How many Holocausts?

By - Balesh Singh Dhankhar

There were nine million innocent and helpless Jews perished during the Holocaust while the world at large remained silent. Humanity has paid the price of that silence, and yet didn’t learn anything. Even today a much larger holocaust is taking place, in much larger magnitude, much larger in number of deaths, much more heinous to humanity, just because these innocent and helpless Hindus were born in Pakistan. Yet, the world, at large, chose to remain silent.

 For the past 65 years, an estimated 43 million Hindus vanished from Pakistan driving its largest religious minority of 24 percent in 1947 to virtual non-existence now to 1.3 percent. If the numbers of people who suffered were to be compared, this is more than five holocausts repeated one after the other. The story is similarly scary in Bangladesh where the ethnic cleansing of Hindus cropped down their population from 31 percent in 1947 to a mere 9 percent now. As stated by Bangladeshi official census report, which claims 41 million Hindus are "missing" in the time period.
Photo: Outlook India 
In Pakistan, Hindus are constantly being persecuted, killed, girls are kidnapped, forcibly converted and are regularly targeted by state and social hatred. The community is constantly living inside the gas chambers of state sponsored Islamic fundamentalism and starved of even basic freedom and human rights. Hatred Being Injected in the Society The root cause of such fundamentalism and hatred in Pakistani society is commonly attributed to the state’s infusion of hardline Islamic doctrine in to the country’s education and legal system by former President General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s.[1] "Islamisation" of the country's schools was imposed by an Act of Parliament requiring all government and private schools to follow a curriculum, which teaches topics including "Acknowledge and identify forces that may be working against Pakistan", "Make speeches on violent jihad" and "India's evil designs against Pakistan".[2] Over the last few years, the rights of Pakistani minorities have deteriorated at an alarming rate. I.A. Rehman, Director of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), also associates this erosion with the increasing Islamisation of the country initiated by General Haq.[3] A recent report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on Pakistan’s education system, demonstrates that public schools and madrasas persist in teaching intolerance and hatred towards non-Muslims, particularly Hindus, while glorifying violence and jihad. [4] Islamisation of the Pakistani legal system had an even more serious effect on minorities. Draconian laws like the blasphemy laws make it very dangerous for religious minorities to express themselves freely or engage in their own religious and cultural activities without fear of life. Current estimates show that there are over 10,000 madrasas in Pakistan, whereas in 1956, there were only 244. Many of these school teach extreme and intolerant interpretations of Islam to children as young as five years old.[5]  USCIRF’s new report on the education system found that Pakistan’s public schools and madrasas negatively portray the country’s religious minorities, and that these institutions “reinforce biases which fuel acts of discrimination, and possibly violence, against these communities.” The report further said that Hindus were depicted in especially negative terms.[6] Consequently, minorities live in constant fear of threats to their lives and property, desecrations of their places of worship, and punishment under the Blasphemy Act.[7]

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