Desecration of Hindu Temple in Karachi: Stop It. NOW!

Posted on October 11, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Minorities, Religion
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Adil Najam

Religious intolerance must never be tolerated. To be silent in the face of intolerance is intolerance itself. It is a blot not only on those who commit the acts of intolerance, it is a scar on the face of societies that allow it.

One of the very first posts we had done here on ATP was about the alleged demolition of a Hindu temple in Rangmahal Lahore (here). We followed it up with a second post demonstrating that by design and by default key forces in the media and amongst politicians tend to distort issues for their own myopic gains, even at the cost of the larger issues at stake (here). A third post on this issue from ATP followed up the story further and tried, as best as we could, to separate the facts from the rhetoric (here).

Vigilance must, however, be ongoing.

Now one hears from a hard-hitting editorial in The News of a more blatant act of desecration of another Hindu Temple – this one in the Baghdadi area of Lyari Town, Karachi. Once again, it is greedy land grabbers playing on the religious insensitity of society to gain a little personal benefit without paying any heed to the massive costs and deep wounds they inflict upon an already maligned social fabric through their nefarious actions.

The News editorial (11 October, 2006) gets it exactly right; so let me quote from it in full:

Stop the desecration
In an ultimate insult to any place of worship, a Hindu temple in Karachi has reportedly been encroached upon by local butchers and parts of its compound have been converted into a slaughterhouse. This is most insensitive to the religious feelings of Hindus since cows are considered sacred by them. The actual culprits behind the steady encroachment in the compound where the temple is situated are not the butchers — who are plying their trade there with impunity — but the land grabbers allegedly operating with the collaboration of the local police. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has rightly demanded that the Sindh government and the city nazim take immediate action to stop this encroachment, not least because it offends the religious sensibilities of a minority community.

According to an application sent by the HRCP to the provincial government, the land grabbers have forced the Hindu residents of the century-old Pawaldass compound in the backward Baghdadi area of Lyari Town of old Karachi to sell their properties at cheap rates. The land grabbers’ tactics range from monetary inducements to the poor Hindu families to violence carried out with the active involvement of the local police. There are even reports of a Muslim praying area having been forcibly established inside the compound. The action of the land-grabbers is doubly criminal. They are dispossessing the residents, taking over their temple in the process. In addition, they are in direct violation of the West Pakistan Evacuee Properties Act of 1957. Both call for the immediate action the HRCP has demanded. The action should not stop at prevention of further encroachment by the land grabbers, but should extend to the return of the residents’ occupied properties. At the same time, of course, the religious rights of the Hindu residents must be completely restored. It is about time that we began to respect the religious feelings and sensibilities of those of other faiths, especially since we tend to be very sensitive ourselves if our own sensibilities are slighted. The government is eager to project itself as progressive and for that alone it should ensure that the shenanigans of the land-grabbers and their patrons in the local police are stopped immediately. It goes without saying that if a mosque were encroached the government would act immediately — it needs to show the same promptness with respect to safeguarding the rights of the minorities as well.

It is good that the media (The News) and civil society (HRCP) are vigilant and demanding action. Their demands are exactly right and we must all join with them in this cause. But more than that this is again a moment when the government must act, and act immediately, to stop this gross viloation, to make up for what has happened, and to take real measures that can insure that this will not happen again.

67 responses to “Desecration of Hindu Temple in Karachi: Stop It. NOW!”

  1. ashraya chakraborty says:

    Well said Shylesh, Hinduism can’t be destroyed by killing the Hindus. Hinduism has survived for several thousand years and no historian can say how ancient a religion or a belief it is. (Kalpa Vigraha the oldest human made idol known shocked the world when CIA carbon-dated it and found it to be approx. 29000 years old). Well the reason for the survival of Hinduism has been its tolerance and its ability to forgive. Anyway I am not commenting here to tell people the greatness of my religion. I want to ask the Pakistanis that how long do you want to be just a religion and when will you become a nation?
    Just because one Mosque( Babari masjid) was attacked in India (it was more of a political attack than religious) thousands of Hindu Temples in Pakistan and Bangladesh were destroyed. Another incident was there, when a rumor was spread that one hair of Prophet Mohammed was stolen from Hazratbal in Jammu and Kashmir and 10000 people were killed in Khulna district alone in Bangladesh.
    How fair was that? How can Muslims justify such acts ???
    I am an Indian Hindu and have been residing in Australia for over a couple of years now. Maybe thats the reason why I know how much fun people from other continents make about us for fighting amongst ourselves. Hindus and Muslims from India and Pakistan look similar, talk the same language and have similar choices in all respects(recreation, food, clothes etc.) People in India have also accepted this fact. Muslims in India exercise all their rights. They are rich, successful and powerful in India. The more important fact is that there is no discrimination and Muslims in India don’t have to be ashamed of being Muslims.
    But everyone knows how insecure Hindus in Pakistan are. So think about it all fundamentalist Muslims in Pakistan and please try to make Pakistan a more peaceful country

  2. Nesakumar Ji – Actually, despite the media portrayal of the majority of us being extremists, this is about as true as our believing that every Indian is an RSS supporter. Religion is a potent device and has been always used to incite much hatred – despite the claim by its followers about the goal of these belief systems being Peace. Trust me, most people in Pakistan would not destroy temples or even support the idea. Even when the Babri Mosque tragedy took place – and tempers here have never run higher – the response by the MAJORITY of Pakistanis was not to desecrate Hindu temples, nor did the MAJORITY of Indians gloat over the destruction of the Babri Mosque

  3. mustafa kamaal says:

    So many tears have been shed on this forum by ‘liberal’ Muslims on desecration of a Hindu temple. Has anyone tried to find out what happened to Babri mosque?

  4. Hindu Culture is very ancient and mysterious. Almost all the eastern religions including Buddhism, Jainism [to some extend ] and Sikhism originated from Hinduism.

    All Hindu scriptures are written in Sanskrit, which is older than HEBREW & LATIN.

    The very first words of English FATHER & MOTHER came from the Sanskrit words Pita (pitr devo bhavahm)& Mata(maatr devo bhavahm) as per PBS Video 1986-

  5. Sunder Rajen says:

    How can anyone demolish a temple, whether Hindu or any religion ?. A temple is the abode of God Almighty, the Allah.
    If you call Him Allah, I call him Eshwar. He is the Only One.
    No doubt about it. Is It ? Do you think Allah will be pleased if somebody breaks his abode ? You, out of your ignorance,
    separate Allah from Eshwar. But Allah knows that HE IS THE ESHWAR. AND HE IS THE ONE WHO WAS RESIDING IN THAT BROKEN TEMPLE.

    If the humanity understands this basic fact, no masjid will be touched. No temple will be broken. Peace will prevail everywhere.

    Allah Ho Akbar – Jai Shri Ram

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