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Hideous state of Hindu Human Rights

‘Hindu Human Rights’ as a term is seldom heard or read in India, where majoritarian presence becomes a criterion for oblivious state of their human rights. Perhaps, the first mainstream mention of Hindu Human Rights as a collective appeared in the early nineties, when Kashmiri Pandits became refugees in their own land after being subjected to cruel ethnic cleansing.

Memoirs of 2002 Godhra riots is still afresh in Media, but little is talked about burning alive of Hindu pilgrims in Godhra Train which first instigated the riots, and whether justice has been served to them . In Northeastern India, especially in Nagaland, harassment and killing of Hindus by Christian terrorist groups is frequent. As per South Asia Terrorism Portal, organization such as the NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura) is known to have forcefully converted Hindus to Christianity. While Assam Time frequently reports incidences of members of the primarily Christian ethnic group that places bloodstained crosses in temples and forces Hindus to convert at gunpoint.

2012 Kokrajhar riots between indigenous Bodos and illegal Bengali immigrants did not create as much media spotlight as it should have. About 1.2 lakh people were displaced and as many as 100 got killed, with majority of them being from the Bodo community.

Apathy towards Hindus worsens in our neighbours from partition- Pakistan and Bangladesh. Both of the states that were created on religious sidelines have been known for castrating havoc on Hindu minorities. Pakistan, as yet has not provided a legally approved system of marriages for Hindus which becomes a reason for harassment of Hindus across the border. If a married Hindu woman gets forcibly kidnapped and married to a Muslim, she is left without a legal remedy to prove her previous marriage. Strange and strict blasphemy laws have always constrained the freedom of expression of Hindu minorities, as any voice raised can be seen of blasphemous fabric. In 1947, Pakistan was born with 23% Hindu population that today is reduced to a mere 1.5%. A major chunk of the Hindu population has crossed borders to return to ‘homeland’. They have left their place of domicile out constant abatement-to-migrate or after years of intimidation and persecution.

Bangladesh in the east was born on the deathbed of millions of Hindu minorities, massacred in vengeance by the Pakistani Army during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. From 19.7% in 1972 to 8.54% now, Hindus in Bangladesh have been a soft target over the years. Intimidated and exhorted Hindus of Bangladesh have been witnessing destroying of temples and idols, homes and houses. Provoking Islamist Militancy giving rise to extremist concerns has been on the ever-increasing rise in Bangladesh. Recent murder of Hindu Bangladeshi blogger Avijit Roy in Dhaka University and Ananta Bijoy Das in Sylhet is a foremost example of rampant rise of radical Islam in Bangladesh.
Hindus in the west are one of the most prosperous communities with high levels of academic advancements, yet constant abuse and humiliation of Hindu culture, symbolism and ideals has not been a hidden fact. Prints of sacred Hindu icons involving gods and goddesses have found an obnoxious presence on swimwear, shoes, toilet seats, beer cans and tissue paper as a graphical-art form. Irony feels dejected here, when India’s highest paid painter-M.F. Hussain was himself denounced for abusing worshipped Hindu imagery for his obscene artistic endeavors.

Even after constituting 38% of the total population, Hindus in Fiji have failed to be a part of the mainstream citizenry. Majority of Fijian territory is reserved for ethnically Fijian populace. According to American Hindu Foundation, “since the practitioners of Hindu faith are predominantly Indians, racist attacks by the extremist Fijian Nationalists too often culminated into violence against the institutions of Hinduism. Hindus, being labelled the “outside others”, have been victimized by Fijian fundamentalist who wish to create a theocratic Christian state in Fiji. This intolerance of Hindus has found expression in anti-Hindu speeches and destruction of temples, the two most common forms of immediate and direct violence against Hindus.” The alarming increase of temple destruction has spread fear and intimidation among the Hindu minorities and has hastened immigration to neighboring Australia and New Zealand. Organized religious institutions, such as the Methodist Church of Fiji, have repeatedly called for the creation of a theocratic Christian State and have propagated anti-Hindu sentiment.” Denial of citizenship to over 200,000 Hindus and Indians, systematic demolition of hundreds of temples, abandoning funds to Tamil schools, denial of admission in colleges and universities, snatching Hindu bodies and burying under Islamic rites, imposition of Sharia laws on unsuspecting Hindu women, mysterious death of Hindus in police custody: Modern Day Malaysia as per India Herald takes no cognizance of ongoing Hindu persecution. Waytha Moorthy, a Malaysian attorney in exile and founder of Hindu Rights Action Force says “Malaysian government manipulated a Constitutional provision, Art. 153, which declared the Malays as a superior race. They have a quota in government jobs, education and in land matters. The government used this provision as an entrenched racist policy against Hindus” “Despite having about 7% of Indian population, among the 1.2 million civil servants in the country, 95 percent are Malays, whereas Indians are given menial jobs” he adds. Severe Human Rights violation by Sri Lanka against indigenous Tamilian Hindus is no concealed secret. Slammed by the United Nations, Sri Lanka is yet to come out as accountable for human Rights Violations orchestrated during three decades of devastating civil war. Clearly, the condition of Hindu diaspora abroad is not as rosy as it is perceived to be. Lest to forget, the unexplored oppression faced by the community within the territories of (secular) Republic of India.

Divyansh Dev

The author has a degree specialisation in Journalism and is currently pursuing law at the University of Delhi to further bolster his interests in field of advocacy. Previously, he has been on media panel as a delegate at Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations at Harvard University and was accorded as Global Young Leader. Currently, he represents India at the Asia-Pacific Youth Advisory Council of Child Helpline International, the Netherlands.

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