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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2528

Why Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for security of Bangladeshi Hindus?

By Rabindranath Trvedi

Rise of radical Islamists as well as greed of forceful occupation of properties of minority people have compelled hundreds of Hindu families to migrate to other countries. In most cases, ruling party power clique and law enforcing agencies, instead of protecting the minorities’ families, have tried to defend the perpetrators, simply because of their political identity or social status. They would utter tired phrases about Bangladesh’s tradition of communal harmony and religious tolerance.

It is documented , over the last four decades in Bangladesh ,the religious minorities particularly the Hindus have been subjected to every conceivable form of indignity, socio-political discrimination, denial of equity and justice, dispossession of ancestral households under Vested Property Act, unequal application law, violation of Human Rights and Constitutional provisions, terrorizing and humiliation by using rape, vandalizing temples & worship places including forced convert to Islam and forced marriage to under aged girls and finally grabbing lands and compelled them for quit Bangladesh to take shelter in India as a “stateless citizens”. The population of religious minorities particularly Hindus have declined over last six decades from 28 percent in 1947 to 9 percent in 2011. It's an evidential fact that Hindus in Bangladesh unfortunately have been facing the music of great declination in respect of politico-economic and social status today.

In the early fifties, the Hindus in East Bengal were politically, economically, and socially dominant in the region of East Bengal now Bangladesh. Numerically they were a minority, but they dominated the fields of trade and business, the administrative services and the professions. .In undivided Bengal, East Bengal made-up 56% percent of the total Hindu Bangali population’ our former generation and leaders in East Bengal began their life in the peculiar political environment of communal hatred, distrust and disgrace. But why have the divided Hindu and Moslem states not been able to maintain a separate peace?

The Hindu leadership in the Constitutional Assembly of Pakistan in Feb.1948 conceived the historic Bangla-State-Language issue. It was the Hindu Leadership (1947-54) as the Leader and member of the opposition led the nation in the definitive direction to the constitution, parliament and democracy. It was Hindu Leadership had abandoned the separate electorate system and their advocacy for the joint electoral system under a 5 point secret agreement with Awami League in 1956, was a milestone in our national history. The Hindu leaders had mortgaged their political party and votes to the Awami League leadership. If there were no joint electoral system in 1970, Bangladesh would not have her genesis as a Republic in 1971. Moreover, the Hindus have sacrificed every thing at alter of War of Liberation in 1971.

In return, they received nothing beside humiliation. It is known, any one speaking on behalf of Hindu community is likely to be dubbed as agent of a foreign country or communal. Bangladesh has given us honour and identity as her freedom fighter. We fought for secular-democratic nation state in 1971 and continuing to fight for its fulfillment till our last days. We deserve’ His’ grace and solace’.

It is a piety to mention here that recently the minority community in Bangladesh wants Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up the issue of their security with Dhaka after those attacks on Hindus and other communities in the country.

“India being a Hindu majority should do something. We have high hopes from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.,” Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council and noted Human Rights activist, told PTI.

As the minority leaders are expecting Indian government to take up the cause of the minorities, a senior Bangladesh minister feels these attacks are actually aimed at creating hurdles in the functioning of the secular and liberal Awami League government.

“We have taken several steps to ensure the safety and security of minorities and strict action will be taken against the culprits,” Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu told PTI over phone from Dhaka.
When asked what Dhaka would do if India wants to take up the cause of security of Hindus, Inu said, “India and Bangladesh share very good relations. India is our friend. If India wants to take up a matter with us, we will talk. There is no harm in it.”(NDTV)

My humble submission to them, why Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interfere in our internal affairs just to ensure security of Bangladeshi Hindus? Is there any social and international binding or agreement between two governments? It may be recalled that the Agreement between India and Pakistan commonly known as Nehru-Liaquat Pact concerning Minorities in April 1950 gave no tangible result. The agreement is alive till today, but what happens to minority Hindus can be assessed by declination of Hindu citizens in Bangladesh. The Indira-Mujib agreement making 1971 the cut off year for accommodating the migrats of Bangladesh as Indian citizens and also the loose border situation during the Mujib years had become the marker of security and legality… Any kind of meaningful dialogue between the two nations on migrations, consequently, ruled out.

So, it is our job to find out strategy for our survival in Bangladesh. But India had never expressed ‘Concern’ over those issues, rather India has been maintaining good bilateral relations focusing trade, transit and transport thoroughfare.

Bangladeshi religious minorities are the citizens of People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Why they bow down to Indian measures. Is it not crisis of confidence? We deplore the unscrupulous statements of RanaDasGupta. Today Dasgupta disowned the statement while talking to the daily Janakantha but PTI and BBC asserted their credibility.

.They may raise Bangladeshi minorities issue need to be enlisted in the bilateral talks between India and Bangladesh for permanent dissolution or they may, as organizers of minority cause; ask for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as well appeal to the comity of nations to take positive steps in these affairs. Mr.Dasgupta may appeal to the Government of Bangladesh should enact law –– aims to protect and fulfill the right to equality before law and equal protection of law by imposing duties on the government, to exercise their power in an impartial and non-discriminatory manner ; to prevent and control targeted violence, including mass violence, against religious minorities and linguistic ethnic minorities in any part of Bangladesh ;– to uphold secular democracy and help secure fair and equal access to justice; – Protection to these vulnerable groups is proposed through effect. A fight for minority rights anywhere can only happen when the politically correct facade of ‘tolerance’ and ‘acceptance’ is replaced by an active struggle against religious militancy, for real-life equality under law and, most importantly, when the majority accepts pluralism as a pre-condition for a desirable future We all know that Bangladesh is a product of double secession.

She has changed her identity twice in less than a quarter of a century. Over the years, the people’s roles or needs in politics have been changed by the emergence of various schools of political thought, their needs, and their assessments. If you take a closer look, people and religion are now being used with so much expediency, that one has lost track of the conventional or methodical classification, and the role of both. The lust for power and privilege, the politics of vengeance, and fear of defeat have virtually destroyed the democratic prospects of this land.

The year 1971 was a different one; India took active role saved millions of East Bengal Bengali and took arms along with Muktibahini to cut to size Pakistan in December 1971. That was our glorious history. Aftermath India had never come forward to save religious minorities in Bangladesh rather India had to swallow stateless Bangladeshis as Vote Bank in neighboring states of Bangladesh. In the last sixty- eight years since 1947, more than ten million of the country’s Hindu’s have fled to India in the face of sustained persecution and periodic riots with its poverty and frequent cyclones, Bangladesh are major news each year. But the unfolding fate of Hindus in the country rarely makes headlines. Today Hindu population in Bangladesh has dropped to 10%. Conceivably, by 2050 Bangladesh will have achieved the status of Pakistan: no significant Hindu population.

Rabindranath Trivedi is a retired civil servant, founder member of Swadhin Bangla ` Secretariat in 1971, freedom fighter, author and columnist and Secretary General Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM), an NGO affiliated by ECOSOC of the United Nations.

- Asian Tribune -

Why Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for security of Bangladeshi Hindus?
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