In a video that has been viral since Monday, Pakistan minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan makes statements against Hindus claiming, 'Cow urine drinkers, we are Muslims.' Pakistan started an online campaign, particularly on Twitter, demanding the minister's removal.
After Pakistan's information and culture minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan hit out at Hindus in the most derogatory manner possible, the civil society trended #SackFayazChohan. Latest reports suggest that Chohan has resigned, thanks to the social media pressure.
What did he do?
In a video that went viral since Monday both in India and Pakistan, he is heard making targeted statements against Hindus. "Cow urine drinkers, we are Muslims. We are under the banner of valour of the likes of Maula Ali's and Shaheed-e-Karbala Hussein Ibn-e-Sali, you are not." If that wasn't all, he stooped to another low stating, "Don't operate under the delusion that you are seven times better than us. What we have, you can't have, you idol-worshippers."
Who is Fayaz Chohan?
Chohan is a provincial minister of Punjab for information and culture. In spite of being a professional software engineer, he is politician, who switched many sides. He started his political career as a candidate of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), but later switched to Pakistan Muslim League (Q) (PML-Q). But this time, he fought for Pakistan Army, backed by Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and won. Fayaz is known for his rude language and name-calling against his opponents on most TV talk shows.
Liberals in Pakistan went up in arms
Pakistan started an online campaign, particularly on Twitter, demanding the minister's removal. The campaign led by liberals of Pakistan soon became the top trend on Pakistani Twitter timeline with this hashtag - #SackFayazChohan.
Netizens like Karachi-based Sanjay had to remind him that denigrating Hindus also mean denigrating Hindus of Pakistan. Karan Kumar too joined Sanjay in the demand for removing Chohan for his "unacceptable vitriol".
It soon got liberal Muslims of Pakistan demanding Chohan's removal.
I sincerely apologise to our entire Hindu community for the racist and ignorant comments made by Fiaz Chauhan. The guy shouldn't be provided any access to public speech. He is as important as beef in chicken corn soup.#SackFayazChohan— Khadija Abbas (@TheKhadijaAbbas) March 4, 2019
The fact that PTI has a support base that demands it's leaders to take action against third own is what differentiates us from the rest of the political forces out there. Again, this is what Imran Khan has instilled in us. Now let's #SackFayazChohan— Haroon Shahid (@HaroonsMusic) March 4, 2019
Laanat on your existence. At such a sensitive time when the whole world is watching us for peace and tolerance. You come on the media with your fucked up hate speech.— Mariam's Madness (@mariamsmadness) March 4, 2019
BC kabhi socha hai log kya kahain gay? This is who Imran Khan chose?! Asshole! @Fayazchohanpti #SackFayazChohan
In fact, Pakistan heartthrob Mahira Khan too jumped into the bandwagon. She tagged Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, demanding to 'set an example' out of Chohan.
On the backfoot
Pakistan media reports, faced with the massive backlash, senior functionaries of PTI summoned Chohan following which he was forced to apologise. The News International reports, "Clarifying his stance Chohan has said that his comments were not targeted towards the Hindu community in Pakistan, but directed towards Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that he is apologetic if his remarks have caused offence to the Hindu community."
But, is it all that simple?
While this controversy has shown the liberal side of Pakistan, it has laid bare the ugly mindset of the warring nation in the western frontier, once again. After Pakistan gained independence from Britain on 14 August 1947, the majority of Hindus took refuge in India, faced with communal violence. but ever since, the Hindu populace of the country has been on a steady decline. In 1951, Hindus constituted 12.9% of the Pakistani population. But by 1997, the percentage of Hindus in Pakistan plunged to a mere 1.6%. According to 1998 census of Pakistan, apart from Sindh province, there's only one district (in Punjab), in whole Pakistan that has Hindu population more than 2%.
Statistics never lie. And these dwindling numbers of Hindu populace in Pakistan has only sheer discrimination, communal violence, unfair blasphemy laws of Pakistan and ugly anti-minority mindset to blame. Fayaz Chohan may have retracted under pressure, but it shows the mindset that is reminiscent of hardline Pakistan.
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Last Updated Mar 5, 2019, 8:05 PM IST