In previous years, two male Hindus from the Dalit caste made history as they were elected to the Pakistani senate. However, a Hindu woman from the Dalit caste being elected to the senate had been unheard of until March 4 when Krishna Kumari was elected.
Kumari is a part of the lowest caste in hindu society, the Dalit caste, commonly referred to as “untouchables”.
“It is like for the first time in history that we have been taken out of a ditch,” Kumari said. “Finally, we are seen as humans.”
With a family history of human rights activism as well as the constant struggle with poverty, Kumari had a difficult upbringing. Her entire family was imprisoned for three years in the midst of her work as a bonded laborer.
Most people from Kumari’s caste who are currently living in Pakistan are suffering the same upbringing as her.
According to Asia Pacific, Hindus make up four percent of Pakistan’s population of 200 million people; further, with Islam being the dominant religion in Pakistan, cases have surfaced in which Islamists attempted to use force to convert Hindus to Islamism.
With Kumari being a member of a religious minority, her election serves as an example of the steps taken to eliminate religious discrimination.
“People of my community distributed sweets when my nomination papers were filed and greeted me with rose petals,” Kumari said. “I had never seen them so happy in my life.”
As Kumari strives to correct the injustices that left her in a vulnerable position as a child, undeveloped countries, such as Pakistan, continue to put people who have suffered from its country’s drawbacks in positions of power. This tactic attempts to bring discarded issues to light as root causes for major setbacks in need of correction.