Rajasthan elections: Hindus who fled Pakistan and took shelter in state remain overlooked
Jaipur, Dec 4: Even though politics in India in the age of Narendra Modi is witnessing a Hindu narrative, not all Hindus are easily accommodated in the script. A large number of people from the majority community have come over to India from Pakistan where the Hindu minorities have been targeted by the majority force but have they been incorporated into the Indian scheme of things?
According to a report in Ananda Bazar Patrika, Ramchandra Solanki had fled with his family from Mirpur Khas in Pakistan's Sindh province on a night of 2014 after a young girl from his relative circle was raped by local landlord's sons and the family was almost wiped out after the victim complained about her ordeal. Like Solanki, thousands of Hindu families have fled Pakistan in the last decade and half and taken shelter in Rajasthan across the border. Around 20,000 of these refugees live in temporary shelters in Jodhpur. Although there have been claims by the government time and again that Hindus fleeing from Pakistan and entering India will be given citizenship of this country, the process has not progressed as the refugees had expected.
In April, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said 5,000 Pakistani Hindus who are residing in Rajasthan will be given Indian citizenship but according to the ABP report, not much has been done on the matter since then. People like Solanki do not understand the complications and implications of law and governance but only that their lives will be saved if they are on the Indian territory.
According to the report, most of the Pakistani Hindus in India have come in the name of pilgrimage but stayed here to evade persecution at home where they are allegedly forced to convert into Muslims. There are social activists and NGOs who are fighting for the rights of these Pakistani Hindus and education for their children but yet things are far from being better.
Difficult to sustain in India
Apart from the citizenship issue, people like Solanki and others whose visa, too, have expired find it difficult to sustain as well. They don't get jobs easily because the local people do not trust them as they are dubbed as "Pakistan". In fact, their temporary shelters on the outskirts are referred to as "Pakistani Hindu camp" which has an essence of derogation in it.
These people have received no government aid and have to make their own shelters of leaves and buy water. They do not get any government health benefit and have to depend on expensive private healthcare services. Their children have no minimum ambience of security to grow even though they studied in schools in Pakistan. And these people require proof of citizenship to get their children admitted in schools in India, the report added.
They are also Hindus. But for Hindu India, they perhaps remain an exception.