Skip to comments.Pakistani Hindus seek safety in India
Posted on 03/08/2012 6:28:36 AM PST by Cronos
KARACHI: Preetam Das is a good doctor with a hospital job and a thriving private clinic, yet all he thinks about is leaving Pakistan, terrified about a rise in killings and kidnappings targeting Hindus.
A successful professional, he lives in Karachi with his wife and two children, but comes from Kashmore, a district in north of Sindh. His family has lived there for centuries, and in 1947, when the sub-continent split between India, a majority Hindu state, and Pakistan, a homeland for Muslims, Das grandparents chose to stay with the Muslims. They fervently believed the promise of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that religious minorities would be protected. Sixty years later, their grandson says life in Kashmore had become unbearable.
The situation is getting worse every day, he says. Two of his uncles have been kidnapped and affluent Hindus are at particular risk from abduction gangs looking for ransom, he says.
Rights activists say the climate is indicative of progressive Islamisation over the last 30 years that has fuelled an increasing lack of tolerance to religious minorities, too often considered second-class citizens. Das says the only thing keeping him in Pakistan is his mother. She has flatly refused to migrate, which hinders my plans. I cant go without her, he said.
Hindus make up 2.5 percent of the 174 million people living in Pakistan. Over 90 percent lived in Sindh where they were generally wealthy and enterprising, making them easy prey for criminal gangs.
An official at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, who declined to be named said, Every month about eight to 10 Hindu families migrate from Pakistan. Most of them are well-off. He had no comment on whether the number was on the rise, but Hindu community groups in Pakistan said more people were leaving because of kidnappings, killings and even forced conversions of girls to Islam. Two of my brothers have migrated to India and an uncle to the UAE, said Jay Ram, a farmer in Ghotki. Its becoming too difficult to live here. Sindhis are the most tolerant community in the country vis-a-vis religious harmony, but deteriorating law and order is forcing them to move unwillingly, he added.
Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council and a former lawmaker for Sindh province, said Hindus were picked on by kidnappers and that their daughters were subject to forced conversions to Islam. Every now and then we get reports of families migrating. Its getting worse now. People are extremely harassed and are forced to leave their homeland but our rulers are shamelessly idle, he told AFP. Rights activists also say Hindus in Sindh were discriminated against. Recently 37 members of five Hindu families migrated to India from Thul town owing to discrimination, while three Hindus, including a doctor, were murdered in Shikarpur district, said Rubab Jafri, who heads Sindhs Human Rights Forum. Lots of violent incidents are happening daily. Most go unreported, which shows vested interests are trying to force Hindus to leave Pakistan. According to the Pakistan Hindu Seva, a community welfare organisation, at least 10 families had migrated from Sindh every month since 2008, mostly to India, but in the last 10 months, 400 families had left. Another survey last year by the local Scheduled Caste Rights Movement said more than 80 percent of Hindu families complained that Muslims discriminated against them by using different utensils when serving them at food stalls.
Thoroughly escapes me why there are any Hindus still living in Pakistan. I thought all of them had enough brains to move east when they partitioned in 1947.
Well, there ya have it. So put your family at risk to make your Mom happy but quit complaining.
He sounds so smart until you get to that last comment.
Several years ago, our church had a pastor from Pakistan. He grew up in Karachi and after graduating from college was offered a good job with Pakistan’s state radio broadcasting agency. However, to get the job, he would have had to convert to Islam, which he wasn’t about to do, so he came to the US and wound up a Methodist minister.
Pakistan is a gangster state. Its also not a natural state, made up of various tribal, ethnic and religious factions. Its greatest exports are illiterate workers and jihadis. It uses its nukes not only to threaten India, but also to indirectly threaten the West, who support the fiction of a friendly Pakistan due to the fear of “loose nukes.”
Moreover, Pakistan will also ensure that Afghanistan returns to a pre-9/11 condition once the US departs
It is time to recognize this, and encourage Pakistan to disintegrate into its various tribal and ethnic factions and manage them that way. The US and the world will be better off in the end.
I too have spoken with several Pakistani Christians, a group that has truly been persecuted.
A good rule of thumb is that about the time you think it might be time to move, you should have moved a couple of years ago.
Moving to India, probably won't help much....like Jews who left Germany for Holland in the 1930s.
Islam is just evil.
Neither, of course, is India. It has a great deal more diversity (religious, cultural, linguistic) than the EU, which is in the process of falling apart.
About the only thing India (or Pakistan or Bangladesh) ever had in common was propinquity and common subjection to the British.
Many decades ago my parents left behind every thing and came over to India as refugees from Pakistan with literally nothing but the clothes behind their backs. And for days they lived without food. I thank them or that. Today I am doing much better then 99% of the people in Pakistan.
“Moving to India, probably won’t help much”
Are there still plenty of Muslims in India who will attack Hindus?
Wrong. That's because the only part of Indian history you know of had to do with British India. I can bet you know nothing about the Mauryan empire, Gupta empire, Delhi sultanate, Mughal empire.... each of them lasted much longer then British empire. A north Indian would have a much easier time talking to a Pakistani (an even a Bangladeshi) then say a south Indian (say Tamil). North Indians and Pakistani share same language and cultural habits. Same with Bengalis from India and Bangladeshis.
For every Muslim how many Hindus do you think India has?
And if not India, where do you think the Hindu should go?... To US? I am sure US immigration is dying to embrace 4 Million grubby impoverished Hindus from Pakistan with open arms right?
Quite familiar with each. While each may have lasted longer than British Empire, with rare exceptions they expanded from a small base, conquered a large area they controlled for only a relatively brief time, then contracted. AFAIK, none ever controlled the full extent of the territory of the British raj.
My point was probably not worded well. I was trying to say that the inhabitants of India did indeed not have much in common with each other more than with Pakistanis or Bengalis. IOW, all three countries are not “normal” nation-states in the sense France and Germany are.
They’re somewhat arbitrary collections of peoples who have little more in common with each other than with those across the (somewhat artificial) borders.
In many cases those borders run where they do based on the whim of a particular Rajah. If that isn’t “artificial” I can’t see what would be.
Although what you term as “whims of a Rajah” has aspects of truth relevant to the history of India, the overwhelming cultural commonality among the various regions comprising the country today ensures its unity. If not for this fact, the myriad pilgrimages crisscrossing the length and breadth of the country would not have been possible. Not to mention religious movements which began in one place and spread to the rest (check up about this dude called Adi Shankaracharya). Or political reformers who did the same thing.
Language-based conflict is practically extinct in India today, which is an achievement that could only possible due to the cultural commonality mentioned earlier, an acceptance of a common nationality among the overwhelming majority of the people. The recent conflict in the borders, when Pakistan sent irregulars to occupy the remote Himalayan outposts, which sparked off a war to drive them out, saw immense support from all parts of the country, especially from the south, which is about 2000 miles away, signifying the unity quite vividly. The terror attacks do the same thing, too.
You simply cannot compare the European situation with India, because conflicts in this part of the world does not arise out of language differences. By the way, Britain “ruled” India through local Princely States - whom the former kept pampered in exchange for allegiance. And Pakistani Hindu refugees who moved into India in 1947 and around that period are among the most successful people in India today. Probably something about forcibly migrated societies that make them yearn success much more than others.
British raj also never controlled full extent of the territory but large portion were contracted to the 525 Principalities held by Maharajas.
Of all the empires I mentioned, The British Empire had the least impact on an average Indian in a cultural sense. For most of the British raj, hardly 5% of Indians people spoke English (that number grew only at the fag end of the Raj and after Independence). For most of the population, British culture and habits were only a mystery....that they sometimes looked at with awe and at times loathed or feared. But common familiarity with British language and culture as a binding influence over India is total nonsense.
“IOW, all three countries are not normal nation-states in the sense France and Germany are.”
Only if you consider linguistic, racial homogeneity as the only basis for “nation-state” which is a very narrow definition. India is very much a normal natural nation-states. Pakistan and Bangladesh are not (even though they are much more homogeneous then India).
The border between India-Pakistan and India-East Pakistan(or Bangladesh) was drawn not by a Rajah but by the British... a guy called Radcliffe. He never ever visited the places over which he drew the border. He was just given a pen, a stack of maps and a few days time. He ended up drawing a line that left large pockets of Muslim enclaves inside India and large pockets of Hindu-Sikh enclaves in Pakistan.....which quickly became the basis for genocide and mass exodus.
You should at least recognize that poor Mr. Radcliffe was given an impossible task. There was no possible line that would not have “left large pockets of Muslim enclaves inside India and large pockets of Hindu-Sikh enclaves in Pakistan.”
The line you reference was drawn across British India, the provinces ruled directly by Britain. In theory, the princely states were allowed to decide which state they would join, or they could remain independent. In practice, geography determined which state they went into.
However, in the obvious case of Kashmir, a Hindu rajah declared for India despite about 75% of his population being Muslim. That’s pretty arbitrary and artificial.
They are subdued in this tendency due to the fact that the Hindus WILL retaliate. For example 2002 Gujarat riots. Or just google india anti-muslim riots
And now you are parroting total liberal Anglo-American drivel. Except for just “the valley” Kashmir is predominantly Shiite Muslims as opposed to Pakistani establishment being overwhelmingly Sunni dominated. The Maharajah initially decided on staying independent but Pakistan army backed by Pathans tribals invaded and overran Kashmir. That's when the Maharaja fled to India for help, and India extracted an instrument of accession from him in return for expelling out the Pakistan army and the Pathans.
Between India and Pakistan, 90% Kashmiris would without doubt pick India. Most of them are well aware that Pakistan itself carried out a lot more ethnic genocide of Muslims (Bengalis, Shiites, Mohajirs and Baluchis) then India ever did.
” In theory, the princely states were allowed to decide which state they would join,”
That was only a British provision (a last ditch attempt to carve up India into as may parts as possible). In practise neither India nor Pakistan allowed any princely state to remain independent. There was no way they could have stayed independent.....too many land locked princely states, plus the people wanted to join India. Also their legal claims end with the end of British control.
Hyderabad had a Muslim Nawab with 90% of his subject being Hindus wanted to stay independent or join Pakistan (and his state was WAY down south). Same with Junagadh (Muslim Nawab and Hindu majority) but right near India-Pakistan border. The Maharajas of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Patiala are all near the India-Pak border.
Over several decades, Hindus (Kashmiri Pandits) were forced to flee the valley by Pakistan backed terrorist and so today you have an artificial majority of Muslims in Kashmir, just as you have in rest of Pakistan.
Looked up the old British surveys. 75% Muslim in the state as a whole from late 1800s right up to just before Independence. I presume you will agree the British had no particular ax to grind in their census.
I am aware of terrorism against Hindus, but that didn’t create the Muslim majority.
Actually they did, especially in the mid-to-late 19th century - the British favoured the Muslims over the Hindus then - dealing with the Mughals and their vassals. It took the 1857 revolt to change that.
Interesting to read the old stories of the Mutiny.
While Muslims and Hindus lived and fought side by side, there didn’t seem to be a great deal of antagonism between the two, at least not at that time. They didn’t seem to have any trouble at all ganging up together on the British. In fact, while religion played a part in the Mutiny, it was mostly common antipathy to Christianity, not Muslim vs. Hindu stuff.
The rebellion was largely a Muslim-led reaction to the eroding status of the Mughal Empire. Don’t be fooled by post-Independence write-ups by Indian authors who play up that Hindu-Muslim unity thing to mythological levels. The base stance was that the Muslims resented their loss of power, and British antipathy towards Hindus made for an ‘enemy’s enemy is a friend’ situation.
Pre-1857 British policy attacked Hindu beliefs more seriously than Muslim beliefs
“The pre-1857 policy of the English East India Company was more anti-Hindu than anti-Muslim. The General Service Enlistment Act of 1856 was a serious piece of legislation which greatly demoralised the Hindu soldiers. Thus it is a simple fact that the rebellion was successful to some degree in 1857 because the Hindu soldiers who formed the majority of the Bengal Army soldiers joined the rebellion. It is true that most of the leaders of the rebellion were Muslim and the maximum casualties suffered by the British were in campaigns against essentially Muslim centres of rebellion like Delhi and Lucknow. It remains a fact that without support from Hindu soldiers who constituted the bulk of Bengal infantry the Muslims could not have lasted for as long as they did i.e. at Delhi from May to September 1857 and in Lucknow from July 1857 to March 1858.”
“The aftermath of the rebellion has been the focus of new work using Indian sources and population studies. In The Last Mughal, historian William Dalrymple examines the effects on the Muslim population of Delhi after the city was retaken by the British and finds that intellectual and economic control of the city shifted from Muslim to Hindu hands because the British, at that time, saw an Islamic hand behind the mutiny.”
Christianity had no real role to play in the conflict.
The British had plenty of ax to grind. I cannot comment on the authenticity of the census you are taking about and what regions it covered. I have a feeling it probably does not include Ladakh in the census.
Either ways, Muslims majority does not default to Pakistani ownership because India isn't a Hindu country. India has more Muslims then Pakistan. And secondly a large population of Kashmiri Muslims are Shia as opposed to majority of Pakistani population being Sunni dominated. Shias are firmly with India. And lastly a large population of Sunni Muslims in the valley are with India because they loath the Pakistani Punjabi majority ruling class that has demographically displaced ethnic Kashmiris in the part of Kashmir under Pakistani control. The Kashmiris on the other side of the border only serve as endless supply of jihadi foot soldiers to carry on Pakistan's low intensity war against India, which passes for "Kashmiri freedom struggle against Indian rule".
What did you expect them to do? Lay down their arms and embrace slavery under British?
” In fact, while religion played a part in the Mutiny, it was mostly common antipathy to Christianity, not Muslim vs. Hindu stuff.”
Antipathy British, not Christianity.
The role Christianity played was that manyMuslims and Hindus thought the raj was planning to force them to convert.
It wasn’t of course, even the Brits were never that stupid, but the conspiracy theory that they were played a quite significant role in creating the disaffection that led to the rebellion.
You’re basically agreeing with what I said. Most (not all) of the leaders were Muslim, and Hindu soldiers supported them. Thus indicating there was little rift between the two communities at the time, or at least that antagonism towards the British outweighed it.
What most Muslims were objecting to was not the decline of the Mughal Empire as such. In fact, most of the leaders were beneficiaries of that decline, as they were local lords breaking off a portion of the empire, in practice though not usually in theory, for their own benefit.
They objected to their loss of status as Muslims, the dominant group in society, which was in the process of being replaced by Brits. And they objected to various British “reforms,” which while increasing efficiency were perfectly reasonable, were also pretty hard on the previous beneficiaries of the inefficiencies.
Even if they were not being converted, Hindus were still justified in allying with the Muslims against the British. British were a common enemy. The Muslims at least were still Indians.
“And they objected to various British reforms, which while increasing efficiency “
There, more garbage spew from Anglo press. The only “reforms” and efficiency the East India Company brought was extreme taxation, forced slavery on indigo plantation, famine and hunger holocaust in Bengal and plunder and horrific mass murder in every place that joined the mutiny against them.
By the time of The Mutiny, Muslims had long lost their ruling status for over centuries to Hindu empires like Marathas, Jats, Rajputs and Sikhs. The Mughals were only a figureheads, the Hindus Chiefs controlled the militaries.
That Christian “conversion plan” conspiracy theory is mostly a fringe opinion, and not anywhere near the main cause of the rebellion.
Remember, the soldiers who put down the anti-British rebellion were largely Hindus and Sikhs, and this was a factor in the change in the British stance from supporting Muslims to supporting Hindus.
The Hindu soldiers supporting the rebellion were far outnumbered by Hindu soldiers against the rebellion. It’s somewhat silly to claim Hindus supported Muslims because of the minority constituted by the former.
The decline of the Mughal Empire was the most visible sign of decline of Muslim power in the region. That most certainly is sufficient cause to rouse Muslim sentiments against the British.
As for British policies in the region, they led among other things, to the major famines in the areas under their administration - Bengal - due to forced cultivation of cash crops: disruption of the local agricultural cycles, forced growing of indigo and opium for the China wars, with the now entrenched poverty resulting in the establishment of banditry in the region, only to be eradicated decades later through great effort.
I’m the last person to defend the British record in India, especially in the early days.
However. In pre-modern societies population growth is a reasonable surrogate for peace and prosperity, as the main constraints on it are war, famine and disease.
It is just a fact that Indian population increased greatly under British rule From 190M in 1871 to 294M in 1901. That’s not a sign of a population suffering under tyranny and oppression.
Between 1960 and 2010, Afghanistan’s population multiplied triple-fold, and then some (3.5 times, actually).
Does that mean that the pathetic excuse of a country’s population did not suffer any oppression during the time?
“It is just a fact that Indian population increased greatly under British rule From 190M in 1871 to 294M in 1901. Thats not a sign of a population suffering under tyranny and oppression.”
Do you know how may man-made famines occurred during the said period? Did the average life span increase during the said period? Population increase means nothing really. Population actually increases faster in poorer countries because people try to bear more children to guard against the possibility that many of them may not survive till adulthood.
British caused perenial famines wiped out a third of the population of Bengal.
prior to that you were in kingdoms and your allegiance was to a person. That is why there were proposals for Russia to be renamed Petrovia under Peter the Great and not much "nationalist" opposition. That is why a "German" like Copernicus could pledge allegiance to a Polish king against the "German" Teutonic knights
Also, a "normal" nation-state is a mono-ethnic, mono-religious entity. It was purely a construct of Western Europe from the late 1700s: for instance until the French revolution barely 10% of France spoke what we call French -- they spoke Breton or Basque or o'il or Gascon.
the 1800s was the time when there came a consolidation and a clamping down on minorities -- which is when the English attempted to stamp out Manx, Welsh, Cornish etc., when the French stamped out the regional languages, when the German Empire attempted to force the Poles to speak only German, when the Russian Empire attempted to force Poles etc. to speak only Russian.
I give European examples because those were the states which were at the forefront of this nation-state creation. in Asia you had Siam doing the same and the Japanese had been doing it for a long time to the Ainu etc.
I would argue that the "normal" state is always a multi-ethnic,multi-lingual and multi-religious one -- right from the state of Sargon II of Akkad in 2000 BC.
The US is the best example of why this works in the long run. Japan is the best example of why it may work in the short-run but in the long run the consolidation is not good for the nation as it turns more insular.
the natural state is a mix where you have say Germans living in the Ukraine alongside Ruthenians, Russian, Poles, Jews, Armenians, Tartars, Romanians, Greeks etc.
In India's case there is the historical sense of being 'Bharatiya' just as Europeans have the sense of being "European". Both started off in the quasi-religious or religious sense.
Neither made the leap to assimilation as the Hans did in China -- probably because there was never one dominant culture as in China, but myriad żródła sources.
“Moving to India, probably won’t help much....like Jews who
left Germany for Holland in the 1930s. “
lol, you’re joking right?? Tell me that was a joke. You’re comparing India to Holland and Pakistan to Germany and the Hindus in Pak to Jews who fled to Holland??
Had a good laugh there..