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Citizenship bill is a triumph of the idea of India

December 12, 2019 19:35 IST
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'This bill is for the children of Partition who are still subject to inhuman barbarism because they profess a faith rooted in India.'
'If India fails them, we shall be no better than a Pakistan which brutalises its minorities and has turned into a factory of intolerant bigots,' says former BJP MP Tarun Vijay.

IMAGE: Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the Bharatiya Janata Party's student wing, at a rally in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Guwahati on December 7, 2019. Photograph: ANI Photo

If government legislative bills could have a face, the Citizenship Amendment Bill will be called the Buddha of our times.

It defeats all nefarious, communally-poisoned ideas of divisiveness represented in the early 1940s by Mohammad Ali Jinnah. And it literally lives every single line enshrined in the Preamble of our Constitution.

The idea of India that gave shelter to all the persecuted of the world, whether they were Parsis or Jews, and never ever asked them to convert but gave them equality and respect, was brutally savaged in 1947 when a large number of those who had never wanted Partition became its victims and were forcibly converted in Pakistan.

Those who refused to convert discovered how atrocious it is to live as Hindus, Sikhs or Christians in the land of intolerant Islamists.

It was quite revealing to hear Opposition leader after leader in Parliament opposing the bill, but none, absolutely none, had a word to say about the miseries and pains of suffering Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

All that matters to the Opposition is to be insensitive towards Hindus because it is politically beneficial for them to take up the cause of the Muslim vote bank.

The bill does not stop any religious person from any country on this planet to seek asylum or shelter in India. The doors for them, Muslims or any other sect, remain open through Constitutional means. There are innumerable instances of people from all religious streams coming to India and choosing to stay here.

No one stops them. No one will ever stop them. India will remain the best place to live for those who love pluralism and democratic values.

This bill is for the children of Partition who are still subject to inhuman barbarism because they profess a faith rooted in India.

If India fails them, we shall be no better than a Pakistan which brutalises its minorities and has turned into a factory of intolerant bigots.

There never was a time when in the last millennium Hindus were not attacked just for being Hindus and subjected to torturous humiliation.

From Goa's inquisition to the selling of Hindu men and women in Iraq's slave market by Muslim conquerors and even recently, forcing them to leave their homes and orchards in the Kashmir valley by jihadists -- it is they who not only suffer the contempt of the Islamists for being practising Hindus, but are mocked at for raising their voice to seek help.

For Hindus and Sikhs, there is no other homeland in the world except Hindustan.

Wherever they might live, wherever they would have their workplace, whatever colour of the passports they possess, India remains their motherland forever.

Whenever they are in trouble, like children look at their mother, India has been its religious adherents's assured home.

Partition in 1947 was a big jolt to the idea of India when Jinnah declared in Calcutta in 1946, 'We have a pistol and we know how to use it', unleashing a brutal massacre of Hindus that was the final step towards the vivisection of our motherland.

Then on, year after year, the Hindu population in Pakistan and now in Bangladesh has been continuously decreasing at an alarming rate. 

In Pakistan from 13% to 1% and less, and in Bangladesh from 22% in 1947 to 8% currently.

Hindus did not demand Partition, Muslims demanded and got it. Hindus and Sikhs paid a huge price to accept the vivisection of their motherland. Now is the time when India must open her doors to them, to save their honour and lives.

Sardar Patel spoke about providing succour and security to Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan. Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee resigned from the Nehru Cabinet after accusing him of being insensitive to Hindus in Pakistan.

Lieutenant General J F R Jacob, one of the heroes of the Bangladesh liberation war, wrote that the mistake then prime minister Indira Gandhi made while signing the Dacca peace accord was a failure to secure a guarantee for Hindus's safety in the new nation.

Dr Manmohan Singh spoke in Parliament about having a special provision to provide shelter to minorities in Pakistan. The sentiments of the people of India across party lines have been to help the unfortunate children of Partition who have been suffering for following their faith and are intrinsically the children of an undivided Bharat.

There is no land except Bharatvarsh that is like a mother to them.

If we fail in our duty to help them and provide shelter with the respect and love that they deserve, we will become like Jinnah's hate land.

Generation after generation of Indians will never forget the courage and firmness shown by Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi and Home Minister Amit Anilchandra Shah to introduce the bill.

After centuries of subjugation, here is the first government that is speaking up for the rights of persecuted Hindus without harming any other people.

We shall never be able to repay the debt to these two warriors for their great service to the idea of India.

Tarun Vijay, former member of the Rajya Sabha, was the chief editor of the RSS weekly, Panchjanya, for 20 years. He can be contacted at

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