Our Protest Against Bangladesh Government during 2001 December reported by India’s Savvy Magazine in January 2002 issue.
Remember even then most Hindu temples had refused to put up posters for the protests up at their walls.Often they would rudely tell us to leave or would call the police on us. Even major organisations like ISKCON, Swaminarayan (BAPS) refused. When we turned up at National Hindus Students Forum ( affiliated with the RSS) event to give out leaflets they told us to get out. We contacted Hindu groups in India like the VHP/RSS and others and got no response.
But when we talked to the Hindu public directly they did come themselves shocked at the horrors taking place.Many also said the same thing asking why arent their local temples raising the persecution of Hindus also?
And from there eventually, other media people also reported it like this ‘ultra secular’ women’s magazine called Savvy which led to even the NDTV do a report from Bangladesh on it.
Also, Human Rights Groups like HRW and Amnesty along with others took the issue up. We even had Rabindra Ghosh, a human rights activist flown in from Bangladesh to give a talk at parliament here which did lead to pressure on Bangladesh. Savvy did have a phone conference with their readers and the number one topic discussed was this article. Remember this is the ‘middle class’ so-called ‘liberal’ secular Indian crowd who couldn’t believe this was taking place in their own neighbourhood. This proves how failed these so-called VHP/RSS and temples are who can’t even raise these issues to the masses.
Some of the victims mentioned in this article were taken to safety and settled down. But we have said it a million times before that unless all these Hindu temples. gurus and swamis and Hindus generally take action to raise these issues then 20 years back till now the same situation remains.
Seven-year old Sulekha Das does not smile anymore. All she does is stare unfocused at the clumsily painted hospital walls, as callous government officials troop in inspecting her as if she were an artefact. Sulekha and her eight-year-old sister (who died later) were raped in Bhola, in Barisal district, Bangladesh on October 24, 2001.
Their father, who was forced to watch the crime, was strangled. The culprits are still at large and official statements claim that her rape has still has not been ëprovedí. Her file gathers dust at the local police station ó a curiosity item for gawking media persons and social workers. Ironically, Bangladesh is the only country in the world to have two women prime ministers elected consecutively to office. Yet acid attacks, gang rapes, rapes of minors and sexual harassment of Hindu women are common.
In the targeted by Islamic fundamentalists aligned to the Bangladeshi National Party, women and girls as young as six have borne the brunt of fanatical ire. These arenít regular crimes of passion. They are the
most heinous crimes meant to suppress people. These men want to break the back of the Bangladeshi Hindus so that they can never claim Bangladesh as their country.
Can you imagine monstrous crimes ranging from rape of little girls, brutal gang rapes, torture which includes gouging of eyes and being burnt alive? This is what the Bangladeshi Hindus are going through today in Bangladesh,î says Soma Uma, a Bangladeshi lawyer and social worker.
Alarmed at the oppression of the indigenous Hindu minority in Bangladesh, the Hindu Human Rights group (HHR) held a protest outside the Bangladeshi High Commission in the United Kingdom recently. Hundreds of concerned Asians turned up as a show of solidarity against the violence in Bangladesh. This protest is to highlight the extreme human rights abuses against the Hindu minority community by certain political groups in Bangladesh.
There appears to be an active collusion with the ruling party in that country. Hindus have been murdered, temples desecrated, people expelled from their land and young girls gangraped in the most gruesome manner.
The ruling government and the media ignores this. Is it because when Hindus are victims of murder, arson, sexual assault and ethnic cleansing, it does not appear to be much of a headline grabber? As one sixth of humanity, Hindus, especially the women, have the right to live with as much respect and dignity as any other community. This means that they should have this right in Bangladesh also, claims HHR.
We need to protest. We need to shout and scream on top of the roofs so that people take notice of the terror being unleashed on these hapless people, declares Soma. read more at PDF link..
SAVVY January 2002