New Delhi: The incidents of attack on Hindu temples by fanatics in Pakistan have been taking place for years. A number of temples have been torched, idols of Hindu gods damaged, religious books burnt.
With a population of around seven million, Hindus form the largest religious minority group in Pakistan, which, at 195 million, is the second largest Muslim nation in the world after Indonesia.
Attacks on temples in Pakistan are increasingly turning out to be the rule, rather than an exception.
Talking to BBC, Jairam, working as a priest at Pakistan’s Wakf department, said the Hindu culture has been destroyed after 1971. Scriptures, Sanskrit language are not taught anywhere. In fact, an effort was made to get a bill passed by the Sindh government to include Sanskrit language in the curriculum and to induct a Hindi language teacher for Hindu students. However, no such bill was passed. If no law can be made to facilitate such issues, the day is not far when no Hindu will be left in Pakistan.”
The incidents of attack on Hindu temples in Sindh had triggered widespread protests by the Hindu community in the past.
The arson attacks on Hindu places of worship are seen as attempts to fan flames of communal violence.
Even the Jinnah Institute, a think tank, has chronicled these incidents.
The arson attacks on Hindu temples and other incidents of religious intolerance have made the Hindu community in Pakistan nervous.
With kidnappings and forced conversions of teenage Hindu girls, abduction of Hindu traders for ransom, and desecration of temples, many Hindus have been forced to migrate to India and elsewhere, Dawn reported last year.
While the Pakistani statute books still carry laws from the colonial period that prescribe punishment for the desecration of religious places and articles, their enforcement has come to depend on how far a community is willing to go to make those laws work, a BBC report had noted in December 2012.
While one hopes that the attacks on Hindu temples and other instances of intolerance against the Hindu minorities in Pakistan cease, only time will tell how far those hopes would be fulfilled. However, till that happens, the Hindus in Pakistan continue to live a life on the edge.
Zee Media Bureau