The base of all religions is more or less same–humanity, love for mankind. Not a single teaching could hint at maltreatment, injustice, and violence. But today’s world just talks more about religion, but forgets the major chunk of what it teaches. The recent incident in Memon Goth, Sindh, where 60 Hindu men, women and children were forced to flee their homes, has hurt me deeply. Their current situation forced them to live in a cattle pen in order to save their lives, but what so terrible they have done? Their only crime is that a Hindu boy drank water from a cooler placed outside the Mosque. The whole idea of such coolers is to satiate thirst of people regardless of their gender, creed, class and religion. And the concept of “sawab” is a motivation factor for people to arrange some comforts. Imagining a boy working on a farm in this heat who just drank some water and it invited the wrath of tribesmen who attacked the Hindus, and injured some of them.
What is the life of non-Muslims here when on every small action they meet such fate. Such tragic incidents address the most important issue of tolerance. Why this society has chosen an extreme path which only brings misery for those who are not “one of them”. The rise in intolerance needs to be countered and the role of religious leaders in such cases becomes crucial. They need to educate the society on what Quran and Islam say on such issues. Feeding non Muslims is something quite appreciable in Islam and those who try to test people with food and water have no right to claim that they belong to any religion. This is insanity and the time has come to implement zero tolerance for all the religious extremism.
Below is the story:
As many as 60 Hindu men, women and children were forced into abandoning their homes in Memon Goth and taking refuge in a cattle pen all because of a boy from their community who drank water from a cooler placed outside a mosque, police officials and community members told The News.
These hapless people ran away from the wrath of some of the influential tribesmen of the area who got so enraged by the incident, which took place last week, that they beat up the members of the Hindu community and forced them into evicting their quarters.
“All hell broke loose when my son, Dinesh, who looked after chickens in a farm, drank water from a cooler outside a mosque. Upon seeing him do that, the people of the area started beating him up.
“Later, around 150 tribesmen attacked us, injuring seven of our people — Samo, Mohan, Hero, Chanu, Sadu, Heera, and Guddi — who were taken to the Jinnah Hospital,” said Meerumal, a resident of the area.
One of the injured, Heera, while showing this correspondent his wounds, said that another 400 families of the area, located in the vicinity of Malir, were also being threatened to leave the area.
“Our people are even scared of going out of their houses. We are also putting up with living in the filthy pen because we cannot go home for fear of being killed,” he said.
The SHO of the Memon Goth police station, commenting on the issue, said, “A trivial incident led to riots between the people of the area. Since both the communities happened to be illiterate, the matter just flared up.”
However, he dismissed the claims of lack of security to the Hindu community in the area and said that they could go back to their homes anytime they wanted to.
Meanwhile, Minister for Minority Affairs Dr Mohan Lal assured the Hindu community of full government protection.
“I have directed the DPO and the SHO to ensure that these people go back to their houses safely,” he said.
The minister said that the culprits would be dealt with severely. Abdul Hai, of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said that these people, who belonged to the Bheels caste, had been living in the area for several years.
“They are former bonded laborers. Now they earn a meager sum of Rs4,000 to Rs5,000 monthly as watchmen at the farms. Some of them also work for the tribesmen.
“The government must help them in moving back to their homes in order to instill confidence in other families and prevent them from packing their bags too,” he said.