Karachi, January 28 (Express Tribune): For the first time in Pakistan’s judicial history, a woman belonging to the minority Hindu community has been appointed as a Civil and Judicial magistrate.
Suman Bodani, hailing from Sindh’s Shahdadkot district, was declared eligible for the post after passing her Judicial Officers’ examination with flying colors – securing 54th position on the merit list,.
Speaking to a foreign news outlet, Bodani said she belonged to an underdeveloped rural area of Sindh, where she witnessed the poor struggling to cope with various challenges life throws at them.
“They cannot even afford to lodge cases, and that is the reason behind my decision to join law studies so I can bring justice to them,” she was quoted as saying.
After completing her intermediate from her native town Shahdadkot, Bodani pursued law and acquired a Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree from Hyderabad and a Master of Law (LLM) from Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) in Karachi.
Bodani also said she faced resistance from her own community as they did not like girls working in the law field. However, her family including her father and siblings extended their full support to her.
“My family did not pay any heed to what people would say and helped me achieve my goal.”
Last year, Justice Syeda Tahira Safdar made history after becoming the first woman Chief Justice of a High Court in the country.
She was also the first woman appointed as a civil judge in Balochistan and holds the distinction of being the first woman in the province appointed as a judge in the Balochistan High Court.
Earlier in March 2018, Krishna Kumari, member of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), became the first Hindu woman elected to the Senate. She belongs to the lowest rung of the Hindu caste system prevalent in both Pakistan and India.
“I will continue to work for the rights of the oppressed people, especially for the empowerment of women, their health and education,” she said after winning the election. Kumari, who was born and raised in a remote district, is an avid advocate of education which eventually helped her earn a university degree.
Hindus make up nearly 2 per cent of Pakistan’s total population. While the Hindu community has made their presence felt in the country, including the government and the parliament, Hinduism remains the second largest religion in Pakistan after Islam. Pakistan is the fifth largest country that is home to the Hindu community. By 2050, it will become the fourth largest country containing Hindu population.
(The featured image at the top shows Suman with her father Dr.Pawan Bodani)