Despite being persecuted in many Muslim-majority nations, the Ahmadis have tried to advocate human rights for all religious and persecuted minorities. Qadian can be called as holy a city for the Ahmadis as Nankana Sahib or Kartarpur are for the Sikhs. They should be allowed to return to their spiritual and ancestral home and have a pathway similar to ways outlined in Citizenship Amendment Act.
Posted: Dec 19, 2019
Partap Singh Bajwa
Member of Parliament
The Parliament of India recently passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill giving those who entered the country illegally a pathway to citizenship if they were Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh. During the debate in the Rajya Sabha, I sought a clarification from the Home Minister about whether the government had plans to include those Muslims who are persecuted in these countries, in the Bill, then being discussed.
Through the course of the Bill being discussed in the Rajya Sabha, there were many who stated that since there are enough countries that have Muslim majorities, these persecuted sects, especially the Ahmadis, can go to any one of those, but need not come to India. Such arguments fail to acknowledge the history of Islam in India and undo the significance of the secular ethos of our modern institutions as described in our Constitution. Furthermore, such arguments also fail to understand that the Ahmadiyya movement was not one that began elsewhere in the world. It began at Qadian, a town in Punjab.
The founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was born at Qadian. He began his teachings here to restore morality, justice and peace. He also recognised the noble teachings of great religious figures, including Zoroaster, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu and Guru Nanak. It was under his direction that the famous White Minaret and Aqsa Mosque of Qadian were built.
Three out of the four Khalifas of the sect were born at Qadian or lived and died in the town. Qadian was the home of the Ahmadiyya movement till 1947, when, amid riots, many Ahmadis of Qadian emigrated to Pakistan under the guidance of Chaudhry Sir Zafarullah Khan. In 1949, the Ahmadis established a new city, Rabwah. Nevertheless, the yearly congregation of the Ahmadis still takes place at Qadian in December.