Does a Hindu life matter on this planet? Like in Pakistan, Hindu populations in Bangladesh have been shrinking since independence, due to suppression, oppression and forced conversion. Hindus in Afghanistan have almost stopped existing. Is there any Human Right Commission for Hindus? The more disturbing question is if Hindus in India ever raised their voices against persecution and genocide of Hindus in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and even in India?
Tithi Sarker, a student of Jagannath University (Jnu), based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, has been missing since 25 October. The next day, on 26 October, Tithi Sarkar, a third-year zoology student was suspended for allegedly making derogatory remarks about Islam and the Prophet Hazrat Muhammad on Facebook, which she had already complained with police on 23 October that her Facebook account had been hacked.
On 1 November, Hindu temples and several Hindu houses were, first vandalised, then burnt down by radical Islamists in Bangladesh’s Comilla district, after a Bangladeshi man, who lives in France, appreciated French President Emmanuel Macron for taking strong steps against radical Islamists, after 47-year-old French teacher, Samuel Patty was beheaded.
Noakhali Genocide 1946 in East Bengal
Hindus in East Bengal—which became East Pakistan in 1947, is now Bangladesh—have been the worst victims of Islamic intolerance in the world for decades. Genocide of Hindus in East Bengal began with Noakhali in 1946, in which 5000 Hindus had been butchered and almost 4 lacs Hindus were forcefully converted. Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, the then Bengal’s interim chief minister and a Muslim League member, had engineered massacres and destructions of Hindus to support his party’s demand for partition. Massacre had started on 10 October, the day of Kojagiri Laxmi Puja and continued for full next week. It was naked dance of death and destruction. Women watched their husbands being murdered, and then forcibly converted and married to murderers. Price of survivors’ lives was forcibly eating of beef and converting to Islam.
After Pakistan was born, its leaders committed ethnic cleansing of Hindus, which began in 1947 and continued till 1971, the year Bangladesh was liberated. Ethnic cleansing of Hindus was a weapon to reduce the number of Bengali Hindus in East Pakistan to turn Pakistan into an Islamic state.
Hindu genocide in 1971 in Bangladesh
It was not Bengalis, but Hindus, who were target of Pakistani armies in 1971 Bangladesh War, this was revealed in a book The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide, written by Gary J Bass.
On 25 March 1971, the Pakistani army, launched Operation Searchlight in Dhaka to curb Bangali nationalist movement, after Pakistani leadership, Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan, had refused to hand over power to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who had won landslide victory in 1970 election. The Pakistani troops, joining hands with local Jamaat-e-Islami members unleashed violence targeting nationalist Bengalis, religious minorities and armed personnel. The bloodbath had continued nine months till Bangladesh was liberated on 16 December 1971 with Pakistani forces, General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, along with 93,000 troops, surrendering to the joint forces of Indian Army and Bangladesh’s Mukti Bahini.
It is estimated that Pakistani military and Jamaat-e-Islami butchered between 300,000 and 3,000,000 people and raped between 200,000 and 400,000 Bengali women. In a systematic campaign of genocidal rape, Jamaat-e-Islami religious leaders declared that Bengali women were gonimoter maal (Bengali for “public property”) aiming at Hindu women. What is deplorable is that Indian Government was aware of it, still it tried to play down and referred it genocide against the Bengali community in Bangladesh discloses the book, The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide’. The then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi downplayed genocide of Hindus and mass rape of Hindu women to avoid protest from the then Jan Sangh, the predecessor of the today’s Bharatiya Janata Party.
Brutal persecution of Hindus in 2001 post Bangladesh General election.
Before general elections of 1 October 2001, Hindus were reportedly threatened by BNP-led alliances workers not to vote, since they assumed Hindus would vote for Awami League. In October 2001, after Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by Khaleda Zia came to power, her supporters with the support of Bangladesh Police unleashed brutal violence against Hindus for about 150 days. Bangladesh National Party workers and supporters started attacking in South West Bangladesh, which had large Hindu community. Motive of attacks was to terrorise them to flee to India to grab their properties. BNP workers entered Hindu houses, abducted school girls, gang raped Hindu women, looted their properties, brutally injured and killed the Hindu men. More than 200 women were gang raped by Islamists. Youngest rape victim was 8 years old, oldest victim was 70 years old.
In Bangladesh Hindu population declined from 13.5% in 1974 to 8.54% in 2019–this is almost 33% fall, which is huge. Hindus might be extinct in Bangladesh in next 30 years, as reported by Sunday Guardian. The population of Hindus in Pakistan has fallen drastically from 23% in 1947 to less than 2%.
Does a Hindu life matter? Did Hindus in India realised with persecution and genocide of Hindus in neighbouring countries Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, when India Home Minister, Amit Shah tabled Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on 9 December 2019 and asked, where would Hindus go?
It’s time to raise against the atrocities of Hindus in Bangladesh.