Humanity assassinated: Ethnic cleansing of minorities in Bangladesh
“The dead, it is said, do not live to tell the tale, but this is not true in ethnic cleansing. The dead do tell the tale; it is the living who are reluctant to speak”.
Horowitz, 2001, p. 224
“You will be judged in years to come by how you responded to genocide on your watch”.
Nicholas D. Kristof (Whitley et al., 2010, p. 73)
We now know the Holocaust of the Jews, after Hitler and his Nazi Party found out “The Final Solution of the Jewish Question”, which is written in history with human blood. Today change the names of the murderers, their religious belief and the name of the country, and we will see that history is repeating itself in Islamic Bangladesh. It was ‘Genocide of the Jews in Germany’ and now it is ‘Genocide of the Minorities in Bangladesh’. And yes, as Horowitz said, listen carefully to every dead human. Each one of them has a pathetic story to tell you; pay attention and you will hear an unmistakable whisper in their silence, the stories of their suffering and injustice caused to them because of their minority status in a Muslim majority country. Those who are still fortunate enough to live for some more time are in mental wreck so much so that they are all living dead. Today not only the victims but the Humanity itself is crying bitterly for your attention. Tell me, where is God?
Government of Bangladesh has published many census documents. In 1941, 28.3% of the total population was minorities – 11.88 million Hindus and 588 thousand other religious and ethnic minorities, such as, Buddhist, Christian and animist. As per 1991 census, the Muslim majority increased 219.5% while the Hindu community increased by 4.5%. If usual increase rate prevailed, the number of the Hindu community would have been 32.5 million in 1991, but the actual figure is 12.5 million (Chhabra, 2006, p. 11). It means 20 million Hindu souls are missing (Samad, 1998). Is the Bangladesh Government ready to give a satisfactory explanation, how those 20 million souls had vanished in fifty years? Did they vanish into thin air like a Houdini magic?
No. They vanished in the same way the Jews population had decreased under Hitler’s regime in Germany. Many of these 20 million Hindus were put to permanent sleep in mass graves in various unknown places, or mass cremated anonymously and unceremoniously, or their dead bodies dumped into the rivers. Many of them were forcefully converted to Islam and their women were brutally raped and reduced to prostitution. And yet, many of them were victims of forced exodus to neighboring nation, India, after the Muslim hooligans reduced them to penniless and honored them with a ‘Refugee’ status.
Sadly, most of these atrocities have the approval of government. The so-called Muslim intellectuals and ‘secular’ politicians deliberately promoted the view and made the common Bangladeshi Muslims believe that the ethnic minorities are migrants and not “Bhumiputra” (son of the soil). The Home Ministry had instructed the commercial banks to control withdrawal of substantial cash money against account holders of Hindu community and to stop disbursement of business loans to them in the districts adjoining the India-Bangladesh border (Samad, 1998). It’s an unwritten law in Bangladesh that the religious minorities cannot be given sensitive positions, like head of state, chief of armed forces, governor of Bangladesh bank, Ambassador in a Bangladesh mission, secretary in the ministry of Defence, Home, Foreign Affairs and Finance. Minorities are deliberately discriminated in recruitment in civil and military jobs, business and trade, bank loans and credit (Shaha, 1998, p. 5). The mainstream political parties also cannot accept that their leader could be from among the minority community. It is rare to find a religious minority at the helms of affairs in Bangladesh. Can the government deny the fact that the minorities are “Legally identified enemies” in their homeland where they are living for many generations?
It’s a shame. Instead of protecting the minorities, the government had always tried to hide the entire lot of torture, rape and murder incidents behind a fabric of lies.
Bangladesh Government officially encourages forced conversion to Islam by giving incentive. As per government religious ministry circular number 2/a-7/91-92 dated November, 28 1991, the new Muslims are paid cash doles through budgetary allocations in the name of so-called rehabilitation (Press release, nd). The trend is still informally ongoing.
For writing this article, the present author had interviewed many Bangladeshi refugees sheltered in India, liberal Muslims, gone through their websites and newspapers and read many books and articles written by them. This article will expose many facts which the civilized world is still unaware of.
In the beginning let’s see how much freedom Bangladesh Government has given to the minorities. The Constitution of 1972 pronounced secularism as a fundamental principal of state policy. Article 41 guarantees freedom of religion in Bangladesh and Article 12 has provided an interpretation of the principle of secularism that made Bangladesh a multi-religious society and maintained separation between state and religion. But this Article was discarded in 1977 and subsequent constitutional changes under military rulers compromised the principle of secularism and gave rise to religion-based politics. Under General Ziaur Rahman, the 5th amendment of the constitution was effected. Under this amendment, the principle of “secularism” was replaced by “faith in Almighty Allah” [Article 8 (1)], and amended Article 8 .1(a) states, “absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah should be the basis of all actions”. A new clause in article 25 declared, “the State shall endeavor to consolidate, preserve and strengthen fraternal relations among Muslim countries based on Islamic solidarity.” (cited Riaz and Rahman, 2016, p. 42). Gen. H. M. Ershed through the 8th Amendment declared Islam as the state religion. The constitution, in fact, makes its beginning with the words Bismillah-ar-rahman-ar-rahim. Ain O Shalish Kendra (1999, p. 192) reported,
“The constitutional amendments have introduced an overt bias towards Muslims in public policy and practice and encouraged discrimination against other religious communities… with the increasing politicization of Islam by the state and political organizations, religious minorities fear that an escalation of religious discrimination may stigmatize them as second-class citizens and lead to religious intolerance”.
Though the Article 27, 28, 29 confirms equal opportunities for all citizens, Article 44 equivocally guarantees the enforcement of fundamental rights and Sections 295, 296, 297 and 298 of the Penal Code give protection from offences against religious places or practices; the reality is far too different. Minorities are never adequately represented. In the seventh Parliament there were only 11 male and three female members belonging to minority communities. Taken together minority groups occupied only 4.24% seats in Parliament though they form 12% of the total population. Democracy is a rich man’s game in Bangladesh. Business is the primary or secondary occupation of about 75% of the elected representatives (Barman et al., nd; Chanana, 2001, p. 11). The political parties despite electoral promises written in election manifestos, failed to stand shoulder to shoulder with the minorities. Not a single political party has ever come forward for a cause of the minorities (Shaha, 1998, p. 5). Bangladesh is on her way to become a ‘Talibanistan’ and the state religion Islam is ruthlessly overcoming all obstacles in its path by killing and displacing the minorities. And nobody is spared – let it be Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and Atheists. It includes the eradication of the cultural memory of the group (destroying its temples, churches, libraries, museums, street names etc.). Islamic extremists have already formed a shadow government in Bangladesh. Roads of Bangladesh are shacked with the slogan “We are Taliban and Bangla will become Afghanistan” (Rohan and Kam, 2016, p. 292; Bhonsle, 2006, p. 110). It’s long since democracy had died in Bangladesh and the Islamic theocracy had triumphed. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of Bangladesh believed in secularism but he had to bow down to Islamic fanaticism when he adopted the slogan ‘Khuda Hafiz’ instead of ‘Joy Bangla’ (Bhonsle, 2006, p. 109). This indicates a marked shift to create an Islamic identity rather than a Bangla one. Next 20 years witnessed the process of perfect Islamization. In the near future Bangladesh will become the highest threat before world peace and security.
Ethnic cleansing of the minorities in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) started in 1946 with the infamous Noakhali carnage (October 10, 1946). In the full moon night of Kojagari Lakshi Puja (a Hindu festival), more than 5,000 Hindus were slaughtered (though official figure declared as 218 only), over 10,000 Hindu houses were looted, more than 2000 Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam and several thousand Hindu women were raped and hundreds of Hindu temples were destroyed. The sad part is that Mr. Burrows, the then Governor of the state said that it was only natural that Hindu women would be raped by hundreds of Muslims because they are prettier than Muslim women (Roy, 2007, pp. 120, 165; Kripalani, 2015, p. 286). For Muslims, violation of the honor of Hindu women meant the exposure of the most protected aspect of the Hindu identity and religion.
During the infamous genocide of 1971, which continued for nine months, by the then Muslim East Pakistan Army; three million Bangladeshis were slaughtered, ten million Hindus fled as refugees into India (Kennedy, 1971, pp. 6-7) and two hundred thousand women were raped (Roy, 2007, p. 298). The neighboring Muslims of the Hindu families use to mark a yellow “H” on the Hindu houses to guide the marauding army to their targets like Jewish holocaust (Schanberg, 1994). The bulk of the victims of the holocaust were Hindus about 80% followed by 15% Muslims and 5% Christians (Roy, 2007, p. 312). The killings were meticulously crafted strategy of selective victimization planned to indiscriminately murder hundreds of thousands of Hindus and drive the rest into India.
Minority oppression has increased tremendously after the October 2001 national election. Often the Hindus, Christians and Buddhists are beaten up without reason because they are ‘Kafirs’. Political involvement is strongly opposed. Many Hindus are prevented from voting in elections, either through intimidating actual voters, or through exclusion in voter list revisions (Source: The Daily Star. January 4, 2006). Often the Hindus are warned that if they want to vote their women would be brutalized and they would be made to leave Bangladesh. A third method is physically preventing the Hindus from voting. The roadblocks are erected by Muslim League volunteers, mainly in rural areas to prevent Hindus from traveling to nearest town to vote (Roy, 2007, pp. 359, 152). The government does nothing to ensure a free and fair election.
Kidnapping, rape of married women and children, forced marriage of minor girls, money extortion as Jizya tax, forced conversion and mass murder are day-to-day happenings. Hindu widows are often forced to kill one of her cows by her own hand, cook the beef and eat it (Roy, 2007. pp. 120, 125). Many families were forced to migrate out of their “Homeland of generations” for physical safety. The sad part is that no end is in sight. It is because this ‘Hindu Holocaust’ is fully intentional and approved by government, aiming to wipe out an entire group. The situation is so alarming that while describing the plight of the minorities of Bangladesh, a newspaper (The Economist, Nov. 29, 2003), published an article with the heading “Bangladesh’s religious minorities: Safe only in the departure lounge“. (Dutta, 2005). Few prominent incidents from various sources are as follows,
Hindu women (from age 5 to 70) are often subjected to gang rape. About 200 Hindu women were gang raped by Muslims in Char Fashion, Bhola, in one night at a single spot (Source: The Daily Star, Nov.16, 2001)
Muslims have levied Jizya tax on the minority Christians and have told them to give them their wives, sisters and daughters for sex if they failed to pay the tax. (Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Dec. 13, 2001).
Muslims have even gang-raped mother and daughter together on the same bed with the parents and children forced to watch (Source: The Daily Janakantha, Feb. 5, 2002; April 22, 2002).
On February 8, 1989, about 400 Muslims from the neighboring villages waged an attack on the Hindu community of the village of Sobahan, in Daudkandi, Comilla. The Muslims reminded them that, “the government has declared Islam to be the state religion, and therefore you have to either convert to Islam or leave the country.” They set ablaze every Hindu household after looting, razed the temples, and then gang-raped women. (Source: ‘Baishammer Shikar Bangladesher Hindu Sampradaya (in Bangla)’ ‘The Hindus of Bangladesh: Victim of Discrimination’, Matiur Rahman and Azizul Huq eds. 1990) (Dutta, 2005; Paliwal, 2005, p. 68).
Often the commanding officer of police stations personally conducts violence against minorities. As example, Tofazzal Hossain, Officer In-Charge, “led a procession at the dead of night that ransacked two Ashrams (place of religious retreat for Hindus), a temple of Goddess Kali, and three houses at Gopalpur when seven to eight people were injured in mass beating.” (Source: The Daily Star, June 3, 2003).
On August 28, 2004 the para-militia forces together with the local extremists burned down 400 dwelling houses in Mahalchari, Chittagong Hill Tracts (a majority Buddhist area), after looting the villages, gang raping their women and destroying Buddhist temples. These indigenous Buddhist people represented 97% of the population in 1947, by 2001 they accounted for less than 50% (Source: US Department of State’s Country Report on Human Rights Practices, 2004).
A mob of around half a dozen Muslims attempted to lock four Christian families in their homes in the village of Kamarpara, in northern Bangladesh, on November 5, 2015, before setting the houses alight, but neighbours helped the families escape in time to save their lives.
The police rarely allow rape victims to press charges against their rapists. Typically, if a rape victim goes to the police and insist on action, they are given the “run around” for a few days so the rape evidence disappears. The police officers themselves will then persecute the victims. This, of course, is followed by death threats or kidnapping (Source: The Daily Janakantha, Feb. 16, 2002).
Eleven members of same family roasted alive (which includes a child of four day) in village Southern Shadhanpur on 19 November 2003 (Bando, 2004. p. 13)
Several thousand Hindu temples are already destroyed systematically (352 in 1992 alone). Delwar Hossain Sayedee, the Jamaat leader decreed that all statues except those of Muslim worshipers should be destroyed (Baldwin, 2002). The Sanskrit and Hindu religious University (Saraswata Samaj) in Dhaka was in operation before independence of Bangladesh in 1971, has been closed after the independence. It’s land and assets were confiscated by the government of Bangladesh in a bid to wipe out Hindu educational system; whereas, millions of dollars are spent for the development of Madrassas (Roy, 2008).
Following tabular format is prepared to summarize and to categorize the atrocities and their consequences.
Category of Violence
|Types of Violence||Immediate affects||Long term affects|
|1||Political and social discrimination||Denial to Job, prosperity and discouragement in political involvement||Loss of social status, unemployment, no scope for prosperity.||Social backwardness, poverty, disenfranchised from holding political power, political and social insignificance.|
|2||Legal oppression||Vested Property Act of 1972, justice and police protection often denied.||Loss of property, forceful capture of agricultural lands.||Poverty, Mass emigration, forced exodus, refugee displacement|
|3||Physical repression||Physical assault, kidnapping of women and rape.||Fear, loss of self-respect.||Mass emigration, forced exodus, refugee displacement.|
|4||Mental torture||Islamic death threat, Rape threat, Arson threat.||Fear, loss of security, physiological trauma.||Mass emigration, forced exodus.|
|5||Cultural and religious suppression||Destruction of temples, forced conversions, forced marriage||Social and religious genocide||Loss of inherited identity, loss of religious Freedom, frustration|
|6||Financial oppression||Money extortion as Jizya tax, kidnapping children for ransom, arson.||Fear, loss of security, loss of property.||Poverty, Mass emigration, forced exodus, refugee displacement.|
|7||Organized mass torture||Sadism, Islam approved torture, rape||Religious slaughter, brutal suffering,||Loss of population,
mass emigration, forced exodus. refugee displacement
|8||Predetermined mass killing||Infamous genocide of 1971, Noakhali massacre in 1946; Islam approved mass murders,||Mass death, number of orphans increases.||Community cannot reconstitute itself as a viable community and get destabilized, poverty, mass emigration of the living, refugee displacement|
|9||Suppression of facts||Honest journalists, educationalists and prominent people are killed, human rights investigators are detained.||Brutalization unreported. media silenced, censored and / or purchased by ruling party.||
World blissfully ignorant and ethnic cleansing continues unabated.
The government can seize the land of these ‘legally identified enemies’ at any time lawfully and force them to emigrate. In Bangladesh, it is legal to capture the land of a Hindu and to give it to Muslims. It is Vested Property Act (VPA), which is same as Enemy Property Act (EPA) in Pakistan. In 1965, when Indo-Pakistani War ended in a shameful defeat for Pakistan, in an undisguised act of revenge Pakistan passed the Enemy Property Act (EPA) which was aimed deliberately at its Hindu population. This act empowered the government to declare their land and possessions as enemy property and to seize it. After independence, the new nation Bangladesh re-wrote the Enemy Property Act (EPA) as the Vested Property Act (VPA) with explicit language stating that only the law’s title had changed, not its content. This had caused much horror to the Hindus and other religious minorities who were now ‘outsiders’ in their own nation. At that time, almost one in five Bangladeshis was a Hindu, but today the number is less than one in ten. The Vested Property Act and fear of communal violence are the two main reasons behind the migration of Hindus to India (Ain O Salish Kendra, 1999, p. 192)
How inhuman the Vested Property Act (VPA) is and how insulting would be such a law to the human community?
The present author humbly requests the readers to just imagine for a moment that USA or Canadian law empowered the government to seize the land and property of non-Christians and give it to Christians or Indian Government or Israeli Government is empowered to seize the lands of Muslims and give it to the Hindus or to the Jews. We can imagine how much international hue and cry that justifiably would be heard from every human right NGO and government entity. Every right-minded citizen will protest such a Law.
Fortunately, no such inhuman law exists in civilized world and we do not have to face the protests of those advocacy groups. But distressfully, both Pakistan and Bangladesh have such a barbaric law on the books for several decades. The only difference between their law and the hypothetical one above is that they are Muslim majority countries and the laws address property of non-Muslims.
Their seized lands under VPA have benefited every major political party in Bangladesh. Between 2001 and 2006, 45% of the spoils went to the right-center BNP, 31% to the left-center Awami League (the figures were reversed when the Awami League was in power), 15% to Islamist parties, and the rest to Jatiya and others (Benkin, nd). Till 1998, more than 2 million acres of land have been taken over from Hindu land owners under VPA (Barkat and Jaman, 1998). As per another newspaper report, the Adivashi (aboriginal) community already had lost about 80% of their land by the local hooligans protected by strong political coverage because of their poverty and ignorance about their rights. They have hardly any knowledge about the legal provisions and documents related to land property. Therefore they easily fall prey to opportunists (Bhoumic and Dhar, 1999). The survival of the Garo tribes of Mymensingh is already threatened, because government had taken their natural forest for rubber plantation. As per another report (Barkat and Shafiquzzaman, 1996, p. 7), from 1964 onwards each day on an average basis 538 Hindus have ‘vanished’ because of this act. The same report calculated that the vanishing rate has not been uniform over periods; in 1964-71 it averaged 703 per day, between 1971 and 1981 it was 537, and in 1981-91 the figure stood at 439 (Trivedi, 2007). Another report estimates that more than 500 Hindus crossing over the border every day (Chowdhury, 1998, p. 214). Professor Abul Barkat of Dhaka University undertook the most authoritative study of the VPA and concluded that by 1997, 40% of Hindu families in Bangladesh had been affected by it and more than half of all Hindu-owned land already had been confiscated under the act (Benkin, 2008).
Another common method of land grabbing is this. Bangladeshi Muslims are mostly landless agricultural laborers whereas many Hindus are rich farmers owning a large area of agricultural land which is tilled by Muslim peasants. At the time when the Hindus are suffering from extreme insecurity, some Muslims would appear as their protectors in exchange of land, to be sold to them for a pittance. After some time, they would disappear and their place will be taken by another bunch of similar protectors who would ask for some more land. This way, eventually the Hindu will lose all his land and leave the country as a refugee. The idea is to take over as much of his land with proper documentation for as little money as possible (Roy, 2007, p. 165). Though during 2001, the Supreme Court of Bangladesh had directed the government to return the land to the real owner, but not a single Hindu actually got their land back. There are two reasons behind this.
Firstly, the ruling party has no intention to abolish such a law. The VPA is still in force and actively being used at the time of writing this article. In 2001, at the conclusion of its term in office, the Awami League passed the Vested Property Return Act. Everyone considers this an empty gesture that the Awami League knew never would be implemented. They had five years to do something, but did not act. It was a cynical action, and in fact the Awami League received as much spoils from the VPA as did its rival, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Therefore, no land has been returned. (Benkin, 2009).
Secondly, corruption has touched almost every level of legal system and there is widespread abuse of court process. Such malpractices contrary to judicial independence are undermining public confidence in the Administration of Justice. The clerks and peons often under bribe misplace records, remove documents and sometimes even destroy records. Even the Judges in Bangladesh as a normal (mal)practice receive bribe or other undue advantages (Talukder, 1994, p. 101). Police is also identified as the most corrupt category. In fact, the Transparency International (Berlin)’s corruption perception Index published in 2001 and 2002, each for the previous years, identified Bangladesh as the most corrupt country in the world. In this scenario, it is not difficult to imagine, not many Hindus will be benefited by the Law in spite of Court decision.
How silly, a Bangladeshi official even justified the VPA as a form of “protection” for the Hindu minority! Again how silly it is when, Kazi Azizul Huq of the Khalefat Andolin Bangladesh said that many of the Hindus have left “voluntarily” even abandoning or selling their lands (Benkin, nd). Did the World forget that countless German Jews “voluntarily” transferred their properties in the 1930s?
What a terrible irony; in 1971, the new Bangladesh was very much obliged to India without which it never could have achieved its independence.
International human rights organizations are yet to acknowledge the full extent of the ethnic cleansing because the facts often go unreported. Often human rights investigators are detained. Media is often censored and / or purchased. Honest journalists are often murdered. Hence the world is blissfully ignorant and the world’s inaction tells the perpetrators that they can continue doing it with impunity. In spite of this, Amnesty International has procured significant factual data and the State Department-supported United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has gathered limited documentation. Foreign diplomats in Bangladesh have set up a fact-finding commission to investigate such atrocities and repression.
Very recently, Bangladeshi newspapers have started featuring on minority oppression. To suppress the facts of minority oppression, the Islamic fundamentalists had killed many Journalists and prominent members of minority community as well as liberal Muslims and put many others in jail.
Bertil Lintner, a Hong-Kong based senior journalist for the Far Eastern Economic Review and a contributing writer for The Wall Street Journal, with much frustration described how authorities initially declined to give him a visa to go to Bangladesh after his first reports created a furor. He also received threats over email that said he would suffer the same fate as journalist Daniel Pearl (who was killed in Karachi) if he ventured to go to Bangladesh again. Lintner lamented, rising Islamic fundamentalism and religious intolerance are posing trouble for the regions and beyond (Guha Mozumder, 2003). William Sloan, president of the Canadian branch of the American Association of Jurors, visited Bangladesh and described his horror on seeing Hindu victims of torture. One man’s fingers had been cut off, another’s hand was amputated, still more were blinded and others had iron rods nailed through their legs or abdomen. He also recalled the desperate stories of women and children who had been gang-raped, often in front of their fathers or husbands (Baldwin, 2002). Abdul Ghaffar Chowdhury, a columnist and liberal activist from London lamented “After seeing what is happening to the minorities, I am ashamed to say I am a Muslim.” (Guha Mozumder, 2003). Taslima Nasrin, appalled by what she witnessed, described the horrifying experience of one Hindu family in her novel Shame, published in 1993. She was placed under fatwa by Muslim leaders and, fearing for her life, fled to Europe, where she still lives.
It is shocking that the Hindus at India who share the same ancestral root, culture and religion are completely apathetic to their co-religionists in Bangladesh. It is an utter disgrace and a real shame to Indians that they are silently watching and observing the Hindu genocide in the Islamic Bangladesh. If Indians turn their back to their co-religionist brothers and do not take the Hindu genocide seriously, then what can be expected from international community? It’s not time for Indians to maintain a hands-off-policy. How we can ignore the continuous influx of Hindu refugees on Indian soil? The basic cause is that the Indian politicians typically lack the courage to ignore Muslim vote-bank politics in India and publicly address this problem.
The Hindu refugees should be given strong legal protection in India. This will assure them their human rights, education for their children, freedom of movement, and better employment opportunities. Many of them are well educated and have potential for creative contribution to the society. Often they were wealthy people in Bangladesh but now reduced to wandering day labor or rickshaw-pullers, or in worst situation digging through garbage dumps for food with their skins sticking like paper to their skeletons and the bones protruding out. They fit every classic definition of a refugee community. The Muslim nation Bangladesh gave them nothing except pain and suffering but they have something to expect from the civilized nation, India, the second largest democracy in this world. The great nation India, throughout her recorded history, never refused protection to anyone who expected, then why this apathy? If given chances, they will prosper.
Like a cruel joke of Allah, many Muslims had also taken shelter at India in guise of Hindu refugees for better living standard and for promoting Islamic terrorism in India. They need to be positively identified and pushed back to hellish Bangladesh.
Indian Government should also put pressure to repeal the racist Vested Property Act. This callous policy offends every principle on which human dignity is established. If it is not done, it means ethnic cleansing in Bangladesh is legal. Also, the refugees need to get suitable compensation for their loss of property under this act. Until Indian Government takes any action, the western world would do nothing. The time for empty speeches, lame excuses and official meetings that lead nowhere, is over. We must get Bangladesh not only to act but to act fast. We need to focus on the results rather than efforts. To achieve this, the Indian politicians must put aside their individual egos and recognize that our goal and the welfare of the Bangladeshi Hindus are far more important than any of us as individuals. If we can accomplish something for the people, it is not at all important who gets the credit for it or the praise. But regretfully, too many of Indian politicians still put themselves or their organizations above a noble cause which is of course a betrayal to the cause itself. The Indian politicians must organize an umbrella organization that coordinates action to stop ethnic cleansing and prevent genocide. No person or group needs to give up their independence, but if we are to succeed in helping these people, we must be organized and united. Bangladeshi Muslims are certainly united but Indian Hindus are not. It is not just Hindus but also Sikhs, Christians and others in India who, if they believe in equality, should insist in public that India’s neighbors show respect for the human rights of minorities.
Incidentally, the chief Imam of National Mosque of Bangladesh once proclaimed in presence of cabinet ministers and thousands of people; “The Americans will be washed away if Bangladesh’s 120 million [sic] Muslims spit on them.” (Baldwin, 2002) Though the present author refrains himself from making such a silly comment, but is not it more realistic, if such a remark is passed by one of the one billion strong Indian non-Muslims to the Bangladeshi Muslims?
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the civilized world should demand an end to this massacre. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and others often have urged the stationing of international monitors in various parts of the world but they have been silent on this issue. The United Nations, NATO, and other international organizations likewise can be found in all sorts of international trouble spots and former trouble spots. But regretfully they too have been silent on this issue.
Through this article, the present author appeals to all right-thinking common citizens of every country, the honest and upright journalists, prominent political leaders, global opinion makers, human rights groups, and people seated in positions of authority, European Union and the United Nations to pay their kind attention to the sufferings of the minorities of Bangladesh at the earliest. The oppressors should be brought before the International Court of Justice at The Hague for the alleged ethnic cleansing and the killings of thousands of people from the minority communities in Bangladesh. They cannot go unpunished for what they are doing to the minorities. Help the message to go out, to reach every corner of this world. Let the bitter cry of Humanity itself be echoed everywhere and be heard by anyone and everyone in this world who calls himself a Human.
The History of Mankind had recorded many ethnic cleansings. Open the 1400 years of recorded history of Islam and blood dips from every page of it. Whatever is happening in Muslim Bangladesh is not new at all. But sadly, the civilized world has been consistently ineffective when it in combating that in a timely manner. Generally nothing is done until the dead bodies are piled too high to obscure the view of the horizon in every direction or the earth changes its color to red within any visible distance. If left unchecked, the Bangladeshi Muslims will very soon add another glorious chapter to the Islamic history, some more pages soaked with Hindu blood. This time, let us stop the genocide before it occurs.
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Author can be contacted at counter.jihad[AT]yahoo.co.uk