The passage of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Lok Sabha has given hope and a lifeline to persecuted Hindus of Pakistan, who are currently living in the country as refugees.
While several Pakistani Hindu refugees staying across India have been cheering for the Citizenship Bill and thanking PM Modi and Amit Shah, the Pakistani Hindus living in Majnu Ka Tila, a refugee camp in Delhi, have particularly been ecstatic with the news. They believe that if the bill is cleared, it will help them get Indian citizenship and end their life in exile.
Hoping to now get the Indian citizenship after the long struggle, the Hindu refugees celebrated at Majnu Ka Tila by dancing and playing the drums. These Hindu refugees from Pakistan were so happy that a Hindu refugee family living there for the past 7 years, on Tuesday (December 10, 2019) named the daughter born to them as ‘Nagrikta (Citizenship)’. The girl’s father said – She is India’s daughter.
While the new born’s mother, Aarti said, “By getting citizenship, one will get freedom. We can do some good business. Today is the day we have been waiting for seven years”, the child’s father said that he was very happy with this bill, so he named his daughter citizenship. He hoped that now after living in India for the last 7 years they will get citizenship easily. Meanwhile, other family members said that they request to all other political parties not to oppose the bill.
When OpIndia team approached another Hindu refugee living there and asked him about the oppression he faced while living in Pakistan, he got very emotional. He said that the life of Hindu in Pakistan is miserable and that it is a punishment for Hindus to live there.
He said that Hindus are treated like garbage in Pakistan. “Here in India, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians are all brothers. India is the place where we Hindus are safe, so we have come from Pakistan to live here, said the refugee. He also requested all political parties to support the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha so that their future that of their children’s can be improved.
These Hindus from Pakistan hope that they will soon get Indian citizenship and their refugee identity will end. Most of these refugees say that the decision to leave their home in Pakistan was not easy for them. But they had no other way. These Pakistani Hindus had to leave their country due to religious discrimination and forced persecution.
On Monday, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed with a majority of 311 votes against 80 votes in Lok Sabha. It seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees who came from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014. Today, it is facing scrutiny in the Rajya Sabha.
The proposed legislation applies to those who were forced to seek shelter in India due to persecution on the ground of religion. It aims to protect such people from proceedings of illegal migration. The cut-off date for citizenship is December 31, 2014, which means the applicant should have entered India on or before that date.