Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Temple razed in Lahore: Condemn the Demolition, Speak for Affirmative Action for Religious Minorities in Pakistan

Over 90% of Pakistani Hinds live in Sindh region
The demolition of a temple in Lahore has come as a saddening news. Though I could not follow the reports earlier and the circumstances surrouding the issue, but the demolition is absolutely wrong.

Lahore, I know, has a substantial Hindu population. What a great cosmopolitan town Lahore was until partition, when it had a fair mixture of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs.

Unfortunately the exodus of Hindus and Sikhs after partition transformed the demography quite similar to Delhi.

The national newspapers didn't carry the report extensively and most of them relied on agency news that itself quoted a Pakistan newspaper. Why a newspaper like The Hindu that has a correspondent in Pakistan didn't carry the news.

The report mentioned that the PPP and a section of Muslim League members protested the demolition. But the construction of commercial complex on the place is a painful and sad news. Even if, there are no Hindus in the region, or in the name of development, it can't be justified.

[Post Script: Later reports about protests by Muslim youths have been encouraging. In any society, it is important to raise voice against such action. Feels good to see that Pakistani bloggers have taken up the issue and are agitating against authorities]

Distorting, Sensational Reporting in India, Pakistan: I accept that often news and reports that go from county to another are distorted. Just like an abduction in Pakistan, is often reported as 'Hindu abducted' here, to make it more sensational in India.

Similarly, the practice of Pakistani papers excessively highlighting crime against Muslims in India, as atrocities against minorities, is not correct. We, are a healthy democracy, a secular nation, and can surely deal with out internal issues. So can they, and they should.

Stop Generalizing: We don't get to know clear picture of the other country

Hundreds of people, Hindus, Muslims and of all faiths, get killed and murdered due to petty reasons or local feuds. They should not be given such a colour. We must be mature enough. Still, what is important is that a religious minority should feel safe and secure.

Affirmative Action for Hindus needed in Pakistan, Bangladesh

In Pakistan, if Muslims stand for the rights of Hindu brethren, it will be good for their country, as well as sending a message outside also. Similarly, it should be in Bangladesh. If India can have Sachar panel and debate to have more minority representation in jobs, it should happen in Pakistan and Bangladesh also to ensure that Hindus don't get discrimated.