Monday, May 29, 2023

Sad tale of minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh


For too long the world has turned its blind eye to the state of minority religious communities in Pakistan, namely Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Hajaras and Ahmedias. It is really shocking that despite clear-cut state-aided and state-sanctioned violence against the minorities, the world has not taken any note of the ground realities.

Hindus do not matter much for any country. Largely because they do not constitute a vote bank and also because they are not a very vocal and organised community.

Hindus remain busy with the present and prefer to continue living amid the circumstances around them accepting the consequences and outcomes as god-ordained.

It would have been difficult for Hindus to articulate their problems and the fear and cruelty that they have to go through in their life.

The good thing is that the Pakistani Sunni-dominated society is equally barbaric to other religious communities too. They are as cruel to Hajara community as to Christians.

And it is the crime against the Christian minority that usually draws the attention of the western media.

Abduction of minor girls belonging to minority religions and their forced marriages with abductors has become a routine affair in Pakistan.

Nothing has been done to check this trend. Thousands of Hindu, Sikh and Christian minor and major girls and women have been abducted, converted and married to their abductors.

There is hardly any case where the perpetrators of such crime have been punished by the law and order machinery.

The fact is that any crime against a minority community in a Muslim country is treated as an expected and routine affair that can be easily skipped through.

The world turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed on Hindu community in Bangladesh in 1971. And it remains oblivious of the fact that the minorities have virtually been finished off in Pakistan.

It must be one of the most egregious case of systematic eradication of entire population of minority communities within a few decades. One only has to check the population of minority communities in Pakistan in 1947 and now. Data speaks for itself.

It is true that the world has moved ahead in time and the standards of human rights and human dignity have risen with time. However, when it comes to applying the same standards of human rights and dignity in Islamic countries, the world fails miserably.

Beheading, stoning, child marriage and capital punishment for blasphemy are still common in Islamic countries. The world has never felt the need to apply its progressive standards to such countries.

If only it showed the same sincerity in imposing basic human rights in all countries of the world as it has shown in supporting the right of enjoying uninterrupted internet to agitating farmers in India, or in Kashmir, things would have been a little better in the world.

Minorities are also forced to go through similar condition even in Bangladesh. However, in Bangladesh, the state usually does not encourage such atrocities against minority communities. The level of persecution of minorities in Pakistan is unprecedented.

And the world needs to sit up and take notice as well as take concrete steps to stop the persecution of minorities.

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