Saturday, May 5, 2012


No country for Pakistani Hindus

On March 26, 19-year-old Rinkle Kumari, from a village in Sindh, told Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry that she had been abducted by a man called Naveed Shah, and pleaded with the highest court to let her return to her mother. It was a brave plea. Hindu women in Pakistan are routinely kidnapped and then forced to convert if they want the respectability of marriage. They are helpless, as they have neither the numbers nor the political clout to protect themselves. As Rinkle left the court, she screamed before journalists, accusing her captors of forcible conversion, before she was hustled away by the police.

The case grabbed headlines, generated impassioned editorials, and highlighted the cause of a persecuted community, the 3.5 million Hindus in Pakistan. It angered liberals in Pakistan and caused the Dawnnewspaper to take a strong position on persecution of minorities.

But Rinkle had dared to raise her voice, and there would be a price to pay. Her parents in Ghotki village were threatened, her 70-year-old grandfather was shot at, gun-toting goons roamed outside her house. When she returned to the Pakistan Supreme Court on April 18, she meekly said she had converted to Islam. At a packed media briefing in Islamabad's Press Club, with Shah by her side, the spunk in her snuffed out, she would only say she wants to become an "obedient" wife.

According to police records, each month, an average of 25 girls meet Rinkle's fate in Sindh alone, home to 90 per cent of the Hindus living in Pakistan. Young Hindu girls are 'marked', abducted, raped, and forcibly converted. Discrimination, extortion threats, killings and religious persecution are driving the remaining Hindus out of Pakistan. They had chosen to stay back after Partition; six decades later, they are no longer welcome.

In India, they are facing a shock worse than catastrophe-betrayal. The Government of India refuses to recognise them as refugees and is unmoved by their plight. In its reply to activist S.C. Agrawal's RTI query on November 1, 2011, on the status of Pakistani Hindu refugees, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) claimed it was an "internal matter'' of Pakistan. In the same reply, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) admitted that it could not say how many Pakistani Hindus had emigrated.

According to Delhi's Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), there has been a rapid increase in the number of Hindus coming from Pakistan. Till mid-2011, it used to be around eight-ten families a month. But in the past 10 months, an estimated 400 families have come. They are settling down all over India, in Rajasthan, Punjab and Gujarat. A trickle has become a stream. Hindus, who accounted for 15 per cent of Pakistan's population in 1947, now constitute a mere 2 per cent of its 170 million population. Many have migrated, others have been killed, and yet others forced to convert to survive. In some cases, the dead have even been denied a proper cremation.

Ask Meher Chand, 55. He arrived in Delhi on January 21, 2011, with a delegation of Pakistani Hindus, carrying 135 plastic jars, aboard the Samjhauta Express. The jars contained the ashes of Hindus who had died in Pakistan, some of them way back in the 1950s, and stored in Karachi's Hindu Cremation Ground. The remains were finally allowed their final journey, to be scattered in the Ganga.

Chand did not return to Pakistan. He joined a group of 200-odd Pakistani Hindus settled in Jahangirpuri in Delhi. His voice chokes as he talks about what he faced in Karachi. "My wife died of cancer in 2009, leaving two daughters behind. One morning, soon after my wife's death, I found my younger daughter, 16 at that time, missing. When I made inquiries, I was told that she had eloped with a much older man, known to be a goon. She had converted to Islam overnight. I was allowed to meet her after intervention by some elders. She cried and hugged me without saying a word. I never believed she eloped. The man had been eyeing my daughters. I managed to marry the older one in time. This one was just a child," he trails off. "I wish I had the courage to fight for my daughter. The kidnappers had private armies and threatened me. Even the local police did not pay heed. They mocked me on the streets," says Chand.

The Jahangirpuri camp mostly has people who have come from Sindh, Karachi and Hyderabad. Most of the other refugees from the region are concentrated in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Some have been here since the 1990s and have still not got citizenship and accompanying conveniences like a ration card, driving licence, gas connection, right to buy property and even travelling to another part of the country, other than the one place their visa permits.

"There are thousands like me who want to come and settle in India but are constrained by the border,'' says Chand, sitting in a one-room tenement he shares with three other refugees. Chand was a hakim (medical practitioner) in Karachi. Even though he has acquired a small clientele within the camp and nearby, his income is not even one-fourth of what it used to be.

Others in his camp feel Chand has spoken more than he ought to. They chide him, saying he will face problems with the Pakistan High Commission. "Till we get citizenship of India, we remain Pakistanis, and have to go to the high commission again and again. Earlier, they used to renew our passport for five years, now they are doing it on an annual basis. They ask us uncomfortable questions,'' says a camp resident.

There are many more like Chand, waiting to flee Pakistan for the safety of their daughters. Sitting in a well-furnished drawing room of his house in Ghotki, Sindh, 52-year-old Kishore Kumar is a worried man. Wealth has not provided him any security. Owner of three textile-ginning factories, and father of two daughters and a son, he is preparing to leave Pakistan. "It is hard to leave your place of birth, the place where four generations have been born. But we have to move now as things have become critical. I love my motherland but I am shifting to India for the future of my children,'' he tells India Today.

Kumar expresses concern about his two college-going daughters. "You can't imagine what it means to be the father of two young girls in a land where minorities are treated like third-class citizens. I receive extortion calls from people for hefty sums to ensure my family is not touched, especially my daughters," he says.

He is waiting for his visa, which has increasingly become difficult to get. It took 38-year-old Dr Ashok Kumar Karmani three years to get a visa for himself and his family, enabling passage from Mir Khas in Sindh to Ahmedabad in February 2012.

After the 2009 Mumbai terror attack, India put curbs on visas from Pakistan. Only one out of five visa applications gets cleared. "If visa rules are eased, the majority of Hindus in Sindh would shift to India,'' says Karmani.

Son of a businessman and a medical graduate from Liaquat Medical College in Karachi, Karmani was living in a huge bungalow as part of a joint family. Now he hopes that he, his wife Ramila, a science graduate, and their two children get a long-term visa soon,and permanent citizenship after they complete seven years in India. The family is worried about those left behind. "There are dozens of cases in Sindh where Hindus have become targets of kidnappings and forcible conversions. It was time to say goodbye," says Karmani.

Indeed, the prejudice against Hindus runs deep. Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif is reported to have said that Hindus were responsible for financing acts of terrorism in Pakistan. A March 18 editorial in Dawn pulled him up for it: "It may well have been a slip of the tongue by Mr Sharif, who might have mistakenly said 'Hindu' instead of 'India'- nevertheless, it was a tasteless remark to say the least.''

There are other liberal voices. Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, member of the National Assembly and elder sister of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, told India Today that she believes girls like Rinkle Kumari are being forcibly converted. "It is true that Hindu girls are being forcibly kept in madrassas in Sindh and forced to marry Muslims. We have to take steps to end this practice, including legislation,'' she says.

Among the latest to flee Pakistan is a group of 145 Hindus who arrived in Delhi in December 2011 on a pilgrimage (jattha) visa. They managed to extend their visa and are looking forward to being accepted byIndia as citizens. Staying in makeshift tents at Majnu ka Tilla in north Delhi, Savitri Devi, 32, gave birth to her daughter in the camp two months ago. "When policemen come to remind us we have to leave, I show them my daughter Bharti and tell them to at least accept her as she was born on Indian soil," she says, nursing the infant with her older daughter Rani, 3, sitting alongside.

There is no way that they want to return to Pakistan. "I have been trying for a visa for the past five years and got it only now, that too only as part of the jattha,'' says Krishan Lal, 30, as his wife Rukmani makes chapattis nearby. His three children run around in the camp barefoot, playing with other children. "Hindus are like fish out of water in Pakistan. They all want to come to India, hoping to put an end to their miseries-but it is a different story here altogether,'' he adds.

Krishanlal Bhatar, 54, who came with his family from Mirpurkhas district of Sindh to Ahmedabad in 2009, says with folded hands, "We don't want anything from this country, only security. We shall remain loyal to India forever and die in this land only.'' Tears roll down his cheek as he recalls his life as a grocery shop owner in Pakistan. His is the all-too-familiar story of a daughter, Jaymala, 22, kidnapped, converted and married off to a Muslim farm labourer.

Bhatar and his family went pillar to post to get her custody. Local Pakistan Peoples Party politicians whom he approached were either hand in glove with the group that had kidnapped the girl or too scared. Bhatar managed to file a case and also went to the court. On the day of the final hearing in the court, over three dozen Muslim boys gathered, many of them rifles in hand. A trembling Jaymala was brought before him and his wife. She didn't even look at them and just told the woman judge, "I don't know them.''

Pujari Lal, 31, came from Kohat near Peshawar in 1999 and settled in Khanna, Punjab. He fled after his teenaged sister was kidnapped and raped. He does not feel comfortable talking about it but dwells in detail on the problems in Khanna. There are around 1,200 Hindus and Sikhs settled in Khanna. "It has been 13 years but I still don't have Indian citizenship. My papers have come back a dozen times. They want proof of my parents' date of birth and birthplace. My father is dead; my mother is with me but we do not have all the papers," he says.

Lal sells tomatoes and chillies in the crowded wholesale vegetable market in Khanna. Pakistani refugees run the mandi here. The relatively better-off ones have bigger shops, and can afford to do the running around between the Government offices, the Pakistan High Commission and FRRO. They are thrilled that one among them, Data Ram, 33, recently got a no-objection certificate from both the Pakistan High Commission and the home ministry, making him eligible for citizenship. Now he needs Rs 6,000 each for his five family members as passport forteiture fee and is in the process of "arranging the money". Having finished high school, Ram is one of the most educated persons there. He says he had kept all his papers meticulously, making it easier for him to get citizenship. They all come to Ram for advice. He tells Lala Madan Lal that since he was born in 1946, he is eligible for citizenship according to the Indian Citizenship Act.

In the Al Kausar settlement of Hindu Pakistanis in Jodhpur, Tulsiram talks about the problems in getting a visa from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. From Tharparkar district in Sindh, where most emigrants in the camp came from, it is a seven-day journey to Islamabad, which not many can afford. "The minimum cost for such a journey is Rs 30,000,'' says Tulsiram, who was a scribe in Sindh. He calls it a policy of discouragement by the Indian ministries of home and external affairs.

In another camp amid the sandstone quarries on the outskirts of Jodhpur, Jamuna Devi, 40, talks about lack of amenities at the camp. "When our children fall ill, Government hospitals refuse to give us medicines, saying we are Pakistanis,'' she says.

Rana Ram, 32, personifies the problems on both sides of the border. He came to Jodhpur in 2008 with his two children after his wife Samdha Ben was kidnapped, raped and converted by religious fundamentalists in Rahim Yar Khan. "I entreated them to return my wife. They just laughed,'' he says. In Jodhpur, the community members got him married again so that his children could be looked after. His second wife died of malaria within two months.

Since they are not a votebank, only a handful of politicians have taken up the cause of Pakistani Hindus and Sikhs. Avinash Rai Khanna, a BJP Rajya Sabha MP, keeps raising questions about their plight in the Upper House. It was in reply to a question raised by him on persecution of Hindus in Pakistan that Minister of State (MoS) in mea E. Ahamed said on March 22: "The Government has taken up the matter with the government of Pakistan. It has stated that it looked after the welfare of all its citizens, particularly the minority community.'' A secular India's mea accepts Pakistan's claims at face value. They claim that since India does not endorse any religion, it cannot be seen as speaking for Hindus in Pakistan.

Data collected by India Today defies Pakistan's claim. More than 90 families migrated to India in 2010, 145 in 2011 while 54 Hindu families have already migrated to India since January 2012. Since 2010, as documents show, 24 Hindu families migrated toNepal while 12 families chose to live in Sri Lanka after fleeing Pakistan. In February itself, 30 Hindus comprising five families left Thul, a small town in Jacobabad district, for India.

In reply to another question by the MP on March 28, MoS in MHA M. Ramachandran said that they had received 148 applications for citizenship of Pakistani Hindus from Punjab state from 2009 to 2011. Only 16 applications were accepted for citizenship; 119 are pending for want of documents and 13 were rejected.

Amid the cold figures of rejection are the scars left on the psyche of refugees. Lala Madan Lal, 66, of Khanna, recently read Toba Tek Singh, a short story by Saadat Hasan Manto in Urdu, and can't stop talking about it. "Like Bishan Singh in the story, we will all die in no man's land as people with no land to call their own," he rues.

- With Qaswar Abbas and Uday Mahurkar.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

கராச்சி : பாகிஸ்தானில், ஒவ்வொரு மாதமும், 20 முதல் 25 இந்துப் பெண்கள் கட்டாயமாக இஸ்லாமிய மதத்திற்கு மாற்றப்படுவதாக, அந்நாட்டு மனித உரிமைகள் கமிஷன் தெரிவித்துள்ளது.

பாகிஸ்தானின் கராச்சி நகர் அருகில் உள்ள சுக்கூர் என்ற பகுதியைச் சேர்ந்த, 18 வயது ரிங்கிள் குமாரி என்ற இளம்பெண், கட்டாயமாக மதம் மாற்றப்பட்டு, பர்யால் என இஸ்லாமியப் பெயரிடப்பட்டதாக, செய்திகள் வெளியாயின. இதன் பின்னணியில், பாக்., பார்லிமென்ட் எம்.பி., ஒருவர் இருப்பதாகக் கூறப்படுகிறது.குமாரியின் குடும்பத்தார், மிரட்டல்களுக்கு அஞ்சி, லாகூருக்குச் சென்று போராடி வருகின்றனர். குமாரி, கோர்ட்டில் ஆஜர்படுத்தப்பட்ட பின்பும் கூட, அவர் கடத்தப்பட்டு, கட்டாய மத மாற்றத்திற்கு ஆளாகியிருப்பதாக, குமாரியின் பெற்றோர் தெரிவித்துள்ளனர். தற்போது, இவ்வழக்கு கோர்ட்டில் நடந்து வருகிறது.இதையடுத்துத் தான், பாகிஸ்தானில் கட்டாய மத மாற்றத்திற்கு ஆளாகும் பெண்கள் பற்றி, வெளியுலகுக்குத் தெரியவந்தது.

இதுகுறித்து, பாக்., மனித உரிமைகள் கமிஷனைச் சேர்ந்த அமர்நாத் மோட்டுமெல் என்பவர் கூறியதாவது:ஒரு மாதத்தில், 20 முதல் 25 இந்துப் பெண்கள் கட்டாயமாக மதம் மாற்றப்பட்டு வருகின்றனர். இவர்களில், 18 வயதுக்குட்பட்ட சிறுமிகள் மட்டுமல்லாமல், மணமான பெண்கள், குழந்தைகள் பெற்ற பெண்கள் கூட தப்ப முடிவதில்லை.பாதிக்கப்பட்ட குடும்பங்கள் மட்டும் மிரட்டலுக்கு ஆளாவதில்லை. எப்போதெல்லாம், ஒரு இந்துப் பெண் அல்லது அவளது குடும்பத்தார் கோர்ட்டில் ஆஜராகின்றார்களோ, அப்போதெல்லாம், சில மத அமைப்புகள் நூற்றுக்கணக்கில் ஆட்களைத் திரட்டி ஆர்ப்பாட்டத்தில் ஈடுபட்டு, சம்பந்தப்பட்ட குடும்பத்தவரை நெருக்கடிக்கு உட்படுத்தி, பீதியை ஏற்படுத்துகின்றன.
ரிங்கிள் குமாரியை மீட்க வேண்டும் என, அதிபர் சர்தாரி உத்தரவிட்டுள்ளார். ஆனால், இவ்விவகாரத்தில் இதுவரை எவ்வித முன்னேற்றமும் இல்லை.இவ்வாறு அமர்நாத் தெரிவித்தார்.

மனித உரிமைகள் கமிஷனின் அதிகாரப்பூர்வ பேராசிரியர் பதர் சூம்ரோ கூறுகையில், இந்து சமூகம் மத்தியில், பாதுகாப்பு உணர்வை அதிகரிக்கும் வகையில், சட்டங்கள் அமலாக்கம் செய்யப்பட வேண்டும் என்றார்.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

M.Sc. Wildlife Biology and Conservation

CALL OF THE WILD: Wildlife biology and conservation are ideal subjects for those who love nature.
M.Sc. Wildlife Biology and Conservation is a rare course that is available at the National Centre for Biological Science on its G.K.V.K Campus, Hebbal. This postgraduate course is affiliated to the Manipal Academy of Higher Education and funded by the Wildlife Conservation Society based in New York. This course is offered once in two years and starts in July. Admission notification may be expected in December/January. Admission is based on a national-level test and interview aimed at assessing the analytical and quantitative abilities, basic biology-related awareness and interest in current affairs and wildlife conservation issues and the ability to communicate in English.
Any graduate in any subject (other than fine arts and languages) with 50 per cent aggregate marks is eligible for admission to this course. Age should not exceed 35 years. Final year degree students are also eligible. Admission is open for the course beginning in July 2006 for which the entrance test was conducted on February 25 in Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Guwahati.
The result will be announced in May and classes will commence in mid-July. Selected students may receive a studentship that will cover their academic fees and living expenses. All students are expected to reside in the hostel.
The course is organised into four semesters, including the final semester of field research and thesis preparation. The first semester will focus on a theoretical and practical introduction to diversity, distribution, biology and distribution of plant and animal life, with particular emphasis on high vertebrates. It will also focus on the theory and application of mathematics and statistics within the framework of science.
The second semester will deal with the theoretical grounding in population ecology, conservation biology, behavioural ecology, landscape ecology, conservation genetics and vegetation ecology. It will also provide hands on training in the application of modern tools in conservation such as remote sensing/Geo-Information Systems (GIS) and conservation genetics.
The third semester will cover the historical, social and economic framework within which conservation operates. It will also focus on the communication and problem solving skills that are necessary to effectively practice conservation. During the final semester, students will have to design and implement a field project.
More details can be obtained from the Course Coordinator (M.Sc. wildlife biology and conservation), National Centre for Biological Sciences, Post Box no. 6501, GKVK campus, Hebbal, Bangalore - 560 065, Email:;, website: or
Wildlife and animal ecology are relatively new subjects. The Wildlife Institute of India, an autonomous institution under the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest, is a prominent organisation offering a two-year M.Sc. course in Wildlife Science, which is affiliated to Saurashtra University, Rajkot, Gujarat. Number of seats is 12. Students desirous of joining this course should have obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Science with biology as a major subject.
Bachelor's Degree holders in Veterinary Science, Forestry, Agriculture, Environmental Science are also eligible for admission (minimum 15 years formal education should have been completed) and applicants must have obtained a minimum of 55 per cent marks aggregate at the degree level. Those appearing for the final qualifying degree examination are also eligible. Age limit is 30 years as on July 1. Selection is based on an objective type written test of two hours to be held in Bangalore, Dehra Dun, Kolkata and Mumbai.
The test will consists of multiple-choice questions (60 per cent) with sections on general knowledge; general science and optional subjects (life science/ forestry/ veterinary science/ agricultural science) and essays will make up the remaining 40 per cent of the marks.
The personality and aptitude test will held at Dehra Dun. The entrance test is likely to be held during April. The admissions notification can be expected in January. Details of curriculum, course fee, scholarship, etc. are available on the website Research facilities are also available here.
The Forest Research Institute (deemed university) Dehra Dun - 248 195, conducts the following courses for science graduates:
M.Sc. Forestry (Economics and Managements): Graduates in science with at least one of these subjects - botany, chemistry, geology, mathematics, physics, zoology, forestry, agriculture - with 50 per cent marks (SC / ST students require only 45 per cent marks) are eligible for admission.
M.Sc. Environment Management: Entry qualification is a bachelor's degree in any branch of basic or applied sciences or forestry/agriculture or BE Environment Sciences with 50 per cent marks.
Selection is based on a national level admission test. Detailed information can be obtained from the website:
Kuvempu University in Karnataka offers M.Sc. Wildlife Management. For more details visit or
Environmental Science
As a discipline, environmental science encompasses both natural and social sciences. Environment science also covers forestry, wildlife and environment protection. M.Sc. Environmental Science programmes are being offered by several universities/departments.
In Kerala, the School of Environmental Science, under Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, conducts M.Sc. Environmental Science and Management. Meritorious graduates in zoology are eligible for admission.
The School Environmental Studies under Cochin University of Science and Technology, conducts an M.Sc. Environmental Technology programme that consists of two streams - environmental engineering and environmental biotechnology. Entry qualification is a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry with physics and mathematics as subsidiaries or engineering (civil / public health / environmental or chemical) or life sciences, environmental sciences or zoology or botany / microbiology with at least 55 per cent marks in the optional subjects. Selection is through Cusat- CAT. (
Bangalore University, Janabharathi Campus offers M.Sc. Environmental Science. Meritorious graduates in zoology are eligible.
Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, offers M.Sc. Environmental Sciences. Zoology graduates are eligible for admission.
M.Sc. in Biotechnology is another suitable option that offers comprehensive education in all aspects of modern applied biology.
After the successful completion of the course, one should opt for research, leading to Ph.D. Job opportunities are aplenty in biotech industries, educational institutions, research and development organisations and also in medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, environmental sectors.
Graduates in zoology with 55 per cent marks are eligible for admission to M.Sc. Biotechnology programmes. In Kerala, MG, Cusat, Calicut and Kannur Universities offer M.Sc. Biotechnology courses. Selection is based on an entrance test.
Every year, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, holds a combined biotechnology entrance test for admissions to M.Sc. Biotechnology/M.Sc. Agri / MV.Sc. (Biotechnology)/M.Tech Biotechnology courses offered by various universities, including the University of Calicut.
The Amrita School of Applied Sciences, Clappana, Kollam, conducts M.Sc. Biotechnology, Bioinformatics courses. Graduates in any discipline of science with biology as a subject are eligible for admission.
Other options
Annamalai University offers M.Sc. Environmental Biotechnology, Marine Biology and Oceanography, Coastal Aquaculture and Marine Biotechnology courses. Meritorious graduates in zoology are eligible for admission to all these courses.
Bangalore University offers M.Sc. Applied Genetics, Biotechnology courses. Zoology graduates can seek admission.
Bharathidasan University, Thiruchirappalli, conducts M.Sc. Animal Biotechnology and Bharathiar University Coimbatore offers M.Sc. Animal Science/ Biotechnology / Bioinformatics / Industrial Biotechnology courses. Meritorious graduates in zoology are also eligible for admission.
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore provides facilities for doing an integrated Ph.D. in Biological Sciences. First class B.Sc. degree holders in biological sciences are eligible for admission. Selection is based on the IISc entrance test and interview. For details visit:
The Department of Management Sciences, University of Pune, ( , offers MBA (Biotechnology). Zoology graduates are eligible for admission. Selection is through ATMA test score/group discussion and personal interview.

Friday, March 4, 2011

காஷ்மீர் கோயிலில் பெருகும் கண்ணீர்

இருபது வருடங்கள் முன் இஸ்லாமிய தீவிரவாதத்தால் தங்கள் தாய் மண்ணை விட்டு விரட்டப்பட்ட காஷ்மீர் இந்துக்கள் நேற்று புதன்கிழமை கீர்-பவானி கோயிலில் வழிபட்டனர். இந்த கோயில் ஸ்ரீநகரிலிருந்து 30 கி.மீ தொலைவில் உள்ளது.
1989ல் பிரிவினைவாதம் காஷ்மீரில் வெடித்ததும் கிட்டத்தட்ட இரண்டு லட்சம் இந்துக்கள் ஸ்ரீநகரை விட்டு துரத்தப்பட்டார்கள். அவர்கள் காஷ்மீரின் தெற்கு பிரதேசங்களிலும் (முக்கியமாக ஜம்முவில்), இந்தியாவின் மற்ற இடங்களிலும் அகதிகளாக வாழ்ந்துவருகிறார்கள்.
பல வருடங்களுக்குப்பின் இந்த கோயிலின் திருவிழாவில் எப்போதும் காணாத கூட்டம் கூடியது. உணர்ச்சிப்பெருக்குடன் இந்துக்கள் ஒருவரை ஒருவரை கட்டி அணைத்து கண்ணீர் மல்கினார்கள்.
“நான் ஜம்முவில் சாக விரும்பவில்லை. (என் தாய்மண்ணான) ஸ்ரீநகரில் அமைதியாக வாழ்ந்து மடிய விரும்புகிறேன்” என்று 68 வயதான ரோஷன்லால் என்பவர் சொன்னார். நான்கு பேர் கொண்ட தன் குடும்பத்துடன் 1990ல் மற்ற இந்துக்களுடன் சேர்ந்து ஸ்ரீநகரை விட்டு ஓடியவர். கோயில் படிகளை முயற்சியுடன் ஏறிக்கொண்டு “நிரந்தரமான அமைதிக்காகவும், எங்கள் பாரம்பரிய வீட்டிற்கு திரும்பவும் அம்மனை வேண்டினேன்” என்றார் ரோஷன் லால்.
ஆனால், சில காஷ்மீர் இந்துக்கள் தங்கள் வீடுகளை விற்றுவிட்டார்கள். வேறு சிலர் கலவரத்தில் தங்கள் வீடுகளை இழந்திருக்கிறார்கள்.

புகழ் பெற்ற வீரபாவனி அம்மன் ஆலயம் உள்பட 70 இந்து கோவில்கள் இடிக்க பட்டன .

ஓட்டல்களாக மாறி வரும் பாகிஸ்தான் இந்து கோவில்கள்

இஸ்லாமாபாத் : பாகிஸ்தானில் உள்ள இந்து கோவில்கள், சுற்றுலாத் தலங்களாகவும், ஓட்டல்களாகவும், பள்ளிக் கூடங்களாகவும் மாறி வருவதாக, பாகிஸ்தான் இந்து அமைப்புகள் குற்றம் சாட்டியுள்ளன.
பாகிஸ்தானில் ஆயிரம் ஆண்டுகளுக்கும் மேலான தொன்மை வாய்ந்த 360 இந்து கோவில்கள் உள்ளன. அவற்றுக்குச் சொந்தமாக, லட்சக்கணக்கான ஏக்கர் நிலங்கள் உள்ளன. பாகிஸ்தானில் தற்போது, 39 லட்சம் இந்துக்கள் உள்ளனர். அங்கு, அவர்கள் சிறுபான்மையினர். சமீப காலமாக பாகிஸ்தானில், சிறுபான்மையினர் மீதான அச்சுறுத்தல் அதிகரித்து வருகிறது. இந்நிலையில், தொன்மை வாய்ந்த இந்து கோவில்கள் ஓட்டல்களாகவும், சுற்றுலாத் தலங்களாகவும் மாற்றப்பட்டு வருவதாக, அங்குள்ள இந்து அமைப்புகள் குற்றம்சாட்டியுள்ளன.கைபர் பக்துன்வா மாகாணத்தில் உள்ள 700 ஆண்டு பழமையான காளி கோவிலை, ஒரு கும்பல் ஆக்கிரமித்து, ஓட்டலாக மாற்றிவிட்டது. அக்கும்பல் மாத வாடகையாக 850 ரூபாய் மட்டும் அளிப்பதாகவும், புனிதமற்ற முறையில் கோவில் பயன்படுத்தப்படுவதாகவும் அப்பகுதியினர் புகார் தெரிவித்துள்ளனர்.இதுகுறித்து, பாக்., இந்து உரிமை இயக்கத் தலைவர் சாயப் தியால் கூறுகையில்,"இதுபற்றி பலமுறை அரசிடம் புகார் அளித்தோம். 2009 ஏப்ரலில் அளித்த புகாரின் அடிப்படையில், அப்போதைய ஓவாய்ஸ் கனி, காளி கோவில் பற்றி விசாரணை நடத்த உத்தரவிட்டார். இதுவரை நடவடிக்கை எதுவும் இல்லை' என்று தெரிவித்தார்.
அதேபோல், இஸ்லாமாபாத்தில் உள்ள ராம் குண்ட் மந்திர் என்ற கோவிலும், தற்போது சுற்றுலாத் தலமாக மாற்றப்பட்டுள்ளது. அபோடாபாத் நகரில் உள்ள"ஆராய மந்திர்' என்ற கோவில் ஏற்கனவே சிதிலமடைந்திருந்த நிலையில், தற்போது பள்ளிக் கூடமாக செயல்படுகிறது.அக்கோவிலின் அருகில் ஒரு குருத்வாரா, ஒரு பள்ளிவாசல் உள்ளன. கோவில் புதுப்பிக்கப்பட்டால் அந்நகர், மத நல்லிணக்கத்துக்கு நல்ல சான்றாகத் திகழும் என்று, இந்துக்கள் கோரிக்கை விடுத்துள்ளனர்.குஜ்ரன்வாலா பகுதியில், கி.பி., 15ம் நூற்றாண்டைச் சேர்ந்த பல கோவில்கள் பாழடைந்த நிலையில், குரங்குகள், கழுதைகள், குதிரைகள் தங்கும் கூடாரங்களாக மாறிவிட்டன. சக்வால் பகுதியில் உள்ள பிரபல அனுமான் கோவில் அங்குள்ள உப்பளத் தொழிலாளர்களின் அலுவலமாக இயங்குகிறது.பெஷாவரில் ஒரு காளி கோவில் அங்குள்ள வர்த்தகர்களால், வணிக வளாகமாக மாற்றப்பட்டு விட்டது. பஞ்சாப் மாகாணத்தில் பக்கார் நகரில் உள்ள ஷீரன் வாலி கோவில், மதரசாவாக மாறிவிட்டது. அங்குள்ள இந்துக்கள் மதரசா செயல்படுவதில் தங்களுக்கு ஆட்சேபனை இல்லை என்றும், பாழடையும் கோவிலைப் புதுப்பித்தால் போதும் என்றும் கோரிக்கை விடுத்துள்ளனர்.கடந்த 1947ல் நிகழ்ந்த பிரிவினையின் போது, பாகிஸ்தானில் இருந்து இந்துக்கள் வெளியேற்றப்பட்டனர்.
அப்போது அவர்களால் கோவில்களுக்கு எழுதி வைக்கப்பட்ட சொத்துக்களை பராமரிக்க "வெளியேற்றப்பட்டவர் சொத்து அறக்கட்டளை வாரியம்' (இ.டி.பி.பி.,)என்ற அமைப்பை பாக்., அரசு உருவாக்கியது. இந்த அமைப்பின் கீழ் புனித தலங்கள் மற்றும் கோவில் நிலங்கள் உள்ளன.இந்த வாரியத்திடம் தற்போது, கோவில்களுக்குச் சொந்தமான 1,35,000 ஏக்கர் நிலங்கள் உள்ளன. இவற்றில் 1,25,000 நிலங்கள் பாசனத்திற்குரியவை. இந்த வாரிய நிர்வாகத்தில் சிறுபான்மையினர் தேர்ந்தெடுக்கப்படுவதில்லை. இதுகுறித்து பலமுறை அவர்கள் கோரிக்கை விடுத்தும் நிர்வாகம் கண்டுகொள்ளவில்லை. அயோத்திய கலவரத்திதின் மட்டும் பாகிஸ்தானில் 3000 இந்து கோவில்கள் இடிக்கப்பட்டன .வங்காளதேசத்தில் 2500 கோவில்கள் இடிக்கப்பட்டன. வங்காளதேச தலைநகரான டாக்காவில் பழமை வாய்ந்த புகழ் பெற்ற டாக்கீஸ்வரி அம்மன் கோவில் உள்பட ..

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Hindu way of life

One fundamental thing that must be cleared up about the Hindu way of life is that with the termHindu there is no “ism”. Today the word Hindu has taken a different meaning because of theso-called Hindutva and other such organisations, but the word Hindu essentially comes from the wordSindhu. Anybody who is born in the land of Indus is a Hindu — it is a cultural and geographic identity. Itis like saying “I am an Indian”, though it is a more ancient identity than being an Indian. “Indian” is onlyabout 60 years old. Hindu, on the other hand, is an identity that we have always lived with — we call thiscountry Hindustan and whatever we did in this culture was Hindu.

Being a Hindu does not mean having a particular belief system; there is no particular God or ideologywhich one can call as the Hindu way of life. You can be a Hindu irrespective of whether you worship aman-God or a woman-God, whether you worship a cow or a tree. If you don’t worship anything you canstill be a Hindu. So you are a Hindu irrespective of what you believe or don’t believe in. At the same time,there was a common line running through all these — in this culture, the only goal of human life isliberation or mukti; liberation from the very process of life, from everything that you know as limitationsand to go beyond that. God is seen as one of the stepping stones; God is not held as the ultimatething. This is the only culture on the planet which is a godless culture in the sense that there is noconcretised idea of God in this culture.

You can worship a rock, a cow, your mother — you can worshipwhatever you feel like because this is a culture where we have always known that God is our making.Everywhere else people believe that God created us. Here we know that we created God so we taketotal freedom to create the kind of God we can relate to. If you like the tree in your garden you canworship it and nobody thinks it is absurd. You can worship a stone on the golf course and nobodythinks it’s absurd. If you can relate to that, that’s what you worship because what you are reverentialtowards is not important; being reverential is what is important.

There is so much misunderstanding about these things because there is a certain dialectical ethos tothe culture where we want to express everything in a story or in a song; but in a way, it is a science ofhow to take a human being to his ultimate potential. tks nidhthi..

Keep your eye on your own seasons like a farmer

One of the difficulties we face in our industrialized age is the fact we’ve lost our sense of seasons. Unlike the farmer whose priorities change with the seasons, we have become impervious to the natural rhythm of life. As a result, we have our priorities out of balance.
Let me illustrate what I mean: For a farmer, springtime is his most active time. It’s then when he must work around the clock, up before the sun and still toiling at the stroke of midnight. He must keep his equipment running at full capacity because he has but a small window of time for the planting of his crop. Eventually winter comes when there is less for him to do to keep him busy.
There is a lesson here. Learn to use the seasons of life. Decide when to pour it on and when to ease back, when to take advantage and when to let things ride. It’s easy to keep going from nine to five year in and year out and lose a natural sense of priorities and cycles. Don’t let one year blend into another in a seemingly endless parade of tasks and responsibilities. Keep your eye on your own seasons, lest you lose sight of value and substance.