Mandal, the first Law Minister of Pakistan and chairman of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, was deeply disappointed with the attitude of Pakistani ruling elite towards the Dalits as well as the Muslims and Hindus in East Bengal who faced regular discrimination and violence.
Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada has offered asylum to Asia Bibi. She was released from the Pakistan Jail last month but was living in incarceration fearing the lynch mob who call themselves protectors of Islam. Both in India and Pakistan, the culture of religious justice is growing. Pakistan and Bangladesh have this and the Hindutva lunatics are learning from them. So, while Pakistanis and Bangladeshis will want their nation to be Islamic only, their cousins in the Sangh Parivar want India to be a Hindu Rashtra. Frankly speaking, this is not a Hindu vs Gandhi vs Jinnah war, clandestinely, it is a caste war. The caste discrimination is a part of the South Asian culture, whether you are a Hindu, Muslim or Christians.
Asia Bibi faced untouchability and when she challenged it, she was charged with blasphemy. The thugs in the streets were baying for her blood. Kudos to Pakistan Supreme Court which rejected the review petition in this regard, paving the way for her to leave Pakistan. After all this, Asia Bibi cannot live in Pakistan as the Islamic goons will kill her. So the only option for her was to leave. Of course, in Canada too, she will have to live in anonymity for several years as Europe and America are also the new battlegrounds for these religious thugs who do not like the liberal societies but go there to earn money.
Our good wishes to Asia Bibi and hope she will bring up her children well without facing any discrimination. Despite all theories of conspiracy, the western world is still a far superior choice for all those who see their fundamental rights challenged based on their caste, race, gender or ideologies such as being atheists, humanists or anything else, which our states feel threatened by.
Many of our friends yesterday remembered Jogendra Nath Mandal, the first Law Minister of Pakistan and chairman of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. Mandal belongs to Namoshudra community in Bengal which was an untouchable community. He organised the Dalits in Bengal and followed the path shown by Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. He ensured that Baba Saheb Ambedkar is sent to the Constituent Assembly from Bengal as he lost from Bombay Presidency. Unfortunately, the seat that Baba Saheb won from Kulna shifted to Pakistan after partition and Baba Saheb had to re-contest for the Constituent Assembly from Bombay to get into it.
Mandal was hopeful that in the new Pakistan, Dalits would get fair share as he felt that Muslims will be much more sympathetic to their cause but within three years of independence on October 8th, 1950 Mandal resigned from Liaquat Ali Khan's cabinet against the maltreatment, discrimination and violence against the Scheduled Castes in general and among Hindus and Muslims.
The fact of the matter is, the Punjabi and Sindhi Muslims never considered Bengalis, both the Muslims as well as Scheduled Castes, as their equivalent and Mandal's resignation never made Pakistani elite learn from their mistakes. Excluding communities resulted in mass unrest in East Bengal ultimately resulting in the bifurcation of Pakistan. Mandal was deeply disappointed with the attitude of Pakistani ruling elite towards the Dalits as well as the Muslims and Hindus in East Bengal who faced regular discrimination and violence.
Unfortunately, we are not ready to learn from these lessons. Exclusion of any community leads to deep distress and mass violence. Political middlemen gain from such acts. Mandal died as an unsung hero and though he returned to India, he could not re-establish himself as a leader of the Dalits. Caste discrimination is rampant in South Asia even after so many years and yet we never want to do away with it. Blasphemy laws, cow protection laws, are nothing but to protect the caste hierarchies among the Muslims and Hindus. Religion is basically a tool for the powerful castes in South Asia to control people and perpetuate discrimination in the name of religion.
Canada has shown us the mirror but we will still not learn any lesson because then the religion traders will have to shut shops.