Animitra Chakraborty from Kolkata
A considerable section of the international community, not only in India or the other neighboring countries, but also in other parts of the world is busy in making merriment over the stunning triumph of progressive and secular forces in the land of Bangladesh. Truly, this is an epoch making victory and if someone considers, this will give rise to a new age of hope and brightness in the distraught county, he can’t be blamed. Well, the Hindu minority community of Bangladesh has also joined this elation and it hopes that the Awami League-led government will ensure a better life along with security to them. Here comes an important question. Can this ever be?
What has been the record of the Awami League in all these years and its relation with the Hindu community? Was it ever conscious to safeguard the Hindu interest or has it always used the far flung Hindus as mere pawns for a checkmate? These questions are coming to the fore since the Hindu population has come down to 9% from nearly 30% (1948) till date and on the word of dupes or victims there is hardly any difference between Awami League and ideologues of Jihadi fundamentalism in the country. It should also be noted, according to experiences, the mighty presence of Awami League helps perpetrators to hide religious persecutions on minorities, which go on relentlessly.
Are there strong evidences that can prove the culpability of this icon of Bangladeshi secularism? Let’s scrutinize facts and figures.
The ideologists of the Awami League were directly associated with the Muslim League that was responsible for the deadliest Great Calcutta Killing (1946) and in this episode the role of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, father of the nation of Bangladesh, was of a trusted lieutenant of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, then Chief Minister of undivided Bengal. It is alleged by several sections that Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy is the true founder of the Awami League (then Muslim Awami League). What an irony! The party, in order to exploit the (then) reigning politics in Pakistan, changed its stance and became Awami League in 1952.
The greatest achievement of the party in the later period was to spearhead the historic Language Movement in 1952 although the demand to make Bengali one of the official languages of Pakistan was first propounded by Dhirendra Nath Datta (1886-1971), MP from Coomilla on February 23, 1948 in the Pakistan Constituent Assembly in Karachi. However he was not even thanked by Awami League, at that time, as he was a Hindu.
Now let’s enter into the other acts of this glorious party. It was on 25 th-26 th March, 1971 when the Pakistani Army started its operations. This was done by means of ethnic cleansing of Hindus and Muslims but with the exclusive gangrapes of Hindu women. Nevertheless, the Awami League carders were seen in looting the affluent Hindu families. Don’t get amazed! There are others too!
In India, during the fateful India-Pakistan war of 1971 training camps were opened at Balurghat, Siliguri and Dehradun under the auspices of the Govt. of India for the training of Mujib Bahini. What did happen there? In Balurghat, 7 Hindu liberation fighters were bayoneted since they were found discussing that the liberation of Bangladesh would bring no liberation for Hindus. In Siliguri 7 Hindu youths were bayoneted since it was alleged that they dared to tease the daughter of Fazlul Haq. But the incident of Dehradun surpassed all. There 16 Hindu boys were brutally murdered since they had kept Bhagavad Gita in their pockets. The Govt. of India preferred to remain quiet or else any outburst would have derailed the movement harming India.
Now let’s concentrate on Ramna Kalibari. This ancient temple was desecrated and destroyed by the Pakistan Army on 25-26 March, ’71 resulting into the brutal murder of 200 Hindu devotes, if not more, alongside. But the following history is more painful. The Bangladesh government under Mujibur Rahman, refused to acknowledge the long standing demand of Hindu community (temple’s restoration) and destroyed the remaining portion of this property spreading over 26 acres. According to the latest ordinance, it is now Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy Park and the project completed without any compensation.
What has been the role Awami League regarding Vested Property Act (erstwhile Enemy Property Act)? It was reintroduced by the Awami League government and 1,62,000 acres of land was incorporated into this Act between 1972-75. We should remember that Vested Property Abolition Act was introduced in 2001 by Sheikh Hasina Wazed and the consequence is well-known.
Let’s focus on his illustrious daughter now. Is she better? There were lots of hopes but all have already been squashed. She is always a devout Muslim and then a Bangladeshi, according to her own revelations. This conviction made her denounce the Bangladeshi Hindus as people with twin allegiance. The Hindu minority leaders faced the same rhetoric when Hasina advised them to become Bangladeshi citizens first. What’s more she has been refuting the charges of Bangladeshi infiltration to India!
Have these nefarious designs been played only against the Hindus? Not at all! The Chakma community (Buddhist) has also faced the same effrontery. Manabendra Nath Larma, chief leader of the Chakma community and also the MP of CHT went to meet Mujibur Rahman (regarding CHT’S development). He was advised to become a Bengali, conversely. It is said that this brazen outlook made Mr. Larma initiate the armed struggle. Last but not least, Bangladesh joined OIC under the aegis of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The above-mentioned facts are tiniest specimens of the insensate and unabated minority persecution in the land of (alleged) Bengali nationalism under the covert and overt patronage of Awami League. There are, indeed, numerous stories of persecution that are undated and undocumented but continue with the same vigor.
Is a decent and a secured living of Bangladeshi Hindu community a bleak prospect? We think it is. Nevertheless, there is a greater reality. The greatest sin of Hindu community has been to confide in Awami League. It is, without doubt, a blasphemy