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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.
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)
Another issue is forceful conversion of Pakistani Hindu girls and women to Islam. Watch this report by Voice of America:
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: @
Every child who grew up in the 90s and the early 00s has certainly grown up around Tom and Jerry, the adorable, infamous cat-chases-mouse cartoon. The idea of naughtiness and playing mischief had the standards that this particular series set for children and defined how much wreckage was funny enough.
The show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera initially named their characters Jasper and Jinx. They did not plan for the fame that Tom and Jerry brought them when they released a movie by the name of "Puss Gets the Boot". This movie featured a certain cat and mouse who were a notorious pair, named Jasper and Jinx. When the movie became a hit, the names of the characters were changed and the show shot to fame.
Tom and Jerry became a go-to cartoon for children in the early 00s, and it was one of those shows with a firm foundation, that had already been in the running for decades. The original template had been planned nearly 80 years ago, and the makers did not change it. The music that was played in the many episodes, made a breakthrough in its own way. It is the most easily recognizable melody with utterly nostalgic associations.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons Image credit: wikimedia commons
A set of supporting characters were defined for the show, to occasionally take the focus off the original pair. There was a large, black woman named Mammy Two Shoes and a bulldog who took Jerry's side. Mammy Two Shoes was discontinued because her character portrayed racist tendencies. A tall white woman replaced her, who was kinder and loved mice. Either of the women's faces was never revealed.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons. There are a host of other shows besides this that aim to replicate the same aspects of the cartoon but do not come close at all. Despite the immense amount of violence in the show, it is a beloved pastime of parents and children alike.
Keywords: Tom and Jerry, Cartoon, Hanna and Barbera, Television
One of India's leading private museums, the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) Bengaluru, has released new primary research conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, on audience behaviour in India's cultural sector. While more than half of the respondents thought the arts and culture are essential, they rarely manage to make time for it. The majority (60.6 per cent), mostly young people under 30, felt Indian museums could present more engaging content, and most perceived culture as anthropological/ sociological. Of the diverse categories included, music emerged as the most popular cultural activity.
The report is based on a survey of 500 people, which included school and college students, professionals across sectors, homemakers and senior citizens. The first initiative of its kind in the cultural space, the report shares valuable insights into the behaviour and expectations of Indian audiences engaging with a broad range of cultural activities. As part of MAP's mission to foster meaningful connections between communities and the cultural sector globally, which includes its innovative digital programme Museums Without Borders, the report shares a wealth of insights that can help museums across the country understand their audiences better. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.
As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Speaking on the recent report, Kamini Sawhney, Director, Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), said, "MAP is focused on changing the notion of a museum in India, by enabling more relevant and inclusive programming, both online and in our space in Bengaluru. The audience research commissioned by MAP, and conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, provides valuable, and actionable insights which we hope will help museums across the country better understand their consumer base, improve decision making and deepen social impact." As much as 62.3 per cent college students and 47.6 per cent professionals/homemakers perceive culture as anthropological and sociological. Music was the most popular cultural event likely to be attended, followed by heritage tours and plays/comedy shows for Indian audiences.
Over 70 per cent of college students visit museums with family and friends; working professionals, homemakers and senior citizens also predominantly visit with groups/ spouses (indicating a need to focus on increased group programming/facilitation). As much as 68 per cent of people were optimistic about going outdoors for activities and events in 2021. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.(IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Art, Culture, India, Museum, Music
What is the best way to save Goa from deforestation?
Drinking feni, may well be the answer, says the secretary of the Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association Hansel Vaz, who on Thursday said, that sipping the state's unique alcoholic drink and making it popular would directly aid the greening of Goa's hills and other barren landscapes.
"To get more cashews, we need to plant more trees. I always say, by drinking feni you will save Goa, because we will be planting more cashew trees and we will have greener hills. The beauty of cashew is you do not need fertile land. You can grow it on a hill which can provide no nutrition. We will be able to grow more trees, if we can sell feni properly," Vaz said. Vaz's comments come at a time when the hillsides of the coastal state have witnessed significant deforestation for real estate development and for infrastructure projects. Feni is manufactured by fermenting and double distilling juice from the cashew apple.
Best way to keep Goa green is to grab yourself a glass of feni. | IANS
Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Vaz also said that the promotion of feni was also in sync with the Prime Minister's vision for India to go "vocal for local". "There is no conglomerate, multinational company owning the drink. So every time we sell feni, it is a direct cash injection into Goa. If you sell a feni cocktail in Calangute (a popular beach village), it makes a direct impact in Valpoi and Bicholim, because this money is going down there," the Association official said at a press conference in Panaji.
The Association held the media briefing to announce a road map ahead for the feni industry, especially vis a vis streamlining aspects related to production, standardisation and marketing of the brew to make it popular in other Indian states and abroad.
The efforts to streamline the state "heritage drink" comes a month after the Goa government notified a formal policy, 'Goa Feni Policy 2021', which covers 26 different varieties of feni distilled in the state. "There were many barriers related to feni, which the policy has now addressed," treasurer of the Association Tukaram Haldankar said. One such hurdle was the previous government classification, which described feni as "country liquor", which would deter tourists from purchasing the drink. The reclassification of feni as a state "heritage drink" has lent dignity to the brew which has been manufactured locally in Goa since the 16th century.
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. | Photo by Ishvani Hans on Unsplash
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. "We request the government to allow the sale of feni in duty free stores in airports and cruise liner terminals. The government should also support us through the department of Tourism, so that feni can be promoted in its programmes. iIf you go to Scotland, they promote Scotch. Goa should promote its feni to Goa," Haldankar said, adding that traditional distillers should also be given subsidies and other measures should be taken to standardise feni, which he said, "would require further subsidies and financial assistance from the government".
"It should be a standard product like scotch, champagne," Haldankar said. "Like Mexico's tequila, Russian vodka and Japan's sake, we need to export our feni across the country and the world and the local distillers should also benefit economically," president of the Association Gurudutt Bhakta also said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: deforestation,cashew,distillers,association,government, goa, feni, India