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Friday, December 2, 2022

“My utensils are kept separate…if I pick a cucumber slice from a plate, they throw rest of it in dustbin”: Pakistani Hindu narrates untouchability at work

In a shocking revelation of the untouchability and discrimination faced by Pakistani Hindus, a Hindu girl who started a new job in Karachi, Sindh shared her dehumanizing experience with a friend.

Sarman Brohi, who also happens to be a human rights activist, posted his WhatsApp chat with the Hindu girl, who has started a new job as a textile designer, on twitter.

“”I am a Hindu…they have kept my utensils separate. I cried a lot yesterday. My mother told me not to cry, to finish working here and find another job. (They treat me) like an animal..in fact, even animals would be treated better. If I pick a cucumber from a plate, they throw the rest of it in the dustbin,” the Hindu girl narrated her pain.

Sarman added that she told him that no one talks to her at the office on account of her religion.

Other Pakistani Hindus, including those who fled to Bharat, narrate the same tale of discrimination – of not being served food in restaurants and children not being allowed to drink water from common pots in schools, of being discriminated against in shops and other public spaces. Even cricketer Danish Kaneria was treated like an untouchable when fellow Muslim cricketers refused to eat with him.

Hindu women who dare to wear bindis in public are spat upon their faces. Most Pakistani Hindus are poor, landless people from SC/ST communities, and many are kept as slaves (bonded laborers) by feudal landlords who abuse them at will.

Anti-Hindu attitudes are drilled from an early age by Pakistani state schools, and in madrasas and by religious clerics like late Barelvi ‘scholar’ Khadim Hussain Rizvi who compared Hindus to toilets. Pakistan comedy shows casually throw about slurs like ‘Hindu kutta (dog)’ and no one bats an eyelid. As one Sindhi human rights activist put it, ““Pakistan is a Nazi state…forced conversion of Hindu girls is not a crime for average Muslim.” 

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