Lok Sabha passes Citizenship Bill amidst Opposition outcry

_Anonymous_

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Dec 4, 2017
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Hope Amit Shah pulls the right strings in the lower courts & SC to throw out this case though I wonder what those minority rights champions & award wapsi jokers who claimed India is a dangerous place for minorities would have to say now .
 

RISING SUN

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Dec 3, 2017
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Hope Amit Shah pulls the right strings in the lower courts & SC to throw out this case though I wonder what those minority rights champions & award wapsi jokers who claimed India is a dangerous place for minorities would have to say now .
I don't believe this case will stand in court of law as only those people will get CAA assistance who were minority during the migration.

Another point, it might be a case of trapping current government leadership in religious persecution via conversion to listed religions as well. Some people (NGO wala type) might claim discrimination on religious ground if supposedly some influncer right wingers/organizations start giving such people patronization thinking they are converting for good & permanent basis, this might put government in position where people might question CAA inherent conversion policy even if unofficial.
 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
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RISING SUN

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Sikhs, Hindus ‘endangered minorities’ in Afghanistan: US House
Describing Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan as "endangered minorities", a resolution introduced in the US Congress has sought to resettle these persecuted religious communities from the war-torn country to America.

Introduced in the House of Representatives last week by Congresswoman Jackie Speier and co-sponsored by seven others, the resolution supports refugee protection for Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan, noting the "systematic religious persecution, discrimination and existential danger" faced by the members of these communities.

"Sikhs and Hindus are indigenous but endangered minorities in Afghanistan, numbering approximately 700 out of a community that recently included over 8,000 members," the resolution stated. The resolution supports resettling Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan in the US under the United States Refugee Admissions Programme pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. The resolution condemns terrorist attacks and religious persecution in the war-ravaged country. — PTI
 

RISING SUN

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Wait till the revised NRC is enacted in Assam under SC supervision & the detention camps are full. For every death of an illegal migrant reported there, lakhs of Illegal Bangladeshi Muslim migrants will soil their lungis, before hauling the very same lungi up to reverse pole vault into Bangladesh. Tragic & perverse as it sounds, that's the truth.

While on truths, I'd also like to see the Chinese treat the opium wars as genocide and launch trials seeking reparations. Being victims of a shared brutal exploitative colonial past, I expect all fellow Indians irrespective of caste, linguistic, gender, religion and other barriers to whole heartedly back the Chinese in their just endeavour.
 
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Cole_phelps

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RISING SUN

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Covid-19 pushes refugees in India to the brink
It’s a smell that’s stayed with her for over a decade. Awi S. Duhlian, her mother and two younger sisters spent two nights on the floor outside the bathroom of a train to Coimbatore from Delhi, covering their noses in a vain attempt to keep out the stench. “I still remember how that bathroom smell didn’t let me sleep. That smell is still stuck with me, I don’t know why," says Duhlian, now 21, a Chin from Myanmar’s minority Christian community and a refugee in Delhi.

They’d crossed the Myanmar-India border via Mizoram and were headed to meet fellow Chins in Coimbatore. Since then, Duhlian’s life has been filled with more questions than answers: Where did her father vanish that windy night in 2009 in Myanmar after helping his family climb aboard a crowded truck to escape the army? Why did their mother abandon them in 2018, after Duhlian completed her schooling? Why was she the only one to get a pink slip in her call centre office when India went into lockdown in March because of the virus that has wreaked havoc across the world after originating in China? Why have people started calling her and her sisters “coronavirus"?

“Our neighbours say things like, ‘Go back, *censored* coronavirus’. Go where? There’s no home for us," she says. Since 2018, the three sisters have been living in a 150 sq.ft room in west Delhi, with a majority of the 4,000 Chins who fled to India to escape persecution in Myanmar. Like most Chins, Duhlian has been doing odd jobs to feed her family and pay the rent. Six months ago, she had landed a call centre job that didn’t require her to have a legal work permit. “I was happy. At least I could send my sisters to school in a rickshaw instead of on foot," she says. But she lost her job as soon as the lockdown started and hasn’t paid been able to pay the rent since. Many Chins, including her, are surviving on food rations from their church and NGOs. “The landlord keeps saying he will evict us. I don’t know how long we can live like this. Finding a job again is not easy, especially since I don’t have a work visa," says Duhlian, with a forced smile.

For close to seven months, people across the world have been living a present paused by a virus, facing an uncertain future. But for the 200,000 refugees that India hosts from Somalia, Afghanistan, Myanmar and other countries, uncertainty has been a shadow since the day they landed here in search of a better life. No refugee in India can work legally till they obtain a work visa, a tedious process that can take months.

Less than 10% of refugees in the country have work visas, informs Fazal Abdali, senior legal consultant at legal non-profit Human Rights Law Network. Most end up working in the informal sector as labourers if uneducated, or as translators and guides at tourist sites if they know more than two languages. Most of these jobs have been lost to the pandemic. The burden of rent, lack of savings, absence of job opportunities, increasing racial discrimination and the fear of contracting the virus are pushing refugees to breaking point. None of the social protection packages offered by the government for daily wagers has provisions for non-citizens.

In his policy briefing on the pandemic in June, UN secretary-general António Guterres admitted that more than 70 million people globally are facing three crises rolled into one: a health crisis because they live in crowded, often unsanitary conditions; a socio-economic crisis; and lack of protection. “At the same time, fear of covid-19 has led to skyrocketing xenophobia, racism and stigmatization," he said.

Mohammed Hafes, 25, is tired of being dependent on others. He came to India with the help of his grandmother in 2008, soon after his father was killed and mother kidnapped by a militant group in Somalia. With the support of the Somali community, Hafes found rented accommodation in south Delhi, learnt photography and filmmaking, and made documentaries on Africans living in India at the nearby studio of Khoj International Artists’ Association. Hafes, who’s fluent in Hindi, Urdu, English and Arabic, besides Somali, also used to do translation work. A year ago, he found a job at a local printing shop but lost it months later because a neighbour reported him to the police for working without a work permit. “This is my age to work. I don’t want to be dependent on others. People near my house call me ‘hapshi’, ‘kallu’, they curse me, they tell me to go back," says Hafes. He wants to do an MBA so that he can fulfil his dream of being a businessman.

For Ali, Hafes’ neighbour and a Somali refugee, dreams are a “luxury" he can’t afford anymore. “I just need the fundamental right to live my life with dignity. I hold a PhD but I can’t work because I don’t have the work visa. We don’t have any support from UNHCR," says Ali, 40, who used to teach geography and history in a secondary school before fleeing Somalia 14 years ago. Like Hafes, he too survived by working as a translator and guide.

Since the virus outbreak started in India, UNHCR has been providing dry rations, and paying a monthly sustainable allowance to the elderly, disabled, women at-risk and those in need of medical help. Till date, they have given 10,820 food packages to refugee and asylum seeker families.“We are particularly concerned about the socio-economic consequences of covid-19 on refugees and host communities. UNHCR and partners are working hard to help mitigate the impact but need more support," says UNHCR India spokesperson Kiri Atri, who’s assistant external relations officer with the UN agency.

Afghan refugee Noor Nizame hasn’t been to his house in Delhi, where he stays with his parents, two younger sisters and brother, for the past two days because he owes the landlord rent for five months. Before the lockdown, Nizame, 27, used to work as a translator for Afghans who came to a nearby private hospital for treatment.

“I used to get make enough for my family but since March, there’s been no work," says Nizame, who’s been the sole earner since his father was bedridden after a stroke a year ago. There are days they eat just one meal. “My mother is diabetic, sister is suffering from depression, father needs his medicine. How will I feed them? There’s no free ration, no income, no (work) visa, no job," says Nizame, who has been sleeping on a park bench away from home.

The government needs to have some concrete policies that allow refugees to work, insists Abdali, the Human Rights Law Network lawyer. “There is no municipal law on refugees, leaving them at the mercy of the state. None of the laws talk about them. Why should they be a burden on the state? Everyone should have a right to life. And refugees themselves don’t want to be dependent on others. They want to work," he explains.

Not having a work visa is not the only hurdle to landing a job. Since the lockdown restrictions were eased in Delhi, construction work has started, but many of the 18,000 Rohingyas in India who used to work as daily labourers are confined to their tarpaulin shelters. Mohammed Shakir is one of them. “The moment they learn I am a Rohingya, they say I’m a ‘corona bomb’ and refuse to give me work," says the 27-year-old, referring to a report that linked the Rohingya Muslims with the Tablighi Jamaat, an evangelical sect whose headquarters in Delhi’s Nizammuddin area emerged as one of India’s first covid-19 hotspots in March.

At present, the Rohingyas, who left their homes to flee the discriminatory policies of Myanmar government, are dependent on the free rations given by UNHCR and NGOs. “We have enough food but how long can we stay inside a small tent with no work, no money," asks Shakir, who lives with his wife and year-old child.

The other problem is the lack of help to local communities who coexist with the refugees. Often, the relief work is restricted to the Rohingyas, leaving other migrant populations feeling neglected. Rama, a migrant from Odisha, has got free food packages only twice since March. “Everyone goes straight to the Rohingyas. Nobody comes to us," complains Rama, 50, who used to work at a construction site before March. Her neighbours, Rohingyas, have been helping her with food.

For a peaceful co-existence, it’s important to sensitize the local communities who stay with refugees, says Abdali. “Otherwise, there will be animosity between the two. They need to be informed of how vulnerable the refugees are."

Duhlian has stopped trying to explain to her neighbours that she’s not from China. Every time she steps out, someone calls her “coronavirus". “I don’t why they keep saying it. I have explained them so many times. This helplessness is stuck with me like that bathroom smell."
 

RISING SUN

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Facing IS, last embattled Sikhs, Hindus leave Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghanistan’s dwindling community of Sikhs and Hindus is shrinking to its lowest levels. With growing threats from the local Islamic State affiliate, many are choosing to leave the country of their birth to escape the insecurity and a once-thriving community of as many as 250,000 members now counts fewer than 700.

The community’s numbers have been declining for years because of deep-rooted discrimination in the majority Muslim country. But, without what they say is adequate protection from the government, the attacks by the Islamic State group may complete the exodus.

“We are no longer able to stay here,” said a member of the tiny community, who asked to be identified only by his last name, Hamdard, out of fear he may be targeted for speaking out. Hamdard said seven relatives of his, including his sister, nephews, and son-in-law were killed by Islamic State gunmen in an attack on the community's temple in March, which killed 25 Sikhs.

Hamdard said that fleeing his homeland is as difficult as leaving a mother behind. Still, he joined a group of Sikhs and Hindus who left Afghanistan last month for India, from where they will eventually move on to a third country.

Although Sikhism and Hinduism are two distinct religions with their own holy books and temples, in Afghanistan the communities are interwoven, having been driven into a kinship by their tiny size, and they both gather under one roof or a single temple to worship, each following their own faith.

The community has suffered widespread discrimination in the conservative Muslim country, with each government “threatening us their own way,” said Hamdard, whose home was seized by warlords after the U.S. invasion in 2001, forcing him to live in one of two Sikh temples in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

Under Taliban rule in the late 1990s, Sikhs and Hindus were asked to identify themselves by wearing yellow armbands, but after a global outcry, the rule was not enforced. Also driving the exodus is the inability to reclaim Sikh homes, businesses and houses of worship that were illegally seized years ago.

Hindu temples in Kabul’s old city were destroyed during brutal fighting between rival warlords from 1992-96. The fighting drove out scores of Hindu and Sikh Afghans.

Aside from the March attack by IS gunmen, a 2018 Islamic State suicide attack in the city of Jalalabad killed 19 people, most of them Sikhs, including a longtime leader who had nominated himself for the Afghan parliament.

“Suffering big fatalities for a small community is not tolerable,” said Charan Singh Khalsa, a leader of the Sikh community living abroad, who declined to say where he was living out of fear for his safety. He left Afghanistan after his brother was kidnapped and killed in an attack by gunmen in Kabul two years ago. He said the last three years have been the worst period for all Afghans, but especially so for Sikhs and Hindus.


Community leaders have slammed recent governments for failing to step up security in the face of the IS threat.

Afghanistan’s government in 2010 decided to dedicate a chair in the national assembly to religious minorities, and there have since been two Sikh representatives.

But Khalsa called these posts “symbolic”. He criticized the government for taking too long to grant political representation powers to the community and for failing to “provide security to our places of worship.”

A senior Sikh community leader told The Associated Press that the group is in negotiations with the government over its security needs and the repairing of the temple after it was destroyed in March's attack. The community leader spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the negotiations with the media.

At a press conference last month, President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, said that members of the Afghan Sikh and Hindu community will return once peace is restored. The president's office did not respond to a request for comment from the AP, but other Afghan officials have pledged to assist the community.

“We will use all our facilities to provide security to the people,” Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said, without elaborating. “We are committed and responsible for their (Sikhs and Hindus) mental and personal security.”

It is not clear what kind of security measures are being discussed, nor when they might be seen on the ground.

Until then, the community’s flight is accelerating, with large numbers of Sikhs and Hindus continuing a recent trend of seeking asylum in India, which has a Hindu majority and a large Sikh population.

In August, a group of 176 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus went to India on special visas. They were the second batch since March, with the first 11 members arriving in India in July.

Khalsa said that a group of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus in Canada and European countries has volunteered to sponsor the exodus of those remaining in Kabul who cannot afford air tickets and temporary accommodation in a transit country.

Several Canadian legislators have asked the country’s immigration ministry for a special program for Afghan Sikh and Hindu refugees, requesting that they be brought to safety in Canada amid the increasing security threat.

For Afghan Sikhs, the thought of being uprooted is painful, despite the circumstances.

“It’s hard to leave our birthplace but we have no other option,” said Hamdard. “Afghanistan does not want us anymore.”
 

Cole_phelps

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Jun 19, 2019
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India
Regarding CAA, it's in India's interest that our Islamic neighbors reduce already dwindling population of Hindus, Sikhs, Bhuddists and Christians to zero. It gives us a moral high ground to be "higher than thou" and project ourselves as vibrant, diverse democracy surrounded by bigoted authoritarian and communist regimes in global forums like UN. They already have between 1-7% left, take them and make their existence and causes irrelevant by stamping them with monolithic, intolerant, medieval societies. Take out those token, negligible minorities to bring out their ugly face of human rights of kafirs.

It will also help us in our domestic politics, sickularism will be done for, and all political parties/journalists that follow it (maybe the reason why CAA was so vehemently opposed in India).