Pakistan: When ‘undisputed’ Temples were martyred for a disputed Babri

Babri Masjid, disputed structure, Pakistani Hindus, Hindu Temples Pakistan, forced conversion

Everyone understands that the demolition of the disputed structure, or what is known as Babri masjid/mosque, in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, could have been avoided.

The way Indians react to the anniversary of the demolition of the disputed Babri structure, allegedly built by Mughal emperor Babur after he allegedly plundered a Ram Temple, is that of remorse and not that of glee.

But many Hindus, across the world, are unaware of the extent of the hate that the Hindus, completely unrelated to the Babri demolition, had to bear at the hands of Muslims in Pakistan.

The New York Times dated December 8, 1992, wrote a screaming headline after the Babri demolition, reporting that the Pakistanis unleashed full-scale violence against the passive Hindu community.

The headline of the report was apt:

PAKISTANIS ATTACK 30 HINDU TEMPLES

The headline just made it obvious that while the Muslims are Pakistanis, the Hindus are merely the Hindus, orphansThe first paragraph of the report then began stating that the Muslims attacked more than 30 Hindu temples across Pakistan and then it went on to describe the scene.

Babri aftermath: What actually happened

On that day, the government shunned its duty and stood shoulder to shoulder with the radicals as the latter roamed the streets with weapons and shut down the offices and schools to protest the destruction of the ‘disputed’ Babri structure in India. It turned a blind eye towards its hapless Hindu citizens and their ‘undisputed’ properties which were being targeted by the murderous gangs.

Lahore, the epicenter of violence against Hindus even before the partition, having driven out the majority of this minority community by using violence as a tool, saw ordinary Muslims, the neighbors, and the friends, turn up with a bulldozer and brazenly demolish a Hindu temple. This Hindu temple was already in ruins and on the verge of destruction because Pakistan being a Muslim state was not interested in preserving these ‘Hindu’ religious centers.

The mad crowd comprising of ordinary Muslims, again, of neighbors and friends, attacked the unprotected Hindu properties at different places shouting ‘Death to Hinduism’ ‘Hinduon ka ek ilaj-jehad, jehad’ (only solution for Hindus is a holy war) and death to India, something that happens even now in Lahore!

Babri Masjid, disputed structure, Pakistani Hindus, Hindu Temples Pakistan, forced conversion
After the demolition of the disputed structure ‘Babri,’ scores of Hindu Temples were vandalized and razed to the ground

Hating India is part and parcel of life, as the two nation theory has been taken to mean that a Hindu-majority India is, and will always be, an enemy of Islamic republic of Pakistan, but attacking its own Hindu population because of the demolition of disputed structure, Babri, in India took it to a whole new level.

The Muslims, the NYT report states, used bulldozer, hammers, and muscle power to attack and demolish a Jain Temple which was near the Punjab University. The police, like always, indulgently looked at the ‘protestors.’

Babri Masjid, disputed structure, Pakistani Hindus, Hindu Temples Pakistan, forced conversion
Pakistani Hindus were at the mercy of Muslim protestors.

Babri fire spreads to ‘secular’ Sindh

5 temples were attacked in Karachi, and the fire was set on 25 temples in the southern Sindh, allegedly in a ‘non-radicalized’ province of Pakistan by Sindhi Muslims, allegedly a peace-loving bunch of people who believed in the composite culture!

Shops and establishments of the Hindus were attacked. Hindus were terrorized by Muslim mobs who beat them up and molested Hindu women, everything was done to gain back the Muslim pride.

Reports of carnages came from the areas of Baluchistan and remote corners which no one cared to take note of. Moderate Nawaz Sharif declared a nation-wide strike on December 8, 1992, while the secular Benazir Bhutto put more fuel to the fire by blaming the Babri Masjid incident on Nawaz’s poor foreign policy.

And the biggest farce among all this is that today Pakistani channels try to prove that India has not been fair with its Muslim population. This despite the fact that sectarian killings are nil in India, India giving refuge to Afghans, Palestinians, Rohingyas and several other persecuted Muslims won her their trust while Pakistan grapples with the question of whether the Shias and the Ahmadis are even Muslims and whether Afghans who love Hindus should be treated the same ways as the Hindus are treated in Pakistan, since they have shown affinity and love towards a Hindu-majority India.

The lack of coverage of the situation of Pakistani Hindus in the aftermath of the demolition of the disputed Babri structure on December 6th, 1992, remains one of the low points of Indian journalism. India forgot to look beyond the boundaries of her nation while Pakistan never learned to look within and take care of his own.

Most Indians remained ignorant of the consequences of the Babri demolition but Pakistani Hindus, told time and again since 1947, never forgot that they remain third-grade citizens who make-up for good photos some times.

Iran’s religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei advised New Delhi to uphold Muslim rights in India after Babri demolition, but none advised Pakistan to uphold Hindu rights then, nor anyone does even now. The way Indian Muslims have commemoration ceremonies of Babri demolition and  Indian Hindus join in, remembering and sharing their pain, vowing that nothing like this would ever happen, none of this ever happened in Pakistan.

How world reported atrocities done on Pakistani Hindus after Babri demolition:

The violence against Hindus, in the aftermath of the Babri demolition, increased the migration of Pakistani Hindus to India. The atrocities ebbed for some time and then increased many folds but the media, especially the Indian media, never covered them with the same intensity with which it covers Indo-Pak cricket tournaments. Check these:

  • During the murderous assaults, 24 people were killed in Pakistan and no less than 100 temples were attacked by the Muslims, that was the headline of The Dallas Morning News, 12/15/92.
  • The Toronto Star, 12/04/92 told the world that Hindus in Pakistan assert that they are regularly accused of being “Indian agents”. The intolerance of Pakistani fundamentalists has reportedly grown so strong that some members of religious minorities have begun to adopt Muslim names.
  • The Ethnic Newswatch, 01/29/93, A comparison between the human rights records of India and Pakistan in 1992, which was released by the US State Department, reveals that if human rights were considered to be abused in India, then the situation in Pakistan could only be described as “appalling”, with human rights “brutalized” on a systematic basis. The State Department accused Pakistan of persecuting minority Hindus, Christians and Ahmadis. Hindus asserted that they are subject to kidnappings, the forced conversions of young women, and the desecration of Hindu shrines. They also state that they are not permitted to freely practice their religion. This went on and is still going on. This was also reported  by  Agence France Presse on 9/8/97 which reported that hundreds of mostly Hindu peasants, waving placards and banners and calling for the release of jailed friends and relatives, protested in Karachi against forced labor in southern Pakistan’s Sindh province. Human rights activist Shakeel Pathan said about 4,300 poverty-stricken peasants were languishing in the jails run by influential Sindhi landlords.
  • Agence France Presse 3/7/98 also reported that one person was killed and another injured when a paramilitary soldier opened fire on a group of Hindus protesting the national census, in the locality of Jumma Goth in Karachi’s eastern Landi district. Trouble erupted when enumerators carrying out a national census demanded money from the mostly illiterate community for filling in census forms. The officials had earlier rejected forms completed with the help of others.

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