A trip down to Hindu temples in Pakistan

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Jawhar Sircar, CEO, Prasar Bharati and Jawed Naqvi, well-known journalist, launched a bold new book Historic Temples in Pakistan: A Call to Conscience by Reema Abbasi, recently in New Delhi. A number of leading lights from the fields of art and literature, including renowned actress, Sharmila Tagore, author and activist Arundhati Roy, Dawn Newspaper Group director, Masood Hamid and Madiha Aijaz, the photo-journalist from Pakistan, whose evocative photographs of antiquated and exquisite Hindu shrines elaborately embellish the book, were present on the occasion.

Published by Niyogi Books, it is the first comprehensive volume covering the remaining noteworthy Hindu temples in Pakistan. It covers 24 temples spread across Pakistan, along with five major Hindu festivals celebrated there. The book makes a case for keeping ancient emblems of faith alive and for pluralism in a land of irony that has been home to multiple ancient faiths yet stands besieged by unpalatable extremism. It also aspires to enshrine the ideal of liberty. By framing an all-inclusive piety, this book sets out to ignite a discourse and the collective conscience of a nation numbed into silence, fear or the false conviction of the supremacy of a singular religion—to institutionalise the fundamental right of will.

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