August 14, 2016
“You are free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”
– Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founding father of Pakistan (Aug, 1947)
“We are completely insecure here. We are looted, but our voice is not heard by the people in the saddle, our temples are attacked in broad daylight, but no one takes action, our girls are kidnapped and forcibly converted only to hear more empty promises of justice,”
– Ajeet Kumar,a Hindu in Sindh, Pakistan (Dec, 2014)
Ironic, isn’t it?
Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another individual or group. But, in this case, it is religious persecution! Persecution of religious minorities in conservative Islamic Pakistan is something that is not unheard of. Violence and atrocities against the minority communities of Sindh have been persistent for many decades and the Hindu minority community, in particular, has always been treated like savages. It is no longer a secret from anyone that basic fundamental rights and religious freedom have still been denied to the minorities in Pakistan.
When did this all begin?
From a mighty 16 percent in the year 1946, the Hindu population has come down to a mere 1.3 percent in 1951. Surprisingly, the decimation took just 5 years not 60. Since 1951, the Hindu population in Pakistan has more or less hovered around the same percentage. And yet, this diminutive population has been subjected to hardships, conversions and assaults. The position of Hindus in Pakistan is such that they fear to openly accept their community. Many of them, who were present in Pakistan during the partition of 1947, either escaped or were tragically succumbed to genocide. This extremely low profile existence of Pakistani Hindus not only affects their self-esteem but also, reminds them that are not a part of the nation and belong to a country. This has further resulted in the misrepresentation of the actual number of Hindus in Pakistan. As a result, there are no documents that can state the accurate percentage of Hindu population in Pakistan.
Many of them, who were present in Pakistan during the partition of 1947, either escaped or were tragically succumbed to genocide. This extremely low profile existence of Pakistani Hindus not only affects their self-esteem but also, reminds them that are not a part of the nation and belong to a country. This has further resulted in the misrepresentation of the actual number of Hindus in Pakistan. As a result, there are no documents that can state the accurate percentage of Hindu population in Pakistan. However, the ‘98 census of Pakistan recorded less than 2.5 million Hindus.
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Hate curriculum for youth !
“The Hindu belief was that only a Hindu nation could live in the Indian subcontinent. Other nations should become a part of the Hindu nation or leave India. Many Hindu extremist parties such as the Arya Samaj were working against Muslims since the nineteenth century and even after fifty years after the creation of Pakistan, these organizations continue working to erase the Muslims existence from the region.”
– content from class 8 school textbook from the chapter, ‘The Ideology of Pakistan’
Teacher paly the role of second parents to children and the school becomes their second home. It is believed that a young mind is the most vulnerable and creating impression on young minds are easier than embedding biased thoughts in adults. It seems Pakistan regime knows this too well.
”Religious minorities are often portrayed as inferior or second-class citizens who have been granted limited rights and privileges by generous Pakistani Muslims, for which they should be grateful,”
– a report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.
The Islamization of school textbooks began under the reign of army dictator General of Pakistan Zia-ul-Haq. Hate literature has constantly been agitated by various religious-political groups that spat venom on non-Muslims in the country. The culture of political Islam or Islamism and Jihad in the 1980s also led to the sweeping circulation of anti-minority/ Muslim propaganda. The amount of cash spent by Muslim extremist organisations to produce such offensive literature continues to run into millions of rupees every week.
The Pakistan Blasphemy laws?
“90 year-old Pakistani Hindu, Chacha Gokal Das was thrashed in public by a local policeman for eating rice before the end of Islamic fast”
A few decades back, a Pakistani dictator passed an ordinance Ehtiram-e-Ramadan. This Ordinance prohibits an individual to eat or drink in the public place during fasting hours. It also prohibits the restaurants, hotels or any food outlet to serve during fasting hours.
In other words, it prohibits all non-Muslims from eating in public during fasting hours and curtails the fundamental freedom of all non-Muslims in Pakistan.
In another instance, on July 27, 2016, two young Hindu males were shot by members of a mob at a tea stall in Mirpur Mathelo, in the Ghotki district of Pakistan’s Sindh province. According to HAF report, the incident occurred shortly after a Hindu male from the area who was allegedly converted to Islam a few months back was handed over to authorities by a mob for allegedly burning pages of the Quran.
The Blasphemy Laws in the Pakistan Penal Code are rooted deeply to protect the Islamic authority against any religion, providing penalties that can even lead to a death sentence.
From 1984 to 2004, 5,000 cases of blasphemy were registered in Pakistan out of which 964 people were charged and accused of blasphemy- 479 Muslims, 340 Ahmadis, 119 Christians, 14 Hindus and 10 others. Thirty-two people charged with blasphemy had been murdered extra-judicially, which means, outside the authority of a court. 86 percent of all the cases have been reported in Punjab alone. Out of all Muslim nations, Pakistan has the strictest anti-blasphemy laws. An accusation of blasphemy generally subjects the accused to harassment, life-threats and assaults. (data from Pakistanblasphemylaw.org)
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Temple massacre in Pakistan !
“Muslims attacked more than 30 Hindu temples across Pakistan today, and the Government of this overwhelmingly Muslim nation closed offices and schools for a day to protest the destruction of mosque in India”,
– NYtimes (’96)
An ancient Hindu temple in this northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar was allegedly demolished secretly in the name of repair with a commercial building set to come up on its land.
“There was no temple there. There were just Hindu gods present inside the houses”, a DSP after demolition of a century-old temple in Karachi. – Express Tribune, December 2, 2012
Of the 300 Hindu temples that Pakistan inherited since partition, hardly three dozen have managed to survive. Most of them are in ruins and is set to vanish with the passage of time if the attention is not paid for their maintenance. Most of the ancient Hindu temples that have a historical value attached to it have gone missing as well.
Has Indophobia turned to Hinduphobia?
Indophobia refers to hostility towards the Indian culture and its people. Anti-Indian sentiments combined with anti-Hindu preconception have existed in Pakistan since its birth. Hindus in Pakistan have never been seen as the citizen of Pakistan, but thought of as Indians. This is the reason perhaps, a decision that goes even slightly against Pakistan in India, results in a nationwide purge against Pakistani Hindus!
Following the demolition of Babri masjid, mobs led by Muslim fanatics destroyed almost all the temples in the city and plundered Hindu localities. A motorcade led by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam leader burnt six women and children to death. There was the massacre of Hindus in the far abandoned areas of Balochistan as well.
In 2014, hundreds of angry Pakistanis attacked a Hindu temple and set it on fire in southern Pakistan following a rumor that a member of the Hindu community had desecrated the Quran. The Hindu Panchayat Council, a representative body of Hindu population, later appealed to all Hindus in the region to keep a low profile while celebrating their most important festivals like Holi and Diwali.
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In the present day too, the persecution of Hindus occur freely in many Muslim nations. Thousands of temples have been burnt and demolished at different places. But no media covers the story. However, one mosque was demolished in India and it qualified as “national shame”.
The only Truth we know-
“I am a Pakistani Hindu women. So what business do I have missing Eid? ..At least in Pakistan, Eid and Diwali have much in common. Both are marked by an abundance of mithai (sweets). It is customary to wear new clothes if one can afford them, like Eid it is tradition to give presents on Diwali too. Every year, my family welcomes our friends over for Diwali, and on Eid, we visit our Muslim friends’ houses”
– A Hindu women from Pakistan on Eid via (the Dawn)
Every Ramzan, many Hindus residing in Pakistan fast and celebrate Eid. Like Diwali, it is a time for celebration and happy moments with family for many Hindus in Pakistan. Despite such approach by many Hindus in Pakistan, the situation remains more or less the same.
Every year more than 5,000 Hindus migrate from Pakistan to India. The Modi Government has taken a huge step ahead to recognise thousands of refugees from Pakistan, who continue to stay in the borders of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Despite such efforts, it barely makes any difference for millions of Hindus on the other side, who are still persecuted every day, in the hands of extremists. The brutalities of Pakistan’s military dictatorships and the Islamist is beyond description. Steps should definitely be taken by governments of both countries to STOP this SILENT GENOCIDE ONCE AND FOR ALL !!
– prepared By Yajush Gupta , Twitter: @