top of page
  • Dr. Vinay Nalwa

October Newsletter -2

October Newsletter 2

(October 15 – October 30)


In a world interconnected by the threads of globalization, the flow of information has become more pervasive than ever before. However, amid this vast sea of news, there exists a poignant narrative that often remains hidden – the violence against Hindus and the persecution they endure across various regions. This fortnightly report endeavors to bring out these often-overlooked incidents, providing an unbiased and comprehensive selection of news agencies’ reports on violence, persecution and discrimination faced by the Hindu community globally along with the positive reports celebrating Hindu Heritage.


The primary objective of this report is to present a clear and objective overview of incidents as reported by credible news agencies. By collating and analysing this information, our aim is to raise awareness about Hindu culture and values besides advocating for the protection of the fundamental rights and freedom of religion for Hindus worldwide.



India

Khaled Meshaal former Chief of Hamas – an organization declared a terrorist organization by the USA-virtually addressed a rally in support of Palestinians organised by a Jamaat-e-Islami Hind-aligned outfit in Kerala's Malappuram on Friday. Glorification is the first step in normalizing terrorism.

The organisers - Solidarity Youth Movement (SYM) - dismissed the controversy, asserting in a press note that Hamas is a "resistance movement" and Meshaal a "freedom fighter".

Meshaal's pre-recorded video address in Arabic was beamed on a screen at the Youth Resistance Rally, which had the tagline "Uproot Bulldozer Hindutva and Apartheid Zionism". The organisers had announced that another Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, would also address.


Pakistan

Recently, in a distressing turn of events, a young Hindu girl named Miran Kolhi in Pakistan was raped by a Muslim man. Not only this, she was also forced to give a false statement by a woman police officer and the accused’s wife. Miran stated that, she was raped by a man named Shafaq Bhargari. When she went to the police to file a complaint, the woman police officer, Momal Laghari, threatened her and forced her to give a false statement in favor of the accused.

A Cry for Help

The distressing details of the incident reveal that Laghari, in collaboration with Shafaq Bhargari’s wife, took Miran to a room. They threatened to send her to jail and even went as far as to threatened to kill her unless she agreed with their demand: to declare that she was marrying Shafaq Bhargari. The girl’s family was also threatened by Shafaq Bhargari.

Earlier, in Kot Ghulam Muhammad, Mirpurkhas, Miran fell victim to abduction and gang rape. Late one night… seven individuals, including Shafaq Bhargari, Umair Bhargari, Nikash Bhargari, and others, forcibly took Meeran Kolhi from her home and held her against her will. Fortunately, she managed to escape and seek refuge with her relatives the next morning. However, despite the gravity of the situation, the authorities did not to file a case.

Hindu girls have been regularly victimized by radical Islamists. The Pakistani authorities have failed the Hindu community since the country’s inception. Their disturbing and barbaric ideology, coupled with hatred, has created a painful experience for Hindus. Girls like Miran, being minority and ‘kafir’, get no justice. The justice system of Pakistan is harsher on innocent Hindu girls than on hardened criminals. You can read a more detailed report at https://www.ghtn.in/post/it-could-have-been-your-daughter-do-imf-and-world-bank-care



Pakistan

A pressing issue concerning the condition of Hindus in Pakistan has once again surfaced, as the Pak court has become an instrument of exploitation for Hindu girls. Just a couple of days ago, a Hindu girl named Reeta Meghwar managed to escape from the captivity of radical Islamists in Badin, Sindh. She had been abducted two months prior by Ashiq Ahmadani and remained untraceable even to the police during that time. According to her statement, she was forced to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim. The abductors threatened to kill her family if she refused to comply.

Nonetheless, she somehow managed to break free from Ashiq Ahmadani’s grasp and reached the police station. However, in Pakistan, both the police and the court often seem more like supporters of such heinous crimes than institutions that provide security and justice.

After she was presented in court, she pleaded with the judges to be reunited with her parents. Surprisingly, the court ordered her to be placed in the custody of Dar-al Aman, a safe house for women. These safe houses are anything but safe for the minorities since they force the inmates to convert to Islam. In this case, the girl herself requested to go with her parents, but the court denied her request which would be normally allowed to muslim girls in such predicament. In simple terms, the role of the judiciary appears questionable. Poor Reeta wept and repeatedly asked to be sent to her parents, even falling to the floor of the courtyard of the court premises in distress.


United States of America

An Indian-American couple from Houston has donated USD 1.75 million to start the construction of the first Hindu campsite in Texas, which will hold heritage youth camps every summer. the Hindu Heritage Youth camps provide a life-molding education, a media release said.

Subhash Gupta and Sarojini Gupta, who made the mega donation, said they are passionate about the camp because it inculcates critical values and skills in the next generation. “This is the best thing we can do for the next generation," Subhash said. “We are already losing youth in this country because they are not interested in our Hindu dharma and preserving our value system, so whatever we can do to cultivate that, the better," he said.

The campsite, located on a 37-acre property in Columbus, Texas, will be complete next summer, just in time to welcome campers for a six-night and five-day camp. The new campsite will include cabins, a swimming pool, a dining hall that will accommodate 200 people, an outdoor Amphitheatre, covered basketball courts and classrooms.

The couple got married in 1975 and lived in New Jersey and Arizona until they settled in Houston in 1979. After a few years of consulting with an engineering company, they founded a research publications company in Houston.


United States of America

The annual Durga Puja festival is a chance for immigrants to retain their connection to home — and pass on culture to a new generation.

A murti of Durga presided at the front of Park View High School gym in Sterling on Saturday. A priest chanted prayer in front of a large gathering.

The celebrations began Friday night and continued through the weekend.

The festival helps the Bengali community in Northern Virginia to reconnect and pass on its traditions to a generation of children growing up in the United States. In the school auditorium there’s singing, dancing, skits, plays and headline performances by visiting Indian musicians. In the cafeteria, a squad of workers served up to 5,000 home-cooked meals.

“We make everyone feel like a family,” said Sumanta Chakraborty, the general secretary of the Northern Virginia Bengali Association.

In 2021, UNESCO added the Durga Puja celebrations in Kolkata, the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, to its list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity.


Canada

‘Happy Navratri!’ Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday extended Navratri wishes to the Hindu community on his official X (formerly Twitter) handle. The nine-day Hindu festival started on Sunday, October 15.

In an official statement, the Canadian PM said Navratri is one of the most important and sacred festivals in the Hindu faith as it commemorates the victory of goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura signifying the triumph of good over evil.

“Often seen as a celebration of feminine energy, it is a time for friends and family to come together and honour century-old traditions with prayers, joyous performances, special meals, and fireworks,” the statement read.

“For all Canadians, Navratri also offers an opportunity to learn more about the rich history and culture of Hindu communities and to recognize their invaluable contributions to Canada’s social, cultural, and economic fabric.


A petition for the recognition of the term “Hinduphobia” as a term in the glossary of terms in the Human Rights Code that was presented to the House of Commons a few months back has now received more than 25,000 signatures.

The petition was sponsored by MP Melissa Lantsman, deputy leader of the opposition Conservative Party in the House of Commons, and was initiated by Vijaykumar Jain, one of the directors of the Canadian “Organisation for Hindu Heritage Education”.

The petition, e-4507 which was launched on July 19, read the recognition of "Hinduphobia" as a term in the glossary of terms in the Human Rights Code to describe the anti-Hindu prejudice and discrimination and to recognize the definition of Hinduphobia: Anti-Hindu sentiment or Hinduphobia is denial, negation, prejudice, or vilification against Hindus, Hinduism, or Hinduness.

Pleased with the response, one of its directors Vijay Jain said, “Considering this being the first petition from the minority Hindu community, and it receiving more than 25,000 signatures which is more than 2.5% of the total population shows it’s a matter of huge concern from the community at large. We are very happy to see such a fantastic participation from the community. This a matter of human rights for a minority Hindu community,” Hindustan Times reported.

Jain said earlier this year the city council in Brampton unanimous passed a similar motion recognising Hinduphobia. “We are very hopeful this should pass in Federal Parliament too” he said.


United States of America

The Manipur crisis is a complex web of internecine conflict marked by violence, mistrust, socio-political tensions and … insurgency, narcotics and illegal infiltration, which pose significant threats to India's national security, but is not a religious conflict between two communities, an Indian American scholar Rajshree Keisham told a US Congressional hearing.

"... Efforts have been made to project to the world that the Hindu majority is prosecuting the Christian minorities. Ms Rajshree said in the Congressional hearing, adding the attempts to project the Manipur ethnic violence as a religious one is a "classic case of Hinduphobia".

Ms Rajshree said Manipur's diversity is its strength, as within the Hindu community in the state, there are other ethnicities … Similarly, the Christian community includes Nagas, Kuki and also Meiteis. "This diversity is not a source of division, but a testament to the harmonious coexistence that has characterised Manipur for generations," she said. She pointed out some social activists and religious leaders of the Christian community have strongly denied the Manipur violence was based on religious lines.

"... The Archbishop of Mumbai categorically mentioned, and I quote, 'It is given a religious twist, but it is not a religious conflict between two religions, it's between two tribes, and we must now not do anything that will worsen the situation'," Ms Rajshree said at the Congressional hearing organised by HinduACTion, and Namaste Shalom Multi-Faith Alliance to address rising antisemitism and Hinduphobia in both the US and Canada.

"In recent times, there has been an alarming surge in attempts to exploit the Manipur conflict as a platform for propagating Hindu hate. This disturbing trend has found traction among certain factions... in the United States, who have strategically exploited religious sentiments to further their divisive agenda. What is even more concerning is the convergence of some radical Islamist groups in the United States, who have appropriated and aligned themselves with this cause. They perceive this situation as a prime opportunity to tarnish the image of Hindus on a global scale," Ms Rajshree said.

India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) on September 30 said it is investigating a transnational conspiracy case involving terrorist leaders in Bangladesh and Myanmar.

India


Six people, including two women, have been arrested for allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans during a 'jagran', a program dedicated to Goddess Durga, at a village in this district, police said on Wednesday.

According to a complaint lodged by village head Ashish, the 'jagran' was being held on Monday evening when the girl came on the stage where idols of gods and goddesses were kept. "At around 11 pm, under a planned way, the girl (daughter of Suggan Ali) climbed the stage, threw a black cloth towards the idols, and started chanting slogans 'Islam zindabad', 'Pakistan zindabad' and 'Hindustan murdabad'. Her sister Sahiba and three brothers supported her. Her father Suggan Ali, mother Sahabuddin Nisha, along with Mohd Shami and Mohd Zakir Ali, also supported her," Ashish alleged in his complaint.

He further said that this act hurt the sentiments of the people who had gathered for the 'jagran' event. "When they were asked not to indulge in such acts, they threatened the Hindu community of dire consequences and also of riot," the village head said. Based on the complaint, police registered a case on Tuesday against the girl, her sister Sahiba (18), three brothers including Arman (19), parents Suggan Ali (48) and Sahabuddin Nisha (42), and Mohd Shami (55) and Mohd Zakir Ali (50) under sections 153B (imputation, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC, Basti Additional Superintendent of Police Deependra Nath Chaudhary said.


Bangladesh

A Bangladesh government circular asking Hindus to stop or limit the use of loudspeakers during daily Muslim prayers infringes on religious freedom, leaders of the minority group said as their community prepared to celebrate the Durga Puja festival. Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, said the letters made his group vulnerable to potential attacks.

“Since the independence of Bangladesh, the space for minorities in the country has narrowed. This suppression was sometimes supported by the state while attackers were encouraged by impunity for attacks on minorities,” he said.

In heavily Muslim-majority Bangladesh, they make up only 8% of the population, down from 22% in 1951. Bangladeshi Hindus say they feel they have been discriminated against or targeted in violence because of their faith.

The Islamic Foundation, a government religious agency, sent letters asking authorities, including the police, to stop or limit Durga Puja rituals during the five daily Muslim prayer times in Bangladesh. The letters mention the times of prayers, which vary by region but last a total of six hours. However, throughout countries with sizable Muslim populations, mosques are known for being noisy when the local imam summons the faithful for prayers over a loudspeaker.

Bangladesh’s state minister for religious affairs said the letters were not new – similar instructions were issued in the past.


Bangladesh

Placing Holy Quran at Mandap: Suspect Iqbal arrested Identified as the person responsible through CCTV footage, Police arrested the man 35-year-old Iqbal Hossain, a resident of Sujanagar area under Cumilla City Corporation for putting the Holy Quran inside Nanua Dighir Par puja mandap in Cumilla city in the early hours of October 13. From the footage, it was also found that he incited people to commit violence in the area later that morning by delivering hate speech, Superintendent of Police in Cumilla Faruk Ahmed told The Daily Star. Police have collected 12 pieces of CCTV footage as evidence. The incident in Cumilla led to communal attacks on Durga Puja mandaps as well as Hindu homes and shops in different places of the country. After the Cumilla incident, Hindu mandaps and homes came under communal attack in at least 14 districts. Days later three haystacks belonging to Hindu families were set ablaze at Bhimsi village of Sreemangal Upazila in Moulvibazar. Meanwhile, an Islamic speaker in Dhaka's South Keraniganj area is also charged with spreading hate speech following the Cumilla incident on October 13. A team of Cyber Monitoring Cell arrested Abdur Rahim Biplobi, 39, in a raid in Chunkuthia area.


Bangladesh

“Inside Jagannath hostel, I feel safe as a Hindu. I can enjoy Durga Puja. But what about the world outside?” asks Biswas, who is pursuing a one-year Master of Social Science program in the university’s Department of Mass Communication and Journalism.

Jagannath Hall, inspired by Oxford University, is inexorably linked with the Bangladeshi Hindu community. A white memorial stands as a silent sentinel to a 1971 massacre. Now, Durga Puja celebrations have begun and there are already reports of alleged attacks on Bangladeshi Hindus and pandals.It’s a hard-won freedom in the hall’s 102-year-old history. On 25 March 1971, the Pakistan Army’s massacre of teachers and students in Dhaka University, named Operation Searchlight, snowballed into the Bangladesh Liberation War, joined by the minority students in large numbers.

“If a protest against an objectionable comment on Durga Puja by a ruling party MP is met with violence on Hindus by his supporters, what hope do we have of celebrating Durga Puja without fear?” says Biswas, recalling an incident earlier this month where members … were attacked by the supporters of Awami League MP AKM Bahauddin Bahar. The council members were protesting against Bahar’s insinuation that pandals and drug abuse went hand in hand. “Let’s start pujas free from drugs. Write over the pandals that this puja is free from drugs,” Bahar had reportedly said. Every festive season, instances of vandalism and hate crimes from Bangladesh seep into mainstream news.


Australia

Velama Association of Australia came into being in 2018 and since then Bathukamma and Dussehra celebrations are being organized regularly in Australia. The Association organized 6th Bathukamma and Dasara Celebrations 2023 in Sydney, in which the members from the community participated enthusiastically.

The community is not only getting together to celebrate the festivals but supporting underprivileged community members back in India. It is also supporting needy students who were in dire need of support because of some unfortunate family circumstances, the VAA said in a press release.



We welcome your feedback and suggestions on our global media report covering Hindu heritage and the challenges faced by Hindus worldwide. Your insights are invaluable in fostering greater understanding and awareness. Please share your thoughts and let us continue this important conversation together.

___________________________________________



45 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page