Seeking their rights: Forced conversions still an issue for Hindus in Sindh

Speakers highlight attacks on community, the five per cent quota and bonded labour


Our Correspondent July 15, 2015
PHOTO: TARIQ HASSAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI: The forced conversion and marriage of young Hindu girls to Muslim men remains a grave problem for the Hindu community in Sindh: of the 15 cases of attacks against the community so far this year, five were reported as cases of kidnapping and forced conversion.

This was revealed at a press conference held by the Pakistan Hindu Seva (PHS) Welfare Trust and the Sindhi Hindu Youth Wing, Nawabshah, at Karachi Press Club on Wednesday.

"In only 20 per cent of the cases can it be said that conversion was voluntary and not forced upon the girl after abduction," said PHS head Sanjesh Dhanja. "We have no issue if someone opts for it on their own but in most cases, the girls are forced into it."

Read: The first step: Deputy speaker given draft of forced conversion bill

According to the PHS, the Hindu community in Karachi faced land grabbing, attacks and kidnappings while forced conversions, incidents of temple burning, rape and murders were reported from Sakrand, Ghotki and Nagarparkar districts.

 

Pointing out that the culprits were released on bail even when caught, Dhanja made an appeal to the government for justice. "Even when Hindus consider themselves Pakistanis above all, they are treated as second-class citizens."

Sindhi Hindu Youth Wing's Vijay Kumar said that despite a five per cent quota, minorities were denied educational and job opportunities. "As a graduate student, I have been looking for work for three years," he said.

Highlighting the plight of Nawabshah’s Hindu community, he said that the elected representatives work for their own vested interests, while Nawabshah remained marginalised.

Read: Hindu Marriage Bill 2015: Govt all set to pass landmark legislation

Researcher Ravi Kumar Chouhan said that education and bonded labour were inextricably linked. "Feudal lords do not allow children to go to school, reasoning that no one will attend to their fields if they leave," he pointed out.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2015.

COMMENTS (6)

hzr | 5 years ago | Reply Sindhis have suffered ie the Hindu community with conversion,aggressions and intimidation and rape.They should be allowed to migrate and the Hindu Sindhi community who are intelligent and successful in business are specially welcome as the refugee Sindhi have proved after the first migration int 1950's It is not 5 but thousands over the years who are converted.On the other hand the Muslims with their multiple marriages and demographic plans of aggression have multiplied and India will soon have a muslim population exceeding many Islamic nations.Do not talk of minority exploitation by Hindus.actually it is the minorities who are exploiting the majority not only in India but other nations as well except in China where they are shown their limits.
pay | 5 years ago | Reply Where are all those Pakistani liberals complaining about conversions in India?
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