30 July, 2021

In A Hot And Dusty Limbo

A lot of promises. But Hindu refugees from Pakistan still live as Nowhere People.

Tribhuvan Tiwari
In A Hot And Dusty Limbo

They have been steadily trickling across the international border into Rajasthan and Gujarat and Punjab since Partition. Sincethe 1965 war, they have arrived in spurts after facing hostility. To this day, there are lakhs of them, Hindu migrants from Pakistan, scattered in shabby camps across Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. To this day, their name is Nowhere People.

Hopes had risen for them during Narendra Modi’s 2014 election campaign—as during many other campaigns before—as the BJP leader promised early Indian citizenship to lakhs of Hindu migrants from Pak­istan. A year into his prime ministership, nothing much has changed in their camps. A task force had indeed been set up by the home ministry to expedite the process of granting them Indian citizenship. There were rep­orts that the UPA government had granted citizenship to about 1,000 Pakistani refugees during its ten years. This June, 4,300 Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan were reported to have been granted citizenship. Curiously though, in February, the home ministry had said...

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