Congress party and its president Rahul Gandhi are being censured for their lack of concern on the abduction and forceful conversion to Islam of two Hindu girls in Pakistan which has outraged millions of Hindus and Human Rights activists and taken the media by storm.
News broke about Reena (15) and Raveena (13) allegedly kidnapped by a group from their home in Ghotki district in Sindh, Pakistan on the eve of Holi last week, the Modi government quickly swung into action and sought a report from its High Commissioner in Islamabad.
Since then a lot of water has passed under the bridge but no official statement has so far been forthcoming from either Congress or Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi over the plight of Hindu girls in Pakistan which has led to the hashtag #WhyCongressHatesHindusquickly climbing up the Twitter ladder.
Twitteratis are digging up various instances to show Congress has always been indifferent to Hindus’ plight. “A party which had a Pandit (Jawaharlal Nehru) as its first Prime Minister, has not shed even a drop of tear on the plight of Kashmiri Hindus” is one. Another cryptically quotes former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for stating Muslims have the first right over resources of India. Others are pointing to the visits to temples by Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi as nothing but a sham and a bid to garner Hindu votes in the forthcoming 2019 General Elections.
To recap the tragic incident, the girls were first kidnapped and then converted to Islam—a video showing a cleric solemnizing their Nikaah soon went viral. The minuscule Hindu community (only 1.2 per cent of Pakistan’s population) held demonstrations, calling for action. A 2014 report by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace, estimating that nearly 1000 non-Muslim girls are forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan every year, was cited. Reports worldwide have come over years on the plight of Hindu girls in Pakistan.
Human Rights activist Jibran Nasir tweeted that the sisters were converted at the Dargah Barchundi Sharif and were taken to Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab following their marriages.
India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj took prompt notice of the matter and asked for a report from India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan but it turned acerbic when Pakistan’s Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain butted in and initiated a war of words.
Hussain asked India “to mind its own affairs” and Swaraj shot back with “why-are-you-jittery” remark. As this began snowballing into a major controversy, and a diplomatic crisis brewed between two neighbouring countries, it’s has become a top lead story in most Indian newspapers today.
Yet, Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi have been conspicuous by their silence (Not so far and I would be happy to stand corrected). Since this story isn’t going to die out in a hurry, the longer the grand old party and its president keep their counsel, more it would be ammunition to those who claim Congress has always been anti-Hindu in its stances.
Not only Rahul Gandhi, but the barbs are also directed against Priyanka Gandhi, presently looking after the East Uttar Pradesh for the 2019 General Polls, who is seen as the next dynast in line, in case Rahul Gandhi fails to revive Congress in the forthcoming elections.
By early Tuesday, there still wasn’t any reaction from Congress, Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi. Meanwhile, social media was busy being outraged at their indifference to the nightmare of two Hindu girls.
Author of “How United States Shot Humanity”, Senior Journalist, TV Presenter