Students from various universities and colleges of Karachi, under the banner of the National Students Federation, gathered on Wednesday outside the Swaminarayan Mandir to form a human shield in order to give a sense of security to, and express solidarity with, the Hindu community.
This was the second time that NSF student activists came to the temple and stood in solidarity with the Hindu community. "We really want to live in a society where religious freedom prevails, where Hindus, Christians and Sikhs hold rights equal to those of Muslims," said NSF, Karachi organiser Muzammal Afzal. "But that is a long struggle that we have to wage. We will come here every year to spread the message of interfaith harmony and to tell our Hindu brothers and sisters that we all are equal."
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Student activists also organised a musical performance outside the temple, in which Ayaz Soomro, a student of Karachi University's visual studies department, sang Sufi songs replete with ideas of religious harmony and tolerance. "There is equality here at the mandir," says Soomro. "An artist will be drawn to a place where there are colours and equality."
Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2016.
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