakistan or Bangladesh.
Liberals and secularists – almost all of them Hindus – have done more damage to Hinduism than what even an evil Islamist state like Pakistan, or an inhospitable one like Bangladesh, have not been able to do.
The Hindu liberal clearly is a self-loathing individual, whose secularism is about allying with those who will harm Hinduism.
Ask yourself and you will find the answer:
Which liberal has ever fought for a genuinely Hindu cause which does not affect anyone else negatively?
Which secular liberal has ever fought to free temples from state control? Not one.
Which liberal or secular intellectual ever fought for equal laws for all communities, as against special laws for minorities?
Which liberal ever opposed the provisions of the Right to Education Act which exclude some minority-run institutions from its ambit?
Which liberal fought against the ethnic cleansing of Hindus from Kashmir without equivocation?
Five years ago, columnist Swaminathan Aiyar mentioned the ethnic cleansing, but bracketed it with the ethnic cleansings of Muslims at the time of Partition, as if what happened before India got independence in 1947, when Kashmir had yet to accede to India, is somehow comparable to what happens in India today. This is false equivalence, and a deliberate attempt to balance mention of the anti-Pandit violence by saying Hindus did it to Muslims too. Whataboutery, which is apparently wrong if Hindus resort to it, is fine for secular liberals.
Which liberal, who is willing to fight for the rights of Rohingyas in India, ever fought for the same rights for Hindu refugees from Pakistan or Bangladesh?
Apparently, if you must let persecuted Hindus in, all Rohingyas and Muslims must be equally entitled to do so. This is like saying that if America lets persecuted Jews into their country during the time of the Holocaust, other Germans, including Nazis, must also be let in on the same terms. The persecutor must be given equal status with the persecutee.
Which liberal opposed the creation of minorities ministries and special privileges to minorities in India, but didn’t speak one word to ask for the same for Hindu minorities in seven states where they are indeed minorities? Which liberal stood up for equal rights instead of minority rights?
Which liberal believes that a community with 200 million followers cannot be called a minority by any stretch of imagination?
India’s liberals are bigoted Hinduphobes. They now make Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra the only logical option for Hindus. Secularism is dead. Liberalism is in tatters and anyway not what it claims to be.
It is time to bury liberalism and cremate secularism if Hinduism has to live on in India.
(Note: This is a slightly modified version of an article published earlier. Here, we have removed the presumption that reports about disillusionment among Pakistani Hindus are essentially correct. The delays in making rules under CAA may be due to covid-related disruptions).
Jagannathan is Editorial Director, Swarajya. He tweets at @TheJaggi.
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