Popular TV newsreader Sagarika Ghose had coined the term “Internet Hindus” as a pejorative – a term to insult those people active on the internet, especially on social media, and who were proud of their religious identity as Hindus.
But last week these Internet Hindus did what Sagarika Ghose could never do – do something in the real world rather than pontificating in the virtual world (internet) or screaming in the electronic world (TV news).
A group of such Internet Hindus decided to help a group of Pakistani Hindus who have been battling cold weather and cold attitude of Indian authorities in the national capital.
These Hindus, who were persecuted in Pakistan by Islamists, had enough of it in Pakistan and decided to be in India for a new life. Many of them came long ago and had been struggling to make their ends meet.
Numbering hundreds, these Pakistani Hindus are currently staying in a makeshift camp in an area known as Majnu Ka Tila in Delhi.
This eerily reminds of the refugee camps in Delhi that were set for Kashmiri Pandits who were driven out of their homeland by Islamists.
And obviously, when our governments failed the Kashmiri Pandits, they would hardly take care of Pakistani Hindus. As a result, these Hindus have been living in abject conditions for months. A neighbouring Gurudwara was the only entity that came to help – once again proving how Sikhs have been protecting Hindus.
But the Gurudwara could only provide langars, while these families, which include around 250 children, needed much more. And there was no help from the authorities.
While it would have been easy for likes of Sagarika Ghose to preach why the government doesn’t do anything for them, many top journalists didn’t even pay this lip service to these Pakistani Hindus.
But the Internet Hindus went beyond lip service.
It started with many people sharing information on Twitter and Facebook about these Pakistani Hindus, and soon Internet Hindus decided to act.
Last week, these Pakistani Hindus received help in shape of blankets, notebooks, socks, clothes, etc. – all donated by Internet Hindus.
These people, driven entirely by compassion for their fellow brothers and sisters, have been reporting developments about their help to Pakistani Hindus, and they have interesting and heart-warming stories to share.
One Pakistani Hindu lady offered these Good Samaritans to join for lunch, which they did. In fact, they asked for more rotis and the lady was only happy to oblige!
The idea was to not make them feel like beggars who were being given free materials but to make them feel as someone equal.
These Good Samaritans have confirmed that after helping with immediate requirements to fight chilly winters in Delhi, their next step is to help them get some jobs and become part of the Indian society. A group of lawyers have also gone to help them to help them with visa and citizenship requirements.
Surely a moment of pride for Internet Hindus, who have proved themselves to be better than TV Liberals.