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Partition not Over Yet: Pakistani Hindus still Struggling to Find their Way Back to India

Jogdas, Pakistani Hindu lives in the camp on the outskirts of Jodhpur

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India Pakistan Protest
An elderly Pakistani Hindu woman makes an appeal during a protest against alleged human rights violations in Pakistan, outside the United Nation office in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, April 17, 2013. A group of Hindus from Sindh province in Pakistan are living in India after leaving their home country a year ago for fear of being persecuted, according to news reports. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
  • No job, no house, no money, no food
  • Pakistan’s largest religious minority are Hindus
  • There was not even a single day when we could live in peace

New Delhi, August 15, 2017: After India got Independence from British Rule, India and Pakistan were created, Pakistan became a separate nation on 14 August 1947 and India, a separate nation on 15 August 1947.

Still, for some Hindus, Partition is not over yet as they are still struggling to come back to India and even when they reach, they are unable to live a life of dignity as an Indian Citizen. For decades, Jogdas (a Hindu who lived in Pakistan) wanted to move to India to escape the hostility he suffered as a Hindu in Muslim dominated Pakistan. But the reality of life they (all Pakistani Hindus living in camps) are living over the border is starkly different from what they wanted. It has been 71 years since the partition, the largest migration of people in the human history ever. Pakistani Hindus are still moving from Pakistan to India, where thousands are living in deteriorating conditions in makeshift camps near the border area with no legal right to work.

Many have no choice but to move illegally around the places near which they live because their movements are strictly controlled by the authorities who sees anyone who move from across the border with suspicious eyes. It is not the kind of welcome most of them expected in Hindu-majority India in-spite of being Hindus.

ALSO READ: Indian-Americans Slam Singer Mika Singh for saying ‘Humara Pakistan’ in an Independence Day Video

Jogdas, 81, said” No job, no house, no money, no food. There, we were working in the fields, we were farmers. But here people like us are forced to break rocks to earn a living,” mentioned  AFP report. It’s a tough life for them.”For us, the partition is still not over. Pakistani Hindus are still trying to come back to their country and when they come here, they have nothing.” He lives in a camp on the outskirts of  Jodhpur.

Due to partition many people were uprooted, the estimate suggests 15 million and it triggered months of tragic violence and chaos all around, a million people were killed due to their religion. Amid all the chaos and bloodshed, Hindus and Sikhs came to India and Muslims moved to Pakistan.

Despite the mass departure of people from both sides, Pakistan’s largest religious minority are Hindus. They are believed to be around 1.6 % in 200 million Pakistanis with Muslim religion.

ALSO READ: ‘Blood Stained Hands’ Plan to Take Over Pakistan’s Political Reigns as Terrorist Organization Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Prepares to Enter Politics

Many say they have to face discrimination, risk getting kidnapped, raped and also forced marriage. Jogdas said that the harassment started very soon after partition. His family had only moved to  Pakistan only a few months before partition in order to escape a devastating drought. He said, “There was not even a single day when we could live in peace. I wanted to come back to live with my Hindu brothers.We are alone,” mentioned AFP report.

Pakistan’s Sindh province is the place from where many migrants came to India. They took a 4 hour long train journey, going through Thar Desert to Jodhpur in Rajasthan. They share the culture, food, and language of Rajasthan should  have made it easier for them to adjust in their adopted homeland. But the reality is totally different as they live far from local communities and local people in isolated camps, and are treated with suspicion by authorities on a frequent basis.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government have said that it wants to make it easier for persecuted Pakistani Hindus to find refuge in India. Last year the rules were changed and it allowed immigrants to apply for citizenship in the state where they currently live, instead of going to the central government for this.

Hindus from Pakistan are qualified for a fast track to citizenship after living seven years in the country. But because of bureaucratic delays, the process of citizenship  takes much longer to complete.

Khanaramji, 64, in 2005 became an Indian citizen but the irony is that he  fled Pakistan in 1997. He said that there were many others with him but they gave up their hopes and returned to Pakistan, disappointed by life in India where they couldn’t live a life they thought was possible here. According to AFP report, he said, “There is no assistance from the government. We are just like cattle with no owners. We are just surviving on our own. Life becomes hell.”  What is worse than the poverty for them is the suspicion from authorities.”Those who do not have citizenship are harassed by (intelligence) agencies. They are always treated like suspects and agents of Pakistan,” said Khanaramji.

Hindu Singh Sodha said, “They spend most of what they earn on going to police stations and agency offices,” mentioned AFP report. He runs a charity in Jodhpur for Pakistani Hindus seeking to settle in India, said that they had high hopes from Modi when he came to office in 2014, but had to taste only disappointment.

The migrants are the ones who still have to face inspection whenever tensions come up between India and Pakistan; this is become a frequent occurrence under the Modi government. Their life becomes a living hell. “Because everything is affected, their shelter, healthcare, access to education, their livelihood,” said Sodha. But sad truth is that some tolerate this also.

Two years ago, Horoji fled to India with his two adult sons  after receiving death threats from their Muslim neighbors in Pakistan. “To save our lives, we had to run to India,” said 65-year-old Horoji. His grandparents were originally from India but they found themselves on the wrong side of the border at the time of partition. “My grandfather had gone to the other side for work. But he told us to move to India at the right time as he sensed that times would not be safe for Hindus in future.”


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‘World’s Oldest’ Buddha Statue Unearthed in Pakistan During Excavations

A centuries-old sleeping Buddha statue has been unearthed during excavations near Bhamala Stupa in Haripur district of Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

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Buddha Statue
Buddha Statue is found excavated in Pakistan. Pixabay.

Islamabad, November 17: A centuries-old sleeping Buddha statue has been unearthed during excavations near Bhamala Stupa in Haripur district of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Directorate of Archaeology And Museums Director Abdul Samad told Dawn News: “The 48-feet-long sleeping Buddha statue dates back to the third century, which makes it the world’s oldest sleeping Buddha statue.”

He said that archaeologists found the statue, with its head intact, during excavations near the Bhamala Stupa.

“We have discovered more than 500 Buddha-related objects during excavations, in addition to the 48-feet long ‘sleeping Buddha’,” he said.

The latest discoveries by the archaeologists have opened new chapters in the history of the ancient Taxila Valley Civilisation.

“This is one of the few sites in the world to have the cruciform Stupa, which was reserved for Buddha himself,” Samad had said. (IANS)

 

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These 8 successful Muslim women are showcasing Freedom their way!

Though there are forsure many but here we present to you the some handful of success stories of Muslim women in modern world. Totally independant and unbounded, they have carved a niche for themselves in many fields through their creativity, talent and self - belief

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Muslim women
Bashing unfreedom-The new age Muslim woman.Pixeby

Not everyone is following rigid fundamentalism these days. In 2017, people and specially some inspiring Muslim women are embracing freedom and individuality through their inspirational work in global markets. Be it fashion, lifestyle,sports or politics- they are setting standards in every domain, breaking stereotypes all the way long!

Have a look at the success stories of these leading Muslim ladies and what they believe in.

SAUFEEYA GOODSON

Dubai based fashion entrepreneur Saufeeya is a global figure appearing in many fashion magazines. Being the co-owner of Modest Route, she has re- branded Modest fashion in a very stylised manner grabbing the attention of 2million followers on instagram page. She is frequently mentioned in Vogue or Teen Vogue under the trademark of her bold, daring and contemporary outfits made for modern age Muslim woman. This trendsetter with her avant garde style has been revolutionizing Islamic modest clothing in world.

CAROLYN WALKER-DIALLO

Carolyn hit the headlines when she was sworn in with the Quran back in 2015, becoming the first ever New York City Civil court judge to do so. She bravely stood up to the backlash that resulted later but her strong act inspired many Muslim women around the world. It somehow relieved them from communal stigmatization that they go through.

LINDA SARSOUR

Linda Sarsour- civil right's activist
Linda Sarsour- civil right’s activist.wikimedia.commons

 

Linda, a Palestinian- American civil rights activist, is popularly known for her key role in helping to organize the 2017 Women’s March in Washington.It was a public demonstartion led by women coming together from all walks of life. With her resolute, Linda instilled in a belief in thousands of women to fight for their vanity,esteem and rights.

BEHNAZ SHAFIEI

it is hard to imagine a female road racer/motocross rider and being a Muslim woman makes it a rare case, but Behnaz is exactly that. Born in Iran- a country where women are not allowed for exercising such liberties and are often ridiculed for their driving skills, Behnaz enjoys the fact that many men cannot do the stunts she performs with ease and confidence on her motorbike. She is the only Iranian female to be involved in road racing professionally challenging the preconceived notions of the society in regard to women.

RUMA

Known for her fashion blogs, Ruma recently got mentioned on the Twitter page of H&M where she was applauded for her distinctive panache that voice traditional modesty. According to her the haute hijab empowers feminine sensibility.Being a dreamer as well as achiever, she looks forward to inspire her followers with stories and lessons learned from her life by using social media to promote the art of fashion.

HALIMA ADEN

Halima is a model known for being the first Somali-American Muslim woman to take part in a beauty pageant donning a hijab.With all grace and modesty she hit news by reaching the semifinals of Minnesota USA pageant. She even graced the fashion runway for Kanye West at his show Yeezy season 5. Keeping at bay all Muslim stereotypes, this flamboyant model appeared on the front cover of Allure, wearing a Nike hijab with a caption saying, “This is American Beauty.” 

SHAHD BATAL

As a YouTuber and blogger, Shahd’s focus is mainly on providing viewers with her own original tips on how to attain healthy skin or apply makeup. Sudanese by birth but now living in Minneapolis, her tutorial videos are popularly hitting the internet since 2014. They were recently rehashed and showcased via her new sleek channel. From wearing a classic head-wrap and making pen perfect eyebrows, to her very personal stories with regard to the Hijab, she has been earnestly devoting herself to portray Hijab as a motif of modern age accessory.

 

SHARMEEN OBAID-CHINOY     

Muslim Women
SHARMEEN OBAID-CHINOY- Pakistani filmaker.wikimedia.commons

 Sharmeen has been mentioned by esteemed Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. A Muslim woman filmmaker, journalist and activist born in Pakistan, most of her films highlight the inequalities that women face. She has received two Academy awards, six Emmy and Lux Style award for her bold vision. Even the Pakistani government has honored her with the second highest civilian honor of the country, the Hilal-i-Imtiaz for her dauntless contribution to films.

These handful examples of empowering, influential and compelling Muslim women express a great deal- to come out of the shackles of a society that restricts you and your creative energies.Not just to the Muslim women of today, they are inspirational for all women who seek for self – actualization.

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Drive Safely! Heavy smog covers India, Pakistan, causing accidents and illness

Authorities have advised people to limit road travel and wear facemasks to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses

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AIR POLLUTION
Motorcycles and vehicles drive on a road while fog envelope the area (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad) (VOA)

Islamabad, November 6, 2017 : Smog has enveloped much of Pakistan and neighboring India, causing highway accidents and respiratory problems, and forcing many residents to stay home, officials said Saturday.

Pakistani meteorologist Mohammad Hanif said the pollution, caused by dust, the burning of crops, and emissions from factories and brick kilns in Pakistan and neighboring India, was expected to linger until the middle of the month and contribute to smog- a combination of smoke and fog. He advised people to wear facemasks to protect themselves from respiratory ailments.

Mohammad Arshad, a highway police official, said at least 10 people were killed and 25 injured in road accidents linked to poor visibility in various parts of the Punjab province due to smog, since Monday. Authorities have advised people to limit road travel.

Average air pollution in Pakistan’s major cities is about four times higher than the World Health Organization limits.

Similar problems have been reported in the Indian capital, New Delhi, where air quality was rated “very poor” Saturday. Some private schools in New Delhi have suspended sports and outdoor activities.

India’s Supreme Court banned the sale of firecrackers in New Delhi ahead of last month’s Hindu Diwali festival to try to curb air pollution in the city notorious for smog. Though reports said air quality was better than last year, pollution levels in the capital hit 18 times the healthy limit the night after the festival, as many dodged the ban. (VOA)