HAF Launches U.S. Film Tour on Pakistani Hindu Refugees with Filmmaker Rahul Riji Nair
Washington, D.C. (July 6, 2012) - "We won't go back. Even if you shoot us we won't go back," cried out an elderly Pakistani Hindu woman living in the Dera Dhuni Baba refugee camp in the Indian capital of New Delhi. Her tragic story, along with those of 150 other Hindus from Pakistan's Sindh province, was recently captured by Indian filmmaker, Rahul Riji Nair, in his new critically acclaimed documentary, The Human Boundaries.
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) announced plans today for an exclusive nationwide film tour with Nair, whose film was inspired by Hindu spiritual leader and Art of Living Founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The documentary is scheduled to be showcased at several community events throughout the U.S. from July 12 - August 5, 2012, and will include stops in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, Detroit, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Nair's film will also be screened on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., in collaboration with the Office of Congressman Robert Dold (R-IL). A working film tour schedule can be seen here.
"I want to thank the Hindu American Foundation for inviting me to the United States to discuss The Human Boundaries with audiences across the country," said Nair. "The purpose of this film is to portray the traumatic daily events plaguing a population caught in a geo-political conundrum that is discriminated against purely on religious grounds. They are left virtually without a state that is capable of protecting their basic human liberties. It is my sincere hope that the American public will better understand their suffering after seeing the documentary."
Systematic violence, rampant discrimination, and widespread restrictions on religious freedom have led thousands of Pakistani Hindus to seek refuge in India in recent years. The Indian government, however, has failed to recognize the majority of them as refugees or grant them asylum. Last month, HAF urged the Indian government to provide formal legal status to Pakistani Hindu refugees, who remain at risk of being deported. The Foundation also wrote directly to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees on World Refugee Day to address the plight of these Pakistani Hindus.
Throughout the film, several of the refugees detailed the routine persecution and discrimination they faced in Pakistan, and made emotional appeals to stay in India. HAF also documents the atrocities against Hindus and other minorities in Pakistan in its annual human rights report.