“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”
– Isaac Newton
History bears testimony to the fact that persecution is a grotesque phenomenon which, more often than not, leads to exodus of people at the receiving end in huge numbers to safer zones. Quite often the victims of persecution flee in tens of thousands to some neighbouring countries. A striking example of persecution in the present day world is that of the brutality and killings on Rohingia Muslims by the powers in Myanmar, leading to lakhs fleeing to Bangladesh to escape the Myanmar Army wrath in the Rakhine region. However, occasional communal violence or clashes between communities of different religious faiths, with minorities at the receiving end, in any country is not persecution. Such clashes take place in various parts of the world at different times and, historically speaking will continue to be so. The reason is simple. The human race is fragmented by diverse religions, cults, languages, cultures and the likes. History is overloaded with testimonies that clearly indicate total oneness of mankind was, is and will always be a mirage.
Over the last few years, the powers at the Centre headed by the BJP have been going hammer and tongs over the issue of persecution of Hindus in several countries with the finger directly pointed at Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Persecution in the real sense has international recognition attached to it as in the case of the Rohingia Muslims and cannot be established by blowing one’s own trumpet. In the absence of global recognition, the exact nature of any projection of persecution hovers over the realm of uncertainty and suspicion. In the fitness of things and in the light of international propriety, the issue of persecution of Hindus in the neighbouring countries, primarily in Bangladesh, as alleged by the saffron brigade should have been taken up by New Delhi with the Governments of those countries where persecution is allegedly taking place. Or, has New Delhi apprised the UNO or other global bodies on the alleged persecution? So far as our knowledge goes, the answer lies in the negative. It is not quite understood if minor or major clashes between majority religious community and minority religious community (the Hindus in the instant case) is being projected by the BJP dispensation as persecution. If that be the yardstick of the BJP leadership in the matter of persecution, one would only arrive at the conclusion that there is persecution in every corner of the globe, including India. Fortunately for mankind, that is not to be.
However, the BJP’s trumpet on maltreatment on Hindus in neighbouring countries is a huge one – and naturally so as it blows from the seat of power. Based on its own allegation of persecution, the BJP-led Government at the Centre has brought in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 on the ground that the allegedly ill-treated Hindus in the neighbouring countries should be given shelter in India. Politically speaking, influx of crores of Hindu foreigners, mainly Bangladeshis would amount to burgeoning the Hindu vote bank of the BJP by crores for ever. Significantly, in the matter of Bangladesh, whether the issue of persecution is real, imaginary or political can be gauged from the pomp and gaiety with which Durga Puja is celebrated in Dhaka and other parts of that country.