Extremism and fanaticism against Hindus in Pakistan have been a well-established fact. The minority Hindus of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan have always been treated as separate and unequal citizens in the country in a form of religious apartheid.
The country’s former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has once again exposed the plight of Hindu’s in Pakistan by making a revelation about ex-cricketer Danish Kaneria, who was the second Hindu after Anil Dalpat in the Pakistani cricket team.
While talking on a chat show titled ‘Game on Hai’ on a Pakistani TV channel hosted by cricket expert Dr Numan Riaz, the former pace bowler said that the Pakistani cricket team was “unfair to Danish Kaneria as he was a Hindu”. He was mistreated on the pretext of his religion and often the co-players refused to even eat with him because he was a Hindu, revealed Akhtar.
In the TV program, Shoaib said, “Danish had been Hindu. So it had been unjust to him. Some players had reservations about the reason why he consumes meals with us? ”
Despite being a bowler par excellence, Kaneria was never respected by the team members as he was a Hindu, said the former cricketer. Narrating an incident that transpired on a particular day in the Pakistan cricket team dressing room, Shoaib said that when his fellow players had resented eating food with Danish as he was Hindu, he got angry with them and said that he will throw each one out of the room for being such racists. He had then reminded the players that Danish was an excellent cricketer contributing immensely to the team and he should not be discriminated against because of his religion.
Danish Prabha Shanker Kaneria was the second Hindu and seventh non-Muslim overall to represent Pakistan in international cricket. Kaneria played 61 Test matches for Pakistan and took 261 wickets at an average of 34.79. He represented the team only in 18 ODIs taking 15 wickets with an average over 45.
After allegations of being involved in spot-fixing, Kaneria was given a lifetime ban by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), preventing him from playing in matches under their jurisdiction.
In 2016, the members of a parliamentary committee had also alleged that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is not helping Danish Kaneria to fight his case against lifetime ban imposed by English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) “because he belongs to Hindu community”.
PML-N lawmaker Ramesh Kumar Vankvani was of the view that Kaneria was being discriminated against and the PCB officials were not assisting him like they had helped other cricketers in the past. Later Kaneria had himself also admitted that he was being mistreated because he is a Hindu.
Meanwhile Shoaib Akhtar during the chat show, also recollected how this societal prejudice had forced former Pakistani cricket star Yousuf Youhana to convert from Christianity to Islam and adopt the name of Mohammad Yousuf.
Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif and Asim Kamal who also took part in a talk program on a Pakistan TV channel furthered that “Yousuf Yohana was bullied a lot. He was also a God-gifted player.” Shoaib also said, “Yusuf was to have 12,000 runs. But, we never guarded him”. Youhana, who was born a Christian, converted to Islam in 2005 after being a regular at preaching sessions of Tablighi Jamaat. His preachers included former Pakistani cricketer Saeed Anwar.
Source – opindia.com