NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013
Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Monday, April 25, 2011

2011 Hindu Pilgrimage to Balochistan’s Hinglaj Temple, Pakistan

By PHP Staff
Monday, April 25, 2011

 ---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ramesh (PHP)
Date: Sun, Apr 17, 2011 at 3:30 AM
Subject: 2011 Pilgrimage to Balochistan’s Hinglaj Temple, Pakistan
To:Pakistan Hindu Post (PHP)

(Photo : 2011 Hanglaj Mata Festval Bannar by Pakistan Hindu Post (PHP), HRF, Pakistan)


     Hope you will be fine there please note that 2011 Hanglaj Mata Festval  has been postponed new date is now 24 to 26 April 2011 and we from Rahim Yar Khan going on 22-April.

NOTE : Every year thousands of Hindus from Pakistan and India gather to attend a four-day ritual at the Hinglaj Mata Temple in Balochistan. The temple is situated on the Makran coast in the Lyari district of Balochistan. Hindus believe that the head of goddess Sati had fallen in the area of Hinglaj Mata and since then, it has remained a revered pilgrimage site for Hindus.

 (Photo : 2011 Hanglaj Mata Festval bannar by Pakistan Hindu Post (PHP), HRF, Pakistan)
(Photo : 2011 Hanglaj Mata Festval bannar by Pakistan Hindu Post (PHP), HRF, Pakistan)

We will start our yatra from Rahim Khan on 22nd April by bus. We are arrange a Bus for Yatra and our Rout is as following : -

Kalka Mata Temple Sukkur
Ram Dev Temple Tando Allah
Son of Guru Nanik (Hindu) Baba Sri chand Tample
Durga Mata Temple Thuttha
Shiv Temple Karachi
Chander Goup Liyari
Hanglaj Mata and Return back

With Regards
Ramesh Jaipal

Saraikistan Province: PML-N Falling Into Zardari’s Trap, Pakistan

By Aziz Narejo (Indus Herald)
Monday, April 25, 2011
(Photo : Saraikistan demand at Larkana city, Pakistan)

Islamabad : In a glaring example of cynical, reactionary and unprincipled politics, Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif the other day demanded that Sindh be divided and Karachi be made a province. His statement justifiably created furore in Sindh and the parliamentary parties including PPP, MQM and ANP as well as other politicians and activists swiftly condemned the unimaginative and unscrupulous statement by the PML-N leader.

The PML-N government and Punjabi nationalists seem to be under considerable pressure as the demand for a separate Siraiki province is gathering momentum in southern Punjab but this was most crooked and uncalled for response that could ever come from anyone with even the slightest political wisdom. PML-N leader was obviously trying to get back with the PPP. It may be noted that PM Gilani has suggested the creation of a new province in southern Punjab and PPP manifesto committee is deliberating to make it a part of the PPP manifesto for next elections.

No Sindhi would have any objections if Shahbaz Sharif, other PML-N leaders and Punjabis as a whole turn into nationalists but all the Punjabis and others should understand that Sindh and PPP are not ONE and the same. They are two separate entities. PML-N can’t and shouldn’t get back with the PPP by hurting Sindh. It must agree or disagree with the Siraiki people’s demand for a separate province with the force of arguments and not by playing tit for tat, conspiratorial and ugly politics.
PML-N should also realize that with this kind of politics they will be completely routed out from Sindh and their aspirations to become a “national” party or to form next government will die for ever.

Do they understand that this is exactly what PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari wants the PML-N to do? Are they willingly falling into the trap set by Zardari’s PPP? Do they realize that with this kind of politics, they will forever become a Central Punjab party? Are there any sane elements in PML-N who would rein in Shahbaz Sharif and the likes of him in their party? Guess not. Good luck to them on their journey to doom.

 (Photo : Proposed Map for Saraikistan province in Pakistan)

Introduction : Saraik is a term used by some Seraikis to denote the southern region of the Punjab province of Pakistan, inhabited by Saraiki-speaking people. Many people contest the status of Saraiki as a separate language.. Though, it has overwhelming influence of Punjabi and Sindhi; Seraiki can be called a separate language of Indo-Aryan Family. When compared to its sister languages: Sindhi and Punjabi, Saraiki is far smaller and much behind in literature and in many other ways..Historically speaking, Saraiki, before Independence, never created a sense of separate Saraiki identity particularly in Southern Punjab..Customs and traditions practised by the people of Southern Punjab have largely been similar to those of Punjabis and Sindhis..However, national recognition of Saraiki as a separate language, giving it an official status, a Saraiki province, a Saraiki regiment in Army, establishment of Saraiki radio and television are among primary demands of Saraiki movement.

In 2002, the Saraiki nationalists claimed that there are over 30 million Saraiki speakers in Pakistan, mostly in southern Punjab, and also in the adjacent parts of Sindh and Balochistan provinces, mainly based in the former princely state of Bahawalpur (princely state).

Beginning in the 1960s, Saraiki nationalists have sought to gain language rights and lessen,what the nationalists propagated as, "Punjabi control over the natural resources of 'Saraiki' lands". This has led to a proposed separate province Saraikistan, a region being drawn up by activists in the 1970.The 1977 coup by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan, a centralist ruler, caused the movement to go underground. After his death in 1988 allowed the Saraiki movement to re-emerge openly with the goals to have a Saraiki nationality recognised, to have official documents printed in Saraiki, a Saraiki regiment in the Pakistan Army, employment quotas and more Saraiki language radio and television.

Inscription throws new light to Hindu rule in Afghanistan

By PHP Staff
Monday, April 25, 2011
(Photo : The alter at Kabul's Hashari Natha Temple (Hindu Mandir) in Afghanistan)

Kolkata (India) : A stone inscription in Sanskrit, recovered from the city of Mazar-i-Sharif of northern Afghanistan a few years ago, has thrown new light on the reign of the Hindu Shahi ruler `Veka' in that country.

The recovery and significance of the inscription, telling a story of the Hindu ruler Veka and his devotion to lord `Siva', was told by leading epigraphist and archaeologist Prof Ahmad Hasan Dani of the Quaid-E-Azam University of Islamabad at the ongoing Indian History Congress here.

If historians, preferred to revise the date of the first Hindu Shahi ruler Kallar from 843-850 AD to 821-828 AD, the date of 138 of present inscription, if it refers to the same era, should be equal to 959 AD which falls during the reign of Bhimapala'', Dani said in a paper `Mazar-i Sharif inscription of the time of the Shahi ruler Veka, dated the year 138'', submitted to the Congress.

The inscription, with eleven lines written in `western Sarada' style of Sanskrit of 10th century AD, had several spelling mistakes. ``As the stone is slightly broken at the top left corner, the first letter `OM' is missing'', he said.
According to the inscription, ``the ruler Veka occupied by eight-fold forces, the earth, the markets and the forts. It is during his reign that a temple of Siva in the embrace with Uma was built at Maityasya by Parimaha (great) Maitya for the benefit of himself and his son''.

The inscription was brought from Mazar-i-Sharif, where the tomb of Hazrat Ali, son-in-law of Prophet Mohammed is located, to Pakistan and is currently housed at the Islamabad Museum, Dani said.

Dani said ``the inscription gives the name of the king as Shahi Veka Raja and bestows on him the qualification of `Iryatumatu Ksanginanka'.... and (he) appears to be the same king who bears the name of Khingila or Khinkhila who should be accepted as a Shahi ruler''.

Dani further said ``he may be an ancestor of Veka deva. As his coins are found in Afghanistan and he is mentioned by the Arab ruler Yaqubi, he may be an immediate predecessor of Veka deva...... Both the evidences of inscription and coins suggest that Veka or Vaka should be accepted as an independent ruler of northern Afghanistan.

``Thus we find another branch of the Shahi ruler in northern part of Afghanistan beyond the Hindukush. Veka is said to have conquered the earth, the markets and the forts by his eight-fold forces, suggesting that he must have himself gained success against the Arab rulers of southern Afghanistan''.

Dani observed that going by the findings it seemed that during the rule of the Hindu Shahi ruler Bhimapala there was a break in the dynasty -- one branch, headed by Jayapala, ruled in Lamaghan and Punjab, and another branch, headed by Veka, ruled in northern part of Afghanistan.

``The northern branch must have come to an end by the conquest of Alptigin in the second half of tenth century AD'', he said.

2011 Baisakhi Mela at Narowal by Hindu Sudhar Sabha-Pakistan (HSSP), Pakistan

By Dr. Radhe Shyam Kumar (Executive Editor)
Monday, April 25, 2011

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Punjab PHP
Date: Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 8:28 AM
Subject: Baisakhi Mela report of narowal, Pakistan
To:Pakisan Hindu Post (PHP)

(Photo : 2011 Baisakhi Mela bannar by Hindu Sudhar Sabha, Pakistan (HSSP) and NCIDE, Pakistan)


     Hindu Sudhar Sabha, Pakistan (HSSP) arranged a 2011 Baisakhi Mela in Narowal city where Hindus,Sikhs, and Muslims people participated. The chief guest of this Baisakhi Mela at Narowal were Mr.Gulam hussan a general secretary for Pakistan People Party (PPP) for Punjab province of Pakistan.

Vaisakhi (Punjabi: ਵਿਸਾਖੀ visākhī, Hindi: बैसाखी baisākhī, also known as Baisakhi, Vaishakhi, or Vasakhi) is an ancient harvest festival celebrated across North India, especially in the state of Punjab.

In Sikhism, it is one of the most significant holidays in the Sikh calendar, commemorating the establishment of the Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib in 1699, by the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. This day is also observed as the beginning of the Hindu solar new year celebrated by people across Nepal and other regions of India.

Best Regards,
Amarnath Randhawa

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

(Exclusive Report) Culture Kalash in Pakistan

By Oscar Rickett (The Observer)
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
(Photo : Set adrift: at the top of the Bumboret valley looking toward Afghanistan. Photographs: Oscar Rickett for the Observer, Pakistan)

I am standing on a roof in the mountains of the Kalash valleys. Below me hundreds of men are screaming and shouting as two small wooden balls are hit up the slopes by opposing teams of players. Women in intricately designed, brightly coloured dresses are looking on, talking and laughing. One player draws back his long wooden club and hammers the ball onward. Cries of joy fill the air.

"What just happened?" I ask the player. "We cheated," he laughs. "The ball was lost in the snow so I took a ball from my pocket and hit that one. Don't tell the other team. If they knew, we would lose this point."

The ball flies on up the four-mile-long course, over rivers and up banks. That night, the winning team will sacrifice an ox, paid for by the losers. Everyone will get drunk. It is winter and there is not much to do. The game is chikik gal.

In February this year, the Taliban assassinated Pakistan's Christian minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti. He was the only politician representing the non-Muslim populations of Pakistan. His smallest ward was the Kalash, a 3,000-strong animist tribe living in the mountains of the Hindu Kush, in Pakistan's wild northwest frontier. A persistent myth tells of their descent from members of an errant division of Alexander the Great's army, which ripped through the mountains of northern Pakistan more than 2,000 years ago.

In Rudyard Kipling's time, the Kalash were known as the "black Kafirs" and their land was Kafiristan, the setting for his tale of insanity and idolatry, The Man Who Would be King. The "red Kafirs", their neighbours, the subjects of Kipling's story, were brutally converted at the end of the 19th century. They became Nuristanis, "enlightened ones", and their rugged mountain land is one of the centres of the war against the Taliban.

(Photo : The Kalash tribe is said to descend from Alexander the Great's army, but now it is fighting to preserve its traditions in a Taliban stronghold)

The Kalash live in three valleys (Bumboret, Birir and Rumbur) by the Afghan border in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In winter, flights to Chitral, the nearest town, are routinely and consistently cancelled without warning. My journey from Islamabad was by road, through Mardan and Dir up to the Lowari tunnel and then down the other side. In the winter, when the Lowari pass is blocked by snow, the tunnel is the only way of travelling to Chitral by road. Its construction began in 2005 and it is now open for a few hours every day. It is less a tunnel and more a 9km-long cave.

But in spite of the constant sense of peril it evokes, the tunnel is changing Chitral and the Kalash valleys. Previously, getting to the nearest city, Peshawar, meant a trip through Afghanistan. Now the tunnel brings supplies from the rest of the country. With access comes fear. "Extremists use the tunnel to come here," says Taj Udeen, a local police commander. "We have to make sure we know who is coming to our district."

They certainly knew we were coming. Tourism has dropped off steeply since 9/11 – in the 1990s thousands of people visited Chitral annually, now that figure is below 100 – and we were among few outsiders to visit the Kalash valleys in the past year. Desperate to make sure nothing happened to our four-strong team, 10 armed policemen accompanied us. We spent a month in the valleys. They never left our side.

For centuries, the Kalash have been fighting to preserve their traditions. People are converted to Islam every year. "Extremist Muslims prey on weak people and create internal divisions," Imran Kabir, a Kalasha polymath (he reveals that he is, variously, a butcher, teacher, writer and junkyard owner) tells me.

A policeman stands outside the Bashali, the house of menstruation and childbirth.

A local teacher, Akbal Shah, recounts the story of his father, who worked as a frontier policeman and converted to Islam because he was the only Kalash man in an all-Muslim unit. "He was not educated, so they said to him that if he didn't convert he wouldn't go to heaven. He ended up believing them because he didn't want to stand out. The Muslims are a big majority, they are pressing us everywhere." Deathbed conversions are common and people talk of being offered wives and money if they convert. When I interviewed one of the local imams, Nasir Abdul, at his newly built mosque, he spoke of the love he has for the Kalash people before going on to say that he "hopes they will convert to Islam so that they can go to paradise". He is a friendly man who does not pay people to convert, but his objective is the same: the end of the Kalasha religion.

Not all Muslims in the area feel this way. One convert who everyone calls "Mullah" tells me: "Everyone should be free to believe what they like." And while Muslims are not allowed to convert to the Kalash religion, men like Mullah participate in Kalash festivals and rituals in a way that makes you believe that if they could convert back, they would.

(Photo : Kalash Tribe in Kafiristan group of girls dancing what a beauty)

Wali Khan, the Kalash headmaster of a primary school in Bumboret valley and a charismatic and popular figure, has worked tirelessly to improve the standards of schooling in the valleys (until the 1990s, there were no official schools). His family is typical in that two of his three brothers have converted to Islam (the one who hasn't is confusingly nicknamed Mujahideen). He tells me that for "two years my brother was living like an imam. But then he got bored and now he is drinking and smoking and dancing!" Drinking means the local moonshine, tara, which tastes like schnapps, or homemade wine, which tastes like sherry. Kalash dealers routinely and illegally sell both drinks to Muslims.

The Kalasha Dur, built by a Dutch NGO.

Another source of tension is the aid that the Kalash receive from NGOs and the government. At the centre of this controversy is the Kalasha Dur – a museum, small hospital, library, hostel and school complex for the Kalash (which Muslims cannot attend), housed within an absurdly Greek-looking palace built by the NGO Greek Volunteers, with help from Greece's government body Hellenic Aid. Greek Volunteers's director, Athanasios Lerounis, a long-time champion of the Kalash and the man who raised the money to build the centre, assures me that though there are "similarities to the Ionic style", the building came from "the local architecture". The attempted olive growing that goes on is, however, more likely to be an ancient tradition of Athens.

In 2009, a Taliban unit stole into the valleys at night and kidnapped Lerounis. They had been tipped off by locals sympathetic to their cause and came to the Kalasha Dur during a night when only two security guards were posted. One guard fled while the other stood his ground and was killed. Lerounis was taken swiftly across the Afghan border to Nuristan. The Greek teacher's ransom, thought to be up to £1m, was paid and he returned to Greece. The security services will not let him return to Pakistan because they believe his presence in the country is dangerous. Lerounis, who wants to come back to the valleys, tells me he does not want to talk about the kidnapping because doing so would endanger the Kalash people. Whatever they think of the Taliban's policies, the Kalash stress their neutrality: they are too vulnerable to court trouble.

The kidnapping highlights the security risk presented by the lavish Greek building: in a small, rural community, it sticks out. Locals say that there is a Taliban plot to blow up the Kalasha Dur. The building's detractors say that the exclusion of Muslims from the school only adds to the resentment felt by those who feel that the Kalash get too much money from outsiders.

 (Photo : Kalash delegation with Sarah Cheema an organizer IYCF. The IYCF was first ever international conference which was held in Islamabad at PNCA. Names of Kalash delegation who were participated in this event are Luke Rehmat, Jamal Bibi, Missro Khunza and Natija, Pakistan)

Wali Khan used to work with Lerounis compiling a Kalasha alphabet, but left because he didn't like the division the Kalasha Dur had created. "The Kalash and the Muslims have to get along; they have to live side by side," he says. "So why make a school in which only one kind of person can be taught?" Lerounis argues that the school was built in response to a need highlighted by the Kalash community: "I asked them what they wanted and they told me they needed a school… There are many Muslim schools and many madrasas. The Kalash need this. There is a division because of their tradition, not because of our building."

The Kalasha Dur's first-aid centre treats Muslims, and Greek Volunteers have also built Muslim schools and secured a clean-water supply that is used by everyone. Yet the suspicion remains that they do as much harm as good. Imran Kabir believes that Lerounis created a culture of dependence so that in the end people "treated him like a God". Instead of praying to their maker, Kabir told me, they would pray to Lerounis. Since he has been gone, the Kalash have started helping themselves again, something Lerounis would probably approve of.

Nabaig (like Prince, he has no second name) is the first Kalash lawyer. He works in Chitral and, when he is in court, wears a suit and tie that makes you think of Reservoir Dogs. Back in the valleys, in his traditional clothes, he tells me that the United Nations Development Programme money that comes to the valleys "goes in the pockets of the politicians and higher personalities". The same is said of the international money that came to the country to help relieve flooding in 2010.

"None of the money came to us," says Nabaig, who points out that food is now twice the price as a result.

Almost all accounts of the Kalash fixate on the tribe's mythological descent from Alexander the Great. The romance of Alexander's tribe is a key part of Kalash tourism, although "they did a DNA test and they found no connection" is a familiar refrain here. Lerounis calls the area an "open museum"; the valleys' reputation as a Garden of Eden, a lost land of innocent people, meant that a summer stop to see the Kalash used to be an adventurous part of the hippie trail. But another form of tourism has developed: young Muslim men from the south, deprived of contact with women their own age, come here to chat up Kalash girls and watch them dance.

A girl in Birir wearing a traditional Kalash headdress.

The government has a confused relationship with the Kalash. Wali Khan says it "protects the Kalash people very well now because we are a unique culture". But there is also worry that this kind of cultural tourism can be exploitative. Abdul Sattar, a village elder who has converted to Islam, tells me that "before, when I was Kalash, I was very happy. But the government and people from the rest of Pakistan were coming here and making us dance and perform. I became a Muslim because I couldn't enjoy performing for outsiders."

(Photo : Kalash People’s Development Network is started organizing indigenous community to organize IWSF 2012. It aims to promote and conserve traditional sports of Kalash valleys. IWSF is the first-ever designed event to work for promotion and sustainable development of winter tourism in Chitral region, Pakistan)

The government's press office in Islamabad sent out a string of mixed messages, telling me the trip was "very dangerous" yet repeatedly talking about how wonderful the Kalash were and how thrilled the government was to see journalists coming to the country to cover something other than the war with the Taliban. The constitution protects minorities and the law safeguards the customs of the Kalash. This is how Nabaig wins most of his cases, which involve Kalash alcohol and drug traffickers and disputes between Islamic and Kalash property laws. Still, the lawyer remains unconvinced by the authorities. "I am worried about what is happening because we are isolated. We are in the minority. We are worried that our traditions won't survive."

This survival is being safeguarded in interesting ways. There has been a concerted effort in recent years to reproduce as much as possible in order to bolster numbers. That way, if a couple of the children end up being converted, the pain will be less sharp. And, in the end, it is this spirit that will see the Kalash through. Free-minded and intensely aware of their "unique culture" they appear to be getting stronger rather than weaker. New roads and new technology often kill cultures such as theirs but the opposite seems to be true.

That they have had problems moving from a barter economy to a monetary one cannot be denied and that their traditional dependence on goats is becoming less valuable is also true, but the Kalash are using their increased contact with the outside world to educate others. Their language has, for the first time, been put into a written form (they use the English alphabet). Nabaig, who is 29, says that his generation is "very keen to be Kalash, to preserve our culture. With trade we are gaining facilities. We are feeding our families". One Kalash teenager told me his culture "was over". Almost all his friends contradicted him. Those who go to the big cities to work want to return to the valleys. One of the village kasis ("guardians of knowledge") told me that now "education is very good. When I was younger there were no schools, no roads and no Jeeps. We had no clothes. We had no shoes. Now it is better." The Kalash are learning about their culture in order to preserve it. As we look out over the valley and up to Afghanistan, Imran Kabir looks up and says: "The future is bright. The dark ages are gone."

To Know more about Kalash community in Pakistan , visit below link :-

Unique Kalash Community under threat in Pakistan

The PHP Team

2011 Hinglaj Yatra by Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC), Pakistan

By PHP Staff
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sanjesh (PHP)
Date: Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 11:01 AM
To: Pakistan Hindu Post (PHP)

 (Photo : Invitation Bannar of Pakistan Hindu Council for 2011 Hinglaj Yatra, Pakistan)

Hinglaj Mata Mandir (Teerath Yatra) , Balochistan

This is sacred place of pilgrimage for Hindus in general is situated in a mountain cave "HINGLAJ" on river bank of "HINGHOL"at the tail of " KHEERTHAR" maintains called " KANRAJ" in Tehsil Lyari of Balochistan.

It is about 170 miles(250 KM) from Karachi - on the main "Karachi - Quetta" Highway upto zero Point for about 75 miles and then by road towards west through Lyari town and then to signal Fauji Camp Stop, crossing Aghore River then through Goongi River and last stop to "Asha Pura" Sarai (INN)

It is known that before partition (India-Pakistan), Rajput Kings come for pilgrimage to Hinglaj Mata from Rajasthan and Gujarat. There was no read and Yatris had to pass through jungles, sandy routes, mountains, rivers, full of danger on the back of camels, it take months in journey.

Now the journey has become easy, from Karachi is 6 to 8 hrs in a private vehicle (preferably 4 Wheel drive).

This Teerath is famous and old in human history. The devotees from all part of the world used to come for Hinglaj Mata Teerath since centuries. Even Hindus Ram Avatar. Great Saint GuruGorakh Nath, Great Saint Guru Nanak Sahib, Dada Mekhan,Avtar of Laxman, and other great Saints, Rishes and Hindu scholars paid visits to Hinglaj Teerath. In recent few years devotees from Africa and European countries have visited and performed Hinglaj Mata Teerath.

Yearly Yatra

In respect to the Hinglaj Mata Teerath Yatra, Shri Hinglaj SevaMandli every year makes arrangement of Yatra in the month of April in the form of JATHA means a huge and big group of around 50,000 people consisted of males, females, Kids from all parts of thestates of Pakistan of different languages and culture. These devoteesare dressed in red caps, flags, and banners of Hinglaj and basically it renew our past memories. This year Yatra is on 24th till 26th  April 2011.

Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vanwani (Patron) Pakistan Hindu Council  is giving warm welcome to all the Pakistani Hindu people for this yearly yatra.

Must Watch these Videos of Hinglag Yatra by click these links.

Best Regards,
Sanjesh (Karachi,Pakistan)

Hindu Nationalist stopped 50 lakh Hindus from converting in India

By PHP India
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
 (Photo : Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) or also known as World Hindu Council leader Mr.Pravin Bhai Togariya speaking in a press conference in India)

India (Orissa) : Viswa Hindu Parisad (VHP) said its focus was on preventing religious conversion and asked its members to protest wherever there is an attack on any Hindu.

"With its attention focused on checking conversion, VHP has succeeded in preventing about 50 lakh Hindus from switching over to other faiths in last 10 years," VHP's international general secretary Praveen Togadia said while addressing a public meeting here.

He said VHP has also brought back more than 1.5 lakh converted people into Hindu fold.

He criticised the both Centre and Orissa government accusing them of pursuing what he called a policy of 'appeasement'.

Togadia asked all Hindus to unite and fight for the cause of preventing conversion, cow slaughter and bringing back up the glorious past of the Hindus.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gopinath Kumar (PHP)
Date: Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 9:12 AM
Subject: Fwd: VHP stopped 50 lakh Hindus from converting:
To: Pakistan Hindu Post (PHP)


Dear PHP Readers and coordinators,

     We need a similar project in Islamic Republic of Pakistan, In order to save one of the most modern day persecuted/discriminated Hindu community in world.

Note : Pakistan is home to 4 to 5 Millions Hindus or 5th largest Hindu population in world.

Lets join hands !

Best Regards,
Gopinath Kumar

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Amar Guriro (Karachi City)
Date: Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 10:41 AM
Subject: Re: VHP stopped 50 lakh Hindus from converting:
To: "Pakistan Hindu Post (PHP)"

Dear Gopinath, Well said, National Census 1998 states 2.7 million Hindus, the biggest religous minority of  Pakistan, however, Pakistan Hindu Foundation (PHF) claims that there after 14 years its has reached to 4.7 million.


2011 Rama Navami and Hindu wedding organize by PHP and HRF, Pakistan

By Mohammad S.Solanki (Executive Editor)
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
 (Photo : Ram Navami (RamNomi) - April 12th 2011)

Karachi – Ram Navami (RamNomi) is the birthday of Lord Ram. This year (2011) Ram Navami will be celebrated on April 12th. It is the 9th day of the Hindu calender and coincides with the last day of Navaratras.

The day begins with the prayers dedictated to Sun. It is celebrated with the procession of Ram Nomi, in which people are dressed as Lord Ram, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman whereas others follow them dressed like Ram’s soldiers. Lord Ram is seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu and is known as the God of peace and prosperity.

Many known figures in India are giving their greetings on RamNavami. Amitabh Bachchan aka Big B blogged his greeting: “Ram Navmi ke paavan avsar pe aap sab ko hardik shubhkamanayein .. sneh, shraddha, samriddhi aur mangalmay jeevan ..!”

Lord Ram was born to the King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya of Ayodhya. Sri Ram Navami also marks the beginning of summer because the sun starts moving nearer to the northern Hemisphere. Ram is also known as Raghupati, Raghunatha and the prefix ‘Raghu’ refers to Sun.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ramesh (PHP)
Date: Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 5:33 AM
Subject: Event of Happy Ram Nomi and Wedding of Hindu poor Girl org.By: PHPh-HAF
To: Pakistan Hindu Post (PHP)

Namesty All

              Hope you will be fine there, please find an attached files.... please tell me about Hanglaj Yatra what are you Final......and please call me.
Ramesh (PHP)

 (Photo : Event of Happy Ram Nomi and Wedding of Hindu poor Girl org by PHP and HRF, Pakistan)
  (Photo : Event of Happy Ram Nomi and Wedding of Hindu poor Girl org by PHP and HRF, Pakistan)

(NOTE : Hindus have celebrated Rama Navami all over the world in honor of the birthday of Lord Rama, a traditional festival that this year fell on April 13)

 (Photo : 2011 bannar of Lord Rama Navami organize by PHP and HRF, Pakistan)
 (Photo : 2011 bannar of Lord Rama Navami organize by PHP and HRF, Pakistan)
 (Photo : 2011 bannar of Lord Rama Navami organize by PHP and HRF, Pakistan)

The PHP Team

Hindus and other minorities may face worse times in future: HRCP report, Pakistan

By PHP Staff
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
 (Photo : 2010 QUETTA, A prominent Hindu rice trader was shot dead and his son was kidnapped by armed bandits wearing uniform of the Balochistan Levies Force in Quetta on Tuesday night, Pakistan)

Islamabad : The previous year was a bad one for Pakistan's minority communities including Muslims of various sects, Sikhs and Hindus due to threat to their lives by militants, according to a new report which suggested even worse times ahead.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan's report said 418 Muslims of various sects were killed in terror attacks and about 25 per cent of Sikh families in the Orakzai tribal area were forced to leave their homes due to threats from Taliban.

It said 500 Hindu families from Balochistan province migrated to India due to threats to their lives and security.

The "State of Human Rights in 2010" report, which detailed attacks on the minorities, said: "All indications suggest that there are even worse times ahead."

The report said 418 people were killed in violence against different minority Muslim sects while suicide attacks on Muslims injured 628 people, including Shias.

Sikhs living in Pakistan's northwestern areas for centuries had to face trying times after the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan asked them to pay 'jiziya' (a religious tax) or leave the area.

Around 25 of the 102 Sikh families living in Orakzai Agency were forced to flee their homes.

They were able to return after the military carried out an operation against the militants.

A total of 500 Hindu families from Balochistan in southwest Pakistan migrated to India because of threats to their lives and security, the report said.

(Photo : Hindu Priests in Balochistan during Hinglaj Mela at 2008 and Insecurity envelops Balochi Hindus after a series of abductions. Many are emigrating from Pakistan)

According to Balochistan's director of the Federal Human Rights Ministry, at least 27 Hindu families from the province had sought asylum in India because of threats, It added.

The minority Ahmedi sect, which was declared non-Muslim through a constitutional amendment in 1974, lost 99 members to faith-based violence, the report said.

The report further said 64 people were charged under the controversial blasphemy law in 2010 and many of them were imprisoned.

A Muslim and two Christian men accused of blasphemy were killed in police custody, it said.

Highlighting the abuses of the rights of minority communities, the report said there had been few positive developments with regard to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

"Extremist views grew more vociferous as voices for basic human rights and tolerance became more isolated in face of violence and intimidation," the report noted.

It said police were not doing enough to protect minorities from attacks and had even been accused of harassing or being complicit in framing false charges against them.

Presenting the report, HRCP chairman Mehdi Hassan claimed most human rights abuses were being conducted by government functionaries, including police.

"Under such conditions, who will ensure that the laws are being implemented?" he asked.

The report said prejudices of law enforcement personnel were believed to be a hurdle in effective protection of religious minorities in serious danger from the Taliban and sectarian militant groups.

HRCP secretary general I A Rehman said in most religion-based killings, the federal and provincial governments failed to even express sympathy with victims.

The report also highlighted the growing spread of hate literature and said even mainstream Urdu newspapers featured 1,468 news articles and editorials that promoted hate, intolerance and discrimination against Ahmedis.

Rehman contended that political parties had failed to contribute towards improving human rights conditions.

"They cannot even speak clearly on the issue because they are not true political parties, these are just brokers and rubber-stamps," he alleged.

The report further highlighted the government's weak response to misuse of the controversial blasphemy law and its flip¿flop on calls to reform the law to prevent its misuse.

Observers have said that the PPP-led government had apparently shelved plans to review the law following the assassination this year of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer and Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, who were gunned down for challenging the law.

The report also detailed the law and order situation, saying about 12,580 people were murdered and 581 kidnapped for ransom in 2010.

A total of 16,977 cases of kidnapping were reported.

The HRCP held US drones strikes responsible for 957 extra-legal killings and said another 338 people were killed in police "encounters" or fake shootouts.

A total of 1,159 people, included 1,041 civilians, were killed in 67 suicide attacks, the report said. Overall, a total of 2,542 people were killed and 5,062 injured in terrorist attacks.

Target killings in Karachi claimed the lives of 237 political activists and 301 civilians, the report said.

Another 118 people were killed and 40 injured in 117 incidents of target killing in Balochistan. The figures included 29 non-Baloch settlers and 17 members of the Shia Hazara community.

The bodies of 59 "missing persons"- people detained without charge by security and intelligence agencies - were found in Balochistan.

The report said there were 163 attacks on educational institutions while militants killed 22 teachers in Balochistan between January 2008 and October 2010.

A total of 791 women were killed in the name of honour while 2,903 were sexually assaulted, with the maximum number of cases reported from Punjab province.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Holi Festival in Multan By Pakistan Hindu Post and HRF, Pakistan

By Mohammad S.Solanki (executive Editor)
Saturday, April 16, 2011

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ramesh Jaipal
Date: Thu, Mar 24, 2011 at 6:16 AM
Subject: Holi Festival in Multan By Pakistan Hindu Post and HRF
To: Pakistan Hindu Post (PHP)

Dear Director of Pakistan Hindu Post
          Hope you will be fine there Please see an attached file of Multan Holi Festival which was organized by SCRM Coordinator Ms Shokantala Devi


(Photo : 2011 Holi Celebration at Multan with background bannar of PHP and HRF, Pakistan)
 (Photo : 2011 Holi Festival in Multan By Pakistan Hindu Post and HRF, Pakistan)

Haroon Khalid participates in a Hindu celebration of the ancient spring festival in Multan, Pakistan

 (Photo : 2011 Holi celebration at Multan, Pakistan)
 (Photo : 2011 Holi celebration at Multan, Pakistan)

"Bolo Durga Mata ki,” and the crowd responded in a loud uniform shout of “Jai”. “Bolo Sheran wali ki,” “Jai”. I had been warned of getting my clothes spoiled on Holi, but nobody had told me that I would be made to take part in the traditional sport of matka breaking too. Because I was a first-timer, I got the (not so) easy job of forming the human base. Six of us stood with our hands on each other’s shoulders; we bent, our heads joined, and our right legs were brought into the center. I don’t know how many people climbed, but it felt like an entire army every time. The ones who were not participating threw water and color at us, some of it entering my lungs, some my eyes. The dhol played in the background. There were four matkas to be broken, and every one of them required many failed attempts. The pot was filled with color and water. Traditionally, butter and milk are used, as this is supposed to re-enact the young Lord Krishna’s stealing of butter.

At one point in the ritual, a young man standing next to me couldn’t take the pressure anymore and backed out, causing the entire pyramid to fall. I know of no other sport that requires greater team coordination.

Holi marks the advent of spring and is the most colorful festival of South Asia. The celebrations, which start the night before, are attended by young and old, men and women alike, and zealously. Near midnight, an effigy of Holka is burned to commemorate her death while she was trying to kill Prahlad Bhagat, an avatar of the Lord. According to folklore, many thousands of years ago Multan was ruled by a tyrant called Hiranyakashipu. As a result of his devotion he had been given special powers by Lord Vishnu, one of the gods of the Hindu trinity. In his arrogance Hiranyakashipu made the people of Multan worship him instead of Lord Vishnu. But his son Prahlad Bhagat remained a devotee of the Lord. Many attempts were made on his life, but he escaped them every time. Holka was the sister of Hiranyakashipu. She had a magical shawl which prevented her from being burned by fire. She offered to take Prahlad in her lap and enter fire. This way Prahlad would be burned, whereas Holka would remain protected by her shawl. Legend has it that when she entered the fire, a strong wind blew and the protective shawl covered Prahlad instead of Holka. Holi in Punjab begins with the symbolic burning of an effigy of Holka.
(Photo : Remains of a Hindu temple and Muslim shrine, in the citadel of Multan, Pakistan)

Multan, which once boasted a huge Hindu population, now only has 1200 Hindu voters. All of them belong to the Balmiki group, followers of Lord Balmik the Shudra. The Balmikis too are Shudras or “untouchables”. They are divided into various clusters within the city, the largest of which is near the railway station. Here there are about 10-12 Hindu houses. However, despite being registered as Hindus, it is not always possible to identify them within a society. The men no longer wear the vermillion on their persons, nor the women their mangal suttree or sari . Most of them have dual names, e.g. Barkat Ali and Tara Chand. Others openly practice Christian tenants, but revert to Hindu practices at the time of a festival or a grand pooja (prayer).

One such Hindu woman living in Multan is Shakuntala Devi. Her name is inspired by a character in the Mahabharata, one of the holiest Hindu books. Shakuntala Devi is a classically trained singer who has been regularly appearing on radio and television shows since the late 1980s. Things changed for her after the destruction of the Babri Mosque in 1992. In retaliation the Muslim zealots of Multan destroyed the ancient Prahlad Temple near the mausoleum of Bahauddin Zakariya. Shakuntala Devi says that after the destruction she heard that the mob was now coming towards her, as she was a famous face. “They wanted to burn me,” she says. She escaped with her sister and an old, blind mother. She also adopted a Muslim name after this, which according to her she hates using. She also complains of discrimination at radio and the television stations. This wasn’t the case in the late and early 1990s.

Despite all of these setbacks, the Hindu community in Multan celebrates the event of Holi every year. Waqas Falak, President of the Neengar society, a non-profit organization from Multan, working with the youth of religious and sexual minorities, says that Multan is the home of Holi, and the Hindus of Multan are determined to keep the tradition alive. This is the reason why, despite such a backlash from the religious right in recent years, including the murders of Governor Salmaan Taseer and Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, hundreds of Hindus gathered at the Christian colony near the WAPDA office for Holi. In Punjab, it doesn’t matter if one is a Hindu or a Christian, as long as one is an “Untouchable”. Falak feels that the growing conversion trend among Hindus in Pakistan is likely to give a major blow to the community in the coming years. Neengar society has filed a case in the Multan High Court to restore the Prahlad Temple and restart pooja here, since it is said to be the birthplace of Holi. On the 22nd of January 2010, they held a prayer outside the Multan Press Club to raise awareness for their cause, but Falak feels that they didn’t get the kind of response they were expecting. “The media portrayed a different message than the one intended by us,” says Falak. Every year for Holi, Falak invites his Muslim friends to participate with Christians and Hindus for Holi. Media representatives also are not spared from the heady mix of color and water.

This year Holi was celebrated on the 18th and 19th of March in Multan, whereas in the rest of the province it was celebrated on the 19th and 20th. It was a success: untoward incidents were avoided, not counting the severe bruises and a few minor fractures that were suffered after a fall from the human pyramid. Young men and women threw colors and water on each other all day. They danced to the dhol and traveled between different temples. Muslims from the neighborhood stared at them, while their children got scared. But the devotees and their friends continued to walk on the streets, reveling. However, given the sharp rise in fundamentalism in Pakistani society, and especially in Punjab, it is likely that festivals like these, which are deeply rooted in the cultural life of this area, will disappear, and the small freedom to celebrate these events that these people enjoy at the moment will be taken away.

Haroon Khalid is the Coordinator for the Minority Project of ‘The Citizens Archive of Pakistan’ (CAP)
Photos: Courtesy The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP). Taken by Maryam Altaf and Samra Noori

‘Jinnah’s Pakistan’ has no room for Hindus

By PHP Staff
Saturday, April 16, 2011
(Photo : Hindu women's celebrating Holi at Swami Narayan Temple at Karachi and The persecution of Hindus has become common in Pakistan)

Hindus and Muslims may have similar wedding celebrations, but there is no registration system for Hindu marriages in Pakistan.

The Indian parliament passed the Hindu Marriage Act in 1955 which made it mandatory for Hindu marriages to be registered in India. In Pakistan, the Hindu community has been demanding the same rights for decades, but to no avail.

Members of the Hindu community gave a two-month deadline to the government and threatened to hold a sit-in in front of the Parliament House in June if these demands were not met. They urged the media and concerned citizens to participate in a petition campaign as a token of support for the cause of poor Hindu women. But all to no avail.

Despite the Supreme Court’s suo motu ruling of November 23, 2010, no measure has been taken to introduce legal provisions for Hindu marriage rights by the Parliament. The assurances made by the Prime Minister have also not produced any results.

The assassination of minority affairs minister Shahbaz Bhatti further worsened the situation, especially for Hindus. Anita Vadhani, an O-Level student from Rahim Yar Khan says:
“Shahbaz was our last hope but his tragic end forced us to think seriously. We should either leave or migrate to another country.”
Shami Mai, a poor Hindu woman said:
“In case of separation or domestic violence, a Hindu woman cannot register a complaint in the government departments because she has no legal document to establish that the perpetrator was her husband.”
The shocking news about a Hindu MPA from Sindh migrating to India is another sign that the situation is worsening. PPP MNA Palwasha Behram blasted her own government in the National Assembly for the deafening silence of her fellow parliamentarians over the unfortunate fleeing of minorities from Pakistan.

But the injustice persists.

Sadly, many followers of the Hindu faith  have left the country as a result of the injustices perpetrated towards them by those in power.

An Islamabad based journalist hailing from Sindh, Kapil Dev, says:
“Our community members are migrating to other countries because they think that no one accepts them in Pakistani society.”
The persecution of Hindus has become a regular feature in Pakistan, especially in Sindh. The Sikh community in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa (KP) is also suffering from insecurity despite the power the progressive Awami National Party in that region.

Minorities’ rights are being denied and our parliamentarians and citizens are not concerned about their demands even though they have the power to change things.

Was this Jinnah’s dream for Pakistan?

Hindus and other minorities 'under attack' : 2010 HRCP reports, Pakistan

By Mohammad S.Solanki (Executive Editor)
Saturday, April 16, 2011
(Photo : The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan launched its annual report, State of Human Rights in 2010 at a press conference in Islamabad on April 14, 2011)

Islamabad : Stating that about 25 percent of Sikhs in Orakzai Agency were forced to leave their homes and 27 Hindu families sought asylum in India due to security threats, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called 2010 a particularly bad year for minorities.

The report released on Thursday said that about 25 percent of the 102 Sikh families in Orakzai Agency had to leave after Taliban asked them to pay Jaziya or leave the area. The Sikhs could return only after a major military operation.

It also said that at least 27 Hindu families had sought asylum in India due to security threats.

HRCP has said the government did not extend sympathies to the victims of faith-related killings, Dawn reported on Friday.

The report "State of Human Rights in 2010" said there were few positive developments in Pakistan with regard to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

It stated that there had been a string of faith-based attacks in which not only were minorities targeted but 418 Muslims belonging to various sects were also killed.

"All indications suggest that there are even worse times ahead.”

"Extremist views grew more vociferous as voices for basic human rights and tolerance became more isolated in face of violence and intimidation," the report said.

Criticising the police, the report stated that it was not doing enough to protect the minorities from attacks and had also been accused of harassing or being complicit in framing false charges.

(Photo : Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Working for the ratification and implementation by Pakistan of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

HRCP chairman Mehdi Hassan was quoted as saying that most of the human rights violations were by government functionaries.

"Under such conditions, who will ensure that the laws are being implemented?"

The report said that as many as 64 people were charged under the blasphemy law last year and many of them were imprisoned.

A Muslim and two Christian men accused of blasphemy were killed in police custody, the media report said.

Mentioning the law and order situation, it said about 12,580 people were murdered and 581 kidnapped for ransom. At least 16,977 abduction cases were reported.

As many as 1,159 people, included 1,041 civilians, were killed in 67 suicide attacks.

For more information about Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) visit :-

Pakistan Islamic militants killed 2,500 peoples in 2010, HRCP report says

The PHP Team

Pakistan Islamic militants killed 2,500 peoples in 2010, HRCP report says

By Dr.Radhe Shyam Kumar (Executive Editor)
Saturday, April 16, 2011
(Photo : The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan launched its annual report, State of Human Rights in 2010 at a press conference in Islamabad on April 14, 2011)

Islamabad : More than 2,500 people were killed in militant attacks in Pakistan in 2010, according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).

Nearly half of victims were civilians killed in suicide blasts. There were 67 such attacks last year, the group said.

The report also said at least 900 people had been killed in US drone strikes during the same period.

The number of people killed by the army is not mentioned, but it estimated to be in the region of 600-700.
Pakistani troops are battling insurgents across the north-west. Many of those it has killed are believed to be militants, but civilian lives have been lost too.

The HRCP is the main human rights watchdog in the country. Its findings are often disputed by the authorities, the BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Karachi says.

The group's findings show a rise in the numbers being killed in Pakistan's conflict.

BBC research published last July suggested 1,713 people had been killed by militants over the preceding 18 months, while 746 people had died in drone attacks during the same period.

'Increasing intolerance'
The HRCP released its data in its annual report on the state of human rights and security in Pakistan between January and December 2010.

"Pakistan's biggest problem continues to be violence carried out militants," HRCP chairman Mehdi Hasan said.

"In 2010, 67 suicide attacks were carried out across the country in which 1,169 people were killed," he said. "At least 1,000 of those were civilians."

Dr Hasan said that in all 2,542 people had been killed in militant attacks in the country last year.

He said the most glaring example of government oversight had been in Balochistan province, where targeted killings shot up rapidly with 118 people being killed in 2010.

Dr Hasan said the figure was set to increase in 2011, as the government seemed unconcerned about the unravelling of the law and order situation in Balochistan.

The HRCP report also spoke about increasing intolerance against religious minorities in the country.

It said 99 members of the Ahmedi (Qadiani) sect had been killed in attacks in 2010, while 64 people had been charged under the country's blasphemy law. 

There was no immediate response to the report from the Pakistani authorities, nor was there any word from militant groups.

Daily Inspiration from Pakistan Hindu Post (PHP)

By PHP Staff
Saturday, April 16, 2011

O God of mercy who performs the dance of illimitable happiness in the hall of inconceivable intelligence! The Rig and the other Vedas are thundering forth in words, announcing to us that all are thy slaves, all things belong to thee, all actions are thine, that thou pervades everywhere, that this is thy nature. Such is the teaching of those who, though they never speak, broke silence for our sake.
-- Tayumanavar

Note : Tayumanavar (1705–1742), pronounced Tāyum-ānavar, is one of the spiritual giants of Tamil Nadu, India.

Britain's Changing Ethnic Map: Thriving Hindus in British Suburbia

By PHP Staff
Saturday, April 16, 2011
(Photo : Great-Britain-Map)

UNITED KINGDOM : Any visitor to the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir could not fail to be awed. Everyone from Princess Diana to Jimmy Carter has paid a visit. On 27 October 2000 it broke a world record by serving 1,247 vegetarian dishes to mark the start of the Hindu new year.

The temple is in suburban north-west London, in Neasden, where it nestles incongruously near rows of Edwardian terraces. The site was chosen partly because of the region's large number of Hindus, many of whom arrived from Uganda after being expelled by Idi Amin in the 1970s.

As Yogesh Patel, a spokesman for the temple, acknowledges, the suburb was attractive to Hindu migrants because of "better employment prospects ... the choice of good schools and business opportunities".

The temple, which has a highly successful independent school, is testimony to something significant happening in Britain, a shift that has been occurring largely without notice. Second- and third-generation migrant communities are on the move, driven by increasing affluence and aspiration. "We are seeing an emerging segment of dynamic young professionals, successful entrepreneurs and ambitious, resourceful wealth creators, all giving back to our country, enriching it economically, socially, culturally," Patel said.

Hindu Chaplain Programs In US Department of Defense

By PHP Staff
Saturday, April 16, 2011
(Photo : State Sen. Satveer Chaudhary left, Steven Spielberg, and Col. Ravi Chaudhary at last week's state dinner in 2009, USA)

UNITED STATES, April 2011, (by Lt. Col. Ravi Chaudhary): The tremendous growth of South Asians in the Department of Defense has brought about the need build the first Dharmic/Hindu Military Chaplain Programs in DoD. I have been working with a team of action officers here in the Pentagon to make this diversity program a reality. The Office of the Secretary of Defense has officially approved the first Hindu Chaplain endorsing agency, and we are now looking for recruits, as well as follow-on programs for more Indic faith participation. See this testimonial for some background here.

The goal of our team is simple: to meet the spiritual needs of military members and families who are sacrificing so much for our nation. We have received several notes and testimonials from military members, and I'm told the President was recently briefed on this endeavor by White House staff; so momentum is building! As we continue to move forward, I would like to reach out to you for your support, awareness, and involvement. We need to recruit candidates to serve as the first Dharmic military chaplains!


POC is Chaplain Manning (502) 626-4014
Sgt Cantu (502)-626-1082

CAPT Henry Nixon

Air Force
POC is Chaplain Giannone

Friday, April 15, 2011

Government has closed its eyes to the plight of Hindus in Pakistan

By Anuradha Dutt
Friday, April 15, 2011
(Photo: Hindus women's in Karachi City, Sindh State of Pakistan during Laxmi Puja on Diwali Festival)

New Delhi : After being carved out of the Indian sub-continent, Pakistan is just 63-year old. Its raison d’etre is to act as an Islamic counter-force to a predominantly Hindu India, which encompasses all variations of religious beliefs, including the Islamic, within a secular framework. Religious freedom is the fulcrum of our secular ideal. It is quite the opposite in Pakistan, created as the land of the pure by politicos, fundamentalists and a vengeful colonial power on its last legs. But even after the partition and the exchange of peoples between India and Pakistan, a large number of Muslims opted to stay back because India as a secular democracy seemed a safer option, while a much smaller number of Hindus chose to brave it out in the Islamic republic.

(Photo : A tourist at an old Hindu temple near Islamabad city, Pakistan)

As a result, India today has the third largest Muslim population of over 100 million, after Indonesia and Pakistan. Hindus in Pakistan are about 3.9 million. Judging by current reports of Hindus’ persecution in Pakistan, with some of their important places of worship being forcibly turned into hotels and tourist spots, and with no possibility of justice, they may well be ruing their decision to stay back in their ancestral homes. The Congress-led ruling coalition’s indifference to their plight compounds the problem. Its hostility to the Allahabad High Court judgement, which allotted two-thirds of the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya to Hindu litigants and one-third to the Sunni Waqf Board, is in sharp contrast to the Pakistan authorities complicity in the seizure of Hindu shrines and pilgrimages for commercial purposes.

To cite an instance, the 700-year-old Kali Bari in Dera Ismail Khan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province is reported to have been taken over by a business group and turned into a hotel. Sources reveal that the operators pay the Government a small amount of money in exchange. Some idols have disappeared from the shrine. They point out that the historic site could attract Hindus from all over the world. This would generate more revenue. However, despite local Hindus having brought the violation to the attention of the Governor in April 2009, he failed to initiate any remedial action. One just needs to compare this with the earnest assurances given by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to an incensed group of Muslims at Jangpura, who gathered to protest against the demolition of an unauthorised mosque some weeks ago. The matter is being heard by Delhi High Court.

(Photo : The last remaining ancient Hindu temple near Rawal Lake at Islamabad City is in dire need of preservation, Pakistan)

In another shocking violation, the sacred Raam Kunday Mandir in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, is reported to have been converted into a picnic spot. It is preposterous even to imagine a heritage mosque being turned into a recreation hub in India’s capital. Not just politicos, who nurture minority vote-banks, but the supposedly secular brigade, consisting of the literati and glitterati, would go into over-drive to abort such a possibility. It is, of course, a different matter altogether when Hindus demand restoration of important pilgrimages in India, usurped by Islamic adventurers some centuries ago. The secular brigade then trashes Hindu concerns as a prime example of religious bigotry and revivalism. It has also consistently ignored seizure and desecration of temples in Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well as atrocities committed against individuals. True votaries of the secular ideal would be non-partisan in their actions. Their fervent advocacy of sectarian Muslim concerns in particular — the community’s right to follow its personal law based on sharia, and retain control of usurped shrines, as symbols of the dominion of Islam — actually serves to negate the secular ideal and render it irrelevant. But they remain blind to this fact, just like an ostrich that chooses to shut out reality by hiding its head in the sand.

Examples of misuse of shrines in Pakistan abound. Araya Mandir in Abbotabad has been appropriated for running a school. Several dilapidated old temples in Eminabad in Gujranwala are being used as stables for horses, donkeys and the like. Hindu’s demand for restoring to them the Kali temple in Peshawar, which has been taken over by local traders, has been ignored by the authorities.

 (Photo : A famous Lord Hanuman temple in Chakwal (punjab state) is being used by the workers of salt mines as their office, Pakistan)

The Hanuman mandir in Chakwal has become the office of salt mines workers while the Sheeranwali Mandir in Punjab’s Bakkar town hosts a madarsa for clerics. The deplorable neglect of Jogi Tala Jhelum, sacred both for Sikhs and Hindus, and Laho Maharaj Mandir, situated on the Badshahi Masjid premises, are also sore points.

(Photo : Hindus and other Non-Muslim citizens of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan are treated as separate and unequal citizens in a form of religious apartheid)

There are an estimated 360 sites, revered by Hindus, in Pakistan. Many are under the control of the Evacuee Trust Property Board, which also reportedly controls 1,35,000 acres of land that belongs to Hindu farmers. But all persuasion to hand over the pilgrimages and land to the lawful claimants has failed despite the Preamble to the Constitution of Pakistan assuring that “adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to freely profess and practise their religions and develop their cultures” and “to safeguard the legitimate interests of the minorities and backward and depressed classes”. Indian Muslims need to honestly answer whether they have got a raw deal, as professed by some, when their condition is compared to that of victimised Hindus and other minorities in Pakistan.

Hindu Temples Getting Occupied In Pakistan

By Dr.Radhe Shyam Kumar (Executive Editor)
Friday, April 15, 2011
(Photo : Humaira Alwani a member of provincial assembly or MPN in Sindh from Pakistan People's Party speaking during Sindhi Language Authority (SLA) at Hyderbad, Pakistan)

Karachi : As many as 29 temples had been occupied in Thatta district, Humaira Alwani told the Sindh Assembly on Thursday.

“It’s a blatant violation of the Constitution,” she told The News.

“The temples that have been occupied include Dayal Mandir in Palangparo in Thatta district, Shiv Mandir in Barani Goth in Thatta, Ashram in Ward 3, also called “Khooni Talla” (bloody pool, because crocodiles use to live there), Police Chaweree, and Shiv Mandir in Cashiganpara,” she said.

Alwani said she visited the area after receiving complaints and some people became “furious” as to why she was taking interest in those temples.

She said on February 25, 2011, the culture minister, Sassui Palijo, herself admitted in the assembly that many temples had been occupied in Thatta district.

“This is a fact that the ancient temple in Nihaldarya in Thatta has been occupied by one police official named Yaqoob Shah and his family who have no legal documents,” Alwani said, quoting Palijo.

The department of culture directed the concerned officials to take necessary action against the illegal occupants, but it had not been vacated yet, Alwani said.

“Thatta has immense historical and heritage value,” Alwani said, adding it was sad that activities contrary to the Constitution were going on there. It may be pointed out that in his historic speech in the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1948, the Founder of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, had made it clear that Pakistan would not be a theocratic state, and that the rights of the minorities would be protected.

Daily Inspiration from Pakistan Hindu Post (PHP)

By PHP Staff
Friday, April 15, 2011

Whatever defect I have in my sight, in my heart or mind, may God amend! May He, the Protector of the world, bless us!
-- Yajur Veda 36.2

(The Yajurveda (Sanskrit यजुर्वेदः yajurveda, a tatpurusha compound of yajus "sacrificial formula', + veda "knowledge") is the third of the four canonical texts of Hinduism, the Vedas. By some, it is estimated to have been composed between 1,400 and 1000 BC, the Yajurveda 'Samhita', or 'compilation', contains the liturgy (mantras) needed to perform the sacrifices of the religion of the Vedic period, and the added Brahmana and Shrautasutra add information on the interpretation and on the details of their performance)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sikhs celebrating Baisakhi in Pakistan

By Mohammad S.Solanki (Executive Editor)
Thursday, April 14, 2011
(Photo : A view of Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Punjab, Pakistan)

TAXILA: The Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hassanabdal on Tuesday echoed with “Wahe guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe guru Ji Ki Fateh” and “Jo bolay so nihal”, marking the beginning of Besakhi festival.

Over 1,400 Sikh yatrees from India and over a thousand from Fata and rural Sindh have reached Hassanabdal to celebrate the 312th three-day festival.

On early Tuesday morning Indian Sikh pilgrims led by Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) member Gurwinder Singh Shampura arrived through two special trains from Lahore via Wagah border. It may be mentioned here that 341 devotees were denied permission to accompany the Jatha.

Much enthusiasm was observed at the Punja Sahib which was giving a festive look as women and children were wearing colorful dress and men with yellow and blue turbans.

Hundreds of the devotees, including men and women, were seen reciting the verses from the Guru Grunth, the holy book of the Sikh religion.

According to the Sikh religion, the Besakhi festival is celebrated only at the holy city of Hassanabdal, where lies the Gurdwara Punja Sahib. In 1921, it was decided by the Gurus (elders) of the Sikh religion to celebrate the event on the first day of Sunsikrat month of Besakh in memory of the day of the first Besakh in the year 1699 when the 10th Guru of the Sikh religion awarded Punj Kaaf slot and symbol to Guru Goband at the city of Anandpur Sahib (India).

The festival would be concluded on April 14 and the pilgrims will go to Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, and return to Dera Sahib, Lahore, on April 17. They will also visit Dera Rohri Sahib, Aimanabad, and Kartarpur in Narowal, before they return to India on April 20.

Moreover, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) with the help of Pakistan Sikh Gurdawara Prabandhak Committee had made arrangements of boarding and food for pilgrims.

Meanwhile, leader of Indian Sikh pilgrims and Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) member Gurwinder Singh Shampur talking to newsmen said Sikhs living both sides of the border wanted peace and better relations between India and Pakistan.He said that the Sikh yatrees consider Pakistan as their second home because some of the holiest places of the Sikh religion situated here. He said that the Indian Sikh community considered Pakistan as their holy land and its people as their brethren.

The Sikh pilgrims’ leader said that Pakistani government always accorded warm welcome to them. He said that the both Punjabs culture, taboos, language, dresses and living style were same and they were living in the same environment for decades that was the reason that they considered both Punjabs as brothers.

He said that said Pakistan was very important for Sikhs because Guru Nanak Dev was born and died here.

Were we really tolerant before the jihadis? —Dr Manzur Ejaz

By PHP Staff
Thursday, April 14, 2011

Whether led by mature middle-class people or otherwise, the extremist religious movements draw most of their following from the new urbanite classes. In most cases, they have become the source of religious violence

Pakistanis must ask a central

question: were we really tolerant people before Zia’s Islamisation or we were only naively indolent, prone to be violent at any moment? It is a common belief in Pakistan that when Zia, alongside the US, created violent jihadi organisations, they created hysteria in the public with narrow-mindedness ruling and people killing for frivolous reasons. Two questions come to mind about this explanation. One, were we really consciously ever a tolerant society for the jihadis to destroy? And two, how can we use this explanation to explain the parallel rise of extremist political Hinduism in India?

While talking about the killing fields that jihadis have created, we forget that the carnage of 1947 in Punjab cost more lives than the total number of people killed by jihadi violence in the last 20 years in Pakistan. Everyone blames the people of ‘other religions’ for the 1947 tragedy but, wherever Muslims were in overwhelming majority, they killed Sikhs and Hindus. Conversely, they faced the same treatment in areas where they were a minority. Amrita Pritam rightly said, “Aaj sabhay Kaidoo hu gaiy, husan ishaq de chor” (Today, everyone has turned into a villain, enemy of love). What happened in 1947 is closely linked to what is happening now and what occurred in east Punjab’s Khalistan Movement, which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Most of the 1947 killings were concentrated in the rural areas; there were some in urban centres but they were limited. Most of the stories I have heard from Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs migrating from Pakistan indicate that the urban non-Muslims did not lose their family members while the stories from the rural areas are horror tales. One of my maternal uncles was killed in a village in Gurdaspur but at the same time none of the two neighbouring village’s Sikhs were spared — entire villages were murdered. How can so-called innocent rural people become murderous?

It can be argued that from the second to third centuries, the way the Gupta dynasty established self-sufficient but desolate and isolated village communities contributed to the religious violence of 1947, and even presently. When the Maurya Dynasty’s state ownership of entire land and manufacturing became unsustainable, it was replaced by self-sufficient village communities. Every community was required by the king’s law to have all kinds of artisans who were given a little land, residential and agricultural, and fixed shares of peasant produce. Consequently, the village communities had no need or desire to interact with other communities or reach beyond their own. Only a few traders and vendors were the link between the village and the rest of the world. The vendor, or vanjara in Punjabi, became a hero in folk songs because he was the only link with the outside world.

Due to the total absence of interaction and exchange of thought with the rest of the world, the village communities became lonesome entities. Mental horizons shrank and one generation of people was replaced with an identical next one. The village was considered a homeland or country whose honour was to be protected. This is why, during inter-village festivals, people would carry weapons as the possibility of war between the people of different villages was very real.

In eastern Punjab, some village communities were comprised of people of all religions but, when the British colonised western Punjab through an irrigation system, the village communities were established exclusively on religious basis. Therefore, another layer of separation was put in place where people of one religion became aliens for the other. The British education system did not mitigate such a separation because of the imposition of Urdu and denial of Punjabi identity. As a result, Sikhs limited themselves to the Gurmukhi script and Muslims to the Persian script. This was another fundamental divide created by the British. In Sindh, where Sindhi was made the official language and everyone used the same script, inter-religious hostility was a little less and did not lead to carnage in 1947. In the urban centres of Punjab where, despite furious religious political divides, the interaction between people was much better and the level of violence was also lower in 1947.

After the creation of India and Pakistan, the isolation of village communities continued. However, communal violence remained contained. It was tolerance by default and not a conscious decision made by the communities. However, when in 1970, mechanised farming, radio, TV and telephone made their way to village communities, 2,000 years of isolation were broken. A massive migration towards the urban areas started and in no time the cities swelled with the first generation of rural people. However, their thinking process, coming from thousands of years of isolation remained static, little altered or subverted. The contemporary cities of north India, including Pakistan, are overwhelmed by new urbanites who lack urban civic sensibility, and every town is entrapped in the worst kind of anarchy.

The old ideological mindset of the new urbanites was not sustainable in the changed environment. A vacuum of ideology emerged, which was readily filled with fundamentalist religious ideologies that were seemingly more rational than their semi-superstitious rural belief system. Whether led by mature middle-class people or otherwise, the extremist religious movements draw most of their following from the new urbanite classes. In most cases, they have become the source of religious violence.

It can be concluded that we were neither a consciously tolerant nor violent people — we were indifferent and isolated and therefore appeared to be tolerant of different faiths. As rural isolation ended and phenomenal urbanisation got underway, extremist religious movements emerged. The rise of the Khalistan Movement and the Hindu Saffron Movement along with the jihadi upsurge in Pakistan are interlined with a common cause. It is true that Ziaul Haq and the US used this emerging trend and turned it into a lethal force, but that is only one scene in a several acts stage play. Furthermore, Ziaul Haq was also a product of changing circumstances — we should not forget that Islamisation was initiated by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who himself was a staunch secular person. His embracing of Islamisation shows that the socio-economic conditions were too powerful to be resisted even by him.

The degenerative process could have been contained by good governance and an intellectually mature ruling class but that was not the case. It can still be done if the ruling elites understand what is going on and find ways to harness the energy of new urbanites.

The writer can be reached at