Monday, March 07, 2016

Caste discrimination lead to religious conversion in Pakistan: Dalit Hindu converts to Sikhism to escape oppression, says BBC report

Shocking it may seem but caste discrimination exists among Hindus in Pakistan.

The extent is such that people are forced to covert to other faiths.

Tharpakar district in Pakistan has a large Hindu population.

Here, Dalits claim that they face discrimination and are forced to lead their lives like second class citizens.

They allege that measures for uplift of Hindus mostly end up helping the Upper Castes.

The lower castes don't have equal rights and face misbehaviour--not allowed to enter temples with Upper Caste Hindus and can't eat with them. Nukhbat Malik has reported it for BBC from Pakistan.

"Hasanand was a Dalit who converted to Sikhism along with his family to escape the brutal casteist apartheid. He has now taken a new name, Jagjit Singh", says BBC report.

"I don't want to leave this place and want to live like a rebel here. My children are sastisfied that they would not have to suffer insults and though I am termed son of Meghwal caste, they would be known as son of Sardar", he says.

Dalit activists also say that the situation is bad for the community as Dalits are socially backward and economically weak. An activist is quoted as saying that the threat to them is not from Muslims but from Upper Castes.

[Photo courtesy] Read the report in Hindi on BBC website. READ

READ: Tharpakar, Hindu majority district in Pakistan