Pakistani Hindus Felt They Were Reborn In India | Life Of Beneficiaries From Citizenship Amendment Bill

Leela Adwani |Jun 18, 2020

Despite living on the edge, Pakistani Hindus like Solanki still feel much safer in their new home.

A man named Dharamveer Solanki who is a Hindu took the plunge and left his hometown in Hyderabad, Pakistan to India and never to return. When the train drove across the border and entered the territory of India, Solanki felt that that was the happiest moment he had ever had in his life. The story of Solanki also represents the thousands of other Pakistani Hindus or any refugee ones in India.

Pakistani Hindus
Dharamveer Solanki fled his home country, Pakistan, to move to India

According to an interview with Reuters, the man had a no-filter conversation with the journalist while sitting inside a refugee colony located in New Delhi’s outskirts. For those who are unversed, this is the shelter of hundreds of Hindus who fled the Muslim-majority country, Pakistan.

He said, “It felt as though I had been reborn.”

In fact, people like Solanki are the beneficiaries of the Citizenship Amendment Bill which was introduced last year by the Hindu nationalist government. CAB paves the way for providing Indian nationality for non-Muslim feeling persecution in their home countries Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh before 2015.

However, this issue led to widespread violent protests in many states of the nation, especially in Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura. The whole nation remained divided over the ongoing acts, the chaos, and the attacks back then. CAB protest taking place several states of the nation snowballed into bloodshed after a brutal crackdown of police towards the Jamina students who are protesting against the Act.

CAB-protest
CAB Protests took place in many parts of the nation

The law doesn’t contain Muslims and many even see the passage of the new bill as anti-Muslim. However. The long-held commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that provides the Hindu refugee refuge has attracted more and more.

Within 15 months from March 2019, the Indian home ministry received more than 16,000 applications from people from Pakistan for long-term visas. The next year, that number is predicted to skyrocket.

The flow of new immigrants has temporarily stopped as the government has to close the border to curb the Coronavirus pandemic.

Solanki continued that many remain desperate as they usually apply for a 25-day pilgrimage visa and stay until they can get Indian citizenship. He is also waiting for the day Indian government to grant him new citizenship. However, because of the coronavirus outbreak, the process has been delayed.

Pakistani-Hindus-2
Life of Pakistani Hindus in India

In fact, Solanki and maybe his Pakistani Hindus too didn’t know that there is a World Refugee Day which falls on 20 June.

Solanki said,

"The citizenship law has been passed. Our people should now get land and benefits as citizens.”

His settlement which is located in the Majnu Ka Tilla neighborhood is made of brick, cement, and wood huts. No water or electricity is supplied. There are about 600 people residing in this run-down area. Young men mainly are hawkers or laborers like Solanki.

Many Pakistani Hindus agreed that even though they had a better condition in their home country Pakistan, it didn’t make them feel safe like when in India.

>>> Related post: Indian High Commission Officials Assaulted In Pakistan Custody, Accused Of ‘Hit And Run Accident’

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