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56 candidates to contest for 15 seats in Pakistan Hindu Council

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image: facebook.com

A total of 56 Hindu candidates have submitted their nomination papers for contesting on 15 seats of Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC). The candidates have been vying for President, Vice President, Secretary General, Joint Secretary, Finance Secretary, and 10 seats of Managing Committee members. Patron-in-chief, PHC, MNA Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani said the elections of Pakistan Hindu…

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Abducted and Converted : 20 Year Old Hindu Girl Arti Kumari Sharma Falls Victim to Jihadis in Sindh, Pakistan

Arti’s case is not the first of its kind. Hundreds of Hindu girls are being kidnapped, raped and converted every month

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Hundreds of Hindu and Christian girls and women are kidnapped and forcefully converted to Islam annually. (representative image) Pixabay

Washington, DC, September 12, 2017 — The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has called for the immediate release of Arti Kumari Sharma, a 20 year-old Hindu woman who was kidnapped at gunpoint this past Saturday near her home in Khairpur District in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province.

Arti’s uncle, Kishwar Sharma, a Houston resident and native of Pakistan, recently escaped religious persecution in Pakistan to immigrate to the US.

“I am deeply distraught to find out my niece was kidnapped at gunpoint near her house,” said Sharma. “Arti is engaged to be married in November and is the second girl to be kidnapped in my family.”

Arti, a teacher at Qasim Model School, was abducted on her way home by a Muslim landlord, Ammer Wassan, taken to a local mosque where she was forcibly converted to Islam and married against her will to a man named Amir Bux. She was also reportedly coerced into signing an affidavit claiming that she married Bux and converted out of her own free will.

Despite her family filing a First Information Report with local police, Arti has not been allowed to return home and will be brought before the Sindh High Court on September 12.

Arti Kumari
Arti Kumari Sharma. Twiter

“Arti’s basic civil rights and freedom have been flagrantly violated, in contradiction of Pakistani law and international human rights law,” said Rishi Bhutada, HAF Board Member and Houston resident. “We urge the Sindh High Court to order the immediate release and safe return of Arti to her family.”

Many NGOs and human rights groups, including Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD) and the Movement for Solidarity and Peace, have estimated that more than 1,000 Hindu and Christian girls and women are kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam annually. The courts and legal system in Pakistan are often complicit in sanctioning this practice by accepting false documents and statements obtained through force, threats, or coercion.

The Foundation has extensively documented this trend and other human rights violations against Pakistani Hindus in its annual human rights report, Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights, 2017.

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What’s it Like to be a Pakistani Hindu? This Quora Answer Shows the Harsh Reality

The foundation of Freedom is Unity- Oliver Kemper

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Representational image. Pixabay

December 22, 2016: “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” But some people always try to push society into conflict. They try to inflict their spurious agendas in the community.

Some people have the power to bring change in the society, both in good as well as bad ways. But some people choose religion to benefit their evil schemes.

According to the constitution of Pakistan, all citizens are equal. But the incidents of hate crimes go against it. Hindus are not permitted to perform rituals on the land of their ancestors. It is the end of 2016. It’s time that people of all the religion, caste and creed walk freely with their heads held high.

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Below is an answer to a thread in Quora that asked: “What Does it feel like to be a Pakistani Hindu?

By Ravi Ahuja:

My answer might offend some people, but I won’t answer anonymously. I will try my best to explain my experience as a Pakistani Hindu.

To be really honest, deep inside, I feel really bad.

Before the partition, we were all Hindustani. At the time of partition, our parents decided to live in Pakistan rather than India. Why they chose Pakistan over India is another debate, but I am sure that they were unaware of the price they and their descendants would pay for this decision.

I have to say that, despite being calm, non-violent and educated citizens, we are not completely owned by the Pakistani people. Yet we are targeted the most in the region. From school life to getting a job, I experienced such discrimination that I can conclude we are not recognized by the Pakistani people yet.

When I was in school, for the first half an hour students were expected to recite the Quran. Instead of giving us a Hindu religion book to read or something, teachers used to ask us to read the Quran as well. If we couldn’t read, then we were expected to listen to the others very carefully. As a child of 3rd or 4th standard (8-10 years), we couldn’t argue with a teacher. At that time, we didn’t have the sense to figure out our rights were violated. We just did whatever they instructed us to do.

As I grew older and went to high school, the situation worsened. In high schools, we used to study Islamiat as a subject and the teacher used to call Hindus, ‘Kafir’ (infidel). We were told Islam was the only mature religion in the world.

The journey from school to university wasn’t easy when people made you feel that your religion was worthless and that you were going to Hell anyway. Therefore, students and teachers made attempts to get us to join their religion (and therefore lead a prosperous life). Not only that but, people made fun of the way Hindus practice religion. They mocked our religion.

When it came to celebrating festivals, they became even more intolerant. Diwali is a sacred Hindu celebration- like Christmas for Christians and Ramadan for Muslims. I witnessed several occasions where the town government used to gave us a warning for celebrating Diwali. I don’t understand what prevented them from letting people of other religions be happy.

Another issue that a lot of Pakistani people face is ‘Blasphemy ‘. However, only Muslims have the power to use this word against other religions. If anyone dares to speak against Islam, then he/she will be stoned to death. But, no one cares if you speak against Hinduism, Christians or torch their temples or holy books.

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One serious issues for Pakistani Hindus-especially women- is that they get kidnapped, converted to Islam and forcibly married. After that, the girl is sold to third parties.

No one dares to speak against this barbaric practice. Some people back the so-called religious leaders and as no one takes a stand against it.

However, if a Hindu guy even thought about such a thing for a Muslim girl, then he and his family would be slaughtered instantly.

I know of one such incident. The guy and the girl were in love and about to get married. Both of them desired the marriage and were looking forward to it.

You know what happened next?

The girl’s family became aware of this . They killed the boy’s whole family and buried the boy alive in the town near Sukkur, Sindh.

We are part of a country that says everyone has the equal rights, but in reality that is not the case . Even the Pakistan’s 1973 constitution, forbids a person from a minority (Hindu, Christian, Jew and others ) to become Prime Minister or President.

If the government doesn’t recognize and accept us as entirely Pakistani, then how can we expect this from ordinary citizens?

I just do not understand one thing: why are people so intolerant? Why can’t they just let other people do what they want to do?

I am not pointing fingers, but we are part of the country as well.

People disrespect our religion but we don’t react by killing those people. After all, who are we to decide what is wrong and what is right?

I believe, every Hindu Pakistani goes through similar situations. Some grin and bear it but others migrate to India. This is why the Hindu population has gone down sharply from 17% (at time of Partition) to around 2 -3%.

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I was born in Pakistan and spent 24 years of my life there. After that I moved to Australia. My family still lives in Pakistan and I visit them once in a year.

But I need to say this: In spite of all of this, I am pro-Pakistani. Deep down in my heart I love Pakistan.

I always support the Pakistan team and, I love to watch the when they beat India, specially. My favourite cricketer is Saeed Anwar. My favourite hockey team is the Pakistani one.

I am proud when any Pakistani makes us proud internationally and I argue with people who speak against Pakistan.
I have accepted Pakistan as my country through and through.

Unfortunately, the way people treat us is unacceptable.

I do not know how far we have to go to prove that we belong and for you guys to accept us as fully Pakistani.

by NewsGram team

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Decimation and Missing of Hindus in south Asia

The population of Hindus has declined at an exponential rate in about last 50 years.

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Hinduism in Australia
A ritual in Hinduism. Wikimedia

There was recently an article published at dailyo.in titled “The missing Hindus in South Asia and a conspiracy of silence” by Saswati Sarkar. She laments that Indian media is quick to cover all kinds of international events, be it Arab Spring or Gaza conflict or beautification of saints at the Vatican. But it is surprisingly silent to the genocide of Hindus at the global level and more closely in their vicinity,ie, neighboring countries. Seh says that there a ‘conspiracy of silence’ in our media regarding decimation and missing of Hindus in south Asia region.

According to Sarkar, our neighbors such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Myanmar have done a commendable job in eradicating the very essence of Hinduism in their respective countries. She adds that starting off with the scandalous episodes we have Pakistan on our list at the top. When it comes to India, Pakistan is the mother of all conspiracies.

Pakistan: A closer look

The population of Hindus has declined at an exponential rate in about last 50 years. As mentioned by Saswati Sarkar“ In 1947, Hindus constituted about 15 percent of the population of West Pakistan (current Pakistan); by 1998, it is about 1.6 percent “ Thanks to all the social and legal discrimination which exists there. Some of them are as follows

  • Only Muslims are allowed to stand for presidential/prime ministerial candidate.
  • Targeting Hindus via court harsh punishments such as death sentences through Blasphemy laws.
  • Not giving any family-related laws to non-Muslims.
  • Promoting hatred against minorities in through academics (via schools and Madrasas).
  • Forcing women and girls to change religions.
  • Even temples have not been spared .Stone idols were smashed off. One of the most sacred places such as Hinglaj Mata temple was also targeted. As a result, many Hindus are now taking refuge abroad with no hope left behind.

Bangladesh: A closer look

Coming off to the next episode we focus towards Bangladesh. Continuing the legacy of killing Hindus it has performed indeed well.

  • Simply in the name of Hindu women are raped here.
  • Girls are sold.
  • People have been forced to leave the nation (especially Bengali’s Hindus).
  • Spiritual festivals such as Durga Puja are targeted and people are decimated.
  • Enemies’ this is the term used there to refer Hindus community.

Bhutan and Malaysia: A closer look

Coming next on the list we infer countries are Bhutan and Malaysia .They make look small but they are no behind.

  • Nearly 100,000 Hindus have been expelled alone from Bhutan.
    Policies such as Bhumiputra have affected a major chunk of Hindus in Malaysia.
Traditions in Hindus community Wikimedia Commons
Traditions in Hindus community, Wikimedia Commons

Hats off to our government and Media for playing a major part in adding to their misery. Right under their nose all these decimations were taking place and they remained as mute spectators. We didn’t even bother to give help to the officially declared Refugees. Neither did we care about raising these issues in United Nations. Thanks to our present Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and some leaders such as Shivraj Singh Chauhan who showed special concern towards these needy people.

  • Fast track process of Indian citizenship.
  • Private jobs will now be offered to these refugees.
  • Unlike us (home to the largest democracy) leaders from the US such as Tulsi Gabbard and Aaron Schock have stepped up in eradicating these atrocities on minorities.
  • Protests have been organised in Washington DC for a help of those people in the name of humanity.

Sarkar laments that it is a matter of shame for us for turning a blind eye to those brothers and sisters of ours. Even on our own soil Kashmiris Pandits have been killed in large figures and were forced to eat beef.

Related article : Plight of Kashmiri Pandits

Role of media

Sarkar then takes in the Media. Uncovering our media, they were expected to do something regarding all these horror acts. Some of which are mentioned as follows-

  • Leaders such as Zafar Ali Khan put forward his notion that no Sikhs shall live in Pakistan.
    • Adding to the fact 7 million Sikhs and Hindus were eradicated from Pakistan.
    • Nearly 10,000 to 20,000 were killed in Sheikhpura district and 7000 Hindus were killed in Rawalpindi district.
Distribution of Hindus in Pakistan, Wikimedia Commons
Distribution of Hindus in Pakistan, Wikimedia Commons
  • Tortures were commonly practised such as-
    • Cutting off Nipples
    • Ripping of wombs of pregnant women and destroying their foetus.
    • Inserting of rods in private parts of women.
  • Children were even burnt alive and were often thrown to swords.

India Today did cover the misery of Rinkle Kumari in 2012. It did receive some coverage. Such is the irony that small media groups and sites with much fewer resources compared to rich Indian media have collected and published more facts. And our own media is standing numbly in front of them with nothing in their hand. When it came to a killing of a Muslim in Pune or be it Gujarat riots coverage or any martial persecution or be it Slapping of the civil servant by any political leader or the conversation of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism. These are well covered and are projected by our media but when it comes to the killing of Hindus by a Muslim or raping of a girl by a Muslim or be it brutal torturing of Lt Col Purohit or burning of Hindus homes by Muslims mobs or Torturing of national level Indian shooter Tara Sahedo our media becomes silent. In Tripura NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura) has banned Hindu festivals and has used rape as a tool to force Hindus to listen to their atrocities.

As mentioned by the writer herself “It is telling that my references for the terror allegedly fomented by the church in India’s North East have been BBC, and not Indian media reports.” even I got a major help by non-Indian media sources rather than our own media giants. It is therefore high time that our government along with our media should introspect so that this brutal killing of minorities (mainly Hindus) be stopped in regions such as South Asia.

Prepared by Pritam

Pritam is a 3rd year engineering student in B.P. Poddar institute of management and technology, Kolkata. A simple person who tries to innovate and improvise himself. Twitter handle @pritam_gogreen