Suffering forced conversions in Pakistan; Sikh women hold protest

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No matter what the history, how much the hatred; there is no argument that can even remotely defend forced conversion. Unfortunately, the most inhuman crimes, have been ironically, committed by humankind.

Every once in a while the unfortunate news of crimes against the minority communities come to the fore.

Lately, it’s been the very disturbing one on, ‘missing daughters in Pakistan.’ Women, including minor girls from religious minority communities, in Pakistan, continue to be victims of religious violence, hatred and even persecution in Pakistan.

As per the USCIRF Annual Report 2020, “In Hindu, Sikh, Christian communities, young women, often underage, continue to be kidnapped for forced conversion to Islam.” The report further puts forward a disturbing statistics.

It states that 1000 women are forcibly converted to Islam each year and to make matters worse, local police are often accused of complicity in these cases by failing to investigate properly.

In the Sikh community itself, more than 55 such instances of abductions and forced conversions have reportedly taken place in the past few months. The girls belonging to families of Sikh granthis were abducted and continue to be abducted and forcibly converted to Islam.

While last year, the news about the abduction and forced conversion of Jagjit Kaur, daughter of granthi at Nankana Sahib, made it to headlines even in media across the world, several other such cases go unreported or uninvestigated. Recently, yet another incident of abduction of the daughter of the granthi of Sri Panja Sahib, Bulbul Kaur came to light.

Reactions by the Sikh community

The Sikh community is, understandably, deeply disturbed by the incident. Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) Women Wing, Delhi State organised a candle march on Tuesday with about 50 ladies participating.

Starting at Teen Murti Bhawan and terminating at Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi, the candle march has been one of the silent ways or registering protest and condemnation. Last year too, in September Delhi Sikhs launched massive protests against forced conversions in Pakistan which came to light.

As per reports, in 2017 Pakistani authorities excluded Sikhs from their census. It has also been reported that Sikh population is close to extinction in Pakistan, from 40,000 Sikhs the number has come down to 8000 now.

“This is not the first time we are protesting against the forced conversions in Pakistan,” Ranjit Kaur, President, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) Women Wing, Delhi State, said.

Earlier in January of 2020, Sikh residents led candle march protest at Jamia against CAA-NRC. Speaking of Citizenship Amendment Act, everyone in India has their initial blanks about the Act filled in.

The vicious circle continues 

If the CAA has opened a window for close to 3 million Hindus from Pakistani and half a million collectively from other communities, to move to India with their families and get citizenship, then Pakistan has probably relied on a much more disorganized manner of fencing the minority communities.

Even at the time, the Bill was subject to nationwide scrutiny in India, political analysts had warned that the CAB would not just lead to even more heightened communal repercussions across the borders but even dent India’s secular image in the world.


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