The horrific incident, in which 11 members of a Pakistani Hindu migrant family were found dead at a farm in India’s Jodhpur district on Sunday, is reflective of the reality that the so-called secular country under Modi-led BJP government is not even safe for Hindu community—let alone for other minorities specially Muslims.
According to Indian media reports, all the family members appeared to have committed suicide by consuming some chemical in the night. Interestingly, one of the family members, who claimed to have slept outside the hut in a small Lodta village of Dechu area said he had no clue as to what caused the incident.
The deceased were Hindu migrants from Pakistan belonging to Bhil community and had been living on the farm in the village, which they had hired for farming.
In 2019, Modi-led government passed The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which aims to provide “safe heaven” to persecuted communities mainly Hindus in India but the suspicious death of the family is a reality check for minorities who wish to settle in Modi’s India.
Expressing regret over the incident, Pakistan Hindu Council patron-in-chief Ramesh Kumar Vankwani held Narendra Modi-led BJP government responsible for the death of the migrant family.
Ramesh, who is also a ruling PTI MNA, told The Express Tribune that the ill-fated family belonged to a small village of Lundo in Shahdadpur, a small town in Sindh’s Sanghar district.
He said the family had migrated to India’s Rajasthan state in 2012 in search of a better life.
“Whether this family had committed suicide or had been murdered, the responsibility rests with the Indian government,” he said adding that latest episode is a lesson for Pakistani Hindu community members who wish to settle in India to improve their living standard.
PTI MNA, Lal Malhi said many scheduled caste Hindus who migrated to India twenty years ago are still waiting for citizenship and treated like second class citizens.
Dewan Sachal, another Hindu lawmaker belonging to PTI from Sindh, also held the Modi administration responsible for the incident. He, in a tweet, said inhuman treatment meted out to the family led to the alleged mass suicide just because they wanted to return back to Pakistan but their passports had been burnt by the officials.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in its annual report released in April this year had recommended that the State Department should designate India as “country of particular concern” or CPC, for “engaging in and tolerating systematic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations, as defined by the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA)”.
Giving India its harshest rating since 2004, the independent and bipartisan US federal government commission also pushed for imposing targeted sanctions on Indian government agencies and officials responsible for severe violations of religious freedom by freezing those individuals’ assets and/ or barring their entry into the US under human rights-related financial and visa authorities, citing specific religious freedom violations.
Since assuming power in 2014, Indian PM Modi has taken series of steps to turn secular India into radical Hindu state. In August 2019, his government revoked the special status of Illegaly Occupied Jammau and Kashmir (IIOJK) in a bid to change the demography of its only Muslim-majority area.
In the last nail to the so-called secular country’s coffin, Modi last week laid foundation of a Hindu temple in the northern city of Ayodhya on the same spot where Babri Masjid was demolished nearly three decades ago to spark deadly riots nationwide.
(With additional input by Hafeez Tunio)