Rinkle Kumari was Hindu last month

Published: March 5, 2012

There are 20 to 25 cases every month and around 300 cases per year

For many years, I was convinced that Sindh is the most liberal and secular province. I thought that minorities were more secure here because of the history deeply rooted mysticism. But that was until I became familar with teenager Rinkle Kumari’s tragic tale. One, amongt many, whose story needed to be told.

While most of us know Maya Khan and Veena Malik how many of us know Rinkle Kumari of District Ghotki, Sindh? She was picked up from her home and then reportedly forced to convert to Islam just a few days ago. How many of us are even aware of these incidents taking place?

Nand Lal, the father of the teenager, who is a teacher at the Government Primary School Yarlund, Ghotki, along with his family members has taken shelter at Gurdwara, Lahore as he received threats from the local influential people.

While according to some reports Rinkle coverted to Islam of her own free will (now Faryal) Rinkle’s family says, that a local leader is supporting the kidnappers and had pressurized the local magistrate to conclude with a decision in their favour, ignoring the plea in the written testimony of the kidnapped girl.

For many, it may be good news as a Hindu girl has ‘embraced’ Islam and has become an addition to the Ummah. Some may also believe that by getting her convert to Islam, one of them might get a berth booked in the Heaven as well, as it is generally perceived or believed.

Rinkle is not the only girl who has been a victim of such inhumane and unlawful treatment. There are 20 to 25 cases every month and around 300 cases per year. These young Hindu girls are abducted by influential people and converted to Islam against their will. Most of them take shelter in madrassas to avoid the backlash from society. In fact this is one of the main reasons that Hindus, particularly from upper Sindh, are migrating to India in bulk every year is because they are unable to bear the brunt and subsequent embarrassment in the society when their abducted daughters return as converts to Islam.

Except a certain section of media, these issues are hardly highlighted in mainstream media, the reason being the right-wing news policy of most of the media houses and growing commercialization.

Supreme Court Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry (who took suo moto notice on the confiscation of two bottles of alcohol from actress Atiqa Odho) seems to have no time to have take suo moto notice or even notice of the forcible conversion of young Hindu girls. The honorable chief justice often quotes in hearings, that corruption cases have brought a bad name to the country, but did the CJ even notice that forcible conversion and persecution of minorities also contribute to the country declining image.

Moreover, over two dozen legislators belonging to religious minority have not been able to make their voices heard regarding a remedy for the grievances of their community. The reason for their voices have reached deaf ears and continue to be ineffective can be found in a quote by a Hindu parliamentarian who stated, “We are selected members, not elected.”

Though, I am an ardent supporter of democracy and democratic values, minorities in Pakistan were more secure during dictator, Pervez Mushrraf’s term, than in this government in which Punjab Governor, Salman Taseer and Federal Minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, were killed.

In recent incidents like Rinkle Kumari and the case of three Hindus being murdered in broad daylight in Chak, Shikarpur, a few months back, the Sindhi nationalists have supported the Hindu community. In comparison, the members of the ruling PPP and other parties, only make hollow speeches. Those who have read the Constitution refer to Article 20, 25 and 39 in an effort to purport to their fellow parliamentarians that the minorities were enjoying equal rights, as stated in the constitution. But an issue that concerns the minority community most is that of forcible conversion of their youth and abduction for which there is no law.

So if there is no law addressing this issue is it okay for the issue to be overlooked?

Is there anybody drafting a law that will guarantee protection and freedom of religious belief?

The answer, unfortunately, is simply a ‘no’.

I am a Hindu writer and cannot help but wonder if my words have any weight at all and if so then, would they be effective enough to initiate any substantial change? I hope so, but I believe not. There is a dire need to speak up by the so-called liberal and secular elite. Forget about Maya, Meera and Veena. Wake up and hear the unheard calls for help. Someone please speak up about Rinkle Kumari.

She is the one in need of attention.

Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev

A communications consultant who writes on minority rights and social issues.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Raw is War

    this is a pure case of religious bigotry.Recommend

  • Umer

    The day the majority starts speaking up or taking up the cause and undoing the injustices against the minorities in Pakistan, would be the day we walk with our heads up high…Recommend

  • shafiq Solangi

    Excellent, yes you are very rite forcibility convergence is the major and rapidly growing issue in our society. We stand by you and condemn this crime. However, I disagree that minorities were more secure during past dictatorship, I have e-mailed you a document- check it out and we will discuss over a cup of tea any time when you are back in city. Your voice is not unheard, it heard.
    Bravo, I really appreciate your sincere efforts towards human rights.Recommend

  • Raghav

    Why has my comment not been published???? I appreciate your courage to write on such issues in trying circumstances. Such incidents go against the grain of an open society. A fundamental point for me, which i find missing here, and in most other pieces is that why is freedom of religion a one way street So if somebody converts to Islam its great but if a Muslim chooses to convert to another religion or proclaim himself to be an atheist they are declared apostates, worthy of being hung!! This to my mind is hypocrisy personified. Recommend

  • THE

    She was NOT forced to convert and neither was she KIDNAPPED! That has come out in the open with her talking to the media. NOW, would you apologize for the allegations and non sense that you spewed in this blog or was that just another dose of Pakistan bashing that we should take? Recommend

  • bilal

    i think the writer should share his notion, concerns now as all have came to know that this story isn’t exactly the same. The other side and probably the reality of this picture has come to light today on the same directory. what pinch me in posting a comment is, Why we never misses the chance in exploiting the religion? i am counting all the religious leagues both in majorities and minorities. When i red this blog yesterday, me and my friends had discussion that a writer shouldn’t be so insensitive in writing such sensitive topic while he knows that the issue he/she is discussing contains a alarming amount anarchy which he/she somehow or the other is injecting to readers. though this topic is more inclined to discussing the overlooking of minorities rights but the title isn’t totally toning the same subject. Writer should have waited for the words by Faryal (Rinkle Kumari). Most of this post comments are posted by Hindus from both india and Pakistan, and till today everybody was firing the rounds of hatred, don’t the writer think that the whole scenario will turn into chaos? I still don’t know the exact reality of this issue but still my strong credence is, If she had embraced Islam without any inclusive feeding then this “Rinkle Kumari was Hindu last month” thing is seriously a sign of desperation.Recommend

  • Ahmed
  • brb

    @ZYX:
    exactly brb…..that explains it all and saves me from spending time on keyboard Recommend

  • FAISAL
  • Husmukh

    Kapil,
    CJ will never take sou moto or any notice because he has only problem with President and his party.
    And for this issue media will not give coverage because they have to run business in Pakistan.

    So we have to do some thing our self. First of all have to update these issues in international media forums , also if possible write letter to UN to help / pressurize Pakistan Government to fix these issues.

    Thus is also a option ran away. Recommend

  • Deb

    So it took her 2 weeks to realise that she has eloped and converted of her free will.
    Better late than never I guess. Recommend

  • Albert Einestein

    From a logical perspective it shows that she may have willingly accepted the religion and her parents did not want her to follow Islam and they came up with this story ? Whose parents would want her child to deviate from the ancestral beliefs ? … These made up stories are schemed to give a bad to to Islam ! That’s All

    Taking such cases into consideration, it depicts me that a great proportion of these kind of activities resides in India where Hindus use physical and mental coercion to convert Muslims into Hindus. And.. “These kind of cases never even see the face of the courts” !!Recommend

  • Danyal Shafi

    All right, where did all the support for – “Love Marriages” “Free-Will” suddenly evaporate ? Luckily the ‘teenager’ is still alive, and here is what she had to say herself,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=okev2ojehLw

    To read more if it is a forced assertion by ignorants or is it a truly, rightful and transparent conversion for which everyone has a right – check this,

    http://www.mybitforchange.org/2012/forced-assertion-or-transparent-conversion/Recommend

  • AJ

    WoW Listen to her !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=okev2ojehLw

    And then look at your false allegations..

    and for Tribune… Shame on you for calling yourselves muslims…. because now, besides all the humanly judgements, you have proven yourselves to be pro-america pro-israhelli and pro-zionist !!!

    In my eyes, you are same as the soldiers killing and raping innocent muslim children and women. Recommend

  • Fuzail Ali

    It is a proof to all those who thinks that she was forced to marry him. and asking to those who has nothing else to do except talking about this girl that “POOR” girl’s life is destroyed, Allahamdullah! she is a brave girl to express her feelings.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okev2ojehLwRecommend

  • Fuzail Ali

    @shafiq Solangi: do some research before conclusion, watch this link.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okev2ojehLw Recommend

  • Fuzail Ali

    @Ahmed: Good.Recommend

  • Fuzail Ali

    @Husmukh: hahaha please visit this link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okev2ojehLw Recommend

  • Vikram

    @aaliyah:
    All I can say is God bless you.Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Kapil Dev

    As a Pakistani, you must apologize to all Muslims in Pakistan and all over the world for the allegations your made here. After all the love Pakistani Muslims expressed toward Pakistani Hindus on Holi day, it is the duty of all you Pakistani Hindus to openly acknowledge the beauty of Islam that allows Hindus like you to live freely and safely as you clearly do.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Dilawar Khan: “Dear Kapil, there are lot of cases in India that Muslim girls married with Hindu, if you remember Sanjay Dutt’s mother was a Muslim women” Dilawar this blog is about girls who are being forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslims. Forced conversions happens in Africa too. Pakistan is a country where Muslims go attack and kill other Muslims in a mosque, so terrorizing Hindus is not a big deal.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @umair:
    “If the girl was forced to convert to Islam then she is still a hindu no one can be converted by force and if someone does that he or she does not know anything about Islam” Did you see that news few months back where an innocent Muslim guy was shot at close range by rangers in front of the TV camera. Many minorities people, be it Hindus, Ahmadis, Shias, Qidyanis live under that kind of fear In Pakistan. People convert just to live and that becomes parmanent after some times Go read history of Islamic invasions of India. Muslims are interested in numbers. Just look at Pakistan and see what Islam can do for a Muslim country. Pakistan is 95%+ Muslims. Don’t tell me Pakistanis don’t follow Islam.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @FAISAL:
    I believed in the Pakistani Muslim guy who was shot at close range by rangers. Just imagine if there was no TV cameraman there who videotaped everything, Rangers could have easily blamed the guy as a terrorist who attacked them with a gun or a bomb. Powerful people can easily distort the truth. Also search Pakistan police sex woman and watch this Muslim woman seeking justice. No one would have believed her if a News reporter was not there videotaping her. Muslims who kill other Muslims in markets, mosques and funerals will not think twice about forcing a Hindu woman to convert or rape her. Recommend

  • XXX

    @ Kapil,
    What can you expect from Pakistan…It is a common tendency among Muslims that wherever they are in majority, they indulge in ethnic cleansing of minorities. But they make a hue and cry if something happens to them where they are not in majority.Recommend

  • Humnaity

    Blockquote

    Whaterver the story behind rinkal Case Please dont put it into Religion Issue and Dont blame Goverment otherwise someone may be take advantage of it .

    Blockquote

    strong text
    We are all first Humans first and we respect relgions.Please Speak the Truth

    No body can convert any one into any religion unless it would be accepted by your Heart and soul. Try to understand please religion we need to guide the peoples what is religion.

    we should help each other to solve this issue as Humans and Please Speak the Truth .
    One day we have to leave from this mortal world and you will be alone. Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Humnaity: ”
    Whaterver the story behind rinkal Case Please dont put it into Religion Issue and Dont blame Goverment otherwise someone may be take advantage of it .”How would you feel if a Muslim girl was forced to convert to some other religion? Don’t blame Pakistan government, blame RAW, CIA or Mossad for this. Pakistan is a country where… thousands of people showered rose petals on the assassin of Salman Taseer , the governor of Punjab who sought clemency for a Christian … Even Pakistani lawyers celebrated murder of Salman Taseer.
    ww.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/8248162/The-killer-of-my-father…
    I have read about this incidence in Pakistani Newspapers. Rinkle was beaten right in front of the judge and her family recieved death threats right in the court. This whole issue is about religion and Pakistan. THIS IS TRUE ISLAM.

    Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Humnaity:
    “We are all first Humans first and we respect relgions.”Please Speak the Truth
    I am sorry to say that statement is not true. You can say “I am human first and I respect other religions”, which i doubt you do. Your religious leaders even even don’t respect Muslims who are Shias, Ahmadis, Qidyanis, Bohras. I FEEL SORRY FOR NON-MUSLIMS WHO LIVE IN PAKISTAN.Recommend

  • http://[email protected] Rizwan

    @Malik Amir:
    I agree with you buddy and this writer unfortunately is expressing a biased view the girl has in front of all accepted she has left her religion and married a muslim guy by her own will i dont understand what is he frustrated at.Recommend

  • Roshni

    According to one news paper HSC Judge discovered the ear device in Rinkle’s ear which was hidden in the burka or dupata and he ordered to remove that.
    This ear device must be used before for the dictation (from distance) of her all statements.Poor girl is obeying them what ever they say, just b/c she has been threatened, beaten by the PPP MNA in front of many people in Mir Pur Mathelo in and out side the court.( When her first statement was that ,she wanted to go to the parents).Why peoples can not understand this is a clear case of abduction.Girls’s every statement has been dictated by the ear device ,she might be still in their control in shelter home due to ear device.Recommend

  • Gul Khan

    This is a common practice of these mullahs. They are regularly doing this. They kidnap Hindu girls and forcibly convert them and marry them with their boys and keep them in there harams. At last they sell them from one place to other. They also get huge bribe in rupees of millions from the relatives of kidnappers in return of the kidnapper. This is first time that people have dared to speak and resist. You can see today’s reports where the associated of this culprit have made press conferrence that if girl returns to their parents, they will kidnap four hindu girls and also will attack hindus.

    These are terrorisrts, please speak against them, either you are Hindu, muslim or belong to any religion.Recommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    @kaalchakra:
    As hogwash and shameful as your claim, denial, twisted delusion, self glorification and faux outrage was in demanding an unfounded hyperbolic apology from the author, let’s turn the tables and apply it correctly.

    No, Kaalchakra, its you, and other prejudiced conservative extremists, who should apologize, to Kapil, Rinkle Kumar, her family, community, Pakistan, women, Indians, Muslims, Hindus, humans, etc. She and few other girls are now seeking refuge from threats by the political family that forced her. Turned out to be a clear case of abduction. You gave criminals prejudiced preference and cover due to blind bigotry, misogyny and extreme values, justifying criminal and haram acts as halal and legal based on false religious labels.

    Don’t represent us Muslims or my Islam for your twisted demands. No one will appreciate Islam due to Munafiq, Zalim, Kharjee idealogical commentators that defend criminals, deny minority discrimination and launch biased attacks on honest citizens like Kapil Dev who raise issues for those who need protection. Recommend

  • Hani Rajput

    Recieved a msg: “Ghotki, Dehrki aur Mirpur Mathelo mein Main Mitho k log banduken lekr hindouo ko dhamka rahe hain or elaan kar rahe hai k AgrRinkal ne 26 March ko bayaun badla to kisi b Hindu ko nai chorenge; kia mian mitho se koi puchne wala nhe hai, hm asfaq Pervaiz Kiyani serequest karte hn k Ghotki Distt: ko army k hawale kia jaye kyun k yeh sb hukumat khud karwa rahe hai. Kawish ktn sb mil gaye hain un se. KTN kawaish pe koi pgm nhn horaha. Woh b hamare khilaf hai. From Hindu Council Pakistan. plz forward”Recommend

  • khan

    @waqas:

    Its still very heart aching for you that the girls converted with their own will, the article in question is this one…so stop crying about a muslim converting to another religion, at this very moment its the hindus who want to revenge their girl for converting to Islam..Recommend

  • Salman

    @Sehrish:

    You are right Sehrish but this is Pakistan and there is no law and the people whose target only to make hindus to muslim forcefully not by their wish. Islam not allow to do this if you are muslim you will have to agreed on it. Now a days why hindus are leaving because of muslims shameful act. We are human first then religion come so please spread the justice voice. Recommend

  • Salman

    @Vikram:
    The issue is being critical and really I have seen the hindus respects islam but if muslim threat and deceive then what will he will say him or if it happens with any muslim then they all stand but no one will stand if minority faced these kind of problems. Muslim must support because they are in majority. Recommend

  • ganesh

    Ms. Kumari, for her part, has said in a court filing and media interviews that she converted of her free will Recommend

  • khan

    Bal thakery’s grand daughter married a muslim named Muhammad Nabi, was she too forced to marry a muslim?Recommend

  • Vikram

    @ganesh:

    Search “guy shot by rangers”. Watch the video. It may make you sick.
    Things like this happen to Baloch people all the time.
    If you tell a Hindu girl, convert else we will kill your whole family, she will do anything. Pakistani courts are afriad of Mullah Power too.

    Recently a judge convicted, Mumtaz Qadri for killing a governer ” Salman Taseer”.
    Murderer was showered with rose petals by Pakistani lawyers. Judge resigned and moved after the conviction.

    Even Zaradari is scared some one will kill him. This is Pakistan. Islam rules in courts too.Recommend

  • khan

    @Naresh:

    Dear Naresh Bal Thakeray’s Grand-daughter married a muslim in India, I think even she was forcefull wed by that muslim….

    Dont try to get cheap sentiments from the people, you should not be of such extremists views let these girl live in peace with the one she loves…instead you people will try to murder her as she converted to Islam,Recommend

  • Taj Saxena

    @kaalchakra:
    First of all, what is this “allowed to live” freely and safely? How many thousands of generations have the people of Sindh been playing Holi freely and safely? Forget Muhammad, even before Moses was born. Zabardasti aur aatankvaadi karke ek nakli desh banaya aur phir aadivasi log ko bolte hain be happy we allow you to live?Recommend

  • tanveer

    its a great tragedy that we have such incidents in our country. sikhs of teera valley are forced to pay jizzya , christians of punjab are targetted , hazaras of balochistan are being killed and the worst fate is Rinkle Kumari. and it is horrible to read that more than 300 cases are reported every year and being a frequent reader of newspaper l feel shame that i have read this incident today.it is just a surprise that i have read page 15 of dawn newspaper and found Rinkle word attractive .i thought she might be some artist and when i read in detail , it was horrifying. but is it not horrifying that our newspapers have space for maulana fazl ur rehman but front pages have no space for hundreds of kumaris.it is their tragedy that they were born in this country and it is our tragedy that our representatives have no time to speak for them….down with all sorts of extremism.Recommend

  • tanveer

    @ kaachakra…i am a muslim and live in pakistan and it is not the gratitude of pakistani muslims to allow hindus to live happily in pakistan.it is their natural right to live here.it is their country and they have as much right over pakistan as i have. pakistan is just 67 years old and hidus of sindh are thousand years old .they are the real sons of soil and it is their resilience that they have been protecting their faith since time immemorial..my family migrated from jullandhar and beekanir in 1947 and Rinkle has more rights on pakistan than me because she never migrated here , she is living since centuries.Recommend

  • shahbaz ali kakepoto

    this is an act of shame, we all should condemn this, but every coin has 2 sides so we should have to see and wait for the other side either it is act done by intentionally or by force/cohesive. in law there is no room for force/cohesive agreement, but if after she given back to her family then would they accept her as converter again from Hindu-Muslim-Hindu, as a student of social sciences i think they would not because they have to face the society’s question and putting finger upon her. they would not because this society would accept her as she was the rinkle kumari. i condemn this but no one can make anyone to convert his/her religion. in last but not the least, Pakistan is still the country for minorities they can live here safely. Recommend

  • Daughter of Islam

    shame on such so-called Muslims… Ummah is never made up of forcedly converted Muslims.. where’re we heading? incidents like this are a real shame to ISLAMIC Republic of Pakistan and The Ummah itself.Recommend

  • pawan kumar

    dear
    i m realistic and religius while i belong to district ghotki of paksitan from victom rinkle belong. i after this froced religion change i feel that thanks to waah guru baba i m not muslim. i not not bairiya like muslim (adam khor insan). who snatch the child from their mother . if there is GOD in this world and he see this He must feel shy for the act of muslims . thanks to him i m not muslimRecommend

  • Saleem

    In this article. there is a lot of emotional material. But is there any proof that Rinkle Kumari was kidnapped and forced into conversion to Islam. All the material I have read all these weeks does not give any proof of that. Kindly if you have any evidence or proof to support your story, come up with it. Just by saying that “she was kidnapped”, “she was forcibly converted”, “she was abducted”, “forced into conversion” does not proof anything other than another negative propaganda. What appears to be is that Rinkle, like many other girls (from any community) fell in love with a boy and … knowing that her parents would never approve her union with that boy, eloped with him and later informed her parents. The trouble here is that since she was a hindu and the boy a muslim, it gives a good chance to many (already very vocal) people to speak against Pakistan. Come on, get some proof and We will support youRecommend

  • saleem

    In all this propaganda about the “forced” conversion of Rinkle Kumari to Islam and her marriage “against her will” to a Muslim, the only statement in support is of her Hindu parents which says: RINKLE KUMARI WAS FORCED TO CONVERT TO ISLAM. … Dear friends. This is an era of science and reason. Please bring out some proof or evidence to support your claim that Rinkle Kumari was forced to convert to Islam. The statement of her parents mean nothing. Many girls in Pakistan elope every day to marry their loved ones and obviously in such cases parents (Muslim or non-Muslim) of the girls are extremely unhappy and mad. .. Nothing new or unusual about it..
    What do you expect the court to do? A girl standing in court and saying that she wants to go with her husband and the court should say “NO. GO TO YOUR PARENTS”.! There is no country in this world which has such a law. In any other county, if a girl marries a person of any religion, her parents would never even think of going to court.
    We do not need to go far to find an example. Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s own daughter (still alive) married a non-Muslim man against the will of her father. But what did Quaid e Azam do? Did he go to court? NO! ………… Did he threatened his daughter? NO!………. Was he unhappy? YES…. But those were his own feelings. He did not think of involving any court to support his personal feelings.
    So dear friends, instead of spreading this misinformation, try to get a solid proof ; for example a clear statement from the girl that she was kidnapped and was forced to convert to Islam and was forced to marry a Muslim. Otherwise, accept the truthRecommend

  • Saleem

    @manish:
    Madam. Go and see interior sind. There have been such examples . Muslim girls marrying hindus. It is just that those events are not so highlighted and if they are done, our beloved NGOs play an opposite role to what they have played right now.
    In Lahore, I personally know a girl who was a muslim bus she married a christian and converted to christianity herself. You want her name? I will tell you if you want. It is a singer couple who sing in small functionsRecommend

  • Saleem

    If a muslim girl marries a hindu or sikh in India, the hindus or sikhs write ballads in appreciation and even make films. (most pakistanis have seen movies like GHADAR, VEER ZARA, BOMBAY) . But if in Pakistan, if a hindu girl marries a muslim, it becomes a human rights violation.
    There is no evidence that RInkle was forced to become muslim or was forced to marry a muslim except some stories told by her parents to various people of groups. See her latest interview where she has clearly told that she became muslim and married that man on her own free willRecommend

  • Saleem

    @pawan kumar:
    We muslims of Pakistan thank God that you are not a muslim.
    You belong to a very cultured and peaceful community. … The same community which killed women and infants, raped 10 year old muslim girls and impaled 2 month old muslim kids on spears. Beautiful words from you. I guess Wah Guru will be proud of these acts of yours. .. Listen man, as far as my knowledge works, Guru Nanak was a peaceful man and he was a great admirer of muslim saints. But look at the acts of his followers. … And see the latest news. RInkle Kumari became muslim and got married on her own free willRecommend

  • Saleem

    In The “peaceful” countries of the world , namely USA, no parents have the right to interfere in the affairs of their children. A father can not stop her daughter from marrying a woman, a father can not stop his son to marry a man, a father can not stop his daughter from marrrying or havin sex with a dog. .. But this GREAT country is passing resolutions on this matter. USA wants that Rinkle Kumari be forced to leave her husband and forced to re-convert to Hinduism. According to USA, this is justice, Very interesting. And this country is supporting a group of pakistani media and many NGOs to do this job.
    Wise up, Pakistanis, wise upRecommend