Heavily armed gunmen and suicide bombers had stormed a Gurudwara in the heart of Kabul on 25 March 2020, killing around 25 people and injuring several others. While this incident is indeed a heart-wrenching one, one cannot help but acknowledge the grim fact that such incidents where the minorities in the neighbouring Muslim-majority countries have been victims of Islamic terrorism are not uncommon.
The barbaric attack comes barely two and a half months after the vandalisation of Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev, by a violent mob in Pakistan. The incident followed the forcible abduction and conversion of the daughter of the gurudwara ‘s Pathi, Jagjit Kaur, in August 2019. As per reports, the violent mob was led by the family of the boy who had abducted Jagjit Kaur.
The brazenness of the perpetrators of such ghastly attacks upholds the necessity of the very controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The CAA was passed by the Parliament of India on 11 December 2019, following which there were widespread protests by various sections of the society. The left-liberals, who constitute a significant portion of the intelligentsia, were up in arms against the Government, demanding the rollback of the Act, since they perceived it to be “discriminatory” and “divisive”. They argued that since the Act provides citizenship to refugees hailing from the minority communities in the neighbouring Muslim-majority countries, the Act is biased against the Muslims. This bias of the Act, they argued, would cause irreparable damage to the secular nature of India.
However,even the staunchest opposer of the CAA can’t ignore the fact that crimes against minorities in the neighbouring Muslim majority countries were on a rise. Apart from the two ghastly incidents mentioned above, there have been numerous instances of abduction of Hindu girls and their subsequent conversion to Islam in Pakistan. In the current year itself, Mehak Kumari, a 15-year old girl, was kidnapped, forcefully converted to Islam, and married to a Muslim man, more than twice her age. As if this wasn’t enough, Islamic clerics in Pakistan demanded her beheading for renouncing Islam after being converted.
At this point of time where minorities in the neighbouring countries are grappling with Islamic terrorism, and are forced to choose between loss of life or loss of religion,it is only a country like India which can be a healing touch to such people. We had been silent spectators to the exodus of Hindus from the Kashmir Valley in 1990, now it’s time to learn from that mistake. We had failed our Kashmiri brothers and sisters, we can’t fail our brothers and sisters currently living in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh under a cloud of uncertainty.
As far as the left-liberals are concerned,their arguments against the CAA are slowly yet steadily losing their sharpness. Facts are staring hard at them, and there is absolutely no doubt that one day these people who are protesting against the CAA would relent and accept their mistake. But it would be too late by then.
Being branded as “Islamophobic” is a hundred times better than silently allowing the destruction of culture and compromising on religious identity. And it ‘s high time that Hindus, Christians, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists understand the same. The brutal attack on the Gurudwara in Kabul should turn out to be the last nail in the coffin of anti-CAA protests.
And if it doesn’t turn out to be so, one would n’t be surprised if history repeats itself in the form of 19 January, 1990 in the near future, the day on which the Kashmiri Pandits were forced out of Kashmir.