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Longing for Acceptance: Hindus call for allocation of religious site to perform rituals in Pakistan

"The government has taken Hindus for granted and never bothered to take them on board regarding formation of a policy to bring them in the main streamline"

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  • Marriage laws for millions of Hindus living in Sindh have been codified after the Sindh Assembly approved the Hindu Marriage Bill in 2016
  • There has been no place allocated to them to perform their religious rites such as cremate their dead, perform religious rituals like worship, recite Geeta and play Holi
  • The Hindus of Garrison city call for allocation of a site to perform these rituals

With the population of diverse groups rising in various countries, several laws have been twisted or bent to accommodate them. Quite a number of them have been codified, to accept these communities and bring them under law. Certain religious freedom has also been guaranteed to the employers of numerous faith. Appropriate places for prayers during working hours and flexible schedule during religious occasions are a few to name. Even in Pakistan, marriage laws for millions of Hindus living in Sindh have been codified after the Sindh Assembly approved the Hindu Marriage Bill in 2016.

Hindus, with a population of 3.3 million in Pakistan have no legal mechanism to register marriages and lack any legal framework for the protection of their marriage. Under the new law, Zoroastrians and Sikhs in Sindh will also be able to register their marriages. But in the rest of the country, call for the similar legislation is falling on deaf ears, said the July 18, Pak Observer.net report.

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With over 200 Hindu families scattered in parts of Rawalpindi and Islamabad in Saddar, Chaklala, Chungi Number 22, Lal Kurti, Alipur Firash, G-7, Bhara Kahu and suburbs of the Federal Capital, there has been no place allocated to them to perform their religious rites such as cremate their dead, perform religious rituals like worship, recite Geeta and play Holi. Apart from that, the Hindus of Garrison city too, have called for the allocation of a site to perform these rituals.

Street protest by Hindus in Pakistan. Image source: www.trinetra.org.uk
Street protest by Hindus in Pakistan. Image source: www.trinetra.org.uk

A survey conducted by pakobserver.net showed, Balmik Hindus are the majority in the Garrison City. The two sub-castes are divided based on whether they cremate their dead and those who bury them. But however, unlike India, they only differ in observance of certain rituals and does not characterise their ways of living. But despite these differences, the scattered population are pillars of the same ancient roof.

Jagmohan Kumar Arora and Akash Raj of the Pakistan Hindu-Sikh Welfare Council and Sudhar Young Hindu Welfare Sabha respectively said that though Hindus face no immediate threat from any particular group or individuals, they are far from mixing up in society and was being exploited in the name of religious, cultural and social differences. They are the representatives of the two organisations which are working for the rights of the Hindu community, preservation of their ways of living and their overall social, political and economic welfare.

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“The government has taken Hindus for granted and never bothered to take them on board regarding the formation of a policy to bring them in the main streamline,” said Jagmohan to pakobserver.net.

They also add that the reason why Hindus in Pakistan could not make their mark in various fields is the deep sense of alienation they are suffering from within their own country.

– prepared by Ajay Krishna of NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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Kejriwal’s Door to Door Donation Drive is a Farce: Munish Raizada

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors' list on its website and then only seek new donations.

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Dr. Munish Raizada along with his Chanda Bandh Satyagraha team outside the office of AAP MLA Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar). File photo

Chicago: The Aam Aadmi Party Convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has launched a door to door campaign seeking donations for the AAP.  According to former overseas co-coordinator of Aam Aadmi Party, Dr. Munish Raizada, this is nothing more than a misleading campaign!

Raizada says that Kejriwal has no moral right to seek donations from common man as he has dismantled financial transparency in AAP by removing donors list from its website. Displaying donors’ list showing real time donations and making the income and expenditure accounts available online were the basis and the promise of the AAP, emphasised Raizada.

Now, after hiding donors’ list and its balance sheets from the public, the AAP cannot claim to be practising alternative politics.

Munish Raizada, kejriwal
Lack of financial transparency in the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP prompted a group of NRIs, who once worked to mobilise funds and support for the party, to turn against it. (File photo)

It may be noted that AAP removed the list of donors from its website in June 2016. Moreover, since then AAP has been surrounded with controversies related to donations. AAP had also received Rs 30.67 crore Income Tax notice, last year in November, implying that all is not well with AAP’s accounts, says Raizada.

He further questions Kejriwal, that if AAP has nothing to hide about its accounts and if AAP is honest with its account keeping then why is Kejriwal hiding the donations?

Even the donation policy that was earlier the pride of every AAP volunteer has been done away with. The donation policy on AAP website used to state: “Every single rupee donated to the party will be published on the website immediately along with the details of the donor. Every expense done by the party will also be published on the website.”

But rather than putting the donors’ list in public domain, the party’s corrupt leadership started blaming BJP and I.T. Department for harassing its donors.

 

munish raizada, kejriwal
Chanda Bandh Satygrah demands restoration of  lost values in AAP ( File Photo)

 

Opaque political funding is the fountain head of corruption. Further, Raizada says that if the party cannot be transparent in its political funding, then talking about fighting corruption and graft is a mere rhetoric. He said that the appeals by Chanda Bandh Satyagraha have fallen on deaf ears as far as the party’s

leadership is concerned. 

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors’ list on its website and then only seek new donations. Chanda Bandh Satyagraha was started by AAP’s volunteers in 2016, with an appeal to the public not to donate to AAP unless it makes its donation lists open and transparent.