Monday, April 20, 2015

Chandervati Bagheri! A Mother in the court of justice...!


While covering a story of Sindhi Hindu lady Chandervati Bagheri, I was thinking that being a poor people order of god and the powerful hands those are unquestionable, is this situation created by a will of god then why we are asking for justice and even why I am covering untold story of Chandervati, But it is not as it is being portrayed and nor the will of any supreme authority. What supreme power wants, I do not want to go to its chapter. To me, is an important that what common people want and why influential people act as like vultures?
People keep a hope, statesmen will become shelter for them and can safe them from the attacking of vultures (Exploiters).
Sadly, state does not play its role like a shelter as people are expecting from it.
State is bifurcated between rich and poor classes, and the story of injustice started from divisions which drew the line among people.
People those who have power, they use any kind of tool which provides them authority with impunity even they can use name of God and a division among people in the name of God. Discrimination in the name of religion is more perilous.
An exploitative class is dragging religion into issues because they have learnt that by fetching religion to any issue it can make issue sacred.
Issue becomes a matter of God hence those people are exploiting other poor people by using name of God.

While if we look at a situation of Non-Muslims in Pakistan, we can see disorder against non-Muslims in society, extremists are killing non-Muslims as well other sects (Shia and Ahmadis) which belong to Islam. 
A big picture shows, extremists are killing in the name of religion and another side of picture has very horrible scene that many non-Muslims (Hindus) girls are forcibly being converted to Islam.
This is alarming situation that girls are unsafe besides keeping a view of the violation of human rights.
Kidnapping and forced conversion of girls even the state seems to be helpless that cannot do any thing for those girls. Activists and human rights easily speak or hold rallies against honor (dishonor) killing but people hardly speak of those girls who have been kidnapped and forcibly converted to another religion.
In Sindh, province of Pakistan, three Hindu girls had kidnapped in a week of March. Have we heard the voice for them, yet?

Left daughter Sanwali, Chandervati and (Right) Uncle Gullo. photo by Author.
Let me ask, where is the voice for Chandervati Bagheri? A lady who was kidnapped for months, she was forcibly married and converted to Islam but who cares!

Chandervati is already married and has two daughters one is four years old and another is three years old.
She is a Hindu lady and belongs to poorest and unprivileged community of Bagheri. When I learnt about her case, I thought that I should pick my pen up and cover her untold story though I understand that whoever reads her story and can help her!
So far, I went and met her as she lives with her uncle in undeveloped area of Karachi and a person who took me there, he requested that not to reveal her residential address because she has received threats, therefore I cannot write name here.
Where she lives in undeveloped area, poor condition of streets speaks their story of poverty and living standards. You do not need to ask that how much those people earn as whole picture tells about a life of victimized people.

When I entered her home, it was congested and as usual electricity was shut off at least government institutes are very punctual to switch off electricity, however they do not give justice and any facility to people but they always remember well to press the button off.

One young guy told me, Adi (Adi, it is a Sindhi word means Sister) please don’t mind that light has gone and I answered him that no … no please don’t worry and few children were following me. I was accompanied by activist Raj Kumar, he spoke in Sindhi language with family and asked them that where chandervati was!
We were sitting in dark room which was already full with extra stuff and a battery was charged to generate twilight in the room.

One lady greeted me Namaste and I responded, Namaste, another lady was sitting in the corner of room, she said loudly regarding me that she is saying Namaste. It means, she is a Hindu. A group of lady looked at each another and passed smile.

I was just thinking about a lady who called me “Hindu” because her voice sounded insecurity and ignorance on the land, a land that belongs to her but now she is being considered as stranger and minority in her own home.
When indigenous people are ignored and their lives are crossing a narrow gate of life then they look for their space in a single word of greeting as my thoughts were changing like clouds, I looked at Chandervati who came and greeted me. At first she was little shy to meet me and when I started speaking with her in Sindhi language, she looked relaxed and started sharing her story.

When she was kidnapped, she could not remember that date because now, it has been passed several months and chandervati told me that “she is uneducated that is reason I am unable to recall the date but yes I still remember that day, it was Mela and all family members including my husband and elder daughter went to Mela and with my three sisters I was at home.”

At night when I was kidnapped, I was sleeping with my daughter. I was alone at my home and my three sisters were at their own home. One kidnapper whose name is Imran, he and his two men entered home and holding pistol in his hand, he held my little daughter and ordered me that keep silently moving out and he came out of home. One car was standing in the street when he tried to kidnap my daughter, I loudly screamed and thief Imarn, kidnapped me and my daughter.

Our home is along with Temple and it was a midnight that people were not in the area.
Chandervati kept sharing her story that “it was really horrible time for her that kidnapper Imran, always blackmailed her because he has my little daughter whose name is Sanwali whenever I begged him that please leave me I am already poor lady and married. You can not get anything from me.”
Kidnapper Imran who kidnapped me, he had support of influential people in Dharki, a district of Sindh.

“Kidnapper Imran, kept shifting me in different cities of Sindh sometime Rani poor and others for seven month and forcing me that I must marry him. I told him, it is impossible, I am already married and a Hindu, neither would merry you and nor change my religion.” Chandervati’s eyes were speechless and while sharing her story, she said that no one would help us.
You cannot imagine that Imran kidnapper, used to beat me and my daughter, he kept gun on my daughter that if I had not obeyed him, he would have killed my daughter then what I could do as alone and being a mother to my daughter, I bore his tortures physically and he also raped me many times.
He was drunk and wanted me to work as prostitute because he sold his sisters and also mother, too. He was really very bad character, thief and had support of local police men and authorities even he had gun in his pocket that was why no one could speak before him.

He took me to Bhachando Dargah where he wanted me to convert my religion but I refused and then he moved another Dargha of Amorit Sharif where he gave five or six thousand rupees to Molvi who forcibly converted my religion though I refused to convert to another religion and I told them that I am already married, I cannot do it. Molvi and Imran threatened me and Imran forcibly got thumb stamp on marriage pages.

At one night, he went outside and gate was open, I got chance to run and then I took my daughter, straightly I came to my uncle whose name is Gulu Bagheri here in Karachi because I knew that If I had gone to Dharki to my mother and husband, Imran would find me there. That’s reason, I did not go there. When I came here and shared whole truth with my uncle.

Her uncle name is Gullo Bagheri and he sells used-cloths in local market. He said that we are helpless and no one is helping us because we are Hindu. Muslims put us in trouble that we are Hindu and upper class of Hindu, they do not listen to us because we are Bagheri (lower caste). Where should we go? Every year our four and five girls are being kidnapped when our daughters are unsafe then why should we live here?
Group of people said in one voice that we want to go to India even though activist Raj Kumar offered them the facility of shelters in Karachi but they all refused.

So, her uncle continued his conversation regarding Chandervati case that they hired one lawyer but he did not listen to their case and just said them, he would get divorce though we were saying our lawyer that she did not married him so how is it possible to get divorce.
He kidnapped our daughter and forcibly converted to Islam. It is illegal and crime but a lawyer did not listen to us and he wrote statement what he wanted to write, we people are uneducated and we could not read that what he was typing statement but later we came across that he is filing a case of divorce which was wrong and we rejected his fabricated statements after then we contacted to activist Raj Kumar, he helped us.
Now, our case has another lawyer G. MustafaLakho who says that case will go in our favour but we do not have any hope that we are poor and no one is helping us.
Chandervati complained that no media person was willing to report her case. Although, I still have life threats from thief Imarn, he warned me that if I go to the court or even the court allows me to live with my family, he would kill me.
Chandervati was in sorrow when she said that “my elder daughter is not with me and my husband is keeping hide himself because Imran, has threatened to them.”
She hugged her little daughter Sanwali and said that “I want to get justice, I am a Hindu lady and have not converted my religion and nor married him.”  
Her little daughter Sanwali hugged her mother and then I greeted them and returned home to cover her story but I waited till 30th March, 2015 because next hearing was after few days, though I had already doubt that this time again might judge not come and their case will get another date.
Hence, I phoned to lawyer and asked his view about case. He told me that Chandervati case is very clear that it is forced marriage and forced conversion; she has two daughters and also is a Hindu woman. Illegal marriage is not allowed in our law therefore she may get justice but little hurdle is that she was forcibly given statement in Court of Sukkur,  city of Sindh, “I converted Islam and got married Imran on my own will.” In fact, she was threatened and her daughter was in kidnappers’ custody that’s why she was afraid and could not speak truth at the court of Sukkur although now she is giving her statement. As you know that this is a fight between power and powerless people but we hope that on 30th March, 2015 our case would get justice if the judge comes to the court.
Indeed, Chandervati case has received another date on 21st April, 2015. Will she get a justice or not? A mother in the court of justice, when will queen of justice start listening to the voice of Mother? 


  1. Sad Story :
    Kidnapper Imran, kept shifting me in different cities of Sindh sometime Rani poor and others for seven month and forcing me that I must marry him. I told him, it is impossible, I am already married and a Hindu, neither would merry you and nor change my religion

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  3. Indeed, very touchy. My heart goes with all those suffering from such situation. In fact, it is the most ugly picture of our society where the state loses its writ, the law of jungle starts