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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Tharpakar: Hindu majority district in Pakistan!

Tharparkar's location in Pakistan adjoining India
It was a surprise to know that a Hindu majority district still exists in Pakistan.

Though there is a large Hindu population in the country, especially, in Sindh, we don't get to hear much news about the Pakistani Hindus.

This is sad as many agencies and newspapers have correspondents stationed in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, but unfortunately they don't seem interested to focus on Hindu culture in Pakistan.

Tharpakar [also spelt as Thar Parkar] district in Pakistan had Hindus constituting more than half of the population.

Eminent author Yoginder Sikand writes that it is a Hindu majority district. Though he says that the voice of these people does not reach anywhere because they are mostly Dalits or Backward Communities and the Hindu community representatives in Assemblies are mostly the upper castes like Banias.

Tharpakar is situated on the Indo-Pak border. On its east lies Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan while on the south lies Rann of Kutch ie Indian state of Gujarat. There are numerous temples in Tharpakar, the only fertile desert, of the world.

A temple in Tharpakar
I tried to get more information about the district but couldn't find as much as I wanted. If the Hindus are not in a majority by now and even if they comprise 30-40% of the district's population, it is an interesting and gladdening news.

In fact, substantial population of Hindus survived the partition and remained in Sindh, even parts of Punjab and Balochistan, even towns in the interior regions.

The poor among them like their Muslim brethren, work as 'haari' at the farms of landlords. Wikipedia says that Hindu population migrated during the war of 1965 still substantial chunk of population is Hindu.

Read Part II on this blog
There are Sikhs and a few Jains as well among the other religious minorities. In fact, the temple visible in this post is a Jain shrine. Most of the Jains had left Pakistan, along with Upper Castes, in the wake of partition.

Also, Hindu tribes like Bhil inhabit the district. For the second part on Hinduism in Pakistan and the photograph shown on the left, read another post on this blog.

Hinduism in Pakistan Part-II. Click


Diganta said...

Hindus are leaving Pakistan even today

Fahd Mirza said...

Just to tell you buddy that I am back.

arohan said...

their representative in Pakistan parliament is krishna bheel and one gentleman from meghwal community.
mostly they are held as bonded labor by muslim landlords what more at the time of partiiton this district was merged with neighbouring mirpur khas by muslim league governemt of sindh to prevent its going to india.

ISM said...

People mostly have the impression that Non-Muslims or the minorities have no rights in Pakistan.

Many Indians say how they have the Khans who are Muslims and what about Non-Muslims what do they do in Pakistan.

Pakistan doesn’t have entertainment or shall I say Film industry but if you look at fashion industry we have non-Muslims like designer Deepak Perwani, model/TV actress Sunita Marshall and model Cybil. We have a band GT who’s lead singer is Glenn Silverious John his father was a famous ghazal singer S.B. John, than there is singer A.Nayar and the famous old girl band Benjamin sisters.And a lot of Hindus/Christians even work at various channels behind the camera like producer, control room operator etc.

There are minorities in Pakistan government Hindus as well as Christians and they are even serving in the Pakistani army including sikhs.

Justice Bhagwan Das was Acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, if not enough, Justice Alvin Robert (A.R.) Cornelius served on the Supreme Court of Pakistan for 17 years, nearly 8 years of those as Chief Justice. There are still Hindu temple in the heart of the cities Like Karachi, acting and live since the day of independence.

Saim said...

Hindus do account for a significant population of Sindh. Overall they acount for 7.5% of the total pop of the province with high concentrations in southen part for eg:
Hyderabad Dist 12%
Badin: 20%
Sanghar: 25%
Mirpurkhas: 33%
Tharparker: 41%
Umerkot: 49%
Plus hindus form a majority in the urban areas of Tharparker (70%)
However most hindus r not dalits. only 14% of them r. remaining r mainly into small to medium sized businesses ranfing from utility stores to cotton mills to traders/retailer/whoplesalers as well as computer and automobile showroom owners. Hindus r also into medical, CA and more recently engineering field, financially they r much better of then christians and other minorities and in some places even by muslims.
A large number of them r also present in urban centers of balochistan where again they have businesses as mentioned above.

Anonymous said...

Why are you be so interested in Hindus in Pakistan? Why should we care whether there are hindu or muslims in Pakistan. Nation is bigger than religion. Anyone living in Pakistan is Pakistani and living in India is India. We have enough problems in India than to advertise about Pakistan.

Anonymous said...

I believe that minorities in pakistan can vote only for minority candidates. They are forbidden to contest as a general candidate and cannot get votes other than from minorities. This is from the http://www.faqs.org/minorities/South-Asia/Hindus-of-Pakistan.html
Hindus are barred from holding the highest office, have seperate electorates. Their fate is pitiable and their current population is brought down to less than 2% from the partiton population of almost 15%

Anonymous said...

Minorities in Pakistan live in fear - report


Anonymous said...

A separate electorate means atleast some fixed number of representatives to the NS in Pakistan. Here in India, e.g we have not a single MP from the state of Maharashtra (0/48). Think who will represent the miniroties in Pakistan if common electorate is there. In future we visualise the non existing AngloIndians having a MP in parliament but none from Muslim community. Lets remember that there are Muslim majority constituencies in India but the are called sensitive and reserved for SC/ST communities denying the majority of that constituency representation. In fact we must admit that the casteism of Hinduism is celebrate in India the way White America wants people to appreciate their loosening the stranglehold on non-whites. The call for appreaciation for wrongs submerges the allegations of racism and casteism. Why not to hold the systems of Hinduism and Christianity for the historical wrongs??

Humna said...

it is interesting why indians are so interested in pakistan. anyway, no hard feelings on that!

now here's a first hand narration from me. i m a pakistani and live in karachi. my school had a muslim administration but we also had teachers who were buddhists, parsis, etc. we always respected them! besides this we still have areas in karachi named as they were before partition such as "Guru Mandir" is an area in the heart of the city. moreover, an island near the port of karachi, a periphery of the city area has several mandirs located along the coast, amazingly u can also find mosques and tombs of famous muslim saints along the same belt. although the christian population in the city is not massive we still have many churches where regular sunday services are held. for parsis, we have their ritual site exactly in the centre of the bustling economic zone known as saddar. none of the churches, temples, etc. have been burnt down or anything. minor incidents do take place but thats normal for any country. we never had a carnage of any sort towards any religious minority. in front of my university we have a large ghetto of hindus who celebrate the rung festival coloring sand near and around them. women wear their sundur and little gals flaunt their bindis. we never had issues with them, infact we frequently visit the area to educate their children.

Dont worry people... hindus are living peacefully in pakistan. as far as them not being a part of the elite is concerned... go back into history. most of the hindu population living in pakistan is of those who could afford a migration. they are poor and uneducated. fact remains that if u wish to grab opportunities, education is the primary requirement. once they get hold of it none will stop them. i hope i m not suggesting that hindus are the only poor people in pakistan; pakistan does have a high number of unfortunate population living below the poverty line... they are no exceptions!

u can cross check facts by either paying a visit to karachi or asking any other trusted source. i have named the areas for ur ease.

regards from pakistan.

Anonymous said...

India has so many Muslim areas. Kashmir, some Kerala, Bengal, UP parts and now there is Mewat.

Mewat new Muslim district in North India

Anonymous said...

Gud to hear tht still Hindus live i pak nd tht to safe as Muslims live n India.god bless thm.

Anonymous said...

Loke my brother and what every you are the partion of two country was intention and reward 200 years of britisers who order over india including pakistan they had known that these two man had violonce only the reason of religious ok.

Imran Awan said...

There are many Hindus living in Sindh Pakistan.

Anonymous said...

Hinduism is in base of indian subcontinent. Even Pakistan are also part of it.its there own culture.if Pakistan doesn't stick to basic it will be harmful for them. If Hindus are on stake in Pakistan so Pakistan will be in danger. 15% to 2% population of hindus in Pakistan that is why Pakistan is struggling a much.if Pak wants to grow,so Hindus growth are must there.

Anonymous said...

Hinduism is in base of indian subcontinent. Even Pakistan are also part of it.its there own culture.if Pakistan doesn't stick to basic it will be harmful for them. If Hindus are on stake in Pakistan so Pakistan will be in danger. 15% to 2% population of hindus in Pakistan that is why Pakistan is struggling a much.if Pak wants to grow,so Hindus growth are must there.