Hindus in millions in Bangladesh are born to be persecuted by the majority Muslims ever since the division of India was accomplished in 1947 and again with division of Pakistan and with the creation of a new nation called Bangladesh in 1971.
In 1971, the then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh had a population of 75 millions, of which 19.7% were Hindus and other religious and ethnic minorities. Population census in 1972 showed fast demographical change as Hindu population declined at 0.1%. The genocide perpetrated by the Pakistan army with local Muslims in different parts of Bangladesh during liberation war in 1971 forced the Hindu refugee in millions to cross over to India. After liberation most of them returned, a tiny fraction stayed over and that may had attributed to the declining population?
Bangladesh declared independence on 26 March 1971 but the freedom struggle continued for 9 months with all assistance made by India. On 16 December while Indian army occupied Dhaka, the war was over and Bangladesh became a free country. According to government claim, 3 millions of people were killed during liberation struggle, while 200,000 women were gang raped or murdered. In 1972, Ted Kennedy’s report on Bangladesh says that, 80% of the victims were Hindus. Brutal Pakistani army targeted Hindus and their houses were marked, ‘H’ with yellow patches!
In November 2017, the Census shows Bangladesh population is 160 millions and Hindu and other religious minority population stands at 16 millions i.e. about 10% of the entire population. Question is why Hindu population is dwindling in Bangladesh? From 19.7% in 1972 to 10% in 2017, that means Hindu population has come down to 50% in just 45 years, why? And where are vanishing those minorities? Why the bloody sacrifices by Hindus in the freedom movement failed to receive any cognisance? How the Muslim rulers of Bangladesh could easily get rid of its own population, victim of liberation war and they never cried to bring them back from foreign land and gave their properties occupied by local Muslims back to them?
To find the answer of those questions let’s look into scenarios in Pakistan. Pakistan was created in 1947 with a sizable percentage of religious minorities, which was about 30%. But in 2018 Pakistan being a failed state and a monolithic Islamic country has earned distinction for systematically driving out its minority non-Muslim population in order to restricting them at less than 1% and even those tiny sections of Hindus and Christians are routinely persecuted by Pakistani Muslim fundamentalists backed by its government. Bangladesh, once a part of Pakistan, exactly repeats the same Pakistani Islamist path. Where are those people going? Their destination is India! According to ‘Empires Last Casualty’, a book on Indian partition, 49 millions of non-Muslims origin, mainly Hindus were found missing from Bangladesh (East Pakistan) since 1947 and that number is increasing day by day as Hindus are being driven out from their ancestral lands by hook or crook! Unfortunately, the world is mysteriously silent about this huge exodus from Bangladesh, which can literally be called a ‘Silent Genocide‘ as perpetrated in Bangladesh!
Why and how this has been happening? Answer is simple: This is a systematic process and in most cases, the State plays a vital role! After independence in last 47 years, thousands of Hindu temples and deities were destroyed and none was punished as yet, nor any government ever rebuilt any of those places of Hindu Gods? On the contrary, recently 500 mosques are to be built in 64 districts of Bangladesh with fund assistance made by Saudi Arabia to Sk Hasina government. Hindu lands and properties are often forcefully occupied by Muslims including government ministers and members of the parliament! Hindu minor girls are often violated and converted to Islam while the administration looks otherwise.
Government had confiscated more than 3 million acres of Hindu lands and gave those properties to Muslims through the barbarian Enemy (vested) Property act of 1965? Hindus are lawfully treated as enemies of the state of Bangladesh. Hindus are framed by draconian laws and right to expression is curbed seriously. Rape and murder is used as a tool to inflict a sense of horror and to drive them out of Bangladesh! Hindu representation in armed forces and police and as well as government services are negligible! Prime Minister Sk Hasina could blatantly advocate for promotion of Islamist culture in a multi-religious country. Government under the influence of dreaded Islamist forces already completed the process of Islamisation of education syllabus. As part of her process of Islamisation of the country and establishing Sharia rules, Government is building thousands of mosques, but not a single temple or churches? The government never extended any favour for the Hindus! During all atrocities in last 10 years, government party cadres, ministers, representatives of the local bodies were directly involved and/or led the perpetrators to cause loot, destruction and sexual atrocities etc. to Hindus? All those factors are contributing towards fleeing of Hindus from Bangladesh to neighboring India at a regular interval for the last 47 years and compelled Germany’s famous corporate consultant Bertelsmann’s Stilting to assess Bangladesh and branded it a Fascist country few weeks ago.
In Muslim countries, non-Muslims are persona non grata and Bangladesh is not an exception! Driving out of Hindus are continuing unabated till such time I write this article! Persecution of Hindus is an open secret in Bangladesh and none cares for them at all. While Bangladesh government is entirely responsible for the plight of Hindus, India that helped building of this new nation can’t now wash its hands and evade its responsibility. Hindustan the land of Hindus called India has to look beyond its petty diplomatic necessity and commercial interests, she has to save its next door neighbours from the ongoing Islamist atrocities. Is anybody listening?
The post has been written by Sitangshu Guha, senior human rights based in the USA. The views are of the writer alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of www.currentriggers.com.