Hindu Asylum Seeker

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Via Shrimpy’s blog at chingrimaach comes a link to a story about Kunal, a boy of Indian parentage who is driven to excel in spelling bee competitions. His parents were refused political asylum in the USA and had to return to India- Bihar, it seems. While the story in the NY times that Shrimpy links to is about the problems he faces and his anger at having to live without his parents, I found this bit about his father very interesting:

Mr. Sah, who was born in India, came to the United States in 1990 and shortly before his entry visa expired the next year he applied for political asylum, saying that if he was forced to return to his home province in southeastern India he would be targeted by Muslims because of his involvement in a group called Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which he described as committed to Hindu nationalism.

Mr. Sah acknowledged in his application that he had been active in organizing a campaign against Babri Mosque, in northern India, because it was “built on our sacred land” and that he “actively participated” in riots intended to demolish it.

In 1992, after Mr. Sah had immigrated to the United States, Hindu extremists destroyed the mosque.

In denying him haven, immigration officials noted that Mr. Sah “had participated in the persecution of non-Hindus and thus was ineligible for asylum.”

Surely, Mr. Sah can move to Gujarat where the government (and people) seem to be quite favourably disposed to Hindu nationalists? Instead of facing persecution he may well be treated as a hero!

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One Response to “Hindu Asylum Seeker”

  1. Shrimpy Says:

    I was hoping someone would pick up on that aspect of the story. There are more surprising stories of those _granted_ asylum e.g. Bosnian war criminals.


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