Trump consoled a Hindu woman, now she faces sedition charges and threats

Priya Saha, Donald Trump, US, Bangladesh, Sajeed Wazed, Sheikh Hasina, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians

Priya Saha, Hindu woman and a human rights activist, who is the organizing secretary of the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council (HBCUC) met US President Donald Trump on July 19th.

In her brief meeting, she told the US President that 37 million people belonging to minority religious groups have vanished from Bangladesh.

Her plea made US President reach out for her hand to console her before moving on.

But this kind gesture of US President Donald Trump has infuriated Islamists and government alike in Muslim-majority Bangladesh.

Videos threatening her are doing rounds on the internet while two sedition cases have already been filed in Dhaka against Priya Saha.

Such is the hate against Priya that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son Sajeed Wazed who had otherwise taken a ‘break’ from Facebook emerged to condemn her. He claims that the 37 million people disappeared ‘without a trace’ is untrue, explicitly hinting that the Hindu woman activist a liar.

Wazed also said that this allegation could have led to ‘US intervention’ but added that ‘fortunately for us, President Trump and his administration have a very different policy of non-intervention in foreign affairs. They are also not so stupid to believe such a ridiculous claim.’

Perhaps, Wazed needs to read the book by Dhaka University teacher Barakat who said that in the next 30 years no Hindu will be left in Bangladesh.

In the book, he said that from 1964 to 2013, around 11.3 million Hindus left Bangladesh due to religious persecution and discrimination.

Add to it the exodus during the Liberation War of 1971 which also took lives of millions of Hindus, and also the time period from 2013 to 2019, we find that the rough estimate giving by Priya Saha is actually on point. It is not just only the Hindus, Buddhists also have been fleeing Bangladesh due to religious persecution while Christians have also come under fire in recent times.

Wazed isn’t the only one to join dots and assume that Bangladesh could have seen a ‘US intervention’ due to Priya Saha’s comments; several social media posts are accusing the US of having ‘designs’ like these while threatening Priya and questioning her motives.

‘2.3 million Hindus sacrificed their lives for making Bangladesh’

Truly worrisome for a country that claims to treat all religions equal while firing all shots on a minority women when the Islamist radicals are allowed to openly chant ‘catch Infidels,’ thus making the minorities flee for their lives to any place which is perceived even remotely less hostile.

Bangladesh’s intellectuals who cry Islamophobia at the drop of hat should look at Priya Saha and their treatment of her to understand what true victimization ‘actually’ looks like. To browbeat anyone from raising minority rights violations won’t help their case at all.

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Namta Gupta