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The Bengali Motherland

The Bengali Motherland

Author: Pabitra Kumar Ghosh
Publication: Mayer Dak

The National Puja Association of Bangladesh ('Puja Udjapan Parishad') protested against the extreme level of torture and persecution faced by the Hindu minority in that country. The persecution reached another climax in 1993. The organization took the decision that there would be no Durga Pratima or deity in any of the Durga Puja Mandaps in Bangladesh. There would be puja but only 'Ghat Puja'. There would be no Dhak (puja drums). There would be no festive lighting.

This conclusion was not reached haphazardly. Since 1947, the Dhaka government and the ruling elite did not hesitate to convey that the nation belongs only to the Muslims and the Hindus are not welcome. This attitude forced millions of Hindus to flee East Bengal (now Bangladesh). This vicious display and continuous propagation of this attitude have caused the Hindus to suffer from severe inferiority complex and fear. But, the majority of Hindu East Bengali refugees and their descendants on this side of the Padma (i.e. in West Bengal, Assam, etc) have not forgotten that the nation with the Rupsha Meghna Dhaleshwari rivers (i.e. East Bengal, now Bangladesh) is their Homeland. Even after 50 years of continuous societal and mental persecution. Their feelings for their motherland remain inextinguishable.

Therein lies the tragedy. The Bangladesh Government estimates its present Hindu population as 15 million. NGOs place the figure at above 20 million. Comparatively, Palestine has only a few hundred thousand residents, mostly Muslims. But there have been major international movements in support of the Palestinians' human rights. There has been conferences, wars, treaties, terrorist activities, etc. to restore their lost rights and liberties. But not even a tear has fallen for the 20 million Hindus in Bangladesh

It is known with certainty that Islam is a newcomer to East Bengal. The Muslim community there is only a few hundred years old. Hindus are there since ancient times. In Bengal Hinduism has been respected as the Eternal Religion since time immemorial.

The rulers of West Bengal are very well aware of this harsh cruel reality, but they don't let anyone know about the gory events in Bangladesh. The grievances and persecutions of the Bangladeshi Hindu community do not have a place in the West Bengal media.

Therefore, today the Bengali Mother is weeping all by herself. Whenever even a minor persecution occurs in any far-flung nation in the world, the 'brave' intellectuals of West Bengal generate mass protests. But if a Hindu from Dhaka or Bhola suffers severe persecution, the 'Progressive Patrons' of Calcutta stay silent on the subject. This heartless cruel hypocrisy is unmatched anywhere.

Translated from the Bengali newspaper 'Bartaman'.

Mayer Dak is a monthly documentary newspaper espousing the minority (Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Tribal, etc) cause in Bangladesh.

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