Do Hindus in Pakistan regret not migrating to India in 1947?

With the way Pakistan treats its minority and the progress India has made since 47. Do Hindus in Pakistan regret not migrating to India in 47?

Answer 1:- 

I've personally known Hindus whose families didn't migrate in 1947. A few years later, they tried migrating but it wasn't easy.

Finally in the 90's they managed to get visas and now eventually Indian citizenship.
They no doubt had trouble integrating into society, but said they felt much safer and believed they could now provide their children better education and a better environment.

I know another family, who weren't as lucky to get a visa to India, but the children of the family were sent abroad to study with the intention of settling down in another country. They had witnessed forced conversions and often used pseudo names so as to not invite unwanted attention while in Pakistan.

Both the children in the family have now settled down in other countries and the parents ware winding up their business to join the children.

I have a few Muslim Pakistani friends, who agree that it's not easy for the minorities and agree atrocities against them take place, but not as much as reported. Media reports are often exaggerated and in the cities it's far more cosmopolitan.

But having heard stories from Hindus left behind after 1947 and Pakistani Muslims, I think it's safe to believe that the Hindus are not happy in Pakistan and regret not having left when they could.

Answer 2:-

Taking the question literally, we'll never know for sure. This might seem surprising considering I'm as much a Pakistani Hindu as you can be, but the thing is: with the life expectancy in the country clocking around 46 years in 1960 to 66 years today, not many people that lived back in the day, live today to tell the tale. I, for one, can't find a single elder in my family to direct this question to. And I doubt any that do survive would be tech-savvy enough to frequent Quora.

So we'll answer it a bit more indirectly, specifically:

  1. Do the descendants of Hindus that chose not to migrate regret their forefathers' decision?
  2. If a genie popped up in their dreams one night and told them they'd wake up in the morning in a comparable city/village in India with all of their family, sources of income and assets in-place, would they accept the offer?
  3. Or in a more non-whacky manner, if there ever was a mass exodus, with governments from both sides facilitating it (how and why not being a question), would they board the train?
And rather than beating about the bush and sugar-coating the answer with lots of diplomacy and political correctness, I'll be direct, as there is a direct answer:


The logistics behind it can be explained with a little help from Abraham Maslow, or rather his hierarchy of needs.

  1. No fear of religious targeting.
    I’ve said it elsewhere and I’ll say it here again “For every bad guy out there are 10 good/neutral guys, but that one bad is at total liberty at and will destroy you and your family one day”. Thing is: it’s only a matter of time before it’s your neck under the guillotine and adversity doesn’t come knocking the front door. Think of it as a ticking time bomb whose timer runs wilder than the Windows file-copy dialog. You learn to live with it, but you never actually get used to it. And you have to weigh each decision, down to the minutest of them (like I thought twice about posting this answer anonymously). At the end of the day, it doesn’t really make any sense to live in the fear of being targeted all your life.
  2. Relatives.
    With the Hindu populace in the modern-day Pakistan disseminating from 15% in 1951 to 1% today, a legion of Hindus who have the opportunity to shift away, are availing it. And India (Ulhasnagar deserves a special mention) is a popular destination. This also means families are separated, relationships weakened. To put this into perspective, half of my own extended family lives there (some resettled back in you-know-when and some later) and I know plenty of other folks facing this dilemma. It goes without saying that longing to be with one’s near and dear ones is a part of every being’s instinct.
  3. Cultural heritage/scope of cultural freedom.
    While I do believe Hindus in Pakistan are culturally free, you can’t really compare to the scope of cultural freedom to be experienced across the border for apparent reasons. This side, we are pretty much relegated to celebrating our festivals at designated places or wear saris exclusively on special occasions (unless you want to attract the piercing eyes of random strangers). Cultural heritage is another concern. With India being the prime nation for Hindus, it houses a myriad of sacred places highly coveted by people of all sects. To illustrate, hundreds of Hindus from our particular Radhaswami community visit Soami Bagh, Agra each year as a jatha.
  4. Diffusion of the responsibility.
    Discussions like this tend to gear towards philosophy, with practicality and feasibility being sidelined. Why don’t the Christians in China migrate? Why don’t the African-Americans migrate? Why don’t the Ukranians in Russia migrate? Hint: It’s not because they’re that patriotic. The will to live, and to live happily, trumps all. It’s convenience. And it’s a convenience vs benefits trade-off. And shifting to a different country with all of your family, jobs and assets is anything but convenient. But by delegating the responsibility of the relocation part on our forefathers and our little genie friend there, we’re essentially removing convenience out of the equation. It’s not us who have worry about the details of the fine art of not getting your head chopped off, so the answer is always going to be inclined more towards a Yes.
So there you have it. The general consensus of the community here is indeed to migrate if was that convenient.

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