Hindus have experienced both historical and ongoing systematic violence, and religious persecution in the form of documented massacres, forced conversions, destruction and desecration of Hindu temples, and the destruction of educational centers. July is Hindu Persecution Awareness Month, and today, we will explore a few instances of Historical Brutality against Hindus in different nations across the world.
Hindus in Mozambique – Mid 1960s
Over 2000 years ago, Hindus had started using monsoon-led trade winds to build trading activities between Ancient India and Mozambique, linking these to other eastern coastal regions of Africa and Arabia. Hindu traders thus arrived in Mozambique and were settled there for quite some time. However, Portugal had other plans. In 1961, the Government of India ordered the Indian Armed Forces to take Goa. In a successful army operation conducted in the December of the same year, Indian troops took back Goa from Portugal. The governor-general of Portuguese India signed an unconditional surrender. The unconditional surrender was not unconditional if you see the history. After the defeat in India, the Portuguese colonialists in Mozambique attacked the resident Hindu community in different ways. Their bank accounts and properties were confiscated, and entire Hindu families were placed in an incredibly scary concentration camp. Yes, the Portugal colonialists sent Hindus to concentration camps in the 1960s.
Hindus in Sindh – 9th Century CE
Before Mohammad Bin Qasim’s invasion, Sindh was a kingdom with a Hindu majority and considerable Buddhist population. However, everything changed after the invasion – the destruction of temples, enslavement of Hindu families, massive attack on educational institutions, the plundering of wealth, forced conversions, and discrimination followed. Hindus in Sindh have been living under pain and suffering since the 9th Century CE, and things have only worsened with time.
Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago – 19th Century CE
Hinduism is the second-largest religion in Trinidad and Tobago. Hinduism arrived in 1845 CE in Trinidad and Tobago. A decade after slavery was repealed in 1834 CE, the British government permitted the colonists to import labor from India to work on the plantations. Trinidad’s population growth and development came from Indian laborers. During the first years of arriving Indians, Hindu Culture was met with hostilities by the Christians. Hindus have contributed to Trinidad’s culture and history even though the state regarded Hindus as second-class citizens. The African-based People’s National Movement repeatedly marginalized Hindus, and 19th Century CE was hell for practicing Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago.
Hindus in Fiji – 2000 CE
During the late 1990s CE, there were many riots against Hindus by extremists in Fiji. In 2000 CE, the democratically elected Fijian government led by Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry was held captive by a guerilla group. They demanded a separate state solely for the native Fijians. The intolerance towards Hindus has found representation in anti-Hindu speeches and temples destruction, both by the church and some natives, the two common forms of direct and immediate violence against Hindus.
Hindus in Afghanistan – 1998 CE
Before the conquest of Afghanistan, Afghanistan was a Hindu Majority land with a considerable Buddhist Population. Discrimination, religious persecution, and forced conversion of Hindus perpetrated by Muslims have caused the Afghan Hindus and the Silk and Buddhist population to dwindle from Afghanistan. In 1998 CE, the Taliban forced Hindus to wear yellow badges in public to distinguish themselves as non-Muslims. This was extremely similar to Hitler’s treatment of Jews during World War II. Hindu girls were required to wear burqas, a measure that was claimed to shield them from harassment. This was sadly a part of the Taliban’s plan to separate “idolatrous” and “un-Islamic” communities from Islamic ones. Guess what? Americans funded them.
Hindus in Myanmar (Burma) – 2017 CE
Hinduism arrived in Burma during ancient times. Both names of the nations are rooted in Hinduism; Burma is the phonetic equivalent for the first half of Brahma Desha, the old name of the region. After independence from Britain, Burma Socialist Programme Party exercised xenophobic policies and dismissed 300,000 Indian ethnic people (mostly Hindus). In Myanmar, Hindus (mainly women) faced religious abuse, kidnapping, and “forced conversions” at the hands of Muslim Rohingyas. This has been recorded as late as 2017 (yes!).