The pseudo Muslims, ignorant of the real spirit of Islam, recently exhumed and humiliated the mortal remains of one Bhuro Bhil, a Dravidian Hindu, in district Badin of Sindh province. The land, where he was buried, was in fact donated to the residents by his ancestors.
As expected, almost all political and social corners of Sindhi society have condemned and massively protested against this act of barbarianism. A clear massage has tweeted across the country and the region that there is no space for religious extremism in the secular Sindh. Bilawal Bhutto of Pakistan People Party asked Sindh Government to take actions against the culprits.
The Hindus and Muslim activists from Hindu majority districts of Mithi and Umerkot said that Hindus and Muslims of Sindh are in harmony and both follow the same saint Jhooley Lal. A Hindu temple and a Muslim mosque is under one roof at the shrine of Jhulelal near the Hyderabad
city of Sindh. Meanwhile, Sindhi nationalists have vociferously said that the Mullahs involved in the act were supported by the ‘omnipowerful’ of Pakistan.
Sindhi Hindus are continuously being victimized since 1948 - earlier at the hands of migrated Muslims from Northern India
and now by the state-sponsored Mullahs. Thousands of them have bid farewell to Sindh - Pakistan so far since the Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD) during the military regime of General Zia in 1980s. At least, roughly speaking, beyond one hundred thousand Hindus have left the country in last three decades due to persecution mostly unleashed after the establishment of Pano Aqil Cantonment, the largest military installation within Pakistan.
A rim of zealot Madaris were established in Sindh in 1990s and 2000s mostly near Pano Aqil as well as near Indian bordering Thar Desert, where majority of Mullahs are being imported from Punjab
and to some extent from Pashtun Khuwa provinces. These Madaris are, no doubt, the epicenter of harassing and terrorizing Hindus in Sindh who still count 8.5 million in the province.
The people of Sindh have been massively protesting against such kind of barbarism. What needs to be done to address these issues? The ‘to do list’ is very simple and doable, if the intention of the Pakistan government and security regime are fair.
Before general Zia’s martial law, the Sindh Textbook Board’s designed curriculum included not only the poetry of some Hindu poets, but also some lessons on the Sindhi Hindus and Parsis who have remained icons of humanity for their services to the poor of Subcontinent particularly in Sindh, Gujarat, Punjab and Maharashtra. Such a characters were Sami, Diya Ram Gidumal, Jamshed Nasarwanji Mehta, Herananad, Kishanchand Bewas and others.
The military regime of Gen Zia ordered the exclusion of these lessons from the textbooks in Sindh. It is a need of the hour that the textbooks for the schools in Sindh should re-include those lessons and poetry (Some poems are still part of the primary level textbooks in Sindhi).
Certain Madaris particularly some those situated in Ghotki, Shikarpur, Sukkur, Khairpur and Umerkot districts have been given a “heavenly” task of forcibly converting Hindus particularly Hindu girls to Islam. The notorious extremist Mullahs and their cronies, commanded by their masters, have been playing with the life, honor, will, and individual liberty of Sindhi Hindu girls in the name of Islam.
The dacoits, and looters in the northern Sindh get weaponry from the networks that exist in northeastern Pakistan especially associated with Pakistan’s Wah Ordnance Factory. These armed rackets mostly run by the retired army men should be disbanded. The police and law enforcing agencies should also stop the patronage of the dacoits because in many cases these are used in kidnapping Hindus.
Pakistan Evacuee Trust law categorizes the left over property of Hindus as ‘enemy property’. Such a phrase in the law should be deleted because the language of law indicates that the Hindu are considered enemy by the state of Pakistan.
Land has also been a major reason behind some of the minority harassing and victimization incidents in Sindh as well as in rest of the Pakistan. Therefore, land mafias and their supporters should be brought to the books. There should also be devised a code of conduct for purchasing land from communities to construct new human settlements in the cities.
A Judicial Commissions should be formed at the Sindh High Court and Pakistan Supreme level to examine the issues if Hindus and Christian flee their homeland due to failure of governance in providing Hindus security and the safety.
Provincial Governments should form special cells to focus the issues of minorities and provide them maximum civil administrative and legal support.
Sindhi Hindus, despite leaving Sindh, should form their Scouts to ensure their community protection and Sindh Government should facilitate them with providing arms and ammunition licensees for the community policing.
Besides, the Political parties including nationalists should form district, tehsil, and town level committees focused on the supporting and protecting Hindus. If government fails to provide appropriate safety to Hindus, let the people should come out and teach the tough lessons to these sponsored Mullahs who serve the duty of evil in the name of Islam.
If the suggested measures are adopted by the other federating states in Pakistan for the protection of Christian, Hindu, and Sikh there, the life and situation of religious minorities in Pakistan may become changed.
Weather these suggestions would suit the vague internal security doctrine of Pakistan, is incomprehensible! The only thing that is very well known to the people of Sindh that humanity, democracy, and Islam bounds majorities to protect minorities in their territories.
(About Author: Zulfiqar Shah is an activist, analyst, and researcher refugee currently staying in India. He is author of ‘Beyond Federalism’ a book on the Sindhi nationalism. Twitter:@ shahzulf )