Yesterday, a journalist friend caught me virtually unguarded with a few questions. So far, I had avoided speaking anything on CAA and NRC. But journalists are smart people. They know how to draw you into an area of their own interest.
As a life long student and former practitioner of national security, I look at issues differently. I believe that on key issues of national security, the Government and the opposition, as well as civil society and even media, should be on same page.
Sustained protests and violence are doing a lot of harm to the country. These should have been avoided and everything should be done even now to stop these. Protests are part of democracy, but those destroying public property, deserve severest punishment. Those police personnel, abusing their power to torment innocent citizens should get rather more stringent punishment as they are expected to protect people and uphold law.
Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists etc have faced the most brutal and inhuman persecution in 3 countries listed in the CAA. Their women have been regularly raped and violated, their properties are captured. their places of worship are desecrated and many of them are regularly framed in fake cases. Human Rights groups headed by Muslims in those countries have highlighted these.
No influential Indian has earlier paid serious attention to plight of these people. They have been strategically irrelevant for the West. Hence, it has been unfashionable for a large section of Indian elite to talk about them. These persecuted people certainly deserve all out and long over due support of Indians. It is extremely important for secular Muslim personalities of India to support persecuted non-Muslims of the subcontinent. Their brand of secularism is often construed as disguised mild Islamism.
Nevertheless, I still believe that persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries must get only temporary shelter and protection in India. In long run, they should go back to their own countries. Even in 1947, in lieu of nearly 3 lakh people who left India for Pakistan, we received 1.5 crore plus non-Muslims from the erstwhile undivided Pakistan. My scientifically worked out guesstimate suggests that nearly 5 to 7 crore people, with all their natural increases, have further sneaked into India since then. This has aggravated pressure on our own lands. Some of the illegal immigrants have always aided and abetted the threat of radicalism.
India must use its influence, goodwill and power and everything at its disposal to persuade international community to create conditions in these neighbouring countries that safeguard life, liberty, dignity and all round security of all their citizens, and especially those from local minority communities, so that we do not face a refugee influx from there.
Similarly, with a friendly country like Bangladesh, Indian government must work together to rehabilitate and support all Hindu immigrants from there. We must also attempt to amicably return a larger number of non-Hindus too. It is more important to fight Islamic radicalism to safeguard all people of the subcontinent.
I am one of the strongest admirers of Bangladesh PM. I believe that besides Nelson Mandela, any other foreign leader who deserves to be awarded Bharat Ratna, it must be Banga Bandhu and his daughter and the current PM of Bangladesh.
I have spoken my mind out in the following interview purely in the national interest, with the sole objective of giving an impartial and an apolitical perspective.