Razed respect

Published: December 4, 2012
A Hindu temple in Soldier Bazaar was demolished on Saturday while the court was hearing petition seeking a stay order. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

A Hindu temple in Soldier Bazaar was demolished on Saturday while the court was hearing petition seeking a stay order. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

By demolishing over a century-old Hindu temple in Karachi’s Soldier Bazaar locality, not only have we razed the respect of the minority community but we have also failed to uphold its dignity. This action is all the more infuriating for the Hindu community since the Sindh High Court was hearing a petition to stop the demolition of the temple and had given a stay order till December 7. The police have denied that a temple even existed, despite the fact that area residents were able to retrieve a plaque naming the pre-Partition Shri Rama Pir Mandir.

It is noteworthy that the president has expressed concern over this demolition and has directed the authorities concerned to submit a report on the incident. There are claims, however, that the demolition was, in fact, not against the temple but the encroachment of houses around which some 40 people, now made homeless, had built their lives. Four houses in which Hindus lived were also knocked over by a private builder who moved into the area backed by large contingents of the police and Rangers, ordering residents out of homes. The affected Hindus say they were not encroachers at all and their ancestors had lived in the area for centuries. Claims made that the deities within the temple have been taken by the police along with the gold present, add to the vexed sentiments of the Hindus.

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Such incidents mar the sense of harmony which needs to exist between communities. Special sensitivity needs to be demonstrated towards the minority communities. We should be going out of the way to ensure their rights are protected. In the latest case, not even a court order was enough to save the temples or the homes. As Hindus in Karachi continue their protest, we need to think about what should be done. Measures are needed to protect the minorities, definitive policies need to be adopted and we need to ensure they are adhered to by all departments. Profit should not make way for the destruction of places of worship as has happened in Karachi and other parts of the country on multiple occasions. Such actions tend to rip the community apart, literally and figuratively.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • karma
    Dec 4, 2012 - 12:39AM

    The birth place of Hinduism was the banks of Sindhu river. Hinduism was pretty much destroyed in its birthplace by the invaders from north/west over centuries. In 1947, the death of Hinduism was formally acknowledged and a process of stripping it completely began.

    Now, we are at the end stage. The last remaining vestiges of hinduism will be wiped out soon. Pakistani Hindus have two choices – adopt (become muslims), or migrate.



  • gp65
    Dec 4, 2012 - 1:02AM

    I wonder if there will be any contempt notice against the people responsible?

    Also the description that there is no religion when it comes to encroachment is laughable. How can a temple that was built a 100 years back – 35 years before Pakistan existed as an independent country with its own laws be encroaching?


  • Mirza
    Dec 4, 2012 - 3:08AM

    This cannot be the country of my birth, can it? I am sad beyond words. Sorry that my Hindu brothers have to go through this. You may not belive but all of us are not that bad!


  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Dec 4, 2012 - 4:41AM

    Are these people Children of a lesser god?


  • C. Nandkishore
    Dec 4, 2012 - 6:25AM

    As I see it this is the start of the overt, free for all, destruction of Hindu temples. My only surprise was why it took so many years. Couple this with the Ahmedi cemetery. Remember not a word was said when the Taliban destroyed Bamiyan statues.


  • Praful R shah
    Dec 4, 2012 - 6:36AM

    How one can respect Pakistani civilization? Pakistan is shame to civilized society. There is proverb in Sanskrit that there are human whose existence is worst than that of animals. It appears true for Pakistan.


  • Rahul
    Dec 4, 2012 - 7:05AM

    This is not a big news.
    Maybe because it happened in a big city.
    Almost all hindu shrines have already vanished in the rest of the country.
    However, this is the root of the problem. The ABSOLUTE core!!
    You already HAVE a country. In India most people celebrate the Islamic past. If you cannot get to a similar place you are truely doomed.


  • Dec 4, 2012 - 7:15AM

    What you sow what you reap. Whatever Pakistan YES PAKiSTAN that includes its people, is doing now, there would be a result one day. Justice system of nature works in subtle forms. You will see it one day sooner than later and it will be harsher than what is being done now, to make all people’s lives miserable because of an imported inorganic evil system that has only killed since its inception.


  • gp65
    Dec 4, 2012 - 9:01AM

    @Mirza: “This cannot be the country of my birth, can it? I am sad beyond words. Sorry that my Hindu brothers have to go through this. You may not belive but all of us are not that bad!

    We understand your pain and no one thinks that ALL Pakistanis approve. In my real life all Pakistanis I have met – bar none have been a pleasure to interact with. It is also a pleasure to interact with you and so many of your compatriots on the Tribune board.

    However. one cannot but help notice how many people came out to protest when a 3rd rate video was made in a foreign country. So Pakistani people are capable of coming out and protesting about things they consider important. What is the likelihood that there will be large public demonstration on this issue or the fact that 100 Ahmadi graves were desecrated? The silence too tells its own story – does it not?


  • Omer
    Dec 4, 2012 - 9:51AM

    @It Is (still) Economy Stupid: I hope so because if they are from the same god than it will be unjust!


  • Mustafa Kamal
    Dec 4, 2012 - 10:40AM

    Sad Event!!! Pakistan is shamelessly violating the rights of minorities.


  • Sandip
    Dec 4, 2012 - 5:06PM

    @Mirza: We do believe you. Our societies might exist on two sides of the border but they are quite identical when it comes to the issues plaguing us. We too have had our Babri Masjid moment. I pray that God gives our two nations the sense to stop this nonsense and concentrate on making the lives of our people worth living.


  • ahmed41
    Dec 4, 2012 - 5:19PM

    OK~~~~it has happened. NOW, what should be done to undo the damage ???


  • Manishj
    Dec 4, 2012 - 5:32PM

    It is still not late. India should formally engage with Pakistan to allow all the Hindus and any other minorities who feel threatened and wish to leave Pakistan and settle down in India to do so. It is not Pakistan bashing but a pragmatic thought. Some more millions will not affect India. We are capable of providing them safety and shelter at least if not anything more. We all must understand that Pakistan was made for Muslims (only) and it is only they are allowed to stay their.

    There shall not be any protest and those who think that even a small section of Pakistanis will stand up against this are day dreaming.


  • Mohit
    Dec 5, 2012 - 2:05AM

    It is strange thing. A survey showed that if Indian muslims were given freedom to migrate to Pakistan only 8-10% were ready to do so.
    I wonder if same was allowed for Pakistani Hindus to migrate to India..what would be the percentage ready to do so?


  • Zalim singh
    Dec 5, 2012 - 6:56AM

    @ ahmed41

    the only solution is- Pakistan should help these people relocate to India.


  • abhi
    Dec 5, 2012 - 2:20PM

    This is expected behavior nothing surprising here. This is how most of the temples in India have been demolished and now people are asking for proof if there was any temple.
    I don’t see comments from usual Pakistanis here who claim that all is well and minorities are protected in Pakistan.


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