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What have you done for Pandits: SC asks J & K

Posted by jagoindia on September 23, 2011

The journey back home

Minhaz Merchant Aug 21, 2011

A three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by chief justice Sarosh Kapadia, is hearing a petition against the Jammu & Kashmir government on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits forced to flee the Valley. The apex court is focussing on two issues: one, jobs promised to the Pandits by the J&K government; two, rebuilding their vandalised homes. Visibly annoyed with the senior counsel representing the J&K government, the Supreme Court bench observed acidly: “We didn’t want to go by your dream proposals, but want firm action. Can you show us even one instance where you have set aside the sale (of a Pandit home) and given it back to the victim?”

With the Supreme Court likely to pass a seminal order on their rehabilitation and return to the Valley, Kashmir’s Pandits have new hope that they will receive justice after 22 years of the most devastating ethnic cleansing in post-Independence India. Under legal pressure, a special employment package announced by the prime minister has already led to a trickle of Pandits flowing back into the Valley. In a significant if symbolic move, the US House of Representatives recently introduced a resolution highlighting the plight of the dispossessed Pandits.

What have you done for Pandits: SC asks J&K

Jan 18, 2011

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has expressed displeasure over inertia of the Jammu and Kashmir government to implement rehabilitation packages for Kashmiri Pandits who fled the Valley in the aftermath of insurgency. It asked the state to take firm action to ameliorate their condition.

“Tell us what have you (state government) done with your promise of providing 15,000 jobs? Have you given a single job? Or, for that matter, have you given them a single house,” asked a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia on Monday. We don’t want to go by your dream proposals, but want some firm action”.

It was hearing a petition filed by the All India Kashmiri Samaj and others alleging neither the state government nor the Centre was addressing grievances of Kashmiri Pandits who have been suffering for over two decades.

The court asked the state government to furnish data on steps taken to ameliorate the plight of Pandits. It asked the state to explain whether the government had set aside even a single sale of house as illegal since hundreds of houses between 1990-1997 belonging to Pandits had been auctioned and sold illegally after the victims fled the Valley.

“Can you show us even one instance where you have set aside the sale and given it back to the victim.” The bench granted four weeks to the state government to explain it.

Earlier, the court had sought a response from the state government on Rs 1,618-crore special package offered by Centre for restoring properties and providing jobs to migrant Pandits. It also expressed reservations over the Centre’s scheme saying it was not clear as to how the migrants on return will stay without any accommodation.

“Where will people who want to go back stay? Now, their properties have been sold or auctioned. There are number of petitions pending in the High Court. How will they go? Without house, how can people go back to Jammu and Kashmir,” the bench asked.

Additional Solicitor-General Indira Jaising on behalf of the Centre, however, assured the court that properties auctioned between 1990 to 1997 would be declared “illegal” and would be “restored” to owners. “All those auctions are illegal and they will be cancelled,” she had said. According to the Centre, Rs 12.5 crore has already been allocated to the state government for providing transit housing to the migrants.

An estimated 4.5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits had migrated from the Valley over 20 years back, fearful of the insurgency in the state.

Posted in Appeasement, Hindus, Islamofascism, Kashmir, Kashmir Pandits, Minorities, State, Terrorism | Comments Off on What have you done for Pandits: SC asks J & K

Hindu victim of Pakistan air crash labelled ‘kafir’

Posted by jagoindia on August 18, 2010

Hindu victim of Pak air crash labelled ‘kafir’

Updated on Thursday, August 05, 2010

New Delhi: The labelling of the coffin of a Hindu killed in last week’s plane crash in Islamabad as ‘kafir’ (non-believer) by the authorities raised a storm in Pakistan over the treatment meted out to minorities in the country.

Premchand, a social worker from Sanghar in Sindh, was one of the six members of the Youth Parliament, who died in the plane crash.

The controversy erupted after friends of Premchand claimed that his coffin came marked ‘kafir or ‘infidel’ – mostly used as a serious slur in Pakistan – written out in bold strokes as it lay at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences awaiting collection by his devastated family.

Although, the incident is being termed as “clerical error”, reactions in Pakistan range from remorse and disgust at denying the youngster respect in death.

“It was shocking. He could have been marked as Hindu or non-Muslim, but using the word ‘kafir’ is the worst example of intolerance.’’ Muneeb Afzal, a Member of the Youth Parliament (MYP) was quoted as saying.

Expressing their anger and remorse in online discussion forums, Premchand’s friends said the death of all passengers, irrespective of their caste, colour and religion, should have been treated as a matter of national tragedy.

Several members of the Youth Parliament wrote, “Literally labelling someone’s coffin as ‘kafir’ and not even giving them the respect to list their religion by its proper name is a shameful and disgusting way to disrespect the last remains of anyone. All the more so the last remains of a patriotic Pakistani, who was on that plane solely to represent Pakistan, and to seek to be a better citizen, deserved a much better treatment.’’

MYPs, in a good gesture, later wrote on his coffin, “We love you – from the Youth Parliament’’

Posted in Hindus, Islam, Islamofascism, kafirs, Minorities, Pakistan | Leave a Comment »

Muslim Uighurs riot in China, 156 dead, 800 injured

Posted by jagoindia on July 9, 2009

This article from wikinews seems to give a balanced picture.  Link

Q&A: Troubles in Xinjiang

Amateur footage of toy factory riots

protests video footage

Uighur and Han describe deadly violence

Han seek revenge after Uighur rioting

If Only the Uighurs Were Buddhist and China Was Israel

Background The riot began Sunday in Ürümqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in northwestern China. It began as a protest encouraging authorities to look into a previous violent incident between Uighurs and Han Chinese in June. In the June incident, two Uighur men were reportedly beaten to death by a mob at a Guangdong province toy factory. A rumour spread that the men had sexually harassed Han Chinese women. According to Chinese state media, police have arrested a man who allegedly spread the rumour. The June clash has been cited as the instigating factor to the Sunday riot, which escalated.

China says at least 156 dead in Uighur riots

URUMQI, China (AFP) – China said Tuesday at least 156 people were killed when Muslim Uighurs rioted in the restive region of Xinjiang in some of the deadliest ethnic unrest to hit the country in decades.

The violence in the regional capital Urumqi on Sunday involved thousands of people and triggered an enormous security crackdown across Xinjiang, where Uighurs have long complained of repressive Chinese rule.

“People are staying inside, the best thing for you is to go back to your hotel, that will be safe,” a businessman told AFP near Urumqi’s bazaar district, the scene of much of the violence.

In a sign tensions were still running high, state media reported that police had dispersed more than 200 “rioters” on Monday evening as they gathered at the main mosque in Kashgar, a city in western Xinjiang on the ancient Silk Road.

Police believed people were “trying to organise more unrest” in other cities in the vast mountainous and desert region that borders Central Asia, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Xinhua said more than 700 people had been arrested for involvement in Sunday’s riots, which authorities blamed on Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking people who have closer cultural links to regional neighbours than the Han Chinese.

Exiled Uighur groups accused Chinese security forces of over-reacting to peaceful protests and firing indiscriminately on crowds.

The deadly unrest drew attention around the world, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon leading calls for restraint, a sentiment echoed by Britain and the United States.

“We are deeply concerned over reports of many deaths and injuries from violence in Urumqi in western China,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

“We call on all in Xinjiang to exercise restraint,” Gibbs said in a statement.

Xinjiang communist party official Li Yi said early Tuesday the death toll had risen to 156 — 129 men and 27 women — and 1,080 injured, up from the previous figure of at least 140 dead and 828 injured, Xinhua reported.

“At present, the situation is still seriously complicated, Xinjiang will prevent the situation from spreading to other areas using the most powerful measures and methods, and will safeguard regional stability,” China News Service quoted Nur Bekri, chairman of the Xinjiang region, as saying earlier.

Dramatic footage broadcast of the unrest by the state-run CCTV network showed men turning over a police car and smashing its windows, a woman being kicked as she lay on the ground and buses and other vehicles aflame.

Han Chinese businesspeople told AFP there were around 3,000 Uighur protesters, a figure repeated by exiled Uighur groups.

“The Uighurs attacked motorists with rocks,” said one Han woman who saw the riot unfold from the 11th floor of a local hospital.

“They just attacked the Han people.”

The regional government blamed Rebiya Kadeer, the Uighurs’ leader living in exile in the United States, for orchestrating the unrest.

But Kadeer and other Uighur exiles blamed the Chinese authorities.

“They randomly fired on men and women,” Asgar Can, vice-president of the World Uighur Congress — the main international organisation representing the minority — told AFP in Berlin.

“In addition, the police pooled their vehicles together in certain parts of the city and then began to run demonstrators over,” Can said.

Alim Seytoff, general secretary of the Uighur American Association, told AFP in Washington the Uighurs were protesting over an ethnically charged brawl late last month at a factory in southern China that left two Uighurs dead.

Authorities in Urumqi deployed more than 20,000 police, troop and firefighters to quell the unrest, Xinhua said, quoting a police source.

Riot police and other security forces armed with machine guns and carrying shields were seen in Urumqi on Monday, preventing further protests, according to an AFP reporter here.

Truckloads of German Shepherd police dogs were also brought in and large swathes of the Muslim quarter of the city were sealed off, the reporter said.

Police said a curfew would be put in place from 8:00 pm local time.

Many of Xinjiang’s roughly eight million Uighurs say they suffer political, cultural and religious persecution. Like in Tibet, they also complain about Han Chinese moving into the area in large numbers.

The unrest echoed deadly violence in Buddhist Tibet in March last year when Tibetans stormed through the streets of the region’s capital, Lhasa, attacking Han Chinese in frustration at what they claimed was repressive Chinese rule.

Posted in China, Minorities, Muslims, Riots/clash | 3 Comments »

Muslim population in 300 districts in India

Posted by jagoindia on May 20, 2009

State wise 300 Districts of India with Top Muslim Population in Urban Areas

Click here

Posted in India, Indian Muslims, Minorities | 14 Comments »

Pakistanis, Indians, the same people? Surely not (must read)

Posted by jagoindia on March 25, 2009

Pakistan was founded on the basis of Islam. It still defines itself in
terms of Islam. And over the next decade as it destroys itself, it
will be because of Islamic extremism.

India was founded on the basis that religion had no role in
determining citizenship or nationhood. An Indian can belong to any
religion in the world and face no discrimination in his rights as a

The same people? Surely not

Vir Sanghvi, March 07, 2009, Hindustan Times

Few things annoy me as much as the claim often advanced by
well-meaning but woolly- headed (and usually Punjabi) liberals to the
effect that when it comes to India and Pakistan, “We’re all the same
people, yaar.”

This may have been true once upon a time. Before 1947, Pakistan was
part of undivided India and you could claim that Punjabis from West
Punjab (what is now Pakistan) were as Indian as, say, Tamils from

But time has a way of moving on. And while the gap between our
Punjabis (from east Punjab which is now the only Punjab left in India)
and our Tamils may actually have narrowed, thanks to improved
communications, shared popular culture and greater physical mobility,
the gap between Indians and Pakistanis has now widened to the extent
that we are no longer the same people in any significant sense.

This was brought home to me most clearly by two major events over the
last few weeks.

The first of these was the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team on
the streets of Lahore. In their defence, Pakistanis said that they
were powerless to act against the terrorists because religious
fanaticism was growing. Each day more misguided youngsters joined
jihadi outfits and the law and order situation worsened.

Further, they added, things had got so bad that in the tribal areas
the government of Pakistan had agreed to suspend the rule of law under
pressure from the Taliban and had conceded that sharia law would reign
instead. Interestingly, while most civilised liberals should have been
appalled by this surrender to the forces of extremism, many Pakistanis
defended this concession.

Imran Khan (Keble College, Oxford, 1973-76) even declared that sharia
law would be better because justice would be dispensed more swiftly!
(I know this is politically incorrect but the Loin of the Punjab’s
defence of sharia law reminded me of the famous Private Eye cover when
his marriage to Jemima Goldsmith was announced. The Eye carried a
picture of Khan speaking to Jemima’s father. “Can I have your
daughter’s hand?” Imran was supposedly asking James Goldsmith. “Why?
Has she been caught shoplifting?” Goldsmith replied. So much for
sharia law.)

The second contrasting event was one that took place in Los Angeles
but which was perhaps celebrated more in India than in any other
country in the world. Three Indians won Oscars: A.R. Rahman, Resul
Pookutty and Gulzar.

Their victory set off a frenzy of rejoicing. We were proud of our
countrymen. We were pleased that India’s entertainment industry and
its veterans had been recognised at an international platform. And all
three men became even bigger heroes than they already were.

But here’s the thing: Not one of them is a Hindu.

Can you imagine such a thing happening in Pakistan? Can you even
conceive of a situation where the whole country would celebrate the
victory of three members of two religious minorities? For that matter,
can you even imagine a situation where people from religious
minorities would have got to the top of their fields and were,
therefore, in the running for international awards?

On the one hand, you have Pakistan imposing sharia law, doing deals
with the Taliban, teaching hatred in madrasas, declaring jihad on the
world and trying to kill innocent Sri Lankan cricketers. On the other,
you have the triumph of Indian secularism.

The same people?

Surely not.

We are defined by our nationality. They choose to define themselves by
their religion.

But it gets even more complicated. As you probably know, Rahman was
born Dilip Kumar. He converted to Islam when he was 21. His religious
preferences made no difference to his prospects. Even now, his music
cuts across all religious boundaries. He’s as much at home with Sufi
music as he is with bhajans. Nor does he have any problem with saying
‘Vande Mataram’.

Now, think of a similar situation in Pakistan. Can you conceive of a
Pakistani composer who converted to Hinduism at the age of 21 and
still went on to become a national hero? Under sharia law, they’d
probably have to execute him.

Resul Pookutty’s is an even more interesting case. Until you realise
that Malayalis tend to put an ‘e’ where the rest of us would put an
‘a,’ (Ravi becomes Revi and sometimes the Gulf becomes the Gelf), you
cannot work out that his name derives from Rasool, a fairly obviously
Islamic name.

But here’s the point: even when you point out to people that Pookutty
is in fact a Muslim, they don’t really care. It makes no difference to
them. He’s an authentic Indian hero, his religion is irrelevant.

Can you imagine Pakistan being indifferent to a man’s religion? Can
you believe that Pakistanis would not know that one of their Oscar
winners came from a religious minority? And would any Pakistani have
dared bridge the religious divide in the manner Resul did by referring
to the primeval power of Om in his acceptance speech?

The same people?

Surely not.

Most interesting of all is the case of Gulzar who many Indians believe
is a Muslim. He is not. He is a Sikh. And his real name is Sampooran
Singh Kalra.

So why does he have a Muslim name?

It’s a good story and he told it on my TV show some years ago. He was
born in West Pakistan and came over the border during the bloody days
of Partition. He had seen so much hatred and religious violence on
both sides, he said, that he was determined never to lose himself to
that kind of blind religious prejudice and fanaticism.

Rather than blame Muslims for the violence inflicted on his community
— after all, Hindus and Sikhs behaved with equal ferocity — he adopted
a Muslim pen name to remind himself that his identity was beyond
religion. He still writes in Urdu and considers it irrelevant whether
a person is a Sikh, a Muslim or a Hindu.

Let’s forget about political correctness and come clean: can you see
such a thing happening in Pakistan? Can you actually conceive of a
famous Pakistani Muslim who adopts a Hindu or Sikh name out of choice
to demonstrate the irrelevance of religion?

My point, exactly.

What all those misguided liberals who keep blathering on about us
being the same people forget is that in the 60-odd years since
Independence, our two nations have traversed very different paths.

Pakistan was founded on the basis of Islam. It still defines itself in
terms of Islam. And over the next decade as it destroys itself, it
will be because of Islamic extremism.

India was founded on the basis that religion had no role in
determining citizenship or nationhood. An Indian can belong to any
religion in the world and face no discrimination in his rights as a

It is nobody’s case that India is a perfect society or that Muslims
face no discrimination. But only a fool would deny that in the last
six decades, we have travelled a long way towards religious equality.
In the early days of independent India, a Yusuf Khan had to call
himself Dilip Kumar for fear of attracting religious prejudice.

In today’s India, a Dilip Kumar can change his name to A.R. Rahman and
nobody really gives a damn either way.

So think back to the events of the last few weeks. To the murderous
attack on innocent Sri Lankan cricketers by jihadi fanatics in a
society that is being buried by Islamic extremism. And to the triumphs
of Indian secularism.

Same people?

Don’t make me laugh.

Posted in Hindus, India, Indian Muslims, Islam, Islamofascism, Minorities, Muslims, Must read article, Pakistan, Secularism, Sharia, Terrorism | 8 Comments »

Major clash between Chinese Hui Muslims and ethnic Han

Posted by jagoindia on March 3, 2009

February 18, 2009
Children’s fireworks row in China results in major clash


A DISPUTE between children from two villages quarrelling over fireworks escalated into a major clash between Chinese Hui Muslims and ethnic Han majority villagers in Hebei province a week ago, forcing 2,000 police to intervene to maintain order.

It’s the latest episode in a growing litany of local riots and unrest as the economy slows in China.

According to reports, fireworks set off by children from the Hui village of Niujinzhuang set fire to firewood in the neighbouring Han village, Gengzhuangzi, on the Lantern Festival, the end of the Lunar New Year holiday when fireworks are lit across the country. The children argued over the event on February 10th, but the row escalated into a massive brawl that drew thousands of villagers.

The Hong Kong Centre for Democracy and Human Rights reported that 2,000 armed police came in to stop the fighting, and said hundreds were injured, four seriously. Local police said three people were injured, one of them seriously. There are still 500 paramilitary officers patrolling the area to stop further conflicts.

There have been clashes before between Hui Muslims and Han Chinese in various parts of the country. There are about 10 million Hui Muslims in China, while there are about the same number of Turkish ethnic Uighur Muslims living in the west of the country. Han Chinese account for more than 90 per cent of the population.

Recent protests and riots in provincial towns have drawn thousands of locals into confrontations with police. Using mobile phones, the aggrieved can quickly co-ordinate with friends and family.

In 2004, a dispute over a traffic accident in neighbouring Henan province escalated when Han and Hui were trucked in to join in fighting. Seven people were killed before martial law was imposed.

In last year’s Tibetan anti-Chinese riots, Han and Hui villagers were targeted by rioting Tibetans.

The central government in Beijing is keeping a close eye on rising social unrest in the country as the economy slows and unemployment starts to rise, particularly among migrant workers who are forced to return to their countryside homes from the cities. Some 20 million of the country’s 130 million migrant workers have recently lost their jobs, although there is little sign of any organised protest in China and most unrest tends to flare up randomly in local areas, and is often focused against corrupt local officials.

Posted in China, Minorities, Muslims | Leave a Comment »

Kashmir’s azaadi demand is about Islam

Posted by jagoindia on August 29, 2008

Kashmir’s ‘azaadi’ demand is about religion
Yogi Sikand

August 28, 2008
Many Kashmiri Muslims vociferously insist that the demand for independence of Kashmir has nothing to do with religion. Instead, they argue that the conflict in and over Kashmir is essentially ‘political’. What is conveniently ignored by those who make this claim is that religion and politics, particularly in the case of the Kashmir dispute, involving as it does the rival claims of Muslim-majority Pakistan and Hindu-dominated India, can hardly be separated.
As the current spate of violence in both the Hindu-dominated Jammu division and the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley, triggered off by a controversial decision of the state government to allot a piece of land to a Hindu temple trust, so starkly indicates, religion and communal identities defined essentially in religious terms have everything to do with the basic issue of Jammu and Kashmir [Images] and its still unsettled political status.

Kashmiri nationalists, in contrast to hardcore Islamists and the Hindutva brigade, quickly dismiss this point, finding it, perhaps, too embarrassing, afraid of being labelled as religious chauvinists or ‘communal’. But, no longer, it seems, can the crucial role of religion in shaping the contours of the ongoing conflict in and over Kashmir be denied.

That the ongoing Bharatiya Janata Party-inspired agitation in Jammu has marshalled considerable support among the Hindus of Jammu clearly indicates that the political project of Kashmiri nationalists — of a separate, independent state of Jammu and Kashmir — has absolutely no takers among the Hindus (and other non-Muslims) of the state.

Kashmiri nationalists insist that in the independent Jammu and Kashmir of their dreams, religious minorities — Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists — who would account for almost a fourth of the population, would have equal rights and no cause for complaint. Some even boast, without adducing any evidence, of commanding the support of the non-Muslims of the state for their project.

At the same time as they roundly berate the Dogra Raj as a long spell of slavery for the state’s Muslims, they insist that the boundaries of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, as constructed by the same Dogras, against the will of the Kashmiri Muslims, be considered as sacrosanct, as setting the borders of the independent country that they demand.

If, as they argue, Dogra Raj was illegitimate, then surely there is nothing holy about the state boundaries as laid down by the Dogras, bringing Jammu and the vastly different Kashmir valley in a forced union.

If, as they rightly insist, Kashmir was conquered against its will by the Dogras of Jammu, there is no reason why the forced union of the two should continue in the independent Jammu and Kashmir that Kashmiri nationalists dream of, particularly given the Jammu Hindus’ resentment of alleged Kashmiri hegemony, a sentiment shared even by many Jammu Muslims.

Kashmiri nationalists, however, would refuse to recognise this basic contradiction in their argument. The reason is obvious: To do so, to recognise that Jammu’s Hindus (and Leh’s Buddhists) would resist, even to the point of violence, the agenda of an independent Jammu and Kashmir would clearly indicate the obvious but embarrassing fact, that this agenda represents the aspirations and interests largely of Kashmiri Muslims, and is a means to legitimise Kashmir Muslim control over the rest of the state.

The analogy with pre-Partition India is useful. The Muslim League insisted that because the Hindus of India were in a numerical majority, a united, independent India, no matter what safeguards it gave and promises of equality it made to the Muslims, would be dominated by the Hindus, and would, for all its secular and democratic claims, be untrammelled Hindu Raj. Hence their demand for a separate Pakistan.

The Hindus of Jammu and the Buddhists of Leh find themselves in precisely the same position as did supporters of the Muslim League in pre-Partition India, only now the actors have reversed their roles.

Kashmiri nationalists insist they want an independent, united Jammu and Kashmir, just as the Congress did when it talked of a united and free India. And, like the Congress did with the Muslims, they promise the non-Muslim minorities of Jammu and Leh that their rights would be fully protected in this state of their dreams.

Yet, just as many Muslims refused to accept the promises of the Congress, fearing that they would never be honoured, the non-Muslim minorities in Jammu and Kashmir refuse to buy the arguments of the Kashmiri nationalists, which they rightly see as a thinly-veiled guise to justify Kashmiri hegemony.

I have heard Kashmiris, including some of my closest friends, come up with the most ingenious arguments to counter the above point.

‘Kashmiriyat, the teachings of love and peace of our Sufis, unite us all and would ensure that non-Muslim minorities will be safe and protected in a free Jammu and Kashmir,’ some of them say. A laughable claim, unless all Kashmiris suddenly decide to shun the world and trod the mystical path, an unlikely prospect. Sufism is in a rapid state of decline in Kashmir and elsewhere, as is the case with all other forms of mysticism.

Then there is another bizarre argument, which I heard, among others, from none less than one of the chief ideologues of the Jamaat e Islami in Kashmir and a fervent backer of Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan, which runs like this: Islam lays down the rights of non-Muslims and insists that Muslims should respect them. The Prophet Muhammad himself did so. So, if Jammu and Kashmir gets freedom and becomes a truly Islamic State, the non-Muslim minorities will have full freedom and equality.

That the Islamists whom he led had hardly done anything to promote anything even remotely approaching that sort of confidence among the state’s minorities — in fact doing almost everything to completely alienate them — did not even cross his mind.

The late Sadullah Tantrey, once head of the Jammu branch of the Jamaat e Islami, even went on to insist, in all seriousness, that ‘Indeed, so happy will the non-Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir be in this independent Islamic state that even Hindus from India would line up to settle in the state.’ I squirmed in my seat as he went on, stunned at his evident ignorance or hypocrisy or, as seemed more likely, both.

I itched to tell him, as I sat before him in his house in Gath, up in the mountains of Doda, that the ‘Islamic State’ hardly outlived the Prophet Mohammed and has been completely extinct ever since; that the fate of minorities in scores of Muslim countries, even those like Saudi Arabia that claim to be ‘Islamic’, was deplorable; that even Mohammed Ali Jinnah had promised full equality to the non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan but that had not prevented them from being reduced to virtual second-class citizens; and that, simply put, he was lying or else living in a fool’s paradise. I kept my mouth shut, however. After all, I was there to learn what his views were, not to preach.

Clearly, any forced union of the disparate nationalities in Jammu and Kashmir in the form of a separate, independent state that Kashmiri nationalists champion (as now do even some Kashmiri Islamists, former passionate advocates for union with Pakistan who, flowing with the tide, have realised that their earlier stance has increasingly few takers among Kashmiris, given their mounting disenchantment with Pakistan) would be a sure recipe for civil war. The current agitation in Jammu is ample evidence of that. It is time, therefore, that pro-‘Azadi’ Kashmiri leaders admit this publicly.

This is not, however, to plead the case for the division of the state, as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has been advocating, for surely that would further harden communal boundaries and rivalries in just the same way as would the project of an independent Jammu and Kashmir. Rather, it is to recognise and publicly acknowledge the very plural character of Jammu and Kashmir, and the concerns and sensitivities of all its peoples, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and others.

Dr Yogi Sikand is the editor of Qalandar, an electronic magazine on Islam-related issues, and also the author of several books on the subject.

Posted in Hindutva, India, Islam, Islamofascism, Jammu, Kashmir, Minorities, Muslims, Must read article, Non-Muslims, State, Terrorism | 3 Comments »

Human Rights Forum Highlights Hindu Minority Plight

Posted by jagoindia on August 7, 2008

Human Rights Forum Highlights Hindu Minority Plight 
Special to India-West

MILPITAS, Calif. — Three activists drew horrific pictures of the predicament of Hindu minorities, sometimes backed by poignant video presentations, in far-flung parts of the world at the Hindu Human Rights Forum hosted at the Vaishnav Mandir here July 20. Hosted by the Hindu American Foundation, speakers talked about the plight of Hindus in Kashmir, Malaysia and Fiji. HAF also presented its recently released fourth annual human rights report, “Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora.”

The plight of evicted Kashmiri Pandits, and Hindus in Fiji and Malaysia was highlighted by impassioned presentations by Jeevan Zutshi, a Bay Area community activist and Kashmiri Pandit himself; southern California-based engineer and Malaysian Tamil human rights activist Bhuvan Govindasamy; and San Francisco Bay Area-based attorney of Fiji Indian descent Sadhana D. Narayan.

The statistics are staggering: An estimated 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits have been hounded out of their homeland in the Kashmir valley; and Malaysia’s egregious discriminatory policies have resulted in a drop of Indian-descent student enrollment in Malaysian universities from 20 percent in 1957 to just five percent in 2003. In Fiji, harassment and discrimination has led to an exodus of Fiji Indians: From around half the population in the 1970s, the Fiji Indian population has dropped to 38 percent in 2004.

To be sure, only in Kashmir can it be argued that Pandits have been targeted because of their religion. In Malaysia and Fiji, Hindus have been part of a broader, xenophobic attack against immigrants. Malaysia’s decades-long troubled race relations led to Singapore leaving the Malay federation and a Chinese guerilla insurgency, while in Fiji, the plight of Hindus has been driven by the schism between indigenous Fijians and Indians who immigrated in the 19th century, a point made by Narayan.

“The civil rights issues in Fiji do not boil down to a Hindu-Muslim type of conflict,” she said. “The Hindus and the Muslims in Fiji live in peace, and live in harmony.

“The conflicts that we have as Hindus in Fiji relates more to the fact that ethnic Indians, primarily Hindu, have been discriminated against in the last 10-20 years or so as a result of the ethnic Fijians and their actions. . . If anything, the Muslim community has suffered with us.”

Zutshi’s presentation was augmented by the screening of a documentary film on the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits by Ashok Pandit, which presented poignant images of destitute Pandits in refugee camps and distraught women talking about the murder of their husbands by Islamists.

Zutshi refused to recognize the anti-Indian movement in Kashmir as the freedom movement that its supporters claim it is. He said it was an Islamist insurgency fueled by Pakistan. “The Islamic colonization of Kashmir has been supported by Islamic terrorists and fundamentalists who committed crimes of genocide against the community of Kashmiri Hindus in Kashmir. . . (including) targeted attacks on Sikh community,” he said.

He was scathing in his condemnation of the Indian government’s role. “Unfortunately, Indian leaders have been romancing with the Islamists, anti-Hindus and anti Indians,” he said. “So much so that the self-confessed killers and anti-nationalists, they have been wandering scot-free in the streets of Kashmir. . . The government of India has established two standards of justice. One for Indians, one for Kashmiri Muslims.”

The U.S. role had been equally egregious, Zutshi said. “The (George W.) Bush administration has been cozying up to the Taliban regime in the same way . . . (as) the earlier administration of President (Bill) Clinton.,” he said. “Thousands of Kashmiris Hindus have been murdered . . . Hindus are suffering, and the government is silent.”

He said the recent violent protests in the Kashmir valley against leasing of forest land to the Amarnath temple was a “sad and painful portrayal of the exclusivist and illogical mindset that rules the roost in Kashmir.”

“The government’s approach towards this issue is reflective of its subjugation to the Islamic diktats which . . . cannot be accepted,” he said.

Govindasamy painted a grim picture of the plight of Hindus in Malaysia. “From 1957 what was a trickle of removal of rights became, under the rule of Dr. Mahathir Mohammed, a torrent, a waterfall,” he said.

“What was a trickle of temple demolitions about 25 years ago, has now grown, and till now, 15,000 Hindu temples have been demolished.

“They have taken away our economic rights, they have deprived us in education,” he said. “They cannot even leave our religion to us.”

Five Indian leaders have been unlawfully incarcerated, he added.

In 50 years, the Malaysian government has turned the Malaysian Indian society into the underclass, Govindasamy charged.

“Hindus are an endangered species in Malaysia,” he said. “If this goes on for the next five to 10 years, there will be no more Hindus. All will either have left, or will have forcibly converted to Islam.”

Although Fiji Indians had gone through a difficult time, there was a glimmer of hope, Narayan said. Ironically, following a coup in 2006, things are looking up. Narayan made it clear that although she applauded the positive developments, she in no way endorsed the military coup.

“Currently, we are in the process of trying to have another constitution put in place which essentially would go back to the original constitution . . . which would allow race neutral policies,” she said.

A rise in indigenous nationalist fervor and four coups in 20 years, including the toppling of democratically elected Fiji Indian Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry, had exacerbated the plight of Fiji Indians, Narayan told the audience. “We were put in a position where all of a sudden we were interlopers and we did not belong,” she said.

“Fiji Indians were . . . essentially told to leave,” Narayan said. Temples have been attacked repeatedly, she said.

“The second thing they did was to make people homeless. . . Individuals who had lived on the same land for three generations were forced to leave their lands and tear down their homes and go away. Now where would they go?,” she asked.

“So we have squatter camps that have developed around Fiji.”

There are now huge squatter camps in the Fiji cities of Suva and Ba, and Amnesty International estimates that 12 percent of Fiji Indians live in squatter camps.

The worst part was a lack of security, Narayan said. “In Fiji if you are Fiji Indian and a Fijian came and robbed your home, nobody would come,” she complained. “Nobody would come to assist you. . . If you have no personal safety or security in your own home, you start feeling very frightened.”

Consequently, Fiji Indians left the country in droves, and now Fiji faces an economic crisis.

Former Fiji Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry, who is now Fiji’s finance minister, has told Narayan that the nation is bankrupt.

“The exclusionary policy of the last 20 years of keeping out Indians, making them feel not wanted, has eventually helped to destroy the economy of Fiji,” she said. “And he was asking Indians to come home.”

The government is promising lease restoration of land and possible government payment. “Understandably, a lot of Fiji Indians are not interested in coming back,” Narayan said. The government is promising 30-year leases on land with automatic 20-year renewals. “It’s a situation where the government may end up having to rebuild the homes of the Fiji Indians and that’s something that we are hopeful will end up happening,” Narayan said.
:by indiawest

Posted in Hindus, Islam, Islamization, Kashmir, Malaysia, Minorities, State, Terrorism | 3 Comments »

Muslim savages in Pakistan rob hundreds of Hindu women of cash and jewelry worth millions of rupees

Posted by jagoindia on July 28, 2008

Security fears worry Pakistani Hindus
July 27, 2008

Karachi, July 27: The Hindu community in Pakistan has expressed concerns at the increase in incidents targeting the life and properties, including places of worship, of the Hindus in the Islamic nation.
The Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC), a representative body of the minority community in the country, expressed concerns over Hindus being target of rising number of robberies in Sindh province.

The Council demanded that the federal Government in Islamabad take immediate measures to prevent such incidents and protect the minority community in the country.

Large number of Hindus took part in a protest in Karachi against the recent robbery in Jacobabad where armed men entered a Hindu temple and robbed some 350 Hindu women of cash and jewelry worth millions of rupees.

Former Sindh lawmaker Dr Ramesh Lal accused the the police and other law enforcement agencies of having failed to provide security to the citizens, particularly the minorities.

“The dacoits have robbed valuables worth approximately Rs 70 million and after the recent incident in Jacobabad, members of the minority communities, especially women, are even afraid to go their religious places,” PHC Secretary General Hari Motwani was quoted as saying by the Daily Times newspaper.

“Therefore, we demand that the Government immediately arrest the dacoits and ensure safety measures for minorities, said Motwani, adding that the incident took place in broad daylight and yet the police were unable to prevent it.

“The robberies, coupled with the kidnappings of Hindus in the northern districts of Sindh, have created panic and insecurity amongst the minorities,” PHC President Raja Assermal Manglani said, adding that the government needed to ease their fears.

Posted in Hindus, Islamofascism, Minorities, Pakistan | Leave a Comment »