Attacks on the Temples in Pakistan and Bangladesh
During independence, the leader of Pakistan had mentioned that the future of Pakistan would follow the fundamental principles that ‘all citizens in the country are equal, that there would be no discrimination, that there would be no distinction between one and another and no discrimination between one caste or creed and another.’ But the country is in the opposite direction of dream, very few temples are left now and these too are facing frequent attacks, desecration and destruction while no action is taken against the people involved.
Despite being good relations with Bangladesh the cases of temple destruction are still in the news. Hinduism in both countries is the minority and it is a well-known truth that Pakistan never cared for minorities. But the most ridiculous this time is the fact that Pakistan had decided to blame India and not on Pakistani citizens, even for deserting a Hindu temple, as it does after every terror attack there, and like always, there is going to be no action taken against such radicals.
LAW, RELIGION AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Although Bangladesh initially opted for a secular nationalist ideology as mentioned in its constitution, with time this ideology was replaced by a commitment to the Islamic way of life through a series of constitutional amendments and government proclamations between 1977 and 1988. In 2010, secularism was restored, but Islam remains the nominal state religion as per Article 12.
There have been several instances of violence against religious minorities in Bangladesh. Hindus were one of the minorities in the country and most of these attacks target Hindus, the largest minority of the country, who are particularly vulnerable in a period of rising violence and extremism, in various ways either religious or political.
Bangladesh had been rocked by several anti-Hindu riots in 1992, 2001, 2013 and 2014. These violent acts included attacking and killing Hindus, looting ad burning of Hindu-owned properties and businesses, rape of women, desecrating and destroying Hindu temples by the extremist Muslim mobs.
Islam is the state religion of Pakistan, and about 95-98% of Pakistan are Muslim. Though the constitution of Pakistan provides equal rights to all the citizens’ ad is not supposed to discriminate between anyone based on caste, creed or religion, Islam remains the state religion giving few more privileges to Muslims than to Hindus and other religions monitories. There have been numerous cases of violence and discrimination against Hindus, along with other minorities.
There have also been cases of violence and ill-treatment of Hindus, due to strict Blasphemy laws. One of the biggest issues the Hindu community faces in Pakistan is the forced conversion of minor Hindu girls to Islam; the number of such conversions, according to one highest estimate, is up to 1,000 per year. Since the partition the Hindu temple destruction is been the key issue, several temples had been destructed in Pakistan by them and their people only but in the end, it’s given the name of Hindu minorities only.
In the past few days, the miscreants had attacked at least four Hindu temples, shops, and households belonging to the minority community. The miscreants first attacked the Shiali Mahasmashan temple and vandalised the idols in the temple and the crematorium. From there, they went to the Shiali Purbapara area, where they vandalised idols of Hindu gods and goddesses in Hari Mandir, Durga Mandir and Govinda Mandir.
It was held that a group of female devotees took out the possession at around 9 p.m. from the Purba Para temple to the Shilali crematorium. They had crossed a mosque on their way, during which the Imam, preacher of the mosque, shouted and objected to the procession. And thus, this led to a heated argument between the Hindu devotees and the Islamist cleric. Furthermore, the case was taken up by the police and arrests have been made following the complaint filed.
This is not the only case of temple destruction we came across nut there have been several incidents of attacks on Hindu temples in the past. In past years, miscreants set on fire at least six houses of Hindus in a predawn attack in Brahmanbarhia district’s Nasirnagar, the place where at least 15 temples and more than 20 hoses were vandalised after a Facebook post deemed offensive to Islam sparked outrage in the country.
An authoritative body mentioned that the attacks on several Hindu temples in Bangladesh were carried out under a well-orchestrated plan aimed at grabbing lands of the minority community.
Pakistan has been repeatedly slammed by the international community for not taking stringent mean=sures to protect its minority communities, despite the country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan vowing to protect them on numerous occasions. Pakistan is a well-known perpetrator of human rights violations of minorities in the country.
On several occasions, it had promised to safeguard the interests of minority communities in the nation. However, continuing attacks on minorities narrate a different story. Islamabad has been discriminating against its religious minorities. This is manifested in various forms of targeted violence, mass murder, extrajudicial killings, abduction, rapes, forced conversion to Islam, etc.
Last year in December, a mod of over a hundred people led by local Muslim clerics had destroyed and set on fore the temple in the Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Out of 365 temples, only 13 were being managed by them, leaving 65 with the Hindu community that see the mob attacks regularly and “abandoning the rest of temples.”
Under international pressure for a hostile attitude towards minorities, in an attempt to give a positive message, Pakistan some tears ago decided to build a Hindu temple for Lord Krishna in its capital city Islamabad and took the responsibility of arranging land and giving funds for construction. Incidentally, as per media reports from Pakistan, there are around 3,000 Hindus in Islamabad but they do not gave any Hindu temple to pray for, but the scenario was not the same as promised.
After making several promises and initiatives, minorities in this Islam dominating country faces various discrimination. The mob attacks on Hindu temples are not a new issue to address but have been since the inception of Pakistan. Despite be9ing in good relations, minorities somehow face discrimination in Bangladesh too, and trample destruction is not only limited to Pakistan but is also taking place in Bangladesh, in present times several such cases have been registered.
This is a serious issue we are coming across and it is the need of the time to take some serious actions against this. Not having a good relation with Pakistan since partition is the hurdle in solving this issue and on the part of Pakistan, despite blaming their own nation and people for such attacks they put all the blame on Indian as usual what they do wheel terror attacks.