Pak Hindus cancel major Holi celebrations to protest Delhi riots

Karachi: Showing solidarity with Muslims who were persecuted in Delhi riots in India, Pakistani Hindu community celebrated Holi this year with sobriety. The representatives of the Hindu community in Pakistan also took out a march in support of Muslims affected by riots in Delhi last month.

They said “we are doing a march to give the expression of protest against the persecution and brutalities against Muslims in the recent violent riots in New Delhi, India.”

Riots broke out in Indian capital New Delhi last month claiming over 53 lives, largely from the Muslim community.

The Hindu community in Pakistan makes up about two percent of the country’s population of 210 million people and the majority lives in southern Sindh province.

Though the annual festival of Holi is normally celebrated with great zeal in Karachi, as a commemoration of spring and color, the demonstrators said that the 2020 Delhi riots which erupted on the night of February 23 and led to the deaths of 53 people, mostly Muslim, in violent ways, have dampened the joy of the festival.

Arab News quoted Pundit Mukesh Kumar, one of the march’s organizers as saying “Our Muslim brothers were being oppressed and killed, and their property was damaged in Delhi. It has really hurt us and prompted us to march today.”

On Sunday, as nationwide Aurat March demonstrations garnered national attention, the Hindu marchers continued their own impassioned protest.

Kumar added: “We urge upon the UN and world community to stop Modi and his government from meting out bad treatment to religious minorities. We also urge our Hindu brothers in India to stand up for the rights of Muslims and other religious minorities.”

He claimed: “Our Muslim brothers have never been a hurdle to our festival, instead they’ve always protected us.” “They celebrate it with us.” He said.

Saying that India’s Muslims were only protesting against a bad law, Dr. Rakesh Motiani, a local leader of Pakistan People’s Party said “It’s unfortunate that the Modi government tried to stop them from protesting by resorting to the worst form of violence.”

Shanti Devi, a demonstrator said “It hurts us a lot when Muslims are tortured in India. All should be considered human beings, and only then will peace prevail and society prospers.” “We are all humans and have the right to live in our countries peacefully.” She added.