Over 4,000 Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan and Afghanistan granted Indian citizenship

Citizenship for 4,230 Hindus and Sikhs were approved by the end of April 2015


Web Desk May 21, 2015
PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI: Over the past one year, the Narendra Modi-led government has granted Indian citizenship to over 4,200 Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan and Afghanistan which is nearly four times the number of the preceding five years. 

Figures at the end of April 2015 showed that the BJP government approved citizenship for 4,230 Hindus and Sikhs from the two countries who have sought refuge in India. This was in stark contrast to the 1,023 granted by the Congress-led UPA-II.

BJP had declared its aim of positioning India as a refuge for Hindus fleeing persecution anywhere in the world and the increase in these grants seem to fall in line with their aims.

Read: Pakistani Hindus can now apply for long-term Indian visas online

In its election manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had declared India as "a natural home for persecuted Hindus" who "shall be welcome to seek refuge".

"The numbers of those granted citizenship are miniscule as compared to the country's population. Government has taken a call resolve the problems being faced by people of Indian origin who in anyway were staying in the country for long," a home ministry spokesperson said.

As the home ministry steps up efforts to expedite long-term visas and citizenship to those fleeing Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, Hindus from the neighbouring Islamic countries would see a sharp increase in getting Indian nationality government officials confirmed.

Almost 19,000 migrants have already been handed long-term visas after the BJP government took over in Delhi last May.

Read: Hindu Marriage Bill, 2015: Government all set to pass landmark legislation

Some 11,000 persons have been granted visas, which precede citizenship, in Rajasthan, while in case of Gujarat, the figure is around 4,000, said officials familiar with the drive.

The changes in the Citizenship Act that ensure faster disposal of citizenship requests have the potential to open up the floodgates, swelling the number of those eventually allowed to be permanently based in India to around 10 lakhs by December 2016.

This article originally appeared on The Economic Times

COMMENTS (12)

AA | 6 years ago | Reply In fact it is not true that "India is a more economically prosperous location for these emigrants." By glance it might look like it since per capita GDP for Pakistan is 1,343 while for India it is 1,627, however, India has more income disparities. The 20 percent lowest income people in India have 5.6 times less income than 20 percent of the highest income. This difference widen for 10 percent of the lowest income to the 10 percent highest income to 8.6 percent. For Pakistan the 20 percent lowest income people makes 4.3 times less than 20 % highest income people. The 10 % of the lowest income people in Pakistan make 6.5 times less than highest 10 percent income people. Proportion of people making less than 4 dollars in India is 91.2 percent, in Pakistan 91.1 percent. However, population making less than one dollar a day is 23.7 percent in India while 12.7 percent in Pakistan. If you calculate the number of people who make less than one dollar in India 300 million people lot more than the total population of Pakistan which is 188 million. Now guess the people who migrate leaving behind everything they have would endup it the top 20 percent or lower 20 percent ? How much better chance do they have ending up sleeping on the side walk of Bombay or Calcutta.
AA | 6 years ago | Reply @waqt786: The figures are wrong, based on estimates not actual counts and also for united Pakistan in which East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh) had more Hindu population then current Pakistan provinces. In the present Pakistani regions, the 1951 Census reported 1.3 percent Hindus and the last 1998 Census reported 1.6 percent Hindu Population. The estimate of 15 percent was based on pre-partition statistics for provinces of West Pakistan, but the population exchange during partician was never accounted for. therefore the first correct count was made in 1951. Please see an article for more facts. Newslaundry – The (NOT) Vanishing Hindus of Pakistan – a Demographic Study http://www.newslaundry.com/2015/01/09/the-vanishing-hindus-of-pakist...
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