New York: The popular Indo-Caribbean Hindu parade, Phagwah, is seen bound in the shackles of a lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the Hindu Parade and Festival Committee against the Federation of Hindu Mandirs last month.
As a result, the New York state Supreme Court has issued a restraining order. The Federation will no more advertise or hold the parade in Queens. Today, the judge will decide who the city should grant a parade permit to.
Phagwah is a good-natured, joyful, Hindu religious holiday observed in March which celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Hindus are seen wearing white this day. A harmless, red dye liquid known as ‘abeer’ is thrown upon each other playfully. Family, friends and neighbors, whether Hindu or not, celebrate the day with lots of powder, perfume and water throwing.
Upset by the decision, the festival committee members feel they are the rightful organizing party to receive the permit. This is because they have been holding the parade since it started in 1988.
“We have to fight for it,” said Roy Singh, president of the Hindu Parade and Festival Committee. “For me, people say, ‘You are fighting the other people.’ No, this is not fighting. This is worth fighting for against the evil element. This is in my blood. We do this as community work, and we do it because we love it.”
Unhappy about the lawsuit, the general secretary of the Federation of Hindu Mandirs is eagerly waiting for the outcome of the court case, likely to occur today. (Imagesource: gtmosquito.com)
Due to the lack of cremation grounds, some Hindus and Sikhs travel hundreds of kilometres just to perform the last rites as per their religious practices
As per reports, there were about 12 cremation grounds before Independence
Unfortunately, Hindu’s and Sikh’s have to face the same problem in the neighbouring state as well, that is Afghanistan
Death is said to be a great leveller. But the tragedy struck to some section of society in Muslim-dominated Pakistan is altogether different.
Due to the lack of cremation grounds, some Hindus and Sikhs travel hundreds of kilometres just to perform the last rites as per their religious practices. People who can’t even afford to travel, they have no option but to bury the mortal remains of their near and dear ones.
As per reports, there were about 12 cremation grounds before Independence. But with the passage of time, they vanished in the thin air of the terror-torn nation. Even in areas lying in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where about 35,000 Hindus and Sikhs live, the cremation grounds are also rare.
The law of the land is non-existent for the minorities communities like Hindu’s and Sikh’s. Without taking no-objection certificate, people from these communities can’t move an inch even. The grief-stricken families have to wait for the clearances, as they are left with no other option.
For Hindus in Pakistan, there is no cremation ground (Shamshan Ghat) in Peshawar. They have to travel 130 KM to cremate according to Hindu rituals. Hindus have been demanding for a crematorium, but to no avail:https://t.co/Ki2VW43I1l
People are forced to travel long distances to cremate their relatives from the areas like Swat Bannu, Kohat, Malakand etc. The cost to travel such long distances ranges from Rs 40,000 to Rs 70,000 and on the top of it, the fear of robbery during these travels cannot be ruled out. Not all the Hindu families can afford to perform the last rites in the manner they want.
Unfortunately, Hindu’s and Sikh’s have to face the same problem in the neighbouring state as well, that is Afghanistan. The minority communities are compelled to bury the dead because cremation grounds are vanishing fast in Pakistan.
Although, the administration of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has allowed the minorities communities to perform cremation near temples. But most of the temples are built on the agricultural lands and commercial areas, which have already been encroached upon by land mafia.
There are a lot of Hindu family residing in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and still, there are very few cremation grounds where their last rites can be performed in that area.
Although, Pakistan boats that the minority communities enjoy equal rights in their country, the ground reality seems to be completely different. Not having a crematorium in Peshawar is just one of the woes that the minority communities are facing since long.
After much of the protests, finally, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has started building the facility from the chief minister’s fund, as per some government sources.
There are almost 50,000 Sikhs and Hindus in Peshawar. And unfortunately, due to lack of proper facilities, people over there are also facing the same situation what others are facing in areas like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
To expect some kind of generosity from the war-torn state like Pakistan is out of the way. Instead of spending extravagantly on the military expansion, Pakistan should come forward and full-fill the basic amenities for the citizen of its country. It’s the people who make the country and not the other way round.