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Op-Ed: Israel, please help my Bangladeshi Hindu peopleAfter the 16th Amendment to the Bangladeshi Constitution was repelled, Hindus have increasingly been persecuted within the country. Thus, Shipan Kumer Basu claims that Israelis should stand in solidarity with the Hindu community and help the Bangladeshis achieve free elections.
We are observing with gravest concern that following the delivery of a neutral and impartial judicial verdict by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, which repelled the infamous 16th Amendment that went legally against the will of the ruling party, the leaders and activists of the Awami League are orchestrating a terribly hateful and malicious campaign against him and the Hindu community more broadly. It is now clearly evident that under the instruction of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Awami League leaders, gangsters and hooligans are hurling threats and intimidation against Chief Justice Sinha in order to forcefully remove him from his position. Given these developments, I call upon the Israeli nation to stand with the Bangladeshi Hindu community at this crucial juncture.
Now more than ever, the Bangladeshi Hindus need Israel to stand in solidarity with us. It is now clearly evident that because the Chief Justice is from the Hindu community, the ruling Awami League leaders and workers are using insolent and abusive language against him. They are insulting, humiliating and belittling him publicly. For example, Bangladesh's Agriculture Minister Motia Chowdhury has resorted to hate speech against Bangladesh's Hindu Chief Justice. Chowdhury described Chief Justice Sinha as black and filth that cannot be cleaned even after death, adding that the judgment on the 16th Amendment is a farce. The Agriculture Minister added that Bangladeshi freedom was achieved by all and not one particular person. This undermines father of the nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman just because he is a part of a minority group, resulting in him being suppressed and maligned.
This demonstrates the Awami League hatred towards the Hindu community, nurtured in the hearts and minds of those who adhere to Awami League ideology since ancient times. As long as the Hindu community behaved submissive towards Awami Leaguers, the Awami League was willing to tolerate us as dhimmis (protected yet second-class citizens). Whenever Hindus speak out for truth and justice, which goes against the vested interests of the Awami League, they become fiercely angry and begin to oppress the Hindus in the most horrendous ways imaginable.
We have now perfectly realized that if the Awami League can succeed in forcefully clinging to the power through another pre-engineered and farce election like what existed in the sham elections of 2014, the Hindu community will even lose their voting rights. The Awami League leaders and workers will then forcefully occupy their remaining properties and force them to leave Bangladesh. Any fair and impartial election in Bangladesh is absolutely impossible as long as the Awami League is in power.
In order for an impartial, fair and credible election to take place, the establishment of a national government under the leadership of the present Chief Justice is an unavoidable imperative. An impartial election in Bangladesh is essential for the continued existence of the Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, tribal communities and other ethnic populations in the country. Otherwise, nobody will be immune from the clandestine disappearance, wholesale massacre, indiscriminate sexual and physical assaults and concocted criminal cases implemented against the minorities, irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
In conclusion, I call upon the Israeli people to stand with the Hindu people of Bangladesh during our hour of need. Jews across the world for the past two thousand years have known what it is like to be treated like second-class citizens. They have been oppressed, forcefully converted, massacred, raped and they were victims of ethnic cleansing and genocide. For this reason, they understand what our people are experiencing under the Sheikh Hasina government.
Therefore, I ask that the Israeli nation and especially the Israeli government to help another persecuted minority group in order to liberate itself from this horrific Bangladeshi government, which will thus enable us to not only survive but to overcome the yoke of tyranny, permitting us to take our proper place as citizens with equal human rights in a new Bangladesh. Should Israel help us, the new government will seek to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. Bangladesh is the 10th most populated country in the world. Once diplomatic relations are established, Israel can benefit economically from marketing its goods in our beloved country and will have one less adversary in the Islamic world. We as Bangladeshis will likewise benefit from the Israeli technology and know-how that the Jewish people have to offer world humanity.
Shipan Kumer Basu is the President of the Hindu Struggle Committee, Bangladesh.
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