This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Is India Ready For A Surge In Hindu Immigrants From Other Countries?

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Monica Islam:

If news reports are to be believed, there is currently an influx of refugee immigrants, especially of Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist origins, into the state of India under the leadership of Narendra Modi. Reportedly, more than 4,000 Hindus and Sikhs from neighbouring countries, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, have been granted Indian citizenship within a year. While Firstpost’s editor-in-chief very patriotically touts this step as India’s generosity, there are many concerns which need to be addressed by the government.


Firstly, this immigration plan appears to be a replica of the model pioneered by Israel which advocated for a safe abode for persecuted Jews. The model is based on strong nationalism and communalism. In case of Israel, what started out as an innocent escape route for oppressed Jews in Europe has now turned into a battleground for settlement rights and identity issues. Arab Israelis, both Christians and Muslims, routinely complain of marginalization in the country. The world is expectant that such will not be the case in India where the rights of Indian Muslims will be threatened.

Secondly, the inclusion of refugees must not be based on their religious beliefs (unless they are facing religious persecution). Instead, it must meet the need of the hour. Right now, there are many apolitical, religion neutral cases of citizenship in India which are pending for as long as nine to sixteen years! Additionally, there is the Rohingya community, which is the most persecuted one in the world, perishing at sea. There is also the question of secularism in India. How can a religiously-neutral land proclaim unwavering allegiance to the Hindu community?

Thirdly and most importantly, is India, with the second largest population in the world, ready for a politically-motivated addition of more citizens? Already it is alleged that the Rohingya Muslim refugee population is receiving little support in India. Furthermore, one of the biggest slums of the world, Dharavi, happens to be located in the country. Apart from poverty, there is also the issue of integration and social cohesion of the immigrants. Does being Hindu automatically translate into being Indian? (If yes, then not only is secularism, as pointed out earlier, under threat, but so is religious minority rights as members of other religious groups will have to constantly prove their loyalty to India.)

Narendra Modi continues to defend his stance by speaking of national goodwill and protecting minority rights, but fails to explain how he plans to tackle the aforementioned concerns. Immigration is a burning issue in many developed countries, such as France and United Kingdom. There are fierce national debates relating to immigration in each of those countries. We would expect the same to occur in India. But not if there is any discrepancy in the reported statistics (allegedly, 600 as opposed to 4,000 Hindus have been granted Indian citizenship) in an attempt to boost the public image of Narendra Modi’s leadership.

You must be to comment.
  1. Abhi

    Firstly the title and the article seems to be two different story.
    The title talks about India’s preparedness for the increasing immigrants, whereas the article talks about the threat to secularism, threat to minorities, little mention about dharavi(out of context) and lastly about rohingya Muslim.

    The main agenda of the article seems to be a question that if immigrants (Hindu immigrant as the writer has stressed upon) are given the Indian citizenship then why not the Rohingya Muslim.

    The immigrants from Pakistan and Afghan who have fled to India are also minority in the respective country. The plight they go through is similar to the Rohingya Muslim. Its just that al jajeera broadcast never made a documentary on that. The Rohingya Muslim originally belonged to Bangladesh and Its Bangladesh who should look after them and other countries like Malaysia, Thailand, etc where the boats are stranded currently.

    As far as the title goes and some of the points noted by the writer like the Israel state, the poverty in India. Immigrants should be a total no no for India irrespective of their religion.

    Lastly if Hindu immigrant are not given a place in India then which country can they move too. As all the neighbouring countries around India are non secular country the first reason and the only reason for which they fled from there in the first place. In none of the neighbouring countries they would receive proper treatment apart from India.

    P. S How does 4000 Immigrants affect the right of minorities in India? Please throw some light. The two examples given regarding the delay in granting citizenship is due to technical reason and not due to discrimination as mentioned in the links provided and stated by the govt officials.

    India was, still and will always be a secular country.

    1. Monica I.


      While I appreciate many of the things you said, I disagree when you say that the agenda of this article was to question that “if Hindu immigrants are granted citizenship, then why not Muslims?”

      Let me clarify the agenda- it was to include diverse perspectives, to inspire national debate in India about this, and to ask for more information from govt. as to how exactly it intends to protect the rights of refugees and others.

      I agree that I’ve highlighted the concerns more in this article. The intent is to find out if India is prepared to tackle those concerns. The benefits of this immigration have been already covered in details by First Post and I have included the link for the benefit of readers. In one article, I can only take one stance, right? I have been asked to be more specific by the way. 😀

      If the masses & experts think this immigration is practical for India, then well and good. If not, the govt. should rework its decision.

      If India can give proper shelter to 4,000 immigrants (and more) without hurting anyone else, that’s great.

      In short, refugee immigration is great if their and other people’s rights are protected. And it is up to the relevant authorities to tell us how exactly they plan to address all the concerns.

  2. sree

    What is 4000/1.3 billion. Shame on you wasting space on a non issue. Just because one knows english and put together few words, it doesn’t make you one sensible. You are a good proof of that.

    1. Monica I.


      Yes, you’re right. 4,000 is not many as long as they are not suffering in poverty/exclusion, or are not gaining at the expense of others. I think I would advocate more for an end to religious persecution in different countries, so that any one country does not have to bear the responsibility of providing for the persecuted ones. All countries need to be safe for everyone.

      As for my English, trust me when I say I don’t know English that too well. 😀 It’s not my mother-tongue. There are far better English speakers & writers than me- this I can say confidently. 😀

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Akshat Vats


By Imran Khan

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below