OPINIONS

Why Do Indian ‘Seculars’ Hate Mehak Keswani?

mehak keswani

A couple of days ago, a photo of a young girl from Pakistan was widely shared on social media. It was coupled with the description that the 22-year-old Hindu woman, Mehak Keswani, went missing from the Defence Housing Authority in Karachi.

On December 18, a video clip surfaced in which she was saying that she ‘wilfully converted to Islam’ in Ghotki and not in captivity. Anyone who has a slight knowing of affairs in Pakistan, where the abduction and forceful conversion of girls from the minority community is a daily affair, knows what ‘wilfully converting to Islam’ actually means. Mian Mithoo, according to The Print is “an extremist Muslim cleric and an influential politician that Hindu families dread in Sindh”. Given his involvement, this case is almost an open and shut case of abduction and conversion.

Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has only ensured that many such girls like Mehak who could escape from Pakistan and come to India before December 31, 2014, can lead a life of safety and dignity in India.

People who claim themselves ‘secular’ are demanding the roll back of CAA arguing that ‘secular’ fabric of the country is in danger are clearly supporting the injustice meted out to thousands of girls belong to minority communities in Pakistan.

People who promote extremist protestors whose extremism has been exposed on social media shy away from touching the issues like the one happened with Mehak Keswani.

Speaking about the life before coming to India, a Sikh refugee Sahiba says, “Life was tough for women and girls in Pakistan. Grown-up girls and young women would get picked up, sexually assaulted or be forced to convert to Islam, and we could do nothing about it. We lived in fear and therefore decided to move to India.”

Not just Hindus and Sikhs, the Christian community is also undergoing harrowing harassment.

India has shown a civilizational responsibility by fast-tracking the citizenship process for all such minorities in three Islamic countries who have entered India before December 31, 2014.

It is beyond anyone comprehension that why some Indians bat for the inhuman system where women are left with no option but to convert while the parents cry in helplessness.

So, the pertinent question for those who want CAA repealed is: why do some Indians who call themselves ‘secular’ hate the likes of Mehak Keswani enough to sabotage their shot at a life of dignity?

Mehak’s purported photo used in the post has been taken from a video claiming to be Mehak’s video statement regarding her ‘conversion’. The existence of a video statement has already been confirmed by tribune.com.pk

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