BJP offer of ‘natural home’ for Hindu refugees triggers debate | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

BJP offer of ‘natural home’ for Hindu refugees triggers debate

Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi
Apr 09, 2014 12:57 AM IST

The BJP manifesto declaring India as ‘a natural home for persecuted Hindus’, has triggered an animated debate on the nature of the state a Narendra Modi-led government would create if elected to power.

The BJP manifesto declaring India as ‘a natural home for persecuted Hindus’, has triggered an animated debate on the nature of the state a Narendra Modi-led government would create if elected to power. BJP supporters term it as an obvious step, but critics point out that this puts a Hindu country tag on India and goes against the principle of secularism.

BJP-s-PM-nominee-Narendra-Modi-poses-alongisde-BJP-president-Rajnath-Singh-LK-Advani-Sushma-Swaraj-and-Murli-Manohar-Joshi-as-they-hold-up-the-party-manifesto-upon-its-release-in-New-Delhi-AFP-photo
BJP-s-PM-nominee-Narendra-Modi-poses-alongisde-BJP-president-Rajnath-Singh-LK-Advani-Sushma-Swaraj-and-Murli-Manohar-Joshi-as-they-hold-up-the-party-manifesto-upon-its-release-in-New-Delhi-AFP-photo

Modi had floated this idea at a rally in Assam in February, making a distinction between Hindu and Muslim refugees from Bangladesh and arguing that the former should be accommodated.

Unlock exclusive access to the story of India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now!

“We have a responsibility towards Hindus who are harassed and suffer in other countries. India is the only place for them... we will have to accommodate them here,” Modi had said. He also claimed that the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee had devised measures to accommodate Hindu refugees from Pakistan.

“For all the talk about putting India first, this one line shows BJP continues to think of Hindus as primary constituents of India,” said Siddharth Varadarajan of Centre for Public Affairs and Critical Theory at Shiv Nadar University. “Why should a Fijian Indian who happened to be Muslim have any less claim over refuge in India than a Fijian Indian who happened to be Hindu?” he asked.

He said that the principle of ‘non-refoulment’ – it protects refugees from being returned or expelled to hostile places – does not allow the denial of refuge to a persecuted person on the basis of his religion. “BJP could have said all victims of religious, political, ethnic persecution are welcome.”

BJP supporters reject the criticism. Pro-Modi activist Madhu Kishwar tweeted: “If Hindus are being persecuted in Pakistan’s Sindh or in Bangladesh on account of being Hindu, where will they go if not come to India? They have nowhere to go but persecuted Muslims from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan can and do go to many countries.”

Discover the complete story of India's general elections on our exclusive Elections Product! Access all the content absolutely free on the HT App. Download now!

Get Current Updates on India News, Election 2024 News Live, Election 2024 along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Prashant Jha is the Washington DC-based US correspondent of Hindustan Times. He is also the editor of HT Premium. Jha has earlier served as editor-views and national political editor/bureau chief of the paper. He is the author of How the BJP Wins: Inside India's Greatest Election Machine and Battles of the New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, April 12, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On