The persecution of the Hindu minority of Bangladesh has somehow never got the attention that it deserves on the world stage. While this is partly attributable to the negative stereotyping of Hindus as ‘idol-worshipping heathens’ in the Western world and the resultant apathy/ignorance towards Hindus, the blame also falls on Hindus themselves who have not been able to make themselves heard and fight effectively for their basic human rights.
This is now changing to some extent, and the Bangladeshi Hindu human rights violations list that HinduPost is publishing each month is an important step in that direction.
Recently, Hindu Post’s Mayank Jain interviewed Advocate Rabindra Ghosh, President of Bangladesh Minority Watch, on the conditions of Hindu minorities in Bangladesh.
Here is a summary of the interview:
Mayank Jain (MJ): Sometimes, it is said that there is a deafening silence in the world regarding atrocities on minorities in Bangladesh. Is it true or is it just a cliché?
Rabindra Ghosh (RG) : Its true! After the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, the constitution came with 4 principles in 1972. Unfortunately these principles were abrogated and Islam as a state religion was inserted in the constitution. After that atrocities on minorities have been going on.
MJ : Has there been any protest from Bharat’s govt against this Islamization?
RG: Yes, there was a protest when Advaniji and Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee were in power but not much came out of it.
MJ: The present External Affairs Minister of Bharat says that the percentage of Hindu population in Bangladesh is rising!
RG: It’s a false impression. The statistics reveal otherwise. Hindu population in Bangladesh is declining day by day. We have proper data to prove it. We have gone to the UN, President, Prime Minister of Bharat repeatedly and other countries to protect the interests of minorities in Bangladesh.
MJ: When Mrs Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister said that Hindu population in Bangladesh was rising, did you write to her or protest against her statement?
RG: In this visit, I discussed with Mr L.K. Advani on this issue and he was astonished. There have been continued atrocities and human rights violations against Hindus, their houses have been increasingly grabbed and even burnt by Islamic perpetrators. This is resulting in decline of Hindu population. So many cases have been filed but the Police has not taken any action yet.
MJ: What kind of fundamentalist Islamic people are illegally migrating to Bharat from Bangladesh?
RG : So many relatives of those fundamentalist Islamic people, who live in Bangladesh, are also entering West Bengal and other parts of Bharat and not returning to Bangladesh. Without any lawful authority, they are entering Bharat, and what is the reason behind them staying in Bharat is important.
MJ: What about secular people in Bangladesh, who love Bangla and not Urdu, emphasizing the school of thought that Bangla language will bring hope for them?
RG : Bengali language was declared the official language in 1951 after a lot of sacrifices by people, and if it stays there will be no Urdu in course of time. Presently there is no Urdu movement but an Urdu Chair has been sponsored by ICCR of the Indian Government (in Dhaka University).
MJ: What is the future of Hindu population in Bangladesh? Should we transfer the Muslim infiltrators back and bring Hindus to Bharat?
RG : It should not happen otherwise it will result in riots. The present status can be improved with a secular government. There should be peaceful coexistence. The Hindus can’t survive here without land or property.
MJ: Already a list of Muslim infiltrators in Assam is ready. A majority of them could be moved back to Bangladesh. A register can be made in West Bengal as well. Do you think a complete exchange of population is possible? Why do you want to advocate that the Hindus should stay in Bangladesh and put their daughters at the risk of getting raped or kidnapped?
RG : Hindu population is declining due to the atrocities and human rights violation. A secular government in Bangladesh would be able to take care of Hindus.
MJ: Have you taken support from any organization? Amnesty International or US senate? What other solutions do have in mind?
RG: We have approached Geneva, the UN headquarters, thrice in front of Bangladesh government but in vain. Letters and memorandum of Appeal were issued to Amnesty International. Till today, unfortunately, no action has been taken.
MJ: Is there anyone supporting your cause and organization in Bharat?
RG: For a long time I have been professing these causes in Bharat and lots of supporters have come forward, especially RSS and political leaders from BJP.
MJ: Has the BJP coming to power helped the Bangladeshi Hindus?
RG : In some ways they are trying. The Bharatiya Embassy at Dhaka is helping. Bharat’s Govt is reconstructing many temples at Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna etc with funds which is very important, and is also trying to protect the rights of Hindus in Bangladesh. Govt of Bharat has been telling the Bangladeshi govt to protect minorities in Bangladesh.
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