Tormented by Taliban
Let’s bring home persecuted Hindus, Sikhs
The beheading of two Sikhs by the Taliban in Pakistan’s tribal badlands is no doubt a ghastly crime which has understandably shocked the people of India. But it would be instructive to ask ourselves whether we expected the abductors of the hapless Sikhs to behave any better. Indeed, no purpose is served by expressing shock and revulsion at the Taliban’s gross display of inhuman cruelty; that’s what the adherents of Islamism are trained to do and that’s what jihadis indulge in for pleasure. It would be deceitful to suggest that the Sikhs were murdered because their families failed to pay the ‘ransom’ that had been demanded by their abductors. The abduction of these Sikhs (and at least four others who are believed to be still in the custody of the Taliban) was not what is usually referred to as kidnapping for ransom by criminals looking for easy money. What the Taliban had demanded — and continues to demand — from the Sikh community, which is a designated minority in Islamic Pakistan, is jizya, or survival tax (call it protection money if you wish) that non-believers must pay to stay alive in an Islamic caliphate. Since the Taliban’s ideology of hate extols the ‘virtues’ of puritanical Islam, it is only to be expected that they — as also the Islamic orthodoxy — should believe in the Quranic concept of dhimmitude and the right to treat dhimmis in the most appalling manner. We only need to recall the plight of the few remaining Sikhs in Afghanistan and the misery that is inflicted on Hindus in Pakistan. For further evidence we could look at Bangladesh where the Jamaat-e-Islami and its diabolical front organisations have targeted Hindus for atrocities committed in the name of Islam: The homes of Hindus have been looted, Hindu temples have been desecrated, Hindu women have been raped and Hindu men killed in cold blood, most noticeably when the BNP-Jamaat alliance was in power. The efforts of the Awami League Government to reverse the tide of Islamism are no doubt showing results, but a lot more needs to be done to restore a sense of security among Hindus and, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Buddhists.
It would be absurd to suggest that India has no right to take a stand on atrocities committed against religious minority communities in Pakistan, or Bangladesh for that matter. The outrageous murder of Sikhs by the Taliban or the hounding of Hindus cannot be glossed over as an ‘internal affair’ of Pakistan or Bangladesh. India has a moral responsibility towards followers of Indic religions in its immediate neighbourhood and must explore every possible means of ensuring their safety and security. If Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists are unsafe in either Pakistan or Bangladesh, they must be provided shelter in India so that they can live with their honour intact; the onus is on us to give them the dignity which has been denied by their Islamic tormentors. It is unacceptable that the Government should think of squandering tax-payers’ money on rewarding Islamic terrorists who have been waging jihad against India from safe havens in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, while expressing no more than faux concern over the plight of Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists in Pakistan and Bangladesh. India must act now and open its doors to the persecuted followers of Indic faiths without any delay.
Source: The Pioneer, New Delhi.