A Hindu lawmaker has claimed in Pakistan's National Assembly that 4,000-5,000 Hindus flee Pakistan every year to India or other countries to avoid persecution in Pakistan. He also stated that religious books of Hindus are desecrated and the religious temples of Hindus are pulled down. Many Hindu girls of marriageable age are abducted and forced to marry their Muslim kidnappers after conversion. He stated that this was in gross violation of the Constitution of Pakistan which gave minorities equal rights to practise their religion.
"...I know there are people who do
not quite agree with the division of India
and the partition of the
Punjab and Bengal. Much has been said against it, but now that it has
been accepted, it is the duty of everyone of us to loyally abide by
it and honourably act according to the agreement which is now final
and binding on all. But you must remember, as I have said, that this
mighty revolution that has taken place is unprecedented. One can
quite understand the feeling that exists between the two communities
wherever one community is in majority and the other is in minority.
But the question is, whether it was possible or practicable to act
otherwise than what has been done, A division had to take place. On
both sides, in Hindustan and Pakistan, there are sections of people
who may not agree with it, who may not like it, but in my judgement
there was no other solution and I am sure future history will record
is verdict in favour of it. And what is more, it will be proved by
actual experience as we go on that was the only solution of India's
constitutional problem. Any idea of a united India could never have
worked and in my judgement it would have led us to terrific disaster.
Maybe that view is correct; maybe it is not; that remains to be seen.
All the same, in this division it was impossible to avoid the
question of minorities being in one Dominion or the other. Now that
was unavoidable. There is no other solution. Now what shall we do?
Now, if we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and
prosperous, we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being
of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor. If you will
work in co-operation, forgetting the past, burying the hatchet, you
are bound to succeed. If you change your past and work together in a
spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs,
no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what
is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of
this State with equal rights, privileges, and obligations, there will
be on end to the progress you will make.
I cannot emphasize it too much. We
should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these
angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu
community and the Muslim community, because even as regards Muslims
you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the
Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis
and so on, will vanish. Indeed if you ask me, this has been the
biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain the freedom and
independence and but for this we would have been free people long
long ago. No power can hold another nation, and specially a nation of
400 million souls in subjection; nobody could have conquered you, and
even if it had happened, nobody could have continued its hold on you
for any length of time, but for this. Therefore, we must learn a
lesson from this. You are free; 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. As you
know, history shows that in England, conditions, some time ago, were
much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics
and the Protestants persecuted each other. Even now there are some
States in existence where there are discriminations made and bars
imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in
those days. We are starting in the days where there is no
discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no
discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are
starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and
equal citizens of one State. The people of England in course of time
had to face the realities of the situation and had to discharge the
responsibilities and burdens placed upon them by the government of
their country and they went through that fire step by step. Today,
you might say with justice that Roman Catholics and Protestants do
not exist; what exists now is that every man is a citizen, an equal
citizen of Great Britain and they are all members of the Nation.
Now I think we should keep that in
front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time
Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be
Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal
faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of
Pakistan is flagrantly violating the
spirit of Jinnah's above speech as there is not only persecution of
Hindus but of Shias and Ahmadis as well as Baluchis and Sindhis who
are being killed and butchered mercilessly.
Will Government of India take up the
matter with Government of Pakistan?
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