Generally, it so happens that both the houses in the parliament remain empty after Friday afternoons. Owing to the meetings and events that are commonly organised on weekends in their respective constituencies, the members are concerned about those more than attending parliament sessions. Even though members of the Rajya Sabha have no such commitments, the house still remains empty on Friday afternoons. The only time you can see extensive excitement on the part of Rajya Sabha members is when Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposes a new policy/move. There will be excitement on the part of supporters, and more anxiety on the part of members willing to oppose it.

However, on March 10, 2017, there were 31 excited Rajya Sabha members within the house – all of them from BJP and NDA, all of them waiting for that particular day since two and half years! The bill proposed on that day had to be passed at any cost, for if not, it would lose its validity on March 14th. The consequence of that would have been that thousands of crores worth resources would have become the assets of heirs of the Mohammedabad Raja – one of the responsible persons in formation of Muslim League. The Muslim League played a major role in the partition of India and Pakistan.

Even after multiple efforts by the BJP to pass this bill, the Congress simply did not let it happen within the Rajya Sabha. It became essential for the BJP government to act shrewd in order to protect the country’s interests, from the very party that ruled it for nearly 60 years. Hence, catching the opportunity where only 31 members from the same (NDA) side were present within the Rajya Sabha, the ‘Enemy Property Bill’ was passed! The same bill was then passed within the Lok Sabha as well, on 14th March 2017.

This meant that a total of 5.5 lakh crore rupees worth property was retained by the Indian government. This property was being claimed by the refugees of the 1962 Sino-Indian war and 1965 Indo-Pak war, who had fled to China and Pakistan. These people had now returned, claiming that this property was theirs! Well, while the UPA tried its best to hand over this property to the claimers, Narendra Modi’s government shrewdly passed the bill and retained every coin back in India.

What is this ‘Enemy Property Bill’ after all?

This bill was first proposed in 1968, after the 1965 war. The people who had fled to China and Pakistan during the war period faced a dilemma regarding the property they had owned and abandoned in India. After the Indo-Pak war, a few Indians who had resided in Pakistan returned to India – following which Pakistan made no delay in seizing whatever property they owned back there. India too, in an attempt to retain Indian-owned properties in the country, proposed this bill in 1968. However, Mohammedabad Raja and his family have been fighting for their property ever since they established themselves in Pakistan, even though the government has made it clear that abandoned property belongs to the native country. It was, however, instructed by the court in 2005 that the government must hand over Raja’s property to the family.

The issue of clearing a massive piece of land owned by the government in UP, for a private entity was unacceptable. Then Home Minister Chidambaram (in 2010) made it clear that government owned lands can have no heir. However, though there were amendments prescribed for the bill, INC never let the bill pass.

Mohammedabad Raja and his entire family have been notoriously anti-Indians since the colonial era. This family, the residents of Pakistan, were also amongst the prominent parties supporting the partition of India and Pakistan. It has been clearly prescribed in the Enemy Property Bill that no residents of an enemy country can claim property within the native country. It was completely reasonable for the Modi government to act shrewd in order to retain the massive property of these tyrants in India. Completely legal, appropriate and appreciable as well. Narendra Modi and his team have time and again proved that they shall sustain the best interests of the country, by hook or crook!


Ashwini Jain

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