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2017 Hindu Human Rights Report Released by Hindu American Foundation (HAF) : Here is What you Need to Know!
- The Hindu American Foundation has launched its 2017 edition of “Hindus in South Asia & The Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights” also known as the Hindu Human Rights Report
- The Hindu American Foundation launched its first report in 2004
- It aims to highlight Human Rights violations against Hindu Diaspora in South Asia
June 20, 2017:
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) on Monday, 19th June 2017, launched their 2017 edition of “Hindus in South Asia & The Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights” Report, also known as the Hindu Human Rights Report.
HAF is an advocacy organization that educated the public on Hinduism and the issues that affect Hindus worldwide. Since 2004, the HAF has published Reports on Hindu Human Rights. It seeks to highlight the threats that Hindus face in South Asia.
The research that goes into these reports is extensive. Allied organizations such as Global Human Rights Defense (GHRD), Bangladesh Minority Watch (BMW), the Indo-American Kashmir Forum, Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF), Malaysian Hindu Foundation (MHF) and Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC), among many others provide the necessary information that is thus revealed in the reports.
The 2017 Report
The report observes Human Rights of Hindus violated across 9 countries and 1 Indian state where Hindus are in Minority. These are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad and Tobago, and finally the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Out of these, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Islamic Republic of Bangladesh, and Malaysia are branded as “Egregious Violators” as they have constantly allowed the Human Rights violations of Hindus. Interestingly, the HAF had also recognized these same states as Egregious Violators in its 2016 report.
Afghanistan: Afghanistant faces numerous security threats and instability. The presence of Taliban and ISIS has officially led to the crisis of the country with the ongoing violence and Human Rights Violation. In a country where Islam is the dominant religion at 99.7%, the situation for the minorities in the country is apalling. The HAF 2017 Hindu Human Rights Report states the plight of minority groups. According to the report, “Hindus and Sikhs lack cremation rights and are often attacked and humiliated while trying to cremate their dead.”
The reports further add how Hindu and Sikh children in particular are faced by bullies and harassed for their religious beliefs. The parents live in constant fear that their daughters might be abducted and married off to a Muslim. Sikh and Hindus also face unemployment, particularly in the government sector.
Such conditions have drastically reduced the Hindu and Sikh population in Afghanistan. HAF estimates only 200 families remaining, as compared to 200,000 in 1970s.
Bangladesh: The report observes a significant increase in religiously motivated violence over the past few years. On Diwali day, 15 temples were reportedly ransacked. “The beheadings of Hindu priests and secular bloggers, abductions and conversions of Hindu girls, and forced occupation of minority owned lands also continued throughout the year unabated.” said the report.
The rise of Islamist terror groups has also worsened the situation. Extremist groups such as Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), al-Qaeda in the India subcontinent (AQIS), ISIS, Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) have created an atmosphere of instability and insecurity.
In an incident that was shameful to say the least, Islamist militants took hostages in a bakery. They asked the hostages to recite versions of the Koran and those that did not or could not were shot dead. 20 people were killed a a result of that.
The political elites of the country have been absolutely ignorant of the problem. The Awami League (AL) has not voiced any sympathy or answers to the problem. Rather, bloggers and journalists have been supressed.
The discrimination can be seen in the political representation as well. Religious minorities are underrepresentated. The Rapid Action Battallion (RAB) and other Bangladeshi forces are also accused of Human Right violations. “Extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, and torture of prisoners” is a frequent against the minorities.
The Hindu and Buddhists are thus distancing themselves from Bangladesh. Hindu population has declines from 31% to less than 10%.
Pakistan: We have read about numerous cases of discrimination, assault and harassment against Hindus in Pakistan. The situation in 2016 was just as severe. The report states “Human rights and religious freedom conditions continued to deteriorate at an unprecedented rate in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 2016. Pakistan’s widespread violation of human rights and its toler- ance of human rights violations by non-state actors demonstrate a blatant disregard for international human rights norms and its obligations under human rights treaties and conventions.”
Forcer conversions of Hindu (or christianity) to Islam has continued in 2016. HAF estimate 1000 people abducted and converted last year. The abductions is even more brutal to the women who are married off to Muslims, raped or “sold”.
The report also notes the “depiction of non muslims in textbooks.” Children are often taught to reject pluralism. Hindus are also used in the insensitive bonded labor system. While the reports acknowledge Pakistan’s decision to pass Hindu Marriage Bill in March 2017 as a “positive step”, the militant problem remains unsolved.
The report also mentions the 1000 bodies of Baloch activists recovered in Balochistan province since past 6 years, highlighting the abuse of power and weapons by authorities and security forces.
Malaysia: Hindus continued to face economic marginalization due to the Bumiputra policy which favors the majority muslims. Malaysia’s constitution itself gives preference to Muslim majority. Furthermore, Islam is the official state religion of the country. Hindu temples have been demolished and Hindus have been forced to relocate in 2016. The Shariat law has been imposed on Hindus and other minority groups.
ISIS has also been able to garner support of the muslim majority in Malaysia. Minority groups have been suppressed. The LGBT activists have been abused by the men in power.
The Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir: Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir has seen escalating violence and conflict, especially since the death of Burhan Wahi (commander of Hizbul Mujahideen). Kashmiri Pandits have been the target in this political unrest. We know of the incidents in Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, but even in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, human rights violations have given rise to Kashmiri Pandit activists. The tense situation has prompted a remark from US State Department which raised concerns over the issue.
The reports also note how ISI and Pakistan sponsor terrorism and fuel violence. Hindus have sought refuge in other parts of the country where social and economic conditions for them are deplorable.
These were the Egrogious States. Five more nations commit human rights violations against Hindus. The HAF explores these violations and addresses them extensively. It ennumerates various policy reforms that can further the objective of co-existence. The full report can be found on the HAF website. The 2017 report has dsicussed crucial topics such as refugee problem, growing islamist terror, discrimination in political and economic sphere, religion hate crimes and violence against women.
It becomes important to address these issues especially since Hinduism is about pluralism and dignity.
– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394
Actor and environmental activist, Dia Mirza, who is also the National Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was showstopper for Indian designers Abraham & Thakore at the recently held LFW X FDCI event. The designer duo who are pioneers of slow fashion and sustainability in the Indian fashion landscape showcased a timeless sustainable collection.
IANSlife spoke with Mirza on sustainable choices when it comes to fashion.
Q: Did you enjoy the on-ground fashion event and the energy that came with the physical show and appearance?
A: Yes absolutely. It was just so refreshing and wonderful to finally be back from a virtual audience. Last year we did a digital show and the energy was just not there, this is an interactive experience and we draw so much from real people.
Q: The outfit that was chosen for you, how did it complement your style?
A: It's a garment that I think involves and is reflective of what I stand for, I deeply care about sustainability and I love the fact that the garment has been made with repurposed material, used and created with a hundred per cent post-consumer bottles, and made by the waste generated from the pieces of fabric that we discard while creating other garments. So it was a very special garment that really and truly celebrated repurposing and reusing and upcycling.
IANSlife spoke with Mirza on sustainable choices when it comes to fashion. | Wikimedia Commons
Q: In the world of fashion celebrity collaborations are replacing celebrity muses, what are your thoughts on that?
A: I think it's wonderful because you know, celebrities have interesting sensibility and you know designers and celebrities who care and have a similar value system and ethos work really well together. I have such wonderful partnerships with people, who have worked with me over the years. I haven't created a line with any of them yet, but I think it would be a lot of fun.
Q: How do you support sustainable fashion?
A: I think it's very exciting for India that we have so many more young upcoming and exciting designers, who make absolutely fantastic sustainable collections. Abraham & Thakore and the kind of work they've done over the years is fabulous, but what's even more important is the fact that they're empowering local craftsmen and artisans, creating livelihood support.
Q: A book, a movie, the gym, or a night out; your perfect way to unwind?
A: It really depends, but if I had to choose one, I would choose movies because I love cinema.
Q: What is an experience in your life that you're waiting to have?
A: Trekking up Machu Picchu.
(Article originally published on IANS life) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: indian, sustainability, designers, sustainable,
In a step towards digitisation of the system, Delhi Transport Department will soon issue QR based Smart cards for driving licenses (DLs) and registration certificates (RCs).
As per a statement, the new driving licence will have an advanced microchip with features like Quick Response (QR) code and Near Field Communication (NFC). The new RC will have the owner's name printed on the front while the microchip and the QR code would be embedded at the back of the card.
The cards earlier had embedded chips, but chip reader machines were not available in the required quantity with both the Delhi Traffic Police and the Enforcement Wing of the Transport Department. Moreover, chips were designed and implemented by the states concerned, which resulted in difficulties in reading the chip and retrieving information, especially in case of defaulters.
"Now with the QR based smart card, this issue is resolved. This will enable unification in linking and validating one's information to smart cards with Sarathi and Vahan, the two web-based databases of all driving licenses and vehicle registrations," the release added.
The QR is also being implemented nationwide, the QR code reader is easily procurable and will do away with the requirement of any manual intervention altogether. The new cards will also allow two specific materials for their card manufacturing -- PolyVinyl Chloride or PVC, or PolyCarbonate which is slightly more expensive but more durable. (Card Size - 85.6mm x 54.02 mm; Thickness minimum 0.7 mm)
An October 2018 notification of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had made changes to the Driving License and Registration Certificate. The new Smart card based DL and RC, will have chip based/ QR code based recognition system. At the same time, documents such as driving license or registration certificates in electronic formats on DigiLockers and mParivahan were also made valid in place of physical documents and treated at par with original documents.
The QR code also has an added advantage of acting as a safety feature on the smart card. The department will be able to retain records and penalties of the DL holder for up to 10 years on the VAHAN database as soon as a driver/ owner's Smart card is confiscated. The new DLs will also help the government in maintaining records of differently-abled drivers, any modifications made to the vehicles, emission standards and the person's declaration to donate organs. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Delhi, Driving License, Registration License, Digitisation.
LONDON — A work by British street artist Banksy that sensationally shredded itself just after it sold at auction three years ago fetched almost 18.6 million pounds ($25.4 million) on Thursday — a record for the artist, and close to 20 times its pre-shredded price.
"Love is in the Bin" was offered by Sotheby's in London, with a presale estimate of 4 million pounds to 6 million pounds ($5.5 million to $8.2 million).
After a 10-minute bidding war involving nine bidders in the saleroom, online and by phone, it sold for three times the high estimate to an undisclosed buyer. The sale price of 18,582,000 pounds ($25,383,941) includes an auction-house fee known as a buyer's premium.
The piece consists of a half-shredded canvas in an ornate frame bearing a spray-painted image of a girl reaching for a heart-shaped red balloon.
When it last sold at Sotheby's in October 2018, the piece was known as "Girl With Balloon." Just as an anonymous female European buyer made the winning bid — for 1 million pounds ($1.4 million) — a hidden shredder embedded in the frame by Banksy whirred to life, leaving half the canvas hanging from the frame in strips.
Sotheby's received some criticism at the time for failing to spot the hidden shredder. But the 2018 buyer decided to go through with the purchase, a decision that was vindicated on Thursday as the work's price soared. Image source: voa
Sotheby's received some criticism at the time for failing to spot the hidden shredder. But the 2018 buyer decided to go through with the purchase, a decision that was vindicated on Thursday as the work's price soared.
The work quickly became one of Banksy's most famous, and Sotheby's sent it on tour to cities including New York and Hong Kong before Thursday's auction.
Auctioneer Oliver Barker joked that he was terrified to bring down the hammer to end Thursday's sale. There were jitters among Sotheby's staff to the last that Banksy had another surprise planned.
Alex Branczik, Sotheby's chairman of modern and contemporary art, called the shredding "one of the most ingenious moments of performance art this century."
Banksy, who has never confirmed his full identity, began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England, and has become one of the world's best-known artists. His mischievous and often satirical images include two male police officers kissing, armed riot police with yellow smiley faces and a chimpanzee with a sign bearing the words, "Laugh now, but one day I'll be in charge."
Several of his works have sold for multiple millions at auction. In March, a Banksy mural honoring Britain's health workers, first painted on a hospital wall, sold for 16.8 million pounds ($23.2 million) at a Christie's auction, until Thursday a record for the artist.
"Girl With Balloon" was originally stenciled on a wall in east London and has been endlessly reproduced, becoming one of Banksy's best-known images. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Banksy, Artwork, Auction, Girl With Balloon, Sotheby