It seems be came the fate of religious minority, especially the members of Hindu community, who take birth in the soil of Bangladesh and are living here from generation to generation that Hindus fell prey to casualties. When the country faces hard time of a political crisis or a change, the the Hindu community, becomes the target of minority persecution by the So-called Islamist terrorist organizations.
When it goes under a electioneering process, parliament or local governments, as if it is the destine of the Hindus that they will lose their lives, their women will be raped, their houses would be ransacked and destroyed, business establishments and shops will be looted and touched into ashes, their mondirs and temples will be damaged and put on fire, and their property, houses or agricultural lands would be grabbed by the lootera Muslim criminal organization Jamaate Islami and its terrorist student wing Chhatra Shibir, Popularly known as Gestapo Bahini. BNP (the so-called Bangladesh Nationalist Party) was always with them.
We have been observing since 1947 when India was divided into Pakistan & Hindustan on the basis of Jinnah’s two nation theory, that means Muslim majority areas will be made Pakistan (name should be Muslimstan) and Hindu majority areas Hindustan. Minority persecution happened in 1947, in 1962, 64, and 1971 when we were in the war of liberation, again after the assassination of country’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975, we saw in 1992 when the fundamentalist Hindus destroyed Babri Mosque in Uttar Prodesh, India, the fundamentalist Muslims destroyed 247 Mondirs in different places of Bangladesh and its capital Dhaka.
It has happened after the election of 2001 and last January 5, 2014. But can any body deny that Hindus and other religious minority Buddist, Christian’s are the sons of this soil. Still I remember my village, my childhood. It was a remote village of Chandpur district where half of the year was remaining under the rainy season and we used to go to school by boat together, play together, even we the boys both Muslims and Hindus of our village used to masticating sugarcane sitting on the boat and enjoy each others family & religious festivals. We took part in our war of liberation together. Of course none of us ever has forgotten our own religious belief and obligations.
We believe that the religion is personal and the state belongs to every body, it should not be mixed with our Political and state life. Still I remember my friend Priya, Jagadish, Dulal, Santosh, Ranajit, Badal, Shomvo, Gandhi and many others whom I can not remember now. I don’t know where they are, how they are? I know only Priya and Dulal left Bangladesh in sixties were settled in Kolkata, India (Dulal died two years back). Priya lives a Posh life there, but I saw him crying for motherland.
The panic and horror I saw in sixties on their face & eyes at the time of communal riots in 1964 and Pakistan India war in 1965 were seen during the last January 5 election. I sow the same horror in the eyes of Hindus in different parts of the country published on the front page of news papers and the main bulletins of the television channels. Main two Prime reasons behind this act of terror are (1) our neighboring country is Hindu majority Hindustan or India and BNP and its alley Jamaat consider Hindus are the enemy of the country (2) Hindus Prefer to vote for AL (Awami League) as it is a secular non-communal political party. So they suffer if vote for, even do not. This time it happened in Jessore, Khulna, Rajshahi, Joypurhat, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Pabna, Satkhira, Ovoynagar, Dinajpur, panchagarh, Chittagong, Baushkhali, Shitakunda, Laksmipur, Chandpur and other places of the Country. We saw hundreds of thousands of Hindus left their places for life leaving their houses, lands, Business, Valuable etc behind.
Following the parliament election held on October 2001, Nation saw with sorrows and panic that the BNP and its terrorist alley Jamaat & shibir led by Begum Khaleda Zia tried to observed their victory celebration through the heinous act of ethnic cleansing. We have been seeing this for last 66 years (1947-2014) and the Hindus became weaker and weaker financially and numerically. Exodus of Hindus to the neighboring India is a known fact for us, but fact remains we didn’t do anything to stop it.
Irony is that the party which claiming to be the Nationalist and its leader Begum Khaleda Zia who Claimed herself uncompromising? Is she responsible for these communal attacks? Khaleda Zia herself ordered terrorist to come down on the street with Petrol Bomb, lathel weapon. We saw in may 5, 2013 in the time of Hifazat gathering around Shapla Chattar that she ordered her party activities to join the Hefazat and help (?) them when Hefazat started damaging the road dividers, tourching the book shops including the Holy Qurran and Hadith (S) selling shops and other road side hawkers shops and the party office of Awami league and CPB (Communist Party of Bangladesh) aiming at they wanted to free their leaders now facing capital punishment by international war crime tribunals by creating Lawless in the Country. It also wanted to create a Tahier squire in Dhaka to achieve their target, particularly at the time of the execution of Jamaat leader Kader Molla, popularly known as `Mirpur’s Kashai’ BNP’s target was to reduce the percentage of Hindu votes, popularly known as AL’s vote bank. Because AL is a non-communal, democratic and secular political party and it believes in Bengali Nationalism.
All are still very lively in my mind. The fears I saw among them during Pakistan-India war and riots in 60s, such fears were seen in face-eyes of Hindus of different regions after the recent elections (Jatiya Sangsad 2014). There are two prime reasons of it-our neighbour India is a country of Hindu majority. So Hindus will have to be identified as ‘enemy’ (?), second Hindus like Awami League as secular political party, . . . so general impression is they are giving vote for AL even do not, they become victim.
The executive director of ‘Broti’ Sharmin Murshid in a TV talk-show said anyone having black colour on finger was tortured. Thousands of Hindus were forced to take shelter in other places to save life. The road of Abhainagor is like the ‘71’s Jessore Road which became important in September 1971 when millions used it as a highway to life defying natural calamities to evade Pakistani atrocities. They fall prey to killing-torture in the same way after 2001 October elections. They naturally became weak economically because their land-property, businesses were looted-grabbed gradually over the last 66 years (1947-2014). Moreover, this time only they are realising what an inhuman life they are maintaining in the prevailing cold weather after leaving their houses in the face of torture. This time it has been cleared who are launching such attacks—Jamaat-Shibir is committing such inhuman crimes against humanity under the protection of Begum Khaleda zia, who is now populary call Amir-e-Hajabi (Hafarzat+Jamat+BNP). Their target is to save Jamaat leaders who are under-trial or facing death sentences for their war-time crimes and BNP’s target is to reduce vote of Awami League. Jamaat dreams to create Egypt’s Brotherhood’s Tahrir Square like movement; create mass upsurge. But it is Bangladsesh, they also realize it. So they launch attacks on Hindus who are minority and weak socially and financially. It is our national shame that we could not save them. Although, it was possible to resist criminals if steps would have been taken. Because, it did not happen all of a sudden or all over the country, such attacks, killings, torture-repression have started from the day the court began to hand down verdicts on war crimes cases, it was very beginning of last year. But it seems that the administration was enjoying daydream.
Thanks to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and conveying her gratitude on be half of the citizens of the state, she does not sleep if everyone remains asleep, as if she is responsible for whole things only. In 1964, Bangabandhu resisted the riot launching a campaign styled “Purbabangla stand against riot”. During that time the government was unfavorable, because Ayub’s Military Junta was in power. This time government is different. It was needed to remain alert and take precautionary measures. Nonetheless, Iqbalur Rahim M.P of Dinajpur was found trying to resist it. Such people are allover the country but why they were asleep? For getting party nomination, they take to the street wearing white clothes (such clothes are used to wrap up dead body of a Muslim for burial), chant slogan by hiring people on payment ‘ . . . brother go ahead, we are with you’ and now trying to be minister.
Muhammad Shafiqur Rahman is a freelance senior journalist of Bangladesh served the daily Ittefaq (1970 2002).