Monday January 22, 2018
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What is my identity – an Indian or Pakistani?

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By Pragya Jha

Even after 68 years of independence and partition of India, the Hindus living in Pakistan do not have any assured future. In fact, they face persecution, bias and discrimination.

A team of young enthusiasts led by Prakash Jha has decided to make a film on the plights of Pakistani Hindus. The movie by name is  “Who am I- Pakistani or Indian” and Jha’s team is actively soliciting public support and funding via media and social media.

They have also released a very brief video to highlight their case.

The makers of this documentary emphasize that they accidentally happened to come across Pakistani Hindus in a camp (in India) and were really moved to see the plight. They are non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan and are discriminated on the basis of their religion. They are denied of their basic rights.

Several of the members of this team are trained by India Today group. They want to make a documentary which showing the plight of the minorities living in Pakistan. They believe that the power of the audio visual medium will have a direct impact on the viewers and their aim is to promote it globally. The video is made in order to raise fund for making a detailed documentary which will show the plight of the Hindus living in Pakistan.

About The video

The shelters in which these people live do not have even a permanent roof made up of bricks and cement. They live in a shelter which is made up of mud, thatch, bamboos and grass that can be destroyed at any moment by a natural calamity or human itself.The child is digging the land instead of going to school. He is carrying an axe in his hand instead of books.

They are so frustrated with their condition that they are migrating from Pakistan to seek asylum in India.

Hundreds of Hindu families who are facing social exploitation and economic backwardness are migrating to India to live a peaceful life.

The video raises a question on the identity of these people that who are they? Are they Pakistani or an Indian living in Pakistan tolerating all the discrimination because of their religion?

They are humans who want to live in peace and enjoy their freedom.

Efforts by the team

After having launched the website, now Jha’s team is busy raising funds and support for their effort. They are in talks with various organizations who will lend their support in promoting the film. Their intention behind this is to create pressure among the concerned authorities to take the required step for the minority.

Target of the Team

According to the website Who am I, If there would be any profit they would try to improve the living condition of the minority by providing them with fans, mattresses, books, tenting etc. Acquiring (Indian) citizenship would take time as it is a legal procedure. They would support them in a small business which will give the minority some source of earning. Aim of this team is to make these Hindu free from the  life of exploitation and provide them with security and freedom.

To see further details, you may visit the website: http://whoami.p2pproductions.in/why-this-film/

They have also created a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/whoamip2p/timeline

Prepared by Pragya-  a student of Journalism in New Delhi. Twitter:@pragya1527

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  • Pragya Jha

    Its high time that we should raise our voice against the injustice done to them.

    • Fredrick S Pardee

      Just pass a law that People whose ancestors were born in India and are followers of Dharmic Religions shall always find refuge in India and India shall accommodate them subject to fulfillment of requirement and shall treat them on par with Indian Citizens.

  • Pritam Go Green

    Not only Pakistan ,Even in Bangladesh, Bhutan,Malaysia conditions of Hindus are pathetic. They all need help. Shame on Indian media for not portraying about them.

  • Chetna Karnani

    A short yet powerful video. This dilemma has been dealt with in literature too, most beautifully yet tragically by Manto in his story ‘Toba Tek Singh.’ Some of our ancestors still hear the echoes of 1947 decades hence.

  • Karishma Vanjani

    Pakistani Hindus in a camp in India. Thats a first

  • Pragya Jha

    Its high time that we should raise our voice against the injustice done to them.

    • Fredrick S Pardee

      Just pass a law that People whose ancestors were born in India and are followers of Dharmic Religions shall always find refuge in India and India shall accommodate them subject to fulfillment of requirement and shall treat them on par with Indian Citizens.

  • Pritam Go Green

    Not only Pakistan ,Even in Bangladesh, Bhutan,Malaysia conditions of Hindus are pathetic. They all need help. Shame on Indian media for not portraying about them.

  • Chetna Karnani

    A short yet powerful video. This dilemma has been dealt with in literature too, most beautifully yet tragically by Manto in his story ‘Toba Tek Singh.’ Some of our ancestors still hear the echoes of 1947 decades hence.

  • Karishma Vanjani

    Pakistani Hindus in a camp in India. Thats a first

Next Story

12 Interesting Facts About Somnath Temple Probably You Didn’t Know

The Somnath Temple is popular due to various legends connected to it. The place is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot.

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Somnath Temple is located in Veraval on the western coast of Gujarat, India. Wikimedia Commons
Somnath Temple is located in Veraval on the western coast of Gujarat, India. Wikimedia Commons
  • Somnath Temple is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna ended his Lila and thereafter left for heavenly abode
  • The first Siva temple at Somanath is believed to have been built at some unknown time in the past
  • Gujarat was raided by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024, plundering the Somnath temple and breaking its sacred jyotirlinga

Somnath Temple is a specimen of fine architecture of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas Shrines of Shiva. This place is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna ended his Lila and thereafter left for heavenly abode, therefore it is dubbed as Eternal Shrine. This legendary temple has been vandalized numerous times in the history but with the help of some Hindu Kings, the temple was reshaped each time.

Somnath Temple is located in Veraval on the western coast of Gujarat, India. The temple is popular due to various legends connected to it. The place is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot. Lord Shiva has a strong connection here and also known as shrine eternal.

Somnath Temple History

According to popular tradition, the first Siva temple at Somanath is believed to have been built at some unknown time in the past. The second temple has been built at the same site by the “Yadava kings” of Vallabhi around 649 CE. In 725 CE, Al-Junayd, the Arab governor of Sindh destroyed the second temple as part of his invasions of Gujarat and Rajasthan. In 815 CE, the Gurjara-Pratihara king Nagabhata II constructed the third temple, a huge structure of red sandstone.

Also Read: Top 10 Famous Hindu Temples of Tamil Nadu

The Chaulukya (Solanki) king Mularaja possibly built the first temple at the site sometime before 997 CE, even though some historians believe that he may have renovated a smaller earlier temple.

Somnath Temple Attacks

Gujarat was raided by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024, plundering the Somnath temple and breaking its sacred jyotirlinga. Ghazni took away the wealth of almost 20 million dinars. As per historical records, the damage to the temple by was quite negligible because there are records of pilgrimages to the temple in 1038, which has no much mention of any damage to the temple.

In14th century, Gujarati Muslim pilgrims were noted by Amir Khusrow to stop at that temple to pay their respects before departing for the Hajj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons
In14th century, Gujarati Muslim pilgrims were noted by Amir Khusrow to stop at that temple to pay their respects before departing for the Hajj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons

But claims are there that Mahmud had killed 50,000 devotees who tried to defend the temple. The temple at the time of Ghazni’s attack appears to have been a wooden structure, which is said to have decayed in time.

According to an inscription of 1169, Kumarapala rebuilt it in “excellent stone and studded it with jewels,”

Also Read: Angkor Wat: History behind Cambodian Hindu temple

Then in 1299, the Somnath Temple was invaded by Alauddin Khalji’s army, led by Ulugh Khan. They defeated the Vaghela king Karna and sacked the Somnath temple. Legends state that the Jalore ruler Kanhadadeva later recovered the Somnath idol and freed the Hindu prisoners, after an attack on the Delhi army near Jalore. However, some other sources state that the idol was taken to Delhi, where it was thrown to be trampled under the feet of Muslims.

The Somnath Temple was rebuilt by Mahipala I, the Chudasama king of Saurashtra in 1308 and the lingam was installed by his son Khengara sometime between 1331 and 1351.

In14th century, Gujarati Muslim pilgrims were noted by Amir Khusrow to stop at that temple to pay their respects before departing for the Hajj pilgrimage.

In 1395, the temple was again destroyed for the third time by Zafar Khan, the last governor of Gujarat under the Delhi Sultanate and later founder of Gujarat Sultanate.

In 1546, the Portuguese who were based in Goa attacked ports and towns in Gujarat including Somnath Temple and destroyed several of its structures.

Somnath temple to Dwarka

Dwarka is an ancient city in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is very near to Somnath temple and due to its relevance to Hindu pilgrimage; people do tend to visit this place also.

Also Read: The Temple of Death: The Abode of Yamraj

The magnificent Temple of Dwarka has an elaborately tiered main shrine, a carved entrance and a black-marble idol of Lord Krishna.

Somnath Temple said to have been safely hiding the famous Syamantak Mani within the hollowness of Shivalinga. Wikimedia Commons
Somnath Temple said to have been safely hiding the famous Syamantak Mani within the hollowness of Shivalinga. Wikimedia Commons

The road distance between Dwarka and Somnath is 231 km and the aerial distance from Dwarka to Somnath is 210 km. One can also cover the distance through train which is almost 398km distant.

Here are some facts that are attached to this sacred and architecturally marvellous temple.

  1. The present-day Somnath Temple was built in five years, from 1947 to 1951 and was inaugurated by then President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad.
  2. Somnath Temple said to have been safely hiding the famous Syamantak Mani within the hollowness of Shivalinga, the Philosopher’s stone, which is associated with Lord Krishna. The stone is said to be magical, which was capable of producing gold. It is also believed that stone had alchemic and radioactive properties and thus it remains floating above the ground.
  3. The temple finds its reference in the sacred texts of Hindus like Shreemad Bhagavat, Skandpuran, Shivpuran and Rig-Veda. This signifies the importance of this temple as one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in India.
  4. According to records, the site of Somnath has been a pilgrimage site from ancient times as it was said to be the junction of three rivers, Kapila, Hiran and the mythical Saraswati. The meeting point was called as Triveni Sangam and is believed to be the place where Soma, the Moon-god bathed and regained his lustre.
  5. According to Swami Gajanand Saraswati (a Hindu scholar), the first temple was built 7, 99, 25,105 years ago as derived from the traditions of Prabhas Khand of Skanda Puran.
  6. The temple is said to be located at such a place that there is no straight-line land between Somnath seashore till Antarctica continent. In a Sanskrit inscription, found on the Arrow-Pillar called Baan-Stambh is stated that the temple stands at a point on the Indian piece of land, which happens to be the first point on land in the north to the south-pole on that particular longitude.

    The saga of Somnath temple is related to moon god and curse of his father in law Daksha Prajapati. Wikimedia Commons
    The saga of Somnath temple is related to moon god and curse of his father in law Daksha Prajapati. Wikimedia Commons
  7. According to the text of Skanda Purana, the name of Somnath Temple will change every time the world is reconstructed. It is believed when Lord Brahma will create a new world after ending the one we are living, Somnath will acquire a new name of Pran Nath Temple.
  8. On the walls of Somnath Temple, the sculptures of Lord Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu can be seen.
  9. According to another reference in the Skanda Purana, there are about 6 Brahmas. This is the era of 7thBrahma who is called Shatanand.
  10. The flag mast on the peak of Somnath Temple is 37 feet long and it changes 3 times a day.
  11. The saga of Somnath temple is related to moon god and curse of his father in law Daksha Prajapati.
  12. Non-Hindus doesn’t require any special permission to visit Somnath Temple. The decision was taken in view of security issues.Now, pack your bags and begin your journey to one of the most the sacred places of India.