This Op-Ed/Analysis is the author’s personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of if you would like to send us your op-ed to be published – [email protected]

Shipan Kumer Basu explains the struggle of the Hindu minority in Bangladesh over the past year and stresses that he hopes for better this upcoming year: “We want a new leadership who will treat all equally and provide equal rights.”

Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

We wish 2017 will bring us peace for all and we can therefore say adieu forever to the radical Islamists. Let us all think about what we want to change in 2017.  We want equal rights, racial harmony, fellows feeling respect to one another, love, brotherly ties, and for progressive thoughts to flourish. We want for hatred, conflict and envies to come to an end.  We want a new leadership who will treat all equally and provide equal rights, whose leadership is concerned about humanity and punishes criminals who have implemented crimes against humanity against minorities.

Whether we are Hindu, Buddhist, Christian or Muslim, we are indigenous and progressive Bangladeshis. We will be united.  We know that if everyone thinks of his own problems individually, then life will be wasted away and will ultimately disappear but if we think of each other’s problems, then together we can achieve increased energy.

Now, let us have a look at Sheikh Hasina’s attacks against minorities in 2016. 2016 was a year of oppression for the minorities of Bangladeshi by the Awami League government. The Bangladeshi government was directly involved in the ethnic cleansing of minorities.   Over the past year, 98 Hindus in Bangladesh were murdered, 26 Hindu girls were raped, 4 Hindu girls were gang raped, 209 Hindu gods were desecrated, 38 Hindus were abducted, 366 Hindu Temple religious activities were shut down by force; 357 Hindus were injured; 165 homes were looted; 210 people were kicked out of their homes, 141 temples were set on fire; 2,328 Hindu homes and businesses were set on fire, and 1,251 Hindus were converted to Islam by force.

The years come and go but the Bangladeshi government continues to oppress minorities. Will we see the same oppression in 2017? Will Sheikh Hasina remain in power?   This upcoming year, we want a revolution.   We seek unity in order to protect our faith, race and identity. We want to fight back against those who want to force us out of our homes. Let us say NO to those involved in crimes against humanity against minorities. Thus, we declare: “Step down Sheikh Hasina.”

We Hindus have good relations with the Muslims. At the same time, we have built good relations with the Jews and we will move forward into 2017 together.  We are not weak. Sheikh Hasina should understand that in the name of secularism, there will be a price for delivering the country to ISIS and letting them torture, murder, loot, rape, burn and abuse minorities. We are very grateful to Mr. Mendi Safadi for building ties with us and assisting us with the international community.  Happy 2017 from the Hindu Struggle Committee and we wish you all the best of luck.