Saudis arrest Indians. India silent.

India must intervene immediately to secure the early release of its citizens from Saudi authorities

Only a Pakistani newspaper has covered it. In yesterday’s editorial Lahore’s Daily Times mentions that Saudi Arabian authorities have arrested more than 100 people for “illegal activities in Jeddah”. Why should this concern the government, the media and the people of India? Because, a majority of the arrested people are Indian citizens. And what was the “illegal activity” they were engaged in? Praying, or at worst, peaching their belief. These were members of the Qadiani (Ahmadiyya) sect: free to pursue their faith in India, but prosecuted as non-Muslim “deceivers” by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Arabian authorities acted in accordance with their official policy. It is baffling why the Indian government and the media have demonstrated a deafening silence about the matter? Where are the self-professed champions of the minorities—and the Qadiani/Ahmadiyyas are a minority within a minority—hiding?

The matter is clear-cut as far as the Indian government goes. If the Daily Times report is accurate and the arrested people are indeed Indian nationals, the government of India should first extend them immediate consular assistance. Next, it should spare no effort in securing their immediate release and repatriation. India has a responsibility to protect the lives of its citizens abroad, in this case the victims of Saudi Arabian religious intolerance.

17 thoughts on “Saudis arrest Indians. India silent.”

  1. First of all, thanks for a damn good site. I just came across this and was pretty impressed.

    As to why our champions of minority are keeping quiet, what else would you expect them to do? I frankly find the idea of calling 150 million people a minority. If there are minorities in India, they are the Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, Ahmedis, Bahais, Jews. But of course, that isn’t going to fetch the politicians any votes now is it?

    Perhaps the BJP has it right when it says that we should redefine the term “minority” so that only if the percentage of population is

  2. seems to have cut off the last line of my post..

    only if the percentage of population is less than say 10 pc, they would be termed minorities.

  3. Last time Saudi Arabia tried to rip out the eyeballs of an Indian citizen we invited the Saudi king as the chief guest of Republic Day celebrations. I wonder what the Indian govt is up to this time.

  4. A slight technicality folks. In the Wahhabi nutcase of Saudi Arabia being an Ahmediyya is a far greater crime than being a Jew, Christian or Hindu.

    Once their Oil runs out…

  5. Yup, being an Ahmediya and practising it / preaching it is the stupidest thing you can do. If the Indian govt is not doing anything, don’t worry – the govt bothers only if someone creates a ruckus, and if the family members of the arrested do not do that, then may be they don’t care much.

    Anyway, assuming that these guys are not arrested on cooked up charges (always a possibility anywhere, even in India), I would like to know what is it that prompted these geniuses to practice their religion in Saudi. This is a country which everyone knows is tough on any other religion and they confiscate any religious symbols and books at the airport – why even try such stunts? This is Saudi Arabia we are talking about. If I were an Ahmadiya, I would hardly go there, and if I am forced to, will convert first and then go to avoid any problems.

  6. India absolutely needs to take a firm stance on this. If we don’t all our mewling noises on secularism are just that. India needs to demonstrate that she takes care of her own. As for those Wahhabi wackos – Apollo summed it up perfectly – “Once their oil runs out …”

  7. Salauddeen,

    What the Qadianis did was their business. I’m not familiar with the Qadiani creed, but I won’t be surprised if they did what is right according to their faith. (this responds to Matt’s comment as well)

    What the Saudis did is their business. I’ve mentioned it as much in the post.

    But these are beside the point.

    The main point is that the Government of India (and the media) must do its business. That is to extend consular assistance to its citizens and ensure their safety and security. Or are you arguing that the Government of India and the media should abandon its citizens simply because its citizens are arrested for committed crimes in a foreign land.

    Allegation and arrests, mind you, are not the same as judgement. Aren’t you discounting the possibility (and legal norm) that one is innocent until proven guilty. What if they were of a persuasion that the Saudis have no objections to, and were say, framed by unscrupulous travel agents?

  8. Salaudden,

    The point is, as Nitin as already explained, Indian government’s responsiblity to help it’s citizens is independent of the nature of their crime. Remember Peter Bleach? The said gentleman was accused of dropping arma in Purulia but the British government never abandoned him.

    Of course, any right thinking person would argue that religious freedom is a fundamental human right and it is criminal on the part of the Saudi government to arrest people merely for praying. I see you haven’t made that argument-which really says a lot about you.

  9. Now they know how they are treated by their own muslim brothers. They are lucky to be in India and do whatever they want. They should be grateful to the Hindus and the Indians to let them live peacefully in India. Instead in return they are doing anti social activities.

  10. FAO confused (you have chosen your monicker well!)

    Excerpt from Select Committee on Home Affairs Minutes of Evidence
    16 NOVEMBER 2004

    Q168 Mr Green: One last point, again a sort of clearing up point for Mr Singh. You call for transparency in the handling of allegations of links with terrorist activities overseas. What would that mean in practice?

    Mr Jagdeesh Singh: Let me cite a live example. We have with us currently the case of Balbir Singh Bains in our submission. In a nutshell, Mr Singh has lived in this country for 25 years. He is an active Sikh linked to the Active Sikh Campaign based in the Punjab but living and working from here. He goes home, is arrested, is incarcerated for three years, is tortured in prison, is accused of all manner of terrorism. The Indian courts vindicated him very clearly and they said the entire allegations against him by the Indian government were completely unfounded. He then tries to return home, having cleared his name. The British Government refuses to allow him back home. He spends two years fighting, going through the procedures, going through the whole rigmarole of trying to return home to his family. In contrast, with that we have the revealing case of Peter Bleach. Peter Bleach is a prominent British arms dealer convicted in the late 1990s of terrorism in India, having been found dropping arms in certain parts of India. Peter Bleach is sentenced to something like 20 years in prison in India by the Indian courts. He is put into prison and spends six years in prison. During the course of his six-year imprisonment the British Prime Minister, the British Home Secretary and the British Foreign Secretary make consistent and frequent calls directed to the Indian Prime Minister to release Peter Bleach. They circumvent the legal system of India and circumvent his legal conviction to send him back home. There is a clear favouritism for Peter Bleach, a convicted terrorist. In contrast, a Sikh activist who has not even been legally convicted continues to be accused of terrorism by the British Government even after his vindication is denied for two years in a rigmarole of process and bureaucracy permission to return home. He has now finally returned home last month. He had to go through this whole process of delays and double standards and lack of information and lack of transparency. In contrast Peter Bleach gets special treatment.

    Q169 Chairman: Thank you, Mr Singh.

    Mr Jagdeesh Singh: The treatment he is subjected to is quite revealing.

  11. FAO confused

    RE Religious freedom as a fundamental human right – here is the Islamic POV:

    Excerpt from Was Islam Really Spread By The Sword? by By Abu Haithem Al-Hijazee, Jan 11, 2007

    Muhammad, the messenger of Allah, was sent to all mankind and Jinn with Allah’s final and complete message constituting a system of life that leads to the ultimate spiritual, social, and economic justice, security and prosperity. In addition, Islam guarantees a blissful eternal life in the Hereafter to whoever adheres to its rules. Some will see Islam in the right light. Others will allow their whims to lead them astray. Protecting those who reject Islam through their own foolishness and who harbor the potential to corrupt others by forcing them (those who reject Islam) to embrace Islam under the gun is something for which Islam ought to be praised, not condemn. How could saving someone from Hellfire be condemned?

  12. Salauddeen,

    I can’t see what you are trying to prove. That we should believe the words of somebody who testified to the British parliament; or are you suggesting that just because one person is ill-treated in India, we should abandon other citizens in Saudi Arabia?

    Btw, I’m not arguing any principle of Islam. What you say may well be true. It does not, however, explain why Saudi authorities have arrested Indian citizens? Let me emphasise again: We are not debating religious principles. We are discussing what India must do.

  13. Salauddeen,

    comment #12! Really? One wonders which planet you live on! In fact your quote talks exactly to Nitin’s post on treatment of those arrested in Saudi – no protect not just for us khafirs, but no protect for those in different branch of believers! Apparently not even from our secular government. Our leader apparently does not believe in national boundries and, now, nationality itself?

  14. Dear Nitin,

    The Indian government was too busy threatening Youtube for the Gandhi comedy routine, accepting apologies from Indian news channels and promising to “take appropriate action” against an unspecified someone for the racist remarks at Shilpa Shetty to care about such “trivial” matters.

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