As Rishi Sunak is now set to become the first Indian-origin Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday took the opportunity to attack the central government.
The PDP chief said the UK has accepted an ethnic minority member as its PM but India is still shackled by divisive and discriminatory laws like the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Taking to Twitter, Mufti said, “Proud moment that UK will have its first Indian origin PM. While all of India rightly celebrates, it would serve us well to remember that while the UK has accepted an ethnic minority member as its PM, we are still shackled by divisive and discriminatory laws like NRC and CAA.”
Hitting out at Mufti, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) IT cell head Amit Malviya said India need not learn about diversity and inclusivity from any other country.
“India, which has had three Muslim and one Sikh President, a Sikh PM for 10 years, minorities in top judicial positions and even the armed forces, need not learn about diversity and inclusivity from any other country. But Mehbooba must walk the talk and back a Hindu for J-K’s CM,” tweeted Malviya.
On Monday, Britain’s Conservative Party announced Rishi Sunak as their leader. Thereby, Rishi Sunak is now set to become the first Asian-origin person to lead the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Rishi Sunak on Monday and said he is looking forward to working closely together on global issues.
“Warmest congratulations @RishiSunak! As you become UK PM, I look forward to working closely together on global issues and implementing Roadmap 2030. Special Diwali wishes to the ‘living bridge’ of UK Indians, as we transform our historic ties into a modern partnership,” PM Modi tweeted.
Sunak’s change in fate was triggered by the resignation of Liz Truss as PM after high-profile sackings and resignations in her Cabinet, following a heavily criticized mini-budget that left the UK pound tumbling.
Following Truss’ short stint as British prime minister, Rishi Sunak and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson were seen as frontrunners for the UK PM bid.
But Boris Johnson ruled himself out of the Conservative party leadership race despite claiming he had the required support. The former UK PM said he had come to the conclusion that “this would simply not be the right thing to do” as “you can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in Parliament.”
Sunak is born in Southampton to parents of Indian descent who migrated to Britain from East Africa. (ANI)
A Delhi Court hearing the Northeast Delhi riots of 2020 cases, recently directed to produce accused Shahrukh Pathan through video conferencing after Delhi Police said that he may escape from custody or may be attacked by rival groups.
Shahrukh Pathan had allegedly fled Delhi after registering an FIR against him at police station Jafrabad in February 2020. Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat of Karkardooma Court directed to produce Shahrukh Pathan through video conferencing after considering the grounds mentioned in the application moved by the Sub Inspector of the third battalion of Delhi armed police.
The court has directed to send the order copy to the concerned Tihar Jail Superintendent for compliance. The court passed this order on September 8, 2022.
The application requesting to produce the accused Shahrukh Pathan through video conferencing stated that he may execute again his plan to escape from custody while out of jail for production in Court.
Police also apprehended that he may be attacked by the unknown anti-group. Since the accused has been kept in the high-risk category, a large number of police personnel have to be deployed for his security. Despite this, there is a possible threat to his security.
The application said that in view of the safety and security of the accused as well as the police staff, it is prayed that he may be ordered to produce through video conferencing.
This case is connected to an FIR no. 49/2020 registered at Jafrabad. The case pertains to alleged unlawful assembly within the jurisdiction of Police Station Jafrabad, and the accused being a member of unlawful assembly along with four other associates armed with bottles, stones and pistols obstructed police officials or public servants, who were posted there to maintain law and order, in the discharge of their public functions.
The police alleged that the accused caused injuries to police personnel and gunshot injury sustained to one Rohit Shukla.
Earlier, in a separate case, the Court had framed charges against Shahrukh Pathan, who had allegedly opened fire at police personnel in February 2020 during the protest and violence against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Pathan is named as an accused in a separate case related to pointing a gun at head constable Deepak Dahiya. He was arrested on March 3, 2020, and is currently lodged in the Tihar Jail.
According to police, Pathan, after the incident in February, initially kept roaming in the national capital before slipping away to Punjab and Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli, from where he was arrested by the Crime Branch later.
In February 2020, clashes broke out in the northeast area of Delhi between the groups regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act, which led to the deaths of at least 53 people. (ANI)
Mohammed Ahmed Ansari, a lawyer in Allahabad High Court and a social worker, spells out why it is dangerous to elect leaders like Yogi Adityanath
A couple of days back, Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi was addressing a public meeting in Bulandshahr, western UP where he made a reference to his political opponents. He said: ‘10 March ke baad inki saari garmi shaant kar denge’ (Will bring all their energy down after poll results). Does this kind of foul language suit the office of a chief minister? The video clips of this speech is in public domain and widely circulated.
There are other speeches where he refers the Muslim population of his state as “those who speak abbajaan (father in Urdu)” and slyly uses 80-versus-20 slogan in an indirect reference to the national percentage of Hindus and Muslims. How can a person who is openly divisive and communal in his conduct and speeches deserve to be the head of a state?
Article 21 of the Constitution gives everyone the protection of life and personal liberty. Now see what Yogi Ji is saying through public platforms: ‘Earlier government used to give funds for kabristaan, we are building shamshan ghats.’ This is as barefaced as our chief minister can get to polarise its people.
The people of Uttar Pradesh take pride in its Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb (an inclusive ethos). In Allahabad, every year I lead a small team of volunteers to put up tents and eateries near the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna for the pilgrims who come for a holy dip at Kumbh. We celebrate each other’s festivals with equal zeal. Hardliners are not happy with this, they are always trying to create rift and tension.
There are many examples where the current ruling dispensation has tried to target Muslims. Take, for example, the National Register of Citizens. In various public speeches, BJP leaders have said that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Christians and Parsis need not worry about it, implying that only Muslims should. The message is all those who cannot find a place in the NRC would be considered refugees under the new citizenship law and get to stay in India, all except Muslims in the same position.
When protests erupted on more than 60 university campuses in India against NRC and Citizenship Amendment Act, BJP-ruled states cracked down on them with brutal violence, but none as harshly as in Uttar Pradesh. Should it come as a surprise that the maximum casualties in the protests against CAA-NRC were from Uttar Pradesh?
Yogi has often called the previous Samajwadi Party government led by Akhilesh Yadav as one of the mafia. He has also attacked Yadav for giving tickets to those with a criminal background. Please go through the list of the BJP candidates; over 100 of them have criminal cases against them. Yogi Ji himself had several criminal cases on him, including those of attempt to murder and instigating riots. He closed down all the cases after becoming the CM.
The election commission should take suo-motto cognizance of his hate speeches. If an elected chief minister is making inflammatory speeches what could you expect from others who are actively want to disturb the peace and harmony of India?
Salman Ahmad, 30, an advocate at Lucknow Civil Court, says he was amazed at the spirit of Pinjra Tod activists on their release from jail. Khan sees similar resolve in anti-CAA women activists of Lucknow
I am so happy that finally Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha have been released on bail. It was an uphill fight, but I am glad they have come out of jail for now. I am just mesmerised at the courage these people have shown, especially the women.
The moment I saw the news clip of Natasha Narwal laughing after just coming out of jail and not deterred one bit, I was like: Inki himmat me koi kami nahi aayi; chehre pe ab bhi hansi barkarar hai. Aisa lag raha hai ye to Sarkar ko chidha rahi hain (She looks spirited; her smile/laughter is intact and it seems as if she is cocking a snook at the government that they couldn’t break her spirit even in jail.
I have seen similar steely resolve in the women of Lucknow; the women who spearheaded the anti-CAA and anti-NRC movement at Ghantaghar. I had been following the news about CAA-NRC right from the beginning and have been involved with its Lucknow chapter, so to speak, right since its inception.
I myself was a part of the CAA- NRC protests and have helped a lot of people in getting timely bail when they faced similar police harassment. In fact, the police filed two-three FIRs against me as well but I was undeterred. Even my whole family and the families of friends and colleagues registered their protest. We know these are momentous times and anything can be used against anyone who shows the courage to question the government.
Women don’t speak up in the beginning or fight unnecessarily, so if the women are out in the streets and unafraid to go to jail for what they consider right, just and truthful, the government should sit up and take notice. When women put things at stake, it means they are ready to give it their all.
We can see through the divide and rule policy of the government, but I believe it’s not going to work. Because this time the people also know that they have to take a stand. During January-February last year, many of us took an accommodation near the protest site and did all that was possible in aiding other supporters and we wouldn’t even go home for many days at a stretch. Even at the cost of our own personal safety we have visited police stations after police stations to show our support in the release of common people. As an advocate it is my duty to see that the law is not misused.
CAA-NRC provisions have touched a raw nerve and people have realised that their very existence is at stake. It is the people of India who are holding it together with love, otherwise look at what hatred between communities and a breakdown in communication did to Myanmar. I wouldn’t say that there was no mistrust between communities before this government came in; it was there, but it was a side thing. But with this government it is the main agenda. Many people holding top position in important institutions have been known to have biased views regarding things.
I hope things get better soon and the government understands the concerns of the people and not just try to put those asking questions in jail. We need to talk to each other. The powers that are need to take people into consideration.
Maulana Shahidul Qadri, 45, from Dhankheti, Metiaburj in Kolkata, says local issues hold key to assembly elections and therefore he will prefer Trinamool candidate than a divisive BJP or AIMIM
At a time when many people around the country have given in to the politics of division and polarity, people in Bengal are still standing united, strongly. We Bengalis form an opinion after a lot of deliberation and in-depth understanding and analysis of a matter, and thus one cannot divide us so easily.
As a Maulana and also as an Imam of the masjid at Dhankheti (Metiaburj), I tell people not to fall prey to the politics of hate; firqakaparasti wali baton me mat aaiye. We also tell people through editorials in various newspapers that we should not forget local issues while state elections are underway.
I wonder why BJP makes every election, right down to even the civic body elections, about national issues. Wasn’t our election system created and upgraded so that issues at every level could find adequate voice and be solved subsequently?
BJP might try bringing in the big guns for the elections, but Mamata Banerjee will once again become the CM. We have chosen to support Didi even over a Muslim candidate, AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi. It is not about Hindu-Muslim leaders, but rather on who as a leader has an understanding of local issues.
The BJP-TMC face-off means everyday there’s some new statement from either side, but the electorate is noticing everything. The pandemic has shown us how important it is to have robust local leadership and we will keep focussing on that.
Bengal was a more peaceful place earlier, but now you hear news of BJP-TMC or BJP-Left clashes. I condemn incidents like attacks on JP Nadda; violence shouldn’t have any place in a democracy. We are Bengalis and Indians too, apart from being Hindus and Muslims.
Sometimes I wonder if like Assam, madarsa education will be banned in West Bengal as well! How will we then understand the basics of the faith we practise? There are many other ways in which the Muslim identity and the country’s Constitution and the institutions are being chipped away by the BJP but we have faith in both Mamata Didi and Allah.
NRC-CAA, Shaheen Bagh, illegal Bangladeshi immigrant, purportedly for whom the bill was brought in… was a burning issue just an year ago, do you hear as much of it during Bengal elections? Why? We can see through everything. The Prime Minister is not the leader of a party alone and not only of a particular party or community. He must take the whole country together and walk.
The first term of this government was all about sowing seeds of mistrust between communities that had been mostly living peacefully for so long. The second term was all about interpreting law in such a way that that hatred was normalised. Even though we respect the Ram Janmbhoomi verdict, it would have been nice if the bhoomi-poojan had been a calmer affair.
Triple talaq, Delhi riots, NRC and now the love jihad (which the Supreme Court has said doesn’t hold true because relationship between two consenting adults is their choice), I wonder when will all this stop and when will we begin focussing on issues that really matter for us as a country?
No leader is perfect, and Mamata Banerjee gets angered easily, but we feel ke unka dil saf hai aur hausla buland. She has our interests at heart. We hope in the coming years she will mature into a calmer leader and learn to strategize better, Bengal and the country can truly benefit from that.
Zaidi, 22, a student of Fine Arts in Delhi, says with millions of livelihoods
at stake amid Covid-19, our leaders should redefine their priorities, and not constantly
target one community
Where do I even begin? I don’t understand what is going on in our country for the past few years. First, the stalemate over Citizenship Amendment Act- and NRC, then the communal violence in Northeast Delhi and now a law against so called ‘love jihad’, which I do not even think, exists…
Where will this concerted and coordinated effort
to target Muslims stop? Till a few years ago, the Hindu-Muslim rivalry was a
one-off thing and people used to take extreme steps in the heat of the moment. But
now it’s like this rivalry recurring periodically. There’s a constant
undercurrent of hatred running in India these days.
Even the November
11 High Court order that UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Ji had cited to
justify ‘love jihad’ law earlier, has now been overturned. The HC now says that
it was ‘bad law’ and two consenting adults have the freedom to choose the way
they want to conduct their lives. Love is a matter of the heart, how can it be
governed by law?
I wonder if the people who talk about ‘love
jihad’ even understand the meaning of love. It takes so much for people to be
able to find another person who understands them well and how can they be
judged by people who don’t even know them? If conversion has been done
forcibly, be they of any religion, then the government can step in, but one
can’t assume that people will behave a certain way and take pre-emptive
Shouldn’t the government be worrying about and working upon handling the pandemic, or soon there will be no people left to fall in love with each other or marry. So many people have lost their jobs and livelihood because of the pandemic, and I feel the government should really give its priorities a rethink.
This is not the time for people to feel
hatred for each other. We all need each other to see ourselves through the
coronavirus crisis. Our faiths should help us become better people and help
each other and we need to fight coronavirus together. I sometimes feel sad
about how we have changed as a country. When I was in school a few years ago,
we had many friends from other faiths, but now just a few years later when I am
still in college, our social circle has shrunk considerably. There is this
whole ‘Hindu-Muslim’ talk going on always.
Sometimes I feel if the matter of ‘love
jihad’ is so serious why doesn’t Modiji talk about it in his ‘Man Ki Baat’? He
could give us examples when cases of people marrying someone just for the sake
of converting them has come to light and talk about those cases from all
angles. That could be the beginning of a serious dialogue on the topic, but in
my life I have personally seen no such incident and feel it is a just a
bogeyman of an issue.
And if the law is brought in, the poor of
the poorest will suffer; the rich will take to legal recourse. I hope better
sense prevails and more thought is given to social harmony. When people are
secure in their own faiths and identities they don’t even try to convert people
to their ideas, forget changing their religion.
Whatever decision Yogi Ji and his
counterpart in Bihar, Nitish Kumar Ji take in this matter will have far
reaching implications for the rest of the country. I am waiting to see what
Nitish Ji has to say in this matter as the Chief Minister of a state where
there is a large Muslim population.
Avtar Singh, 32, an Afghan Sikh, narrates his persecution in Afghanistan and why he left Ghazni, where his family lived for five generations. Singh sees the Citizenship Law as a blessing for people like him
forefathers settled in Afghanistan five generations ago. We lived in Ghazni,
about 170 kilometres from Kabul, the Afghan Capital. We owned multiple garment
shops and nearly 40 acres of land. Why we had to leave everything behind and
took refuge in Delhi is a tragic story, one of religious persecution and plight
of minorities in Afghanistan.
since I was born, I remember being discriminated against in Afghanistan. It
started with being made fun of for our attires, our pagris. They would call us kafir, be-iman and by other derogatory
terms. Every time we went out we would be taunted with: “Aaj pagri me aloo rakha hai ya pyaz?” (What have you hidden in your
turban today – potatoes or onions?).They would tell us to get rid of our hair
and look like them. We were constantly asked to convert to Islam.
took a more sinister turn with people spitting at us in public for following
Sikhism, at times throwing stones at us randomly. I couldn’t send my children out,
or my younger brother to school. Afghanistan was the only home we had known and
we were heartbroken by the way things were happening. My mother who had seen
better times before 1979 (before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan) lamented
at what we had come to.
father, Shaheed Harbans Singh Khalsa, a Member of Parliament in Afghanistan,
was killed in an accident in 2003. We later got to know it was all pre-planned.
Mysterious papers would be thrown at our house with threats to life and ransom
money. Over the years, I paid nearly ₹80-90 lakh to keep my family safe.
After a decade of living in uncertainty, constant suffering and blackmailing, we reached the breaking point and decided to flee to India. We were helped by a few people to buy tickets amounting to ₹90, 000 for seven people for the Kabul-Delhi flight.
That was in 2014. I lived a lifetime on that flight. I had only ₹20,000 to start a new life in India and a family of seven to feed. However, we were happy that at least we came out of Afghanistan alive.
We live on meagre resources in India. I work as a Granthi at a Gurdwara in Delhi. My brother who is in his teens also has to work to support the family. I am greatly surprised how well-behaved Indian Muslims are. They always address us as Bhaijaan and Sardar Ji and make us feel welcome in every aspect of life.
have to extend our visas every two to three years. I have heard of the new Citizenship
Law that would give refugees like us permanent citizenship of India, and we are
glad about the same. Even though I understand the sentiments of several people
who have been protesting against CAA, I feel they should know why citizenship
in India is so important, no less than a blessing for people like us. We can finally
call India our home.
being on the receiving end of persecution, I have become a better person, not
bitter and feel no one should be persecuted on the basis of religion. Our Guru
Granth Sahib teaches us: Koi Bole Ram Ram, Koi Khudaye, Koi Sewe Gosaiya, Koi Alahe (God is one,
people know it by different names).
Last Sunday’s arrival in New Delhi of 11 Sikhs from Afghanistan
marks the beginning of the end of a centuries-old historic process of Hindus
and Sikhs moving to and from this India’s extended neighbourhood.
It may be a matter of time – perhaps a few months – before all of
them, estimated at between 600 and 1,000, a microscopic minority in an
overwhelmingly Islamic nation, may leave Afghanistan for good and seek new
lives in India that one of them on arrival gratefully called “our motherland.”
This small but epochal event sadly reduces to a mere debate what is
steeped in history. Can an Afghan
be a Hindu or a Sikh? History says yes, asserts Inderjeet Singh in his book Afghan
Hindus and Sikhs: History of A Thousand Years published in April last
There is no reliable
information on when Hinduism began in Afghanistan that once had Hindu rulers,
and when Buddhism thrived. But historians suggest that the territory south of
the Hindu Kush was culturally connected with the Indus Valley Civilization
(5500–2000 BC) in ancient times.
As for the Sikh, records show
that its founder Guru Nanak Dev had visited Kabul in the early 16th
century and laid the faith’s foundation.
Islam arrived in Afghanistan
only in the seventh century. “The Hindu Shahi rulers of Kabulistan were
replaced only by the end of the 10th century by the Ghaznavides, who maintained
Hindu forces,” Inderjeet Singh asserts in his book.
Contemporary records show that Maharaja Ranjit Singh also ruled parts of Afghanistan. About 250,000 Hindus and Sikhs had thriving trade and lived in relative peace and harmony and travelled to and from British India. Father of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh used to trade with Afghanistan, carrying consignments of asafoetida (heeng).
Recorded or otherwise, this
account must make a grim present-day note of the end of the presence of
religious minorities – at least the Hindus and the Sikhs – in Afghanistan. A
small minority in an overwhelmingly Islamic nation, they survived the violent
civil war conditions that have prevailed since last King Zahir Shah was deposed
in 1973. Last 47 years have seen a decade of communist rule backed by the
erstwhile Soviet Union, a “jihad” supported by the Western nations,
faction-ridden and violent rule by the Mujahideen five years of Taliban and
since the US-led “global war against terrorism” that followed 9/11, eighteen
years of the present government backed by the United States.
The US is keen to quit its
longest war, whether or not President Trump gets re-elected. Its iffy pact with
the Taliban is not working and the way is opened for the Taliban, with their
sordid record of suppressing women and minorities, backed by Pakistan that has
its own sordid record, returning to power. That makes the status of Afghan religious minorities more uncertain than ever. That
makes India’s move, with American blessings, timely.
The Afghan minorities have already felt the heat.
Twenty-five Sikhs were killed at a Gurdwara in Paktia province in March this
year. They were targeted by an Afghan group owing allegiance to the Islamic
State (IS). Indeed, the IS’ spread has been the reason for the US, Russia, Iran
and China coming on the same page, leaving Pakistan as a key factor and India,
an ‘outsider’, yet again. History is repeating itself.
The 11 Afghan Sikhs have been granted short-term Indian visas. They include Nidan Singh Sachdeva, who was abducted from Paktia’s gurudwara in June. The rest are families of those who were killed in the Kabul Gurudwara terror attack earlier this year. Twenty-five Afghan Sikhs and one Indian Sikh were killed on the March 25 terror attack in Kabul by a heavily armed ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K) suicide bomber. The group includes Salmeet Kaur who was reportedly kidnapped in Kabul but later came back.
This Sikh group hopes that India would give them long-term visas and eventually grant
citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed last year. It
gives citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious
minorities from three countries –Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan with a
cut-off date of 31st December 2014.
While that may happen, for the Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, the decision
to come to India poses an agonizing dilemma. In Afghanistan, they have
livelihoods — shops and businesses passed down through generations — but spend
their days dreading the next attack. Making a new start in India would most
likely mean living in poverty, they said, particularly during an economic slump
exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Lala Sher Singh, 63, who was attacked in March,
told The New York Times that the community had shrunk so much that his thoughts
were occupied “day and night” by a fear that “the next assault might not leave
enough people who can perform the final rituals for the dead.”
“I may get killed here because of these threats to
Hindus and Sikhs, but in India I will die from poverty. I have spent my whole
life in Afghanistan. In this neighbourhood close to the temple, if I run out of
money and stand in front of a shop and ask for two eggs and some bread, they
will give it to me for free. But who will help me in India?”
The New York Times reported that there was no
official reaction from the Afghan government to India’s offer. “A senior Afghan
official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the
matter with the news media, said that ‘violence affected all Afghans’,” and
that an offer of safety only to Hindus and Sikhs put religious diversity in
Afghanistan in doubt.
The Afghan official, ostensibly making no excuse
about the poor security available to the religious minorities in his country,
attributed the Indian government’s move to being “aimed at a domestic audience
in India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tried to move the country away
from its secular, multicultural foundations and give it a more overtly Hindu
identity, while projecting itself as a champion of persecuted Hindu minorities
elsewhere.” The beleaguered Afghan authorities fighting
for their own survival amidst civil war of their own, would likely stay silent
and not mind the minorities leaving.
Truth be told, the Tibetan refugees took years to settle in India
and thousands of Hindus from Pakistan have yet to get their citizenship
documents, leave alone facilities and opportunities to settle, earn livelihood
and send their children to school. By contrast, those who come in illegally, do
manage to get their ration cards, citizenship certificates and even voter’s
cards from the grey market on payment. Despite the sentiments of those who
support this “ghar wapasi”, this is the harsh reality.
Even if necessary, this is a thankless, unending task. “Mother
India” must pay a price for embracing back its sons and daughters troubled in
their chosen homes.
Gautam, a 27-year-old lawyer, in Brahmpuri, northeast Delhi was hit by a bullet
when he along with local youth tried to stop a mob from attacking a local
I lost my mother at a young age and was raised
by my maternal uncle, Shankar Lal Gautam. My uncle tells me that our family shifted
from Haryana to Brahmpuri in 1962. I was born here and have always considered Brahmpuri
as home. Even the bullet that I received in my stomach on February 25 during
communal riots is not going to change that.
Till a few weeks ago everything in Brahmpuri was normal. Peaceful life, friendly neighbours and life as usual. Then we heard about protesters occupying the area near Jaffrabad Metro station to create a Shaheen Bagh-style demonstration (on February 23). Brahmpuri is less than a kilometre from the protest site and as traffic issues cropped up due to the protest, the ripples reached our area too.
Things flared up on February 24 around 10
am and by the night, things had taken a scary turn. What started as a fight
between pro- and anti CAA protesters soon took a communal colour. Our mohalla also became tense after news of
a fight near Maujpur Metro station reached us. We were already taking preventive
measures like guarding the entry points to our colony and keeping an eye on
outsiders since morning. However, a mob still managed to reach a temple near my
house and started throwing stones at it.
As local gathered to counter the mob, they took
out firearms and shot at us multiple time to scare us away. Several of those trying
to protect the temple go injured. I was also hit in my stomach. Thankfully,
unlike as reported by other riot-hit areas, police reached our colony within
10-15 minutes of our making a distress call.
My friends were worried at my condition and one of them rushed me to Jag Pravesh Hospital (Shashtri Park, East Delhi) on a bike. I was bleeding during the journey but held on. Thankfully, we didn’t meet any mob or obstructions on the way. After initial treatment, I was referred to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital at Dilshad Garden.
The hospital was already reeling under a
rush of injured. Each of the bed was shared by two, even three victims for
treatment. I was writhing in pain but there was not enough space to even turn
on the bed. I kept on pleading with doctors to either discharge me or give me a
proper bed as I had a bullet injury. Irked they discharged me but tagged my
status as an “absconder”. Since I am an advocate myself I know how serious this
charge can be and I have put in an RTI application to know why this happened.
It has been nine days and I am just about
beginning to put back the pieces of my life together. Let’s hope my ordeal gets
over soon and life gets back to normal for everyone.
the time of this copy being uploaded, Bhavya’s uncle Shankar Lal Gautam who has
access to the CCTVs in the area has been watching the footage minutely to
observe if they can identify anyone from the attackers. The residents are weary
and hurt but not scared. Gautam feels it will take a long time before life gets
back to normal again in the area but he has faith in God.)
Aashi Sanjaya, an IT professional in Delhi-NCR, feels anti-CAA protesters at Shaheen Bagh do not fully understand what NRC and CAA are all about. The government must initiate dialogue with them to allay their fears
I wholeheartedly support the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). For a country as huge and populous as ours we surely need to be in the know about the people living here, so that our safety and security isn’t compromised. First, we should remove illegal immigrants with the help of NRC and later, with the help of CAA, give relief and refuge to those who have come to India after being persecuted in the neighbourhood on the basis of their religion. We have suffered for far too long when it comes to security concerns and we can’t afford to be lax anymore.
As for people who are opposing it, I think they need to inform themselves better. On the government’s part, it should open communication channel at multiple levels (right from the ground level authorities to the ministers) to alleviate the fears of people.
The logic behind CAA is simple. If Muslims
are being persecuted in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, they have many Islamic
countries (more than 50 I believe), but if Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists
etc. are being persecuted on the basis of religion, which country do they turn
to except India?
I think people need to understand this very clearly that the Home Minister Amit Shah isn’t going to take away the citizenship of Indian Muslims through NRC or CAA. Indian Muslims are safe here.
I don’t understand what the protests are
all about. Sometimes, I feel people are protesting just for the sake of
protesting. I belong to Lucknow where Hindus and Muslims have coexisted
peacefully with each other for long. Believe me the ground situation is pretty
difficult than what is portrayed in the media.
If people are scared, why are they sitting on the roads and making the lives of ordinary citizens difficult? Take a leaf out of a corporate setting. If, for example, I fear that something wrong might happen with me in future jobwise, shouldn’t I try to talk to my seniors or should I just go out on the road and start telling everyone that I am being treated unfairly? A public protest should probably happen after every other peaceful option to talk to the senior managers have failed.
Similarly I feel people from Shaheen Bagh
should have formed a committee/group and taken the matter up with local
representatives first and then to the higher authorities. Then if the
authorities didn’t take any steps, the ball would be in their court. That might
actually bring about some real change as well.
Do these protesters realise the hardships
being caused to daily commuters and road users because of their protests?
My father has been keeping unwell since
last year and I travel every weekend from Gurgaon to Noida to meet him, many a
times alone. Due to the Shaheen Bagh protests I have to take a longer route
(which goes through deserted stretches in some places), plus I am able to spend
less time with my parents. I wonder how other people with family members who
are unwell are managing, or women who have travel on this stretch everyday are
managing. Proper communication from both the sides is the need of the hour.
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