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Sunday, January 25, 2015
Forced conversion: truth in the eyes of Anjalee Bai!
I do not know, what I should write on the issue of forced conversion as I have been observing and writing on such kind of cases since Rinkle Kumari February 2, 2012 to now Anjalee Bai, October 23, 2014; we have many names of those who have been kidnapped in the name of religion.
It is very easy to kidnap a young girl, send her to religious Dargaha, convert to Islam and later none can ask for girl. Let me write here, when I was covering Rinkle Kumari case, someone said that her kidnapping has been turned in the name of religion and these religious clerics will not let Rinkle go with her mother.
When culprits commit a crime, they get safe haven under the shadow of religion and after that his crime become unquestionable, if you ask any question; you would be counted on the list of kafirs.
If we raise voice through our writings and journalistic work, we are labelled as an agent because we want to know the truth. Why under-the-age girls have been kidnapped and later even their parents do not have an information that where girls are.
This is not only a matter of kidnapping; indeed, dangerous thing is that kidnapping is in name of religion. A state has already convoluted history and suffered a lot under the umbrella of extremism. Statesmen have had been penning policy with the ink of religion.
If the state does not draw a line between its own policy; things hardly get a change because the dark era of Zia that had encouraged religious groups and used the name of religion.
The state of Pakistan ought to understand that it has already deep-rooted problems and if they keep adding religion, extremists will use its name, then how can fragile state stop? Indeed, religious based minds and extremists are already brutally using it.
People are not dying because of half bread but bitter reality is, people are dying by the sword of religion. Everyone understands that name of religion is being used wrong; it is being used by those people who do not prefer to answer.
And now, come to the topic of forced conversion... Sindh is a province of Sufi/Bhagism where even dictator Zia tried to sow seeds of extremism; he failed to launch his agenda.
What has happened, Sindh is facing such kind of cases like forced conversions of Hindu girls, who are indigenous people of this land.
For now, I would prefer to keep focus on forced conversion, but yes, I would share here that an attack on Hindus is a plan to kill the soul of Sufism and first chapter has been started in the shape of forced conversion.
I did write that if Rinkle Kumari had not been sent with her mother then we would see other cases.
The List made by Veengas
Here, I would share a list of girls who had been kidnapped after Rinkle Kumari case. This list is not a final one because many girls who have been kidnapped, their news has not been reported.
Not a single girl gets justice because all were kidnapped in the name of religion, then girls were sent with those people who kidnapped them. In one case, of Hermi Kohli, a local court rejected her marriage because she was 13 years old but police did not file FIR (First Information Report) and she was married with a 30 years old man, as reported. Have we heard voices for those girls who have been kidnapped?
Sad, that our country’s people wake up when international media gives its spotlight, otherwise people condemn for a few hours like a movie show. Maybe, these girls belong to poor families that is the reason their pain has no value!
So far, in this newspaper, it has been written on Anjalee Bai case, whose age is 12-and-a-half years. Anjalee Bai was forcibly converted at Bharchondi, as in the case of Rinkle Kumari. Anjalee’s father filed an FIR against Riaz Siya, a man who married Anjalee Bai. “One local journalist told me on phone that Anjalee was afraid and did not speak a single word. People of Dargah Bharchondi came with guns and had religious slogan. We recalled the scene of Rinkle Kumari once again.” While, the Sindh High Court issued two statements; in first Anjalee was allowed to go with her husband and later the SHC said that she “cannot be allowed to go with her husband unless her age is determined”.
Why court is confused on the issue of age, here I would like to share the certificate of Anjalee Bai’s age, which was presented by her father.
It is beyond us why courts always ignore the age certificate given by the family. In such kind of cases, the family always gives a certificate at the first stage and the other certificate (of 18-year-old age) appears late, which is presented by a group that is involved in forced conversion.
In Anjalee’s case, the authorities still need to resolve her age matter. Though she is underage, the girl said that her age is 18 years, she converted to religion on her own will and wanted to go with her husband. Because of her statement, things cannot be solved, but court sent her to a shelter house. Now, her age issue should be solved. Will it be solved? We will have to wait till next decision by the court.
While reading the girl’s statement, it reminded us the old versions of the statements, which were already recorded by the girls who had been kidnapped. An unnamed source shared with me that when Anjalee met her parents, she told them that “if I go with you then they will kill you”.
Anjalee was sent to a shelter house and she was not relaxed there. There is also doubt that people of Bharchondi have influence over the shelter house and it is possible that men could contact her there.
If there is any kind of influence then how can anyone trust on girl’s statement, a girl who is already afraid?
Anjalee Bai is not 18 years of age. At least this time, the girl should be provided justice. In previous cases many girls were not allowed to go with their mothers because the name of religion was used. For now, the Sindh government has passed child marriage act. For the sake of law, queen of justice must peep into the eyes of Anjalee Bai who is speaking the truth that we all know. But who will read loudly the truth in the eyes of Anjalee that she wanted to go with her mother but she is not speaking the truth which is in her eyes?