Bhangi, Bhangi Toop and Christians in Pakistan. Lets restore Christian pride in Pakistan. By Dr. Adil Ghouri

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Most of you may know that Qilla Gujjar Singh is in Lahore. Some of you might have even heard of the Zamzama gun now popularly called the "Bhangi Toop". What you might not know however is that the full name of Gujjar Singh was Gujjar Singh Bhangi and that he was a Chief of the Sikh Bhangi Misl and that the Bhangi Misl was the most powerful, strongest and largest Misl of the twelve Sikh Misl`s (principalities) which existed before Maharaja Ranjit Singh united them. The Bhangi Misl stretched from Multan to Nowshera and included Lahore, Amritsar etc. Also all of Southern Punjab beyond Multan paid tribute to the Bhangis. You might also not know that the Zamzama gun/Bhangi Toop is called this not because of any association with the British, as most erroneously believe, but because it was captured by the Bhangi chief Jhanda Singh in 1772 -73 from the Chattha rulers of Rasulnagar, a small principality that briefly existed back then.
Over the years you might have also heard that only or mostly low caste, poor people, desperate for money or food converted to Christianity during the British period. These were people who had little self respect and most were from the sweeper caste or were encouraged to become sweepers by the British. This or some other version like this is absolutely untrue. The Christian clergy specially have propagated this baseless fiction so as to as to keep Christians under their dominance. The truth is that most people who converted to Christianity were just ordinary people back, some were very rich and powerful. They even included religious figures like maulavi`s, giani`s and pundits.
Historically speaking the sweeper class were and are in India, low caste Hindus (some had converted to Sikhism though). The Hindu society is stratefied in Varnas (classes) and within each class there are castes. So there is a dhobi caste and pot makers caste etc. Gill, Bhatti, Khokhar, Randhwa, Sothra etc are Jatt and Rajputs which are higher caste and would not be caught dead making pots, washing clothes or sweeping. So how did Christians become associated with sweepers, well a vast majority of low caste and Dalits (no caste) who were sweeper became Christian (in name only) in the strife filled years before independance. This is because they wanted to escape the intense rioting, killing, raping and pillaging that was happening back then. The Hindus and Sikhs were on one side and the Muslims on the other. So the safest thing was to tell the world that you were a Christian and hence a respectable and neutral third party. Also there were distinct benefits to becoming Christians like easier and better access to education etc. As they converted some "adopted" different last names, there was also intermarriage as missionaries did not identified with castes (and rightly so). Even now if you go to any Basti you will find Hindu temples and Gods existing there. Doesn`t matter which sweeper Basti, go to any you like.
Hence, though an absolute majority of Christians have no link with the sweeper class now popularly and mistakenly called "Bhangi" in Pakistan, Christians are all associated with low caste bhangi`s. Through this false association, and other things, for the last many decades Christians have suffered trauma in Pakistan. Narrow minded people among the Muslims community of course have had a field day as this has put a great weapon in their hands to strike at Christians. The Christian clergy have aided them in this for their own purpose i.e. to strengthen their control over the billions of dollars worth of assets (churches, schools, hospitals, houses etc) inherited from the British by the Pakistani Christian community and represented by the Church. The same clergy now come to the west, beg for money and once they get it misappropriate it in Pakistan.
A small group of us are banding together to change things from the way they stand. We want to create a core group of highly motivated and dedicated people who are strong willed and courageous. One of the many things we want to do is to confine the Christian clergy to the Church and remove them from the hospitals and the schools etc. We want to retake ownership of what belongs to us from the clergy who have usurped it and misused and abused our confidence in them. We will run these institutions on business lines and make the Christian community the richest and most influential minority in Pakistan. We want to launch a website to this effect. You can help us by sending us pictures of Christian people, institutions, clergy, building as cars etc. Share with us their stories of misuse, abuse and arrogance. Our website will be design to inform and influence donor groups in the west to tie their donations to certain conditions and to introduce accountablity. Also many of our clergy are G-d fearing people and we do support and honor them. As a service to Christ please join us on this great journey to restore Christian pride and honor to good Christian

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nazirbhattipcc@aol.com , pakistanchristianpost@yahoo.com