JAISALMER: The atrocities inflicted on Hindus in Pakistan have forced many to flee that country and settle in India. One such youth, who fled his native Chacharon village in Bhada Sindh tehsil in Pakistan in 1971, is now a member of Rajasthan assembly. Meet Tarun Rai Kaga, the newly electedBJP MLA from Chouhatan constituency in Barmer district.
The initial days of Kaga were that of struggle. In 1971, after the Indo-Pak war, it became very difficult for Hindus to live in Pakistan. Kaga, then aged 24 years, had already lost his parents and he left for India along with his brothers and sisters hoping to get shelter here. In Pakistan, he had done his graduation. At a refugee camp on May 21, 1972, he was made a teacher. He later got married to Mishri Devi, a resident of Bhojaria in Barmer.
When the refugee camp ended in 1978, he lost his job as well. He became a compounder in the medical department. In 1982, the department made him a clerk. Kaga became the leader of refugee families and his dialect in Pakistani style made a connect with people. As a result, his hold on villages in Chauhatan area increased. His wife Mishri Devi became pradhan of Chauhatan in 1985.
After quitting government job in 2003, Kaga launched himself as an Independent candidate in the assembly election, but could not win. In 2008, he contested on a BJP ticket, but again lost. Despite that, he remained associated with people. This year, he contested again on BJP ticket from Chauhatan assembly constituency and won by 23,526 votes. He is 67 years now.
According to Hindu Singh Sodha, a leader of Pakistani refugees in India, during the Partition in 1947, many came to India and later became MLAs and MPs. But Kaga is the first refugee to become an MLA among those who came to India after the 1965 and 1971 wars. There is happiness among Pakistani refugees in the border areas over Kaga’s election to assembly.