NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

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

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pakistani Hindus seek safety in India

By PHP Staff
Tuesday, Augest 07, 2012
(Hindu devotees worship at the Manher Mandir temple in Karachi.—AFP Photo)

KARACHI: Preetam Das is a good doctor with a hospital job and a thriving private clinic, yet all he thinks about is leaving Pakistan, terrified about a rise in killings and kidnappings targeting Hindus.

A successful professional, he lives in mega city Karachi with his wife and two children, but comes from Kashmore, a district in the north of Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh.

His family has lived there for centuries and in 1947 when the sub-continent split between India, a majority Hindu state, and Pakistan, a homeland for Muslims, Das’ grandparents chose to stay with the Muslims.

They fervently believed the promise of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah that religious minorities would be protected. Sixty years later, their grandson says life in Kashmore has become unbearable.

“The situation is getting worse every day,” he says.

Two of his uncles have been kidnapped and affluent Hindus are at particular risk from abduction gangs looking for ransom, he says.

Rights activists say the climate is indicative of progressive Islamisation over the last 30 years that has fuelled an increasing lack of tolerance to religious minorities, too often considered second class citizens.

Das says the only thing keeping him in Pakistan is his mother.

“She has flatly refused to migrate, which hinders my plans. I can’t go without her,” he said.

Hindus make up 2.5 per cent of the 174 million people living in the nuclear-armed Muslim nation. Over 90 per cent live in Sindh, where they are generally wealthy and enterprising, making them easy prey for criminal gangs.

An official at the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi who declined to be named said: “Every month about eight to 10 Hindu families migrate from Pakistan. Most of them are well-off.”

He had no comment on whether the number was on the rise, but Hindu community groups in Pakistan say more people are leaving because of kidnappings, killings and even forced conversions of girls to Islam.

“Two of my brothers have migrated to India and an uncle to the UAE,” said Jay Ram, a farmer in Sindh’s northern district of Ghotki.

“It’s becoming too difficult to live here. Sindhis are the most tolerant community in the country vis-a-vis religious harmony, but deteriorating law and order is forcing them to move unwillingly,” he added.

Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council and a former lawmaker for Sindh province, said Hindus are picked on by kidnappers and that their daughters are subject to forced conversions to Islam.

“Every now and then we get reports of families migrating. It’s getting worse now. People are extremely harassed and are forced to leave their homeland but our rulers are shamelessly idle,” he told AFP.

Rights activists also say Hindus in Sindh are discriminated against.

“Recently 37 members of five Hindu families migrated to India from Thul town owing to discrimination while three Hindus, including a doctor, were murdered in Shikarpur district,” said Rubab Jafri, who heads Sindh’s Human Rights Forum.

“Lots of violent incidents are happening daily. Most go unreported, which shows vested interests are trying to force Hindus to leave Pakistan.”

According to the Pakistan Hindu Seva, a community welfare organisation, at least 10 families have migrated from Sindh every month since 2008, mostly to India, but in the last 10 months, 400 families have left.

Another survey last year by the local Scheduled Caste Rights Movement said more than 80 percent of Hindu families complained that Muslims discriminated against them by using different utensils when serving them at food stalls.

“Hindu migration is a brain-drain for Pakistan as most of them are doctors, engineers, agriculturists, businessmen and intellectuals,” Jafri said.

But the provincial authorities are reluctant to recognise a problem.

“I do admit that law and order in some districts of Sindh is quite bad, but it is bad for everyone and not just my community, the Hindus,” Mukesh Kumar Chawla, provincial minister for excise and taxation, told AFP.

“Hindus do not migrate in flocks as has been claimed and those who migrate are going abroad for a better fortune,” he said.

Pakistani Hindus are desperate to enter India

By PHP Staff
Tuesday, Augest 07, 2012

Things have just gone from bad to worse for the Hindu community in Pakistan's Balochistan region. So adverse is the scenario that around 100 more Hindu families from the region have applied to the Indian High Commission seeking asylum, Amir Mir reports from Islamabad.

Pakistan's marginalised Hindu community continues to live under the shadow of fear in Balochistan province in the wake of an endless wave of kidnappings, which has compelled many of them to abandon their homeland and migrate to India.

There are recent reports borne out by the privately-run Human Rights Commission of Pakistan that Hindus in Balochistan are feeling threatened in many cases and there are reports of never-ending abductions from the Hindu community.

The Balochistan chapter of HRCP has conceded in its recently released report that of the 300-plus people kidnapped from various parts of Balochistan during the last 15 months, over 50 belonged to the minority Hindu community.

Seen in isolation, these facts and figures may not seem that strange, considering the many problems that currently plague the trouble-stricken Balochistan. However, given the fact that the Hindu population in the province is not more than 30,000, the aftershock of each incident of kidnapping is felt by every Hindu, many of whom have already opted to leave Pakistan.

Although no official statistics are available, Hindus reportedly make up 2.5 per cent of the 174 million people living in the nuclear-armed nation.

Some recent Pakistani media reports say 150-plus Hindu families have already trickled out of Balochistan since last year to destinations as far as Canada but mostly to India next door.

Matters have got so bad that around 100 more Hindu families from Balochistan have applied to the Indian High Commission seeking asylum.

These figures are indeed alarming for the small Hindu community, which has become a soft target of abductions due to the apathy of the concerned authorities.

This is not just a recent phenomenon and has been going on at 'trickle' level for years, but there has been a recent uptick in the numbers of families feeling so insecure that they decided to relocate. Pakistani media reports frequently speak of abduction for ransom, traders and business-people as well as professionals like teachers and doctors, being abducted in broad daylight.

Two recent abductions from Balochistan have added to the sense of uncertainty among the Hindu community in particular.

The first one was the April 9, 2012 kidnapping of Vinod Maharaj Ganga Ram Motiyani, the chairman of the committee that manages the Hinglaj Mata temple in Balochistan, who was kidnapped from the Lasbela, just a couple of days before the annual pilgrimage to the shrine, which he was planning to attend himself.

Thousands of Hindus, including yatris from India, travel to the cave temple of Hinglaj Mata for a pilgrimage in April every year. It is one of the Shakti Peeths of Goddess Sati.

According to a legend, when goddess Sati, the consort of god Shiva, burnt herself in response to her father's anger at her for inviting Shiva to a ceremony, Shiva became furious and started to create disasters, problems, violence, and sufferings in the world.

In order to calm his anger, God Vishnu took the body of Sati and cut it into 51 pieces which all fell at different parts of the Earth. Hindus believe that the head of Sati fell in the area of Hinglaj Mata in Baluchistan. Thus, this area is a revered pilgrimage site for Hindus.

A month and a half since Motiyani's kidnapping, local police have been unable to trace him, amid questions about the identity of his kidnappers. Were the abductors belonged to intelligence agencies, were they Taliban militants or members of a kidnapping ring?

Motiyani's family members have been quoted by Pakistani media as saying that two men clad in security forces uniforms took him on April 6 from a general store he ran, saying that he had been summoned by a police deputy superintendent. That was the last time they saw him.

"We don't know who these men were," said the SHO of the Lasbela police station, Ataullah.

"But we are sure it was not the police who took him away. The men took the DSP's name but he was not in Lasbela at that time. I cannot really say where he is and who picked him up."

Motiyani's family went to the Lasbela police station an hour after he was picked up but were shocked to find that he was not there. According to his brother Lila Ram, when they telephoned Motiyani he replied that he was mistaken about the DSP and said the men who took him claimed he was summoned by a major of Pakistan Army.

Motiyani's phone has been switched off since. However, it is largely believed that he has been kidnapped for ransom.

The other kidnapping, which sent shockwaves through the Hindu community, was that of Rajesh Kumar, the son of Dr Nand Lal, a member of the Quetta chapter of the Human Rights Commission and the Pak-India People's Forum for Peace and Democracy.

Rajesh was kidnapped in broad daylight from Quetta on February 13, 2012. His family sources say the kidnappers had established contact with them and demanded Rs 20 million as ransom initially.

Later they reduced the amount to Rs10 million but they are not in a position to arrange the ransom money. It is generally believed by the Balochistan police that the kidnappings are being carried out by revengeful separatists out to create havoc in the province, which is going through an unannounced military operation against Baloch nationalists who want a separate homeland.

However, the family members of Motiyani and Rajesh say their loved ones have not been kidnapped by Baloch separatists but by criminal gangs who are well aware of the fact that the Hindu community is a soft target.

Taking notice of the increasing cases of abductions of Hindu nationals in Balochistan the HRCP said in a statement: "Many Hindus have now stopped sending their children to school because of a lack of security. Hindu traders, doctors and retailers are being kidnapped for ransom or threatened to mint easy money. The son of a well-known Hindu doctor as well as a Hindu surgeon was abducted last year. But their relatives did not file a case with the police, as is the case with most victims who do not file a criminal case against their abductors out of fear."

"The pace at which Pakistan is losing its diversity as a nation bringing together many kinds of people is terrifying because those who have lived together for centuries as part of well-integrated communities, now eye each other with suspicion."

Voicing concern over the rising incidents of kidnappings of Hindus in Balochistan, the Indian government recently reminded Islamabad of its responsibility to discharge its constitutional obligations towards its minority citizens.

"It is the responsibility of the government of Pakistan to discharge its constitutional obligations towards its citizens, including those from the minority community," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said in the Lok Sabha on May 9, 2012.

He was responding to the issue of treatment of minorities in Pakistan raised by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

However, keeping in view continuous kidnappings of Hindus in Balochistan, it seems that the Pakistan government has not yet taken concrete measures to address the concerns of the Indian government.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pakistani Hindus protest kidnapping of young girls

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
By PHP Staff

(PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS, MPA Munawar Lal, Amar Lal and Mangla Sharma among others were present at the protest held regarding the forceful conversion of Rinkle Kumari from Hinduism to Islam outside Karachi Press Club on 4th march 2012)

Islamabad : Some political parties and Hindu groups in Pakistan are furious over the kidnapping and alleged conversion of Hindu girls in Sindh province.

The Human Rights Club, Young Hindu Forum, Minority Commission of Pakistan, Awami Jamhoori Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan Hindu Council and Aurat Foundation held a demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club Sunday, the Daily Times reported Monday.

They alleged that a Hindu girl, Rinkal Kumari of Mirpur Mathelo town, was abducted and forcibly converted to Islam. Another girl, Asha Kumari, was kidnapped from Jacobabad about a month back.

Pakistan Hindu Council chief Ramesh Vankwani alleged that a Supreme Court directive for the recovery of Asha Kumari has not been followed by the police, the Dawn reported.

He said another Hindu, Gangaram Motiani, president of the Hinglaj Mata Shewa Mandli, was kidnapped by men in police uniform in Bela area of Balochistan April 6.

The incident took place ahead of one of the largest annual Hindu gatherings at the Hinglaj Mata temple, he said.

Holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans, the demonstrators said a conspiracy was being hatched to expel the Hindu community from Pakistan.

According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, Hindus constitute around 5.5 per cent of Pakistan's 170 million people. Of them 94 per cent live in Sindh while the rest are distributed in Punjab and Balochistan.

Temple committee chairman kidnapped in Pakistan

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
By PHP Staff

(Photo : Hinglaj Mata Mandir in Baluchistan ,Pakistan)

Islamabad : The chairman of the committee that manages the famous Hinglaj Mata temple in Balochistan province of southwest Pakistan has been kidnapped just two days before the beginning of the shrine's annual pilgrimage, according to a media report on Monday.

Maharaj Ganga Ram Motiyani was abducted at Lasbela in Balochistan by two men in police uniform.

His followers organised a protest outside the Karachi Press Club on Sunday and demanded that the government take steps for his recovery.

"Motiyani's kidnapping appears to be a conspiracy against Hindus since he was kidnapped two days before the gathering. He has not been kidnapped for ransom because he is a poor man," Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, patron of the Pakistan Hindu Council and a former member of the Sindh Assembly, was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune daily.

Thousands of Hindus, including travellers from India [ Images ], visit the cave temple of Hinglaj Mata for a pilgrimage in April.

Hindu leader Chandar Turshani said two men in police uniform arrived at Motiyani's shop at 8.30 pm and said a senior police official wanted to meet him.

"We contacted the area police station within half an hour but he was not there," Turshani said.

"When we spoke to Motiyani on his phone, he said that he was being taken to meet an army major," Turshani alleged.

Motiyani's family lost contact with him after an hour.

"The provincial and district governments have assured us that he will be rescued but we are clueless about why Motiyani was taken and what condition he is in," said Turshani.

Recycling history: And all of Hanuman’s men put this temple together again

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
By PHP Staff

(PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESSOne of the oldest temples in the city, the Shri Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir is tucked away in Soldier Bazaar, Pakistan)

KARACHI: It was a tough fight – including a lawsuit and a call for donations – but one of Karachi’s oldest Hindu temples is finally being renovated.

The 1,500-year-old Shri Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir is finally getting a facelift with the use of its old stones after its management battled with land grabbers to regain partial control of its original land.

One of the oldest temples in the city, the Shri Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir is tucked away in Soldier Bazaar. Even though work on its renovation suffered a setback a couple of years ago, its management is adamant that it will complete it, despite encroachments on the temple’s plot, intimidation and threats by land grabbers as well as a lack of funds.

“The temple was supposed to be renovated within two years. But a shortage of funds and the cases we have been fighting for the ownership of our land have slowed down the process. Yet we won’t give up,” says the determined Shri Ram Nath Maharaj, the temple’s caretaker. The Hanuman temple holds special significance for Hindus.

“It is the only temple in the world which has the natural statue of the Hanuman deity, and is not man-made. Years ago, the statue was discovered from this place,” he explains, pointing towards the 8-foot blue and white statue, which is located in a room that will not be touched for renovation or reconstruction. The rubble of building material and grilles lies around the temple as construction continues on a free langar khana or soup kitchen and a praying area. To preserve the look and feel of the temple, the original yellow stones are being used to rebuild the arched walls. “We believe in preserving our temple. We had to renovate because it was in ruins, with parts of the roof caving in.”

Blocks of old stones are being moulded into new ones. “The process of using the old stones to rebuild is time-consuming, difficult and costly. It is easier to buy new material and use it,” explains the Maharaj.

But as Dr Noman Ahmed, the chairperson of the architecture and planning department at the NED University, put it, houses of worship are usually preserved by using the same material from which they were originally built. “Unless there is a defect in the stones, the same ones can be used to rebuild them,” he said. However, there is rarely major reconstruction done on ancient buildings. Instead there are minor restorations or cleaning.

“Temples can be rebuilt in a personal capacity but it is better to seek professional help from the government’s heritage department,” he urged.

The temple isn’t being renovated with the yearly budget allocated to the Sindh minorities’ affairs ministry. Instead, poor Hindus and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement stepped up with donations.

“We need Rs4.5 million for the reconstruction,” said the Maharaj. “We have received half of the money but we need the rest to complete it.” A banner hangs in the temple requesting for donations.

Encroaching on the house of worship

The Shri Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir has faced the same issue as many of the temples in the city – encroachment. Half of the 2,609 square feet land of the temple has been taken over.

According to documents shared by the Maharaj, in 1995 the plot (GRE 270 and 271) was divided into 10 parts. Land grabbers claimed the lease. In 2006, the temple won back four of these plots after the lease was cancelled by a district court and then-DDO East Sultan Ahmed issued a notice.

The anti-encroachment department was ordered by the City District Government Karachi to remove the illegal encroachers from three other plots, but even though six years have passed, that decision has yet to be implemented. “The illegal owners continue to reside on the land which belongs to the temple. We are still fighting in court for the ownership of the other two plots,” said the Maharaj as he sat in his incense-filled office, where a stereo played bhajans or hymns and pictures of Hanuman adorned the walls.

It seems that the temple has its work cut out. The official who runs the anti-encroachment work in KMC, Abdul Malik, was unaware of the illegal occupation on the temple’s land. “I know there is a temple in Soldier Bazaar, but I don’t know if there are encroachments around it,” he said, promising to look into it.  Maharaj hopes to win back their land. “We could once again attract foreign devotees. When we win back our land, I will make guest rooms, a parking lot and a place for shoes,” he said. For now, the Shri Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir has to make do with what little land it has managed to regain.

Pakistani Hindus fear forced conversion of young girls

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
By PHP Staff

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From:  AAA
Date: Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 11:47 PM

Dear Colleagues:  Namaskar:


Enclosed herewith please find a report by BBC which says that Pakistani Hindus fear forced conversion.  Hindu girls are being kidnapped, converted to Islam and forcibly married to Muslim men.

Hindu leaders and India Government should do something about it.

Please click on the following Link:

Narain Kataria

Introduction to Hindu Sudhar Sabha Pakistan (HSSP)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
By PHP Staff

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sumeer Kumar (PHP Lahore)
Date: Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 8:32 AM
Subject: Introduction to Hindu Sudhar Sabha (Pakistan)
To: PHP Islamabad

 (Photo : Hindu Sudhar Sabha Pakistan)

(Photo : Secound picture of activites of HSS-P)

You ever well wisher,
Sumeer Kumar (Lahore, Pakistan)

Hyderbad Hindus preparing for any forced conversion in Pakistan.

Tuesday, April 12, 2012
By Gopinath Rajput

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Abbas Kassar
Date: Sun, Jun12, 2011 at 1:33 PM
Subject: hyd hindus against forced conversion


(Photo : HYDERABAD: Large numbers of Pakistani Hindus, Civil Society activists, peasants, and labourers took out rally under the banner of Human rights Commission of Pakistan, Sindh task force on Friday from Hyder Chowk to Hyderabad Press Club against the violation of human rights in Sindh)

HYDERABAD, June 12, 2011:The scheduled caste rights movement has expressed concern and indignation on kidnapping of Hindu girls and then their forced conversion after keeping them in fortresses of Jagirdars or seminaries.

 The movement members also asked for ending forced occupation on their places of worship including temples, Gaushalas, Mandirs, Masans, graveyards and their other religious places and to restore their religious status.

Addressing news conference at Hyderabad press club here on Sunday the leaders of newly formed Scheduled caste rights movement Ramesh Lal, Mangal Preetam, advocate Shewak Rathore, Lakshmi Bhatia, Mirchand Sajhani,Jawaherlal and others said that in 1967 the government of Pakistan had declared 41 castes as schedule castes and had kept their quota of 6% in services of Pakistan but in 1990s that quota was converted into minority quota. They said since then the government has never implemented on this quota of giving jobs to them. They said the upper
caste Hindus who are Banyas are not their part as they also have declared them untouchables and get themselves elected on assembly seats.

They said these very Banyas have opened the Gutas of wine in almost every town but the fact is that even in Hinduism  taking wine is forbidden. These very upper class Banhyas never represent them and
demanded reservation of assembly seats for schedule castes. They said that schedule caste Hindus form 6 % of total population of Pakistan and 10% in Sindh and demanded their representation in services and
assemblies. They said that a Sindh minister Mohandas Kohistani runs chain of Gutas of wine be dismissed from cabinet.

Among other demands they asked for law for registration of marriages of scheduled castes,
legislation to end hatred against them, to insert word Hindu in place of scheduled caste in column of religion in census, to increase seats of minorities in assemblies and senate according to their population, They said that since creation of Pakistan no increase in 10 reserved seats for minorities has been made. They said that schedule caste Hindus like Kolhi, Bheel, Bagri, Meghwar, Rawara and others have no
permanent homes and were living in make shift places at mercy of landlords in rural areas and of municipalities in suburban areas.

Theyasked for allotment of land and plots to them so they can make their permanent homes. They demanded public holidays on their religious holidays, to restore 6% quota for them in government services. They
demanded rehabilitation of peasants liberated from private jails of landlords and to help get their arrears of share cropping.

They also demanded action against those involved in forced conversion of Hindu
girls and that this stop should be stopped forthwith.


Minority within a minority: Scheduled Caste Hindus seek equal rights in Pakistan

Tuesday, April 12, 2012
By PHP Staff

(Photo : Member of Scheduled Caste Hindu womens from Sindh, Pakistan)

ISLAMABAD : Scheduled Caste Hindus have demanded a separate marriage law for their community.

Speaking at a news conference here on Tuesday Chairperson of the Schedule Caste Hindu Rights Movement (SCRM), Ramesh Jaipal demanded legal protection of their fundamental rights, particularly of Hindu marriage registration, land ownership, equal political participation and protection of religious places and graveyards.

For Hindu families, lack of marriage registration mechanism is a matter of a serious concern, Jaipal said. It’s been more than four years but the demand has only fallen on deaf ears so far. Despite assurances by a number of political and government officials nothing has happened, he said.

“Lower caste” Hindus in Pakistan are officially known as the “scheduled casts” and frequently described as “achhoots” or untouchables. They face dual discrimination, as a minority in a Muslim country and as member of a “lower caste” among fellow Hindus.

They are typically employed in less respected jobs such as fishermen, cobblers, brick makers, and sweepers. Their jobs are usually inherited through generations. Pakistan’s attitude towards “lower caste” Hindus has for long been a case of double standards and denial. But this discrimination is not officially recognised. Hence, there is no legislation against it. And, as a consequence, impunity is widespread, added Jaipal.

Lack of computerised identity cards (CNIC) and marriage registration has resulted in many domestic, social and psychological problems for the Hindu families, especially the female segment. Hindu married couples face numerous problems in travelling and lodging outside of their place of residence.

Due to an absence of CNICs and marriage registration mechanism, Scheduled Caste Hindu women do not get any share in their husbands’ property, and their access to health facilities and participation in social, economic and political processes is also minimal. According to them, for years they have been forcibly converted to Islam and married to Muslim men while they were already married to a Hindu. Since there is no documentation to prove the earlier marriage, the woman’s husband or families are unable to take up the issue on legal grounds.

Pakistan is home to 3.4 million schedule caste Hindus also known as Dalits, a minority of 0.25 per cent in a nation of mainly Muslims. According to the 1998 census, upper caste Hindus are just over 2.1m, though these figures are contested by the representatives of the lower caste Hindus.

Ramesh Jaipal (SCRM) Address the issue of Pakistani Hindus

Tuesday , April 10,2012
By PHP Staff

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ramesh Jaipal
Date: Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 1:57 AM
Subject: link of Ramesh Jaipal Address the issue of Pakistani Hindus
To: PHP Islamabad

Dear All 
       hope you all are fine there, please see below link of Youtube about problems of Pakistani Hindus address Ramesh Jaipal and see my press conference News

with Regards
Ramesh Jaipal