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“Sindh’s Stolen Brides” – Excerpts

27 November 2006 956 views 29 Comments

I first came across this disturbing article, “Sindh’s Stolen Brides” several months ago but forgot to post it.

I read it again today…with a mixture of dismay, anger and helplessness…

Is anyone listening to the plight of these poor families? Where are our BJP friends? Why dont they raise this in Parliament? and Vishwa Hindu Parishad? Surely this is a serious matter? or do Hindus in Pakistan matter less than Hindus in India? How about Arundhati Roy? better still Amnesty International? Anyone?

The article , written by Mariana Baabar delves into how Hindus in Sindh, especially girls, are forced into Islam. Some excerpts :

  • Hindus constitute about 2.5 per cent, or 26 lakh, of Pakistan’s population.
  • Though sprinkled all over Pakistan, 95 per cent of Hindus are in Sindh.
  • Only Tharparkar district in Sindh has Hindus in majority: 51 per cent.

“…I’m travelling in interior Sindh to verify specifically the reported widespread menace of abduction of Hindu girls, their forcible conversion to Islam and betrothal to Muslim men. My first port of call is the district court of Mirpur Khas. I promptly mingle among the crowd waiting for the court’s decision on a kidnap-and-conversion case. Different voices narrate contradictory stories. I am befuddled for the moment.

A 13-year-old choosing to convert and marry? A 13-year-old testifying in the court, without her family by her side?…

Standing next to me is Kanjee Rano Bheel. He works for an NGO in the education sector; volunteers for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) as well. “In just two hours Mashu was converted and married,” Kanjee says incredulously.

Disappointment and helpless rage fleet across his face. “In Darul Aman the girls are kept away from parents and pressured into issuing statements favourable to the abductors. They tame stubborn girls through death threats.”

…In Mirpur Khas, truth resembles the mirage of the surrounding Thar desert, teasing and tormenting me as I drive from Karachi into interior Sindh…Wherever I go, and whoever I meet, in disconsolate voices the Hindus talk about “missing girls”; their stories resemble Mashu’s – the theme of abduction, conversion, often followed by marriage, is common to most narrations. The girls then appear in courts to issue statements declaring their conversion was voluntary. All links to the natal family and the community are severed; they are lost to the family forever.

On January 4, 2005, Marvi, 18, and Hemi, 16, were kidnapped from Kunri village in Umerkot district; three months later, on March 3, 14-year-old Raji was abducted from Aslam Town Jhuddo, Mirpur Khas. The script in their cases was similar to Mashu’s.

…Rehman told Outlook that the HRCP (Human Rights Commission of Pakistan) has, between Jan 2000 to Dec 2005, documented 50 cases involving conversion of Hindu girls to Islam. Its investigations too endorse what I had found in interior Sindh. In many cases where it was claimed the girls had eloped with their Muslim partners, the HRCP found that most were, in fact, abducted, forcibly married to Muslim men or sold to them.

Nuzzhat Shirin, who works for the Lahore-based ngp Aurat Foundation, understands why the girls don’t reveal their plight at the time they are presented in court. “When a Hindu is forced to become Muslim, such a ruckus is made that if the young kidnapped girl appears in court, the fanatics yell, scream, throw rose petals in the air and follow the youth into the building so that she’s intimidated and can’t speak,” Shirin explains. Social stigma arising from the loss of virginity, and the consequent difficulty of finding a groom, prompt these women to accept their misfortune and hope for the best. …

Human rights activists are perturbed by the erosion of minority rights, particularly the alarming frequency with which cases of forcible conversion of Hindu girls are surfacing. Ansar Buney, chairman of the Ansar Buney Welfare Trust, is dismayed: “It’s heart-rending to see forced conversion of Hindus to Islam, since the Pakistan that Jinnah had envisioned granted absolute religious freedom to the minorities.” He then asks, “Have you ever heard of an Indian Muslim girl being forced to embrace Hinduism?”

Human rights activist Hina Jillani says Hindus and Christians in Pakistan are looked down upon. “That is why they have to take up inferior jobs; their chances of rising in any field is low,” she told Outlook.”

*******

I would encourage everyone to read the article in full. The story needs to be retold and disseminated widely….this would be just a small step in trying to help these poor girls…and if anyone has any ideas of what else we can do, please email me at jai.dharmaATgmail.com

***

Image courtesy: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?229886

29 Comments »

  • 1. Kanchan said:

    I’m lost for words after reading this article. But do u really feel anything can be done to help these girls keeping in mind that the country they are in is equally bad towards the women in general? Unless this issue of forceful conversions of hindu girls is brought into light on larger scale (through media probably) i don’t think the condition can improve. I on my part can forward this article to as many people as i can. I think a documentary should be made on this issue and telecasted in on all possible channels.

  • 2. Jagmohan Singh Khurmi said:

    Now surley some muslim-lover will come up with a theory that equal number of Muslim girls ( if not more ) are also abducted by Hindus in India ! Many will try to prove that islam actually respects women. But won’ be, because islam does not.
    Mohammed openly expressed his contempt for women on several occassions. He ordered men to ‘discipline’ them severly ( whatever that means ). He married a six year old child ! ( his fans try to save his face by telling you that ‘okay, but remember he did not lay her until she was nine…’. What a logic ! ) On the context of marrying a woman far younger than him itself, the oft-said defence of the faithful is : he also married a far older women in the beginning !
    Using ‘kafir’ women for demographic benefits is an established weapon of islam, a part of Jehad. Islamic countries apart, even in Indian towns they behave in this way. In advanced countries like UK the mulla, even the common muslims openly encourage their boys to ‘marry’ Hindu and Sikh girls. It has been noticed that dinars come all they way from Saudi Arabia to encourage and reward such acts ! Many Hindu and Sikh girls are crying tears of blood and telling the others not to repeat the mistake. Because it is one way street, one can go inside Islam but cannot come out live, she will spent the rest of life working in a kitchen cooking stinking halal meat and producing a whole new team of suicide-bombers !
    Mohammed clearly sanctioned such kidnappings, on one of the numerous occasions when a group of his fans snatched a non-muslim woman and asked for his advice on if they could fuck her, Mohammed tactically warned them to have patience, his reason : it will be difficult to get ransom out a deflowered woman !

  • 3. Indian said:

    I agree with Mr. Jagmohan Singh

    Not only muslim-lovers also some fake seculars will come up. They must understand that; bringing up the issues in light or understanding people’s suffering is not to be meant as suggestion to fight back and get the things done by increasing rift among two religions. But it is to be for awerness and making sure not to make mistake in understanding people’s mind around us. In return, it can help us in saving innocent lives of both the sides.

    Jai Hind

  • 4. B Shantanu said:

    If you thought forced conversions of Hindu girls happened only in Pakistan, think again…

    Read this post: http://hindudharma.wordpress.com/2007/02/23/hindu-girls-targeted-for-islam/ and in particular, this harrowing story: http://www.hinduvoice.co.uk/Issues/2/Silence.htm

  • 5. Raja said:

    Muslims have always been loyal to their religion and never to their country of birth.

    I do not understand why do they want to migrate to US,UK,Canada or anywhere, when they still want to live in middle age.Muslims should be banned to migrate anywhere unless they prove their secular credentials.

    I have met a lot of muslims who prima facie look very educated,very modern but as soon as the conversation turns to religion,they will start telling you in what way Islam is better than other faiths.Well,They can go and throw themselves in a pond with their faith.Muslims themselves are doing the biggest disservice to their religion.

    In India why should Hindu live in fear of Muslims.I am not saying that they should asked to leave.But there should be no special status to them.Let them live like a minority and ensure that they never become a majority(what they are already trying to do).

    And Hindus do not have to go out of their way to accommodate them in any way as this is not done anywhere. All the bloody pseudo-secularists who cry a lot over alleged mistreatment of muslims should better send their daughters to Pakistan or other muslim country to be converted to Islam and migrate themselves also as these are more dangerous to India than Muslims fundamentalists.

    Why Arundhati Roy and others never raise a their voice when there is so much atrocities on Hindus by Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh and now even in UK.

    India is predominantly Hindu and should remain one forever.We can tolerate some minorities provided they are ready to live by the rule which Hindus live.(as Hindus are also forced to live by the rules of Muslim countries) and it would be a great service to India if we can just remove the word Secular from our minds and dictionary.

  • 6. Indian said:

    Well said Raja.

  • 7. raj said:

    well done raja,if there was more pople like you this world would be a safer place.

  • 8. Ashok said:

    An article from 14 years ago.

    ***

    “Brides of contention” by Hasan Mujtaba
    (Source: Monthly INDUS-VANI, New York, U.S.A., August 1994)

    PLIGHT OF HINDU WOMEN IN SINDH, PAKISTAN

    On January 19, 1994, a Hindu girl named Daya Bai disappeared from her house in Daharki, District Ghotki (Sind, Pakistan). She surfaced 10 days later outside the Deputy Commissioner’s Office, wearing bridal clothes, and accompanied by several hundred strong gathering, many of whom were armed with automatic weapons and led by Pirs of Bharchundi, chanting ‘Allah-o-Akbar’. During the ‘nikah’ (wedding) that followed, Daya Bai’s mother wept inconsolably, repeatedly striking her hand on the floor in anguish. “Let me meet my daughter, even if she is getting married”, she implored, but her pleas fell on deaf earn.

    For the Hindu community in Sukkur and Larkana, Daya Bai’s disappearance, conversion to Islam and subsequent marriage with a Muslim in suspicious circumstances is not unprecedented occurrence. Between January and February, at least three Hindu girls (Daya Bai from Daharki, Shakuntala from Pano Aquil, and Bhagwanti, the daughter of a Larkana Professor) were allegedly kidnapped from their homes at gunpoint. Of the three, Daya Baiand Bhagawanti were converted to Islam and married Muslim men whereas Shakuntala’s whereabouts are not known and was married to some on other than her abductor. Speculation abounds that she may have been sold.

    The story of the daughter of Koromal, Hindu leader from Larkana, is similar. There are several such instances in which girls, believed to have eloped with her Muslim lovers, are not marked to them, but were either married off to some on else or killed.

    The increasing incidences of forcible conversion and marriages of Hindu girls have compelled some Hindus to migrate to India to protect their daughters and family honour. “The parents of girls who have met this fate are like the living dead”, says Ghanshyamdas, a social worker in Kashmore.

    Similarly, as Mukhi Nihalchand, a Hindu community leader in Rohri, points out, forcible conversion of Hindu men continues unreported and unabated. The conversion at Bharchundi of a Hindu boy from a wealthy Umarkot family sometimes back is a case in point. After a while, the boy got reconverted to Hinduism and migrated to India with his family.

    The history of forcible conversion of Hindus dates back to the pre-Talpar period when a Hindu was considered converted to Islam on the flimsiest of pretexts; for instance, if he pronounced the word raso (string), bystanders would swear that he had said Rasool (Prophet) and had become a Muslim. Excesses during Talpur era increased against the Hindus. Any Hindu seen riding a horse would be immediately converted by force because it was believed that the horse was an Islamic of transportation.

    Naunmal, one-time loyalist of the Talpurs and traitor in the eyes of the Sindhis, encouraged the British to attack Sind because he and some of his relatives had been forcibly circumcised by the Muslims. The first British spy, James Burnes, in fact wrote in ‘The Court of Mirs’ an account of his travels in Sind, “I fail to understand how Hindus still prefer living in Sind despite all kinds of atrocities perpetrated against them.”

    Some shrines in Sind, such as those of Makhdoom Muhammed Hashim and Hafiz Mohammed Siddiqui, the mosques in Thanvi and the Madrasaas in Matiari and Amrot, have acquired reputation as centres for corcible conversion. The Pirs of Bharchundi have continued to patronize excesses committed against Hindus by the majority Muslim populace. In the early 70s, a man who murdered seven Hindus in a temple in Sukkur was acclaimed as a hero by the religio-political parties in the area.

    Communist activist Sobho Gyanchandani recalls an incident during the early 50s when he was summoned by an Intelligence Officer for his political views “The Officer told me, ‘You have committed three crimes: you are a Sindhi, you are a Communist, and, above all, you are a Hindu, and there is no place for Hindus here’”. Sobho was jailed along with Faiz Ahmed Faiz and others in the infamous Rawalpindi Conspiracy case.

    During the 1995 and 1971 wars, Hindu government, living or posted along the Pak-Indian border in Sind, were transformed to far-flung areas.

    The darkest period for Sindhi Hindus in recent history, however, was when dacoits held the province to ransom and forces of religious ethnicity and religious fanaticism predominated. Vitriloic tirades against Hindus, such those by Dr. Israr Ahmed, published in leading daily, helped to spread the message of hate. General Zia’s patronage of the Mullahs encouraged the Jamaat-i-Islami to launch organized campaign against the Hindus in Sind. As a result, in recent years, there has been the largest migration of Hindus to India since the exodus at Partition.

    Hindus were also primarily on the receiving end from dacoit-gangs ingesting Sind at this time. The first victim of kidnapping was a Hindu trader from Daharki. Hindus were easy prey because they had no access to State machinery. Says a Sindhi feudal, who is suspected to be ‘patharidar’, “Wealthy Hindus had to pay protection money to the dacoit gangs and their patrons, to avoid being kidnapped”. “Some Sindhi nationalist organisation were also hand in glove in kidnapping them or receiving protection money”, says a bitter young Hindu whose father was kidnapped.

    Recently, in the backlash of the Babri incident, the M.Q.M. procession, led by Shabbir Hashmi, attacked a temple at Pucca Qila and looted a considerable quantity of gold from there. “There is irrefutable evidence of abetment by religious and ethnic organisations, Intelligence agencies and local influentials of those who attacked the lives, properties and temple of Hindus”, states Sobho Gyanchandani.

    Unlike many parts of Sind, Hindus living in Sikkur and Larkana dominate grain and agriculture market. Until Partition, many of the Hindus lived in surrounding rural areas. Those who did not migrate to India relocated to the urban centers. Their uneasy relationship with Muslim neighbour is manifested by the fact that instead of residing in individual residences scattered over a large area, they usually live in sprawling havelis comprising of a hundred or more dwellings. “We feel isolated and insecure”, says Darshanlal, a young businessman in Ghotki. Even young boys are rarely seen walking alone.

    In the Friday sermons in many towns across Sind, Jehad is often declared against the Hindus and Muslim are exhorted to convert Hindu women to Islam by marrying them. “Such words influence the thinking of even simple Muslims”, says Rochiram, a senior lawyer and Human Rights activist in Mirpurkhas.

    Haresh Kumar, a Hindu Economist, maintain that “This is an entirely new phenomena which never existed during my schooldays”. He says that his eight-year-old daughter Kalpana and ten-year-old nephew Mohan complain that they are asked by their classmates as to why they don’t become Muslims. “Mohan’s classmates don’t even let him drink water from the same glass”, he says.

    For the common Hindu of Sind, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. In Tharparkar and Mirphurkhas districts, where more than 90 percent of Pakistan’s Hindus live, they are prime targets of the Intelligence officials. All the mail from Hindus between India and Pakistan is censored. Intelligence officials extort monthly bribes from Hindu who regularly communicate with their relatives in India.

    Confronted with sustained harassment, humiliation and victimisation, many Hindu families in Sindh have migrated to India and continue to do so. Says a Hindu in Tharparker, “Among those applying for visas at the Indian consulate in Karachi are a considerable number of Hindus from the interior Sind who plan to permanently settle in India. In a crowd of 700, at least 300 are Hindus of whom 75 percent have no intention of returning to Pakistan”.

    “Many of us have not even seen India nor do we have any relatives there”, says Pyarelal from Sukkur. Another Hindu from Larkana points out, “Not a single Hindu has ever been proven guilty of being an Indian agent in any court of law”, and still the persecution continues.

  • 9. Vikram said:

    More news of Hindus from Pakistan being forced to convert to Islam for jobs etc. News of wives and childern being abducted by Taliban and being ‘illtreated’.
    So the hindus have been migrating to India slowly from Rajasthan border since last 3 years as per this report by Thar express. Its a shame that people are being forced to move away from their homes, their lands, their occupations etc.
    You never know, considering the situation there in Pak, even the mainstream muslim population there might slowly start crossing the border into India, and our secular government will only be obligated to invite them. We have already experienced that from the other side – Bangladesh.

    News-report link

    -Regards

  • 10. संदीप नारायण शेळके said:

    @Raja, I aapreciate your thoughts and support you.
    I dont want to be called a secular myself as well.
    But what can we do? Saying something is easy, we can say out of anger, frustration. But how to change the things? Any plans? Willing to collaborate?
    Then lets unite and fight aginst these devil folces.

    Jai Hind.

  • 11. Khandu Patel said:

    There are two aspects to this. Conversion from Hinduism begs the question what exactly does it stand for? The RSS if any knows its history has shirked the question of religious identity because to it and its affiliates the Vedic injunction “the whole world is a family” finds it hard not to include Islam as just another path to God. That is the explanation for the lack of the BJP’s protests on the issue. If we ask ourselves, does Hindus have a set of core religious beliefs which it adheres to strictly and fanatical zeal in the way of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, then the answer is much less clear cut and hardly in the affirmative. The Sikhs who discarded much of the peripheral nonsense of Hinduism have been able to provide the answer your readers are in need of. The RSS has been trying to Sikhism to the panthian of Hinduism’s diverse set of religious belief. Nothing could be more crass and stupid. I am not saying everything is right with Sikhism but the Sikh character is one that approximates best to the ancient Hindu character who was brave and fearless. The modern Hindu cannot make the comparison. If what I say is accepted, then Bharat as the home of Hindus would find it natural to accept a law of return on the same terms as the Jews of Israel. Hindu suffering under Islam has been comparable to the Jewish experience. The reset button is not going to be pressed by the BJP or the Congress or any other party in Bharat under the existing political dispensation. Unless you feel strongly enough to end that by all means available, then you will only keep adding fruitlessly the column inches of groans and moans to know effect whatsoever.

  • 12. B Shantanu said:

    Watch this BBC report dt 17th Jan ’12: Pakistani Hindus fear forced conversion of young girls

  • 13. B Shantanu said:

    Saddening…
    From Mass conversions: For Matli’s poor Hindus, ‘lakshmi’ lies in another religion by Saba Imtiaz / Sameer Mandhro, January 21, 2012
    Money, jobs and a debt-free life: It sounds like a sweet deal for many of the Hindu labourers in Matli, but it comes with strings attached — convert to Islam.
    Hundreds of Hindus in the area have converted to Islam in the past few years, courtesy seminaries, mosques and self-styled preachers.
    Switching religions comes with an upgrade in social status and material benefits – Hindu converts said they could easily get Watan Cards and National Identification Cards, aid, and were given land and assistance by the organisation helpfully walking them over to the other side.
    But these material benefits aren’t available for everyone. For the Hindus of the Bheel caste, who were converted by the Barelvi group Tanzeem Ulema-e-Islam, life is still restricted to the land that they are squatting on in Tando Mohammad Khan.

    The converts shrug. When their minders are out of earshot, they say their life hasn’t changed much. Pyaro, for example, points out that he was already following many Muslim practices and as far as being a Hindu was concerned, he had never been to a temple or studied any of the religious texts. “Our nikahs were conducted by a Muslim. We ate chickens slaughtered by a Muslim.” His relatives in Mirpurkhas and other districts in Sindh have also converted to Islam, and had encouraged him and his wife Nazira (formerly Koraan) to also convert.

    These desires have been fulfilled at the Madrassa Baitul Islam, a Deobandi seminary in Matli which meticulously maintains a log of the conversions. The first entry is dated November 1, 2009. The most recent is December 22, 2011, when they converted the 428th Hindu to Islam.
    The seminary – which has received kudos from religious-political parties including the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and is affiliated with the Darul Uloom in Karachi – also pays off the debts of Hindus converting to Islam. Based on the entries in its records, this can range from a few thousand rupees to over Rs50,000.

  • 14. B Shantanu said:

    One more heart-rending tale: http://tribune.com.pk/story/345540/forced-hindu-conversions-rinkles-neighbourhood-floods-into-karachi-to-demand-her-release/

    Read this quote to get a sense of the magnitude of this problem: “..that the forced conversion of Hindu girls was common in Sindh’s countryside, with around 20 cases being reported every month.

    Sad..Where is the VHP? Why is it not protesting against these acts?

  • 15. B Shantanu said:

    From an OpEd dt 13th Feb in The Dawn, Forced conversions (emphasis added):
    …ALLEGATIONS of the forced conversion of young Hindu women in Sindh, endorsed by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, bring to light yet again the dilemma faced by the minority Hindu community.

    Many families say they live in fear and insecurity as reportedly some 20 young girls are said to convert to Islam on a monthly basis. Each incident begins with allegations of kidnapping and forced conversions levelled by the affected family and ends in the girl in question being produced in a court of law to declare that she has converted of her own free will. Such court hearings take place under highly tense circumstances, where police and armed Islamists are said to threaten the complainants of dire consequences, and the ‘converted’ woman is not allowed to meet her family members or community elders.

    Observing this repeated pattern and the coercion involved, the HRCP is right in questioning the veracity of such conversions. Why is it only young women of marriageable age, and not male members of the Hindu community, who nearly always convert under dubious circumstances, ask human rights activists. Reports of Hindu families migrating to India and elsewhere also surface from time to time, with fear and insecurity cited as the main reason for the move. The Sindh Assembly may have taken up the issue for a summary debate recently, but the provincial government has remained silent on the treatment of minorities, a general state of apathy being the unfortunate norm.

    The law and order situation in Sindh leaves much to be desired. Kidnapping for ransom in cities and towns remains high; in the hinterland, especially where minorities are concerned, the practice also involves the abduction of women by those with any feudal power for reasons based in sheer lust and debauchery. In case the girl belongs to a minority faith, the crime committed often finds a ready alibi in claims of conversion, with the local mullahs mobilised to lend support to these. The law, even when it takes its logical course under the charged circumstances, is nearly always seen to take the convenient route: it endorses the ‘conversion’ and lets the girl go with her alleged abductor. This painful pattern, without any hope of redress or sincere investigation, has left the Hindu community in duress.

    Now I wonder why our otherwise hyper-ventilating media has not given any space to these reports.
    Could it be due to the involvement of a certain Aman-ki-Asha country?
    …or could it be that the Wagah candle-wallahs are suddenly short of candles to burn?
    Just for the record, the % of Hindu population in Pakistan at the time of Partition was somewhere between 15-24%
    In 2000, it stood at less than 2%.
    No marks for guessing why.
    Of the 400+ temples, less than 30 remain standing today…and the last crematorium of Sindh was broken down in Rawalpindi in July ’10 to make homes for the locals. (See also: The last Hindu Temple in Kabul by Amitav Ghosh)
    Needless to add, in any sensible discourse, this would have been termed as an exodus – but have you ever heard anyone utter that word in this context? Nahin na? I thought so.
    Sad, angry, frustrated…where does this end?

  • 16. B Shantanu said:

    Another painful story: Kidnapping of a Hindu Girl!

  • 17. B Shantanu said:

    Courtesy Dr Ambekar:

  • 18. B Shantanu said:

    This excellent suggestion came courtesy, Sh Ashok-ji Chowgul..
    Hindus in Pakistan have had very difficult times ever since the partition. This is something that the secular media in India are
    least concerned about. Also, people from India who claim to be involved in the so-called people-to-people have never bothered to take up this issue in their interaction with their Pakistani counterparts.

    Recently, a lot of Hindu (and Christian) girls have been abducted and forcibly converted to Islam and made to marry Muslims who are not of their choice. I am enclosing a news story of one such incident.

    The President of Pakistan is coming to India, on a private visit. However, he is having lunch with our Prime Minister. I have written to the Prime Minister’s office at: http://pmindia.gov.in/feedback.php where I have suggested that our Prime Minister should take up the tragic case of Rinkel Kumari, so that justice is done not only to her but also to other Hindus.

    May I suggest that you take some time off from your schedule and give your own feedback to the PMO?
    **
    I have left the following message on the PMO’s feedback site:
    Hon’ble PM Manmohan Singh-ji, Pranaam.
    You may be aware of a spate of recent reports on incidents of abduction and forcible conversions of young Hindu girls in Pakistan. These instances have been reported not just in international media but also in the local press in Pakistan (e.g. BBC report dt 17th Jan ’12 Pakistani Hindus fear forced conversion of young girls; For Matli’s poor Hindus, ‘lakshmi’ lies in another religion, The Tribune, Jan 21 ’12 and Forced conversions, The Dawn, 13th Feb and so on).
    May I humbly request you to please take up this matter with the President of Pakistan when you meet him for lunch on Sunday and express our collective concern at the scale of these events and the regularity with which they appear to be happening?
    Sincerely Yours,
    B Shantanu

  • 19. Girish said:

    India must have a policy of according asylum to victims of religious persecution ;it was always our historical role from time immemorial ; more so for those from the two successor states to the former Pakistan since they were wrenched away for communal reasons.
    These people are being terrorised and persecuted for being followers of Indic religions; hence our responsibility is absolute , undilutable.

  • 20. B Shantanu said:

    Some excerpts from The abduction of Hindu teenage girls in Pakistanby Pragmatic (emphasis added):

    …For those who question the veracity of these reports, here’s a simple question: Why do only young Hindu girls of marriageable age get kidnapped and convert to Islam in Pakistan, and not young men or older women?
    More disturbingly, India and Indians have largely been apathetic to persecution of Pakistani Hindus.
    But all the minorities in Pakistan are targeted, whether it be Christians or Shias. How is the persecution of Hindus different and why should it concern Indians?

    …here is how the problem of Hindus is slightly different from those of Christians or Shias. When Christians are targeted in Pakistan, the western countries and many Christian organisations, starting from the Vatican, bring pressure upon the Pakistani government to mend its ways. In the case of Shias, leave alone the Republic of Iran, there are various Shia parties and organisations which are willing to stand up for their cause.
    But who speaks for the Hindus in Pakistan? Even Nepal is no longer a Hindu Republic, and no one would have listened to Nepal even if it was one.
    Pakistan doesn’t even have a statutory National Human Rights Commission, it no longer has a Federal minister for minorities since Shahbaz Bhatti’s brutal murder and the Supreme Court has not given Hindus any confidence with its actions in the recent case.
    Can a secular republic like India afford to speak for Hindus in Pakistan? Strictly speaking, the answer is a No. But India has spoken for Sikhs in Europe and for Tamils in Sri Lanka who were not Indian citizens. And there are ways in it which it can do the same in Pakistan too. Before we look at those ways, leave the government apart, why has the Indian media, Indian NGOs, Indian human rights groups, Indian activists and even Indian social and religious organisations been silent about the atrocities on Hindus in Pakistan. …There are ways in which India and Indians can help them. As fellow humans in a neighbouring country, we should not shy away from lending that helping hand.

  • 21. B Shantanu said:

    Some excerpts from No country for Pakistani Hindus:
    …According to police records, each month, an average of 25 girls meet Rinkle’s fate in Sindh alone, home to 90 per cent of the Hindus living in Pakistan . Young Hindu girls are ‘marked’, abducted, raped, and forcibly converted. Discrimination, extortion threats, killings and religious persecution are driving the remaining Hindus out of Pakistan. They had chosen to stay back after Partition; six decades later, they are no longer welcome.

    In India, they are facing a shock worse than catastrophe-betrayal. The Government of India refuses to recognise them as refugees and is unmoved by their plight. In its reply to activist S.C. Agrawal’s RTI query on November 1, 2011, on the status of Pakistani Hindu refugees, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) claimed it was an “internal matter” of Pakistan. In the same reply, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) admitted that it could not say how many Pakistani Hindus had emigrated.

    Indeed, the prejudice against Hindus runs deep. Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif is reported to have said that Hindus were responsible for financing acts of terrorism in Pakistan. A March 18 editorial in Dawn pulled him up for it: “It may well have been a slip of the tongue by Mr Sharif, who might have mistakenly said ‘Hindu’ instead of ‘India’- nevertheless, it was a tasteless remark to say the least.”

    Do read the article in full..It is heart-breaking..

  • 22. Khandu Patel said:

    I am grateful to this website for opening my eyes to the GOI official position on the plight of Hindus from Pakistan. In a wider and general sense that has been the postion as regards all expatriate Hindus. We should not forget that India only has the ears of NRI Americans because they are a political constituency that GOI cannot ignore. Of course as has been evident in these blogs, GOI cares even less about the Hindus of India which begs the questions why and how the Hindus of India themselves came to be enslaved. It is not hard to see that the modern Hindu construct is fundamentally flawed and deserves to be comprehensively diconstructed of the accumulation of milleniums of garbage.

  • 23. B Shantanu said:

    More on this…
    Excerpts from PAKISTAN’S MINORITY HINDUS FEEL UNDER ATTACK By REBECCA SANTANA, Nov. 8 2012
    …They came after dusk and chanted into the night sky “Kill the Hindus, kill the children of the Hindus,” as they smashed religious icons, ripped golden bangles off women’s arms and flashed pistols. It wasn’t the first time that the Hindu temple on the outskirts of Pakistan’s largest city was attacked, and residents here fear it will not be the last.

    Signs of their former stature abound in Karachi, the capital of Sindh. At the 150-year-old Swami Narayan Temple along one of the city’s main roads, thousands of Hindus gather during the year to celebrate major religious holidays. Hindus at the 200-year-old Laxmi Narain Temple scatter the ashes of their cremated loved ones in the waters of an inlet from the Arabian Ocean.

    But there are also signs of how far the community has fallen. Residents in a city hungry for land have begun to build over Hindu cemeteries, the community’s leaders say. Hindus helped build Karachi’s port decades ago, but none work there now.

    There’s more of a consensus of the seriousness of the problem of forced conversion of Hindus.

    Zohra Yusuf, the president of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says the pattern goes like this: A Hindu girl goes missing and then resurfaces days or weeks later married to a Muslim boy. During court hearings to determine whether the conversion was voluntary, students from nearby Islamic schools called madrassas often flood the room, trying to intimidate the judges by chanting demands that the conversion be confirmed.

    Maharaj says he’s tried to intervene in roughly 100 cases of forced conversions but has only succeeded in returning a girl safely back to her family once. If a girl decides to renounce Islam and return to Hinduism, she could be signing a death warrant for herself and her family even if her conversion was forced.

  • 25. B Shantanu said:

    Readng “The fading memory of amity” http://j.mp/1jqJXCS by @KhaledAhmedNW good b’gounder on the histroy of Hindus in Sind

  • 26. B Shantanu said:

    Placing these links here for the record: Blasphemous Oppression In The Name of Islam: Hold Pakistan Accountable For Persecuting Religious Minorities by Doug Bandow, 14 July 2014 in Forbes and by the same author, Hold Pakistan Accountable For Blasphemous Oppression, published on 16th Jul ’14

  • 28. B Shantanu said:

    From MEDIA WILL SUPPORT YOU ONLY IF YOU’RE MUSLIM BY RAVI SHANKER KAPOOR, JULY 29, 2014, a brief excerpt:
    A few days before the force-feeding controversy erupted, The Dawn of Pakistan had carried a news story highlighting the plight of Hindus over there. It described in detail the problems Hindus face in a village near Chakwal, a city 90 km from Islamabad. While a large number of people are gentle, the Hindus told the Dawn reporter, there are also hostile glances and desecrated temples. The news story was not even discussed by any politicians, even from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the so-called Hindu fundamentalist outfit.

    “An estimated one thousand Christian and Hindu women are forced to convert and marry Muslim men in Pakistan every year,” the same newspaper reported in April this year. “According to a report by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace in Pakistan, up to 700 of these women are Christian and 300 are Hindu,” said the news story. It quoted the authors of the report, saying, “The true scale of the problem is likely to be much greater, as a number of cases are never reported or do not progress through the law-enforcement and legal systems.”

  • 29. B Shantanu said:

    Excerpts from Forced conversions torment Pakistan’s Hindus, Maham Javaid, 18 Aug 2014:

    Pakistan is home to about two million Hindus, most of whom live in the southern province of Sindh and belong to lower castes, including Sochi. While upper-caste Hindus complain of their traders being kidnapped for ransom, lower-caste Hindus say their daughters are being targeted.

    According to a report from the Movement for Solidarity and Peace, about 1,000 non-Muslim girls are converted to Islam each year in Pakistan. Every month, an estimated 20 or more Hindu girls are abducted and converted, although exact figures are impossible to gather, said Amarnath Motumal, the vice chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).

    HRCP chairperson Zohra Yusuf said Muslim girls in Pakistan are also abducted and married against their will or sold into prostitution.

    Sindh province’s top police official Sharjeel Kharral, told Al Jazeera that the lower tier of the police force is not sensitised to the discrimination faced by Hindus.

    “It’s true that they don’t prioritise the community without pressure from the media or civil society.”

    Kharral said Hindus in Pakistan are a scared and vulnerable minority and forced conversion is an example of their vulnerability, especially when it occurs to their women.

    Some Muslim leaders consider it an honour to convert non-Muslim girls.

    Muslim cleric Mian Abdul Malik – who leads the Bharchundi Sharif Shrine, famous for conversions of young Hindu girls – discounted the complaints of the Hindu community.

    “There’s no such thing as forced conversions in Islam and in Pakistan,” he told Al Jazeera.

    This year, Malik has converted two Hindu men and 15 Hindu women. Asked about this ratio, he said: “Hindu women come readily to us because after conversion we facilitate their marriages to Muslims.”

    Jai Prakash Moorani, editor of the Sindhi daily, Ibrat, told Al Jazeera that forced conversions are indeed taking place amid Pakistan’s permissive legal system.

    Civil-rights activists maintain that because there has never been a court ruling on forced conversions in support of the aggrieved Hindu families, there is no precedent to deter the crime.

    “Pakistan was built in the name of Islam,” Sanaullah Abbasi, the Deputy Inspector General of Police of Hyderabad, told Al Jazeera.

    “This makes it easy to exploit religious minorities in our country,” he conceded.

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