Date 16 March 2013: Around this time last year, just before the last meeting of the UNHRC at Geneva, we had issued a statement calling upon the Government of Sri Lanka to proactively take steps to alleviate the sufferings of the Tamils of that country and also to ensure proper rehabilitation, security and political rights to them. I am constrained to observe that one year down the line there has not been much improvement in the ground situation. If anything, the suspicions of the world community over the intentions of the Government of Sri Lanka have further deepened.
I take this opportunity to once again remind the Government of Sri Lanka that it can’t continue to turn a blind eye to the plight of the Tamils who had suffered immensely during the 30 year-long war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan forces losing lives, livelihood, homes and temples. Tens of thousands of them had to flee the country and more than a lakh had arrived on the shores of Tamil Nadu as refugees.
It is our considered opinion that lasting peace will return to Sri Lanka only when the Government of that country sincerely and amply addresses the grievances of the Tamils of the North and East as well as those refugees living in India. We urge the Government of Bharat to ensure that the Sri Lankan Government acts in a responsible manner in rehabilitating and providing full civil and political rights to the displaced Tamils.
It must also be borne in mind that this neighbourhood Indian Ocean island with millennia-old linkages with Bharat shouldn’t be allowed to become a pawn in the great geo-strategic power game being played out by the global powers with the Indian Ocean as the battle-ground. Attempts to widen the gulf between the Sinhala and Tamil population of that country must not be allowed to succeed. Therein lies the key to lasting solution to the Sri Lankan crisis.
Address the concerns of the persecuted Hindus of Bangladesh and Pakistan
THE Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) expresses serious concern over endless persecution of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh resulting in large scale continuous influx of them as refugees into Bharat. It is a matter of great shame and sorrow that these hapless Hindus are being forced to lead pathetic lives both at their respective places as well as in Bharat.
The ABPS condemns the recent attacks on Hindus including Buddhists in Bangladesh and their places of worship by the fundamentalist groups like the notorious anti-Hindu and anti-Bharat Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh etc. This has become a phenomenon in Bangladesh for the last several decades. The Hindus and other minorities have been facing the brunt of Islamic fury for no fault of theirs time and again. The persecution and helplessness is forcing thousands to flee for their lives and dignity into Bharat. Such Bangladeshi Hindus and Chakmas have been staying in West Bengal and Assam as refugees for decades on and newer ones are joining them everytime there is fresh violence in Bangladesh.
The ABPS draws the attention of the nation towards the plight of the Hindus in Pakistan too. All available reports suggest that the Hindus in Pakistan lead most wretched lives deprived of security, dignity and human rights. Constant attacks on Hindus including Sikhs have become the order of the day. Forced conversions, abductions, forced marriages, rapes, killings and destruction of places of worship have become a part of the persecuted lives of the Hindus there. No constitutional entity of Pakistan comes to their rescue. As a result the Hindus of Pakistan too are forced to flee to Bharat seeking refuge.
The ABPS wishes to remind the government, political, intellectual and social leadership of Bharat that these hapless Hindus of Bangladesh and Pakistan have not become victims of Islamic persecution out of their own volition. It is a consequence of the utterly tragic and irrational Partition of our motherland in 1947. The Partition of Bharat was thrust upon the innocent Hindus of Pakistan and Bangladesh by the political leadership. Overnight their motherland became foreign to them. It is a travesty that these unfortunate Hindus are paying the price of their lives for the omissions and commissions of their past political masters.
The ABPS calls upon the Government of Bharat to revisit the entire issue of Hindu refugees and Hindu citizens of Pakistan and Bangladesh. The government can’t shy away stating that it is an internal matter of the respective governments. The Nehru-Liaqat pact of 1950 had expressly stated that the minorities on both sides would be accorded full protection and citizenship rights. In Bharat every Constitutional measure was invoked to accord not only protection and security but also many special provisions amounting to appeasement in favour of the so-called minorities. They are well-placed in our country today in terms of their demographic, economic, educational and social status.
On the contrary, the Hindus of Bangladesh and Pakistan have been subjected to continuous persecution resulting in severe depletion of numbers, absolute poverty, human rights abuse and migration. The Hindu population of East and West Pakistan at the time of the Partition was 28% and 11% respectively whereas the Muslim population of what became truncated Bharat was 8%. Today while the Muslim population in Bharat has risen to 14% the Hindu population in Bangladesh has come down to less than 10% and in Pakistan to less than 2%.
The ABPS insists that it is the responsibility of the Government of Bharat to challenge Pakistan and Bangladesh on the issue of violation of Nehru-Liaqat Pact conditions. Disappearence of millions of Hindus can’t simply be brushed aside by invoking sovereignty principle. These two countries need to be questioned on the continuous influx of Hindu refugees into Bharat. While not a single member of the so-called minority community has even gone over to these countries from Bharat as a refugee millions have crossed over to this side and are continuing to do so.
In view of this heart-wrenching scenario the ABPS urges the Government of Bharat to initiate new discourse on the question of Hindus living in these two countries, which is markedly different from Hindus living in other countries. The Government must:
1. exert pressure on the governments of Bangladesh and Pakistan to ensure security of the Hindus there;
2. draft a National Refugee Relief & Rehabilitation Policy ensuring dignified living conditions for all Hindu refugees from these two countries pending their return with safety and honour to their respective countries;
3. demand compensation in appropriate form from Bangladesh and Pakistan for the Hindus displaced from their respective countries; and
4. demand international institutions like the UNHCR, UNHRC etc to play a role in ensuring safety and honour of the Hindus and other minorities in these countries.
The ABPS is compelled to state that the apathy of our Government to the plight of these people is only due to the fact that they are Hindus. The countrymen should come out strongly against this callous and cavalier attitude. The entire nation needs to stand by the right of security, honour and livelihood of each and every Hindu living in Pakistan and Bangladesh including those who have been pushed out of those countries and become refugees.
Some changes in responsibilities
RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi announced the following changes in responsibilities of some of the workers.
Shri Gunwant Singh Kothari, Akhil Bharatiya Sah Sewa Pramukh
Shri Gajendra Singh, Sah Prant Sanghachalak, Uttaranchal
Sh. Shashikant Dixit, Kshetra Sampark Pramukh, Pas. UP Kshetra
Shri Laxmiprasad Jaiswal, Prant Karyavah, Uttaranchal
Shri Maniram, Sah Kshetra Sampark Pramukh, Pas. Uttar Kshetra
Shri Roshanlal, Sah Prant Karyavah, Delhi
Shri Shambhu Prasad Giri, Sah Prant Karyavah, Malwa
Shri Sudarshan, Sah Prant Pracharak, Kerala
Shri Gopal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad
Shri Shankaranand, Prant Pracharak, Karnataka Uttar
Dr Sukumar, Sewa Vibhag
Shri Bharat Kumar, Prant Pracharak, Poorva Andhra
Shri Ratnakar Paril, Kshetra Karyakarini Sadasya, Pas. Kshetra
Shri Atul Limaye, Prant Pracharak, Pas Maharashtra
Shri Girish Joshi, Sah Prant Pracharak, Pas Maharashtra
Shri Ramananda Kale, Sah Prant Pracharak, Devgiri
Shri Pravinbhai Otiyan, Rashtriya Sewa Bharati
Shri Chintan Upadhyaya, Prant Pracharak, Gujarat
Shri Harish, Sah Prant Pracharak, Delhi
Shri Rajendra Prasad, Vishwa Hindu Parishad
Shri Ramkumar, Prant Pracharak, Uttar Bihar
Shri Anil Thakur, Kshetra Sampark Pramukh, Utt. Poorva Kshetra
Shri Ramnavami Prasad, Prant Pracharak, Dakshin Bihar
Shri Rana Pratap Singh, Sah Prant Pracharak, Dakshin Bihar
Shri Mithilesh Narayan, Kshetra Bauddhik Pramukh, Poorvi UP
Shri Anil Kumar Mitra, Prant Pracharak, Jharkhand
Shri Balram Das Rai, Kshetra Bauddhik Pramukh, Assam Kshetra
Shri Mahendra Sharma, Prant Pracharak, Dakshin Assam
Sh. Chandra Mohan, Kshetra Gram Vikas Pramukh, Poorvi Kshetra
Shri Ashok Upadhyaya, Kshetra Pracharak Pramukh, Poorvi UP
Shri Suresh, Kshetra Sampark Pramukh, Poorvi UP
Shri Rajendra Saxena, Kshetra Prachar Pramukh, Poorvi UP