Op-Ed: Remembering the persecution of Bangladeshi Christians on Christmas
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Op-Ed: Seeking better human rights in Bangladesh for the New YearOver the past year, the plight of the Hindu minority in Bangladesh has been horrific. We look forward to having a better future for all of Bangladesh’s minorities this upcoming year.
Over the past year, the plight of the minorities in Bangladesh has been bleak. As Time Square in the US lights up for the New Year, in Bangladesh, we still live in the darkness due to the atrocities that our people experienced in recent times. Bangladeshi Hindus have been brutally repressed, discriminated against, ethnically cleansed from their homeland, raped, murdered and stood aside in horror as their historic temples and gods were desecrated. While we wish for a better future this upcoming year, our conscious will never allow us to forget the horrors and the atrocities of the past year that our people endured.
We shall never forget nor forgive the unjust ousting of Hindu Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha due to his opposition to the Bangladeshi government’s undemocratic interference in the judiciary nor the arrest of the falsely accused Titu Troy, who never wrote an anti-Muslim Facebook post like the authorities claimed that he did. We shall always remember the sacrifices of the dissidents Mithun Chowdhury and Aslam Chowdhury, whose only crime was working for a better future for all of the communities in Bangladesh. In the process of Mithun Chowdhury seeking to establish a new political party that will represent all of the Bangladeshi minorities, he has faced brutal repression by the regime and was arrested. Aslam Chowdhury, a Muslim dissident who supports the Bangladeshi minorities, has also been similarly mistreated by this horrible government.
We will never neglect to remember the fact that Islamist mobs burned over 30 Hindu homes to the ground over an alleged anti-Muslim Facebook post that as it turns out was a fabricated statement that the person never made. Nevertheless, in the name of allegedly defending Muslim honor, they destroyed the lives of over 30 Hindu families. These families enter the New Year without their warm homes, their belongings and their personal memories. Everything that was valuable to them was burned up in the flames. The less fortunate among them also were physically injured and killed. How can such a cruel act ever be justified?
Our conscious will always recall all of the innocent Hindu women and girls who are raped and even gang raped merely because they were not born Muslim. Recently, Monju Saha, a mother of three sons and one daughter, was hacked to death and a young Hindu girl was gang raped and then murdered. What were their crimes? They were born into the wrong religion. In fact, the young Hindu girl even converted to Islam and married a Muslim but that did not stop her husband from letting his friends gang rape her before he murdered her himself. Apparently, the fact she converted was not good enough for her husband. The mere fact she was born non-Muslim meant that she did not deserve to live in their worldview. These two victims are merely examples of what the Hindu community is forced to endure for the rape and murder of our women is a systematic issue in Bangladesh.
Such incidents are not isolated, and the Bangladeshi government is directly responsible for the horrendous plight of the Hindu community in Bangladesh. In the presence of Awami League leaders, a 200-year-old Hindu temple was demolished. Aditya Baral, the daughter of Bagerhat MP Honge Baral, has been attacked repeatedly. The Awami League is involved in the killing of the late advocate Kalidas Baral, a relative of Aditya. Sheikh Hasina’s brother Sheikh Helal Uddin’s constituency is responsible for the murder of Kalidas Baral in a Hindu dominated area. These incidents are merely examples of the violence perpetrated against Hindus in the entire country. Hindus are constantly being tortured and slaughtered throughout Bangladesh. There is no doubt that under the tyrannical rule of the Awami League government, no Hindu is safe in Bangladesh, and for this reason, I can never support this horrific government, which has brought only nightmares to my people.
ISIS has also been helping the Awami League to cleanse Hindu people from Bangladesh, a fact that the international community has now recognized. We have updated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump, Russia, the European Union, the International Society of Loknath and other important members of the international community about this issue in the hopes of enlisting their support. Sheikh Hasina, like her father Sheikh Mujibar Rahman, dreams of a Bangladesh without any minorities, but the time has come to change this reality.
We are taking actions in the international community so that this government will be finished shortly, and a model government will be established. This year, let us hope that the Awami League government will be overthrown, and we will create a new government that will respect the rights of all religious minorities in Bangladesh. Let us dream of a Bangladesh where such criminal attacks where mothers and daughters are raped, where minorities are slaughtered becomes a thing of the past so that the minorities can live more secure and happy lives. We want to wish every reader a Happy New Year and to thank everyone who is helping us to improve the human rights situation in Bangladesh, especially Abhishak Gupta, national co-convener for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mission 2019.
Shipan Kumer Basu is the President of the World Hindu Struggle Committee.
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