Friday, March 18, 2011

AMU’s Murshidabad campus tarnishes Bengal’s secular image

Without a shred of doubt right to education is one of the choicest and most revered columns of human civilization from time immemorial and the same has been enshrined in the majority of modern nations too. Hence, the commencement of any educational institution is a great act and must be acknowledged as the blessing of God Almighty. But what may happen when the same institution is already infamous for its divisive tendencies!

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), established in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and granted the status of Central University in 1920, is recognized to be the origin of Pakistan movement. Moreover, intelligentsia connected with the university played a ground-breaking role in this context.

Now the same AMU, blessed by secular political and democratic scenario of India, has commenced classes for the two-year MBA programme and the five-year B.A.(LLB) programmes from its novel Murshidabad campus in the Indian state of West Bengal. There may be several assessments of this, but one facet is clear – the approach has tarnished secular image of the state forever.

What was wrong in letting Banaras Hindu University (BHU) or any Buddhist University in opening up own campuses then? Surely any such act would not have spearheaded a new disputation. None could have raised a finger over the institution’s allegiance to India or dared to term it as an exponent of separatism. Lots are doing the same regarding AMU.

But that would have foiled the dream of politicians appearing as votaries of secularism, custodians of Muslim minorities. To finish, when mounting Islamic fundamentalism has already started to torment the state, AMU would surely not miss any chance to call the shots.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Refugee status for Bengali Hindus in Assam

Switching from his earlier stand, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has stated that the ruling Congress will seek refugee status for the displaced Bengali Hindus, who fled East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) fearing persecution. Gogoi, while talking to media persons in Guwahati, admitted that he was wrong in not favouring refugee status for the persecuted Bengali Hindus much earlier.

“I am going to take up the issue with the Government of India that the people who fled East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) fearing for their lives and took shelter in India should be given refugee status on humanitarian ground,” Gogoi said. He also stated that he will include it in the Congress election manifesto for the ensuing Assembly elections.

The statement assumes significance as Gogoi was cynical about the idea of giving refuge status to the Bengali Hindus as was demanded by the Bharatiya Janata Party. Exuding confidence about returning to power for the third consecutive term, the Chief Minister further claimed that the Congress would form the government on its own though it will continue to maintain its alliance with Bodoland People’s Front (BPF).

“We will win more seats than last time and form the government alone. Of course, we will keep ally BPF with us as Congress is not a party of betrayers,” Gogoi said. He also flayed the opposition parties, especially the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party, for failing to work with any fixed agenda.

“When they were in power, they hardly bothered about the issues of the people of the State, be it the foreigners’ issue or the problem of flood and soil erosion. The days when NDA and the AGP ruled at the Centre and the State respectively would go down as the darkest days for Assam,” Gogoi said.

On the alliance of AGP, Left parties and others, Gogoi said that the alliance the opposition is working on lacks common ideology or agenda and it was merely formed to gain electoral success.

He added that the Congress would go to polls with the agenda of development.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Is Bengal next homeland of Kashmiri Muslims?

It may sound unbelievable to many but in point of fact, no less than 50 Kashmiri Muslim families have been occupying a distinct land in the Indian state of West Bengal. Are you shocked? Have you started recalling harrowing experiences of thousands of Kashmiri Hindu families? It is quite natural for a sensible individual like you but not for the controlling authority calling the shots at every time barring anything related to Muslims or the saga of secularism. It has come to the knowledge that the aforementioned families have raised tents next to Dakshineshwar temple in the northern fringes of Kolkata for two months.

To be precise, a big section of unoccupied land at Rajabagan, predestined for an Expressway only, has turned out to be the provisional address for 350 to 400 Kashmiri Muslim refugees. It is worthwhile to mention that the majority of these people hail from Baramulla, Badaun and adjacent areas of the tumultuous Kashmir valley. Here is a brief description of these alleged hapless people. Among these people there are fruit vendors and tangawalaas (drivers of horse-driven carts) and are representing a few known places like Patnitop and Pahelgam.

What makes these people come all the way from Kashmir and stay in Bengal, even if temporarily? There has been no straight answer to all these but Kashmiri Muslims have maintained that regular strifes were making their lives miserable. Whatever it is all these have resulted in a deep encouragement among Muslim teenagers who are leaving no stone unturned to help them. How do these people reside in an alien land then?

The acts of imprudent, egotistical, ignorant and above all, great adorers of secularism can’t be overlooked. While they have water from Kishore Sangha, a local club along with adjacent municipal taps, foods are served by local mosques, NGOs and Gurudwara Singh Sabha of Baranagar. Truly a contest is going on before election in Bengal to prove oneself as most on-key secularist! Male members are being found to earn some money through doing jobs of daily laborers and rickshaw-pullers.

How is the government machinery dealing with these sudden and strange guests? Majority of the government echelons remain ignorant of this, as usual. But the clued-up ones made enquiries and the answers satisfied them to a large extent.

Now the question remains – how can these people be depended on. How can people representing majority section of the state, vociferous and also outrageous to the existence of innocent minority Hindus leaving for centuries there, be tolerated? The answer is simple – in no way. Surely the same issue is haunting millions of Hindus across the state as well but they have no option to stand unitedly against all these nefarious designs.

Who knows this is a good way to inject terrorism in a state already beleaguered with exponential increase in minority Muslim population and instigations from across the border? Unless they start standing together, Hindus’ future is doomed forever.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Digvijaya Singh’s disgraceful comment terming Bengali Hindus in Assam illegal migrants lambasted

Bengali Hindus protest vehemently

Digvijaya Singh’s insulting remarks on Bengalee Hindus as foreigners in Assam (India) at par with Muslim infiltrators from Bangladesh- Protest from Protection Forum

Protection Forum for Bengalee Hindus of Assam


Dr. Manmohan Singh Srimati Sonia Gandhi

Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Hon’ble Chairperson, UPA

Room No.148B South Block 10 Janpath (23 Akbor Road)

New Delhi-110 001 New Delhi- 110 011

Shri P. Chidambaram, Shri M.Veerappa Moily

Hon’ble Union Home Minister, Hon’ble Union Minister for Law & Justice,

Room No.104, North Block Room No. 403, A-Wing, Shastri Bhawan,

New Delhi-110 001 New Delhi-110 001

Shri Janaki Bhallav Pattanaik, Shri Tarun Gogoi,

Hon’ble Governor of Assam, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Assam

Raj Bhavan, Guwahati-781 001 Govt. of Assam, Dispur,

Assam Sachivalaya, Guwahati-781 006

RE: Protest with strong note of condemnation on

(a) Shri Digvijaya Singh’s statement on displaced Bengalee Hindus for treating them as foreigners in Assam at par with Muslim infiltrators from Bangladesh and

(b) Assam Governor’s unconstitutional Notification No. PIB-149/2008/88 dtd. 17 June,2009 for arresting and detaining unprepared ignorant poor Bengalee Hindus for indefinite period on charges of being foreigners – violating fundamental rights, Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties; and deporting un-willing family members in non-man’s land between India and Bangladesh in life-threatening environment or near-death conditions – in contravention to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Immigrant (Expulsion for Assam) Act, 1950 (section 2) that protect non-Islamic migrants who on account of civil disturbances or fear of such disturbances have been displaced or have left their place or residence in Bangladesh; and on discriminating among equally placed Hindu migrants from Pakistan, who are being granted Indian citizenships as per Citizenship Amendment Act, 2005

Respected Sir/Madam,

(a) As reported in the Press, the Congress General Secretary, Shri Digvijaya Singh, in a meeting held at Mollaganj, Karimganj, Assam on 18 February, 2011 had stated that there is no difference between displaced Bengalee Hindus and Muslim infiltrators from Bangladesh, both are foreigners and to be deported to Bangladesh. We seriously react on such irresponsible statement from a person representing All India Congress Committee, which claims for India’s independence and whose leaders Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, Shri Sardar Bhallavbhai Patel, Dr. Manmohan Singh (as leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha) and others in an irreversible tone had assured that these displaced persons are bound to get their citizenship in India, a few are mentioned below:

In the wake of independence through partition of India, the then Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in his speech on 15th August 1947 declared, amongst others, as follows:

“We think also of our brothers and sisters who have been cut off from us by political boundaries and who unhappily cannot share at present in the freedom that has come. They are of us and will remain of us whatever may happen, and we shall be sharers of their good and ill-fortune alike”.

“…. There is no doubt, of course, that those displaced persons who have come to settle in India are bound to have their citizenship. If the law is inadequate in this respect, the law should be changed.”- said Nehru {Refer “Refugees and other problems”, Jawaharlal Nehru Speeches, Vol.2 P.8 (P.10) published in June, 1967.

The Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan (Jawaharlal Nehru and Liquat Ali Khan) made an agreement on behalf of their respective governments on 8th April, 1950 wherein it was agreed and declared, amongst others, that there would be a freedom of movement and protection in transit (Clause-i). Many other fore-ranking leaders of India including Mahatma Gandhi made open declaration that whenever the minorities of Pakistan would migrate to India, they would be sheltered in India.

Sardar Vallavbhai Patel in a message to the Convention of East Bengal Refugees held in August 1947 under the Presidentship of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee stated that “We cannot fully enjoy freedom that we have got until and unless we can share it with the Hindus of North and East Bengal. How can one forget the sufferings and sacrifices which they cheerfully endured for freeing our motherland from foreign domination; their future welfare must engage the most careful and serious attention of the Government and the people of the Indian Union in the light of development that may take hereafter.”

Lately on 18 December,2003, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the then Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha (now Prime Minister) along with Sri Shankar Roy Choudhury (Independent) on participating discussion on The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2003 demanded that Hindu migrants from Bangladesh be equally granted citizenship in India which the then Deputy Prime Minister, Sri L.K. Advani assured to be looked into. {Ref: Rajya Sabha Parliamentary Bulletin Part I Two Hundredth Session No. 4421 Dec 18, 2003}.

The Government of India enacted “The Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act, 1950 (Act No.X of 1950) on 1st March 1950 and in order to protect the migrants who on account of civil disturbances or fear of such disturbances in any area of Pakistan have been displaced or have left their place or residence in that area of Pakistan, a proviso was appended as a separate provision, to section 2 of the said Act. This provision was intended to confer a right on the non-Islamic religious sections of people of Pakistan to migrate to India and Assam and stay there. The words “East Bengal” in the statement of objects and reasons of the said Act, meant “East Pakistan”, which is present Bangladesh (held by Supreme Court in Sarbananda Sonowal’s Case; AIR 2005 SC 2920 at para-40). The said proviso of Section 2 of the Act of 1950 was incorporated to protect the Hindus and other religious minorities of Bangladesh.

So from the above it is clear that Shri Digvijaya Singh’s statement on displaced Bengalee Hindus, (on whose sacrifice, the India could attain Independence) for treating them as foreigners at par with Muslim infiltrators from Bangladesh constitute a gross insult to the Bengalee Hindu community in general amidst “double victimization to make India free” and deserves strong condemnation from all sensible quarters who loves India’s Independence. So we request through this memorandum to take appropriate action to heal the wounds of the Bengalee Hindu community and country in general and to take steps against Shri Digvijaya Singh without further loss of time.

(B) As regard the core issue of persecution of Bengalee Hindus of Assam against arbitrary imputation as foreigners and deportation/ attempt to deport to Bangladesh and consequent harassment by the state machinery of Assam, we wish to refer our memorandum dtd. 26.03.2010, and of late 18.01.2011.

i) The Immigrant (Expulsion from Assam) Act 1950 (section 2) barred Hindus to be deported who on account of civil disturbances or fear of such disturbances have been displaced or have left their place of residence in Bangladesh in addition to discrimination among equally placed Hindu migrants from Pakistan, who are being granted Indian citizenships as per Citizenship Amendment Act, 2005. But persecution of Bengalee Hindus as foreigners are being continued with ulterior motive to harass, undermine their status and authority in their own homeland among the fellow citizens. It is to be pointed out that the State Government has no system of issuing routine citizen’s identity card. Naturally, taking such opportunity, the Bengalee Hindus are being arbitrarily targeted by the police, irrespective of their status and length of stay. Poor person from neighboring district/ state on settlement or on temporary occupation are issued foreigner’s notice, if he happens to be of Bengalee Hindu community. Other communities are not questioned even though may be genuine foreigners. If there would have been uniformity, allegation of partisan spirit would not have aroused.

ii) As per Governor of Assam’s Notification No. PIB-149/2008/88 dtd. 17 June,2009, police are suddenly arresting and detaining in regular jails along with ordinary criminals the unprepared poor ignorant innocent Bengalee Hindus for indefinite period on charges of being foreigner, violating fundamental rights, Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties. They are not given opportunity to seek bail or appeal against Foreigner’s Tribunal, which even an ordinary criminal is entitled for getting natural justice. In most of the cases, judgment have been passed ex-parte or due to minor default to produce on the spot sought documents, or due to negligence/ non-attendance of engaged lawyer in time; though they are 100% Indian nationality by every norms of undivided or sovereign independent India. Person against whom judgment has been shown to have passed in Tribunal is not aware many a time that a complaint had been registered against him/her and he or she is supposed to produce supportive documents before tribunal. Like every Indian they are of the feeling of self-confidence that a certificate is not required for a person in his/her own land. When welfare Govt. is contemplating massive action against its citizen, it should have given wide publicity. But till date there is no publicity in mass media from the enforcing authority. So bonafide intention of the State Govt. remains in question, when the Govt. of Assam is spending crores of rupees on advertisements for mass awareness for public support on many other issues, there is no such campaign in harassing Bengalee Hindus. The operation is being carried out in top secret manner. If fortunately some are aware, their financial position is so precarious that they cannot pay lawyer’s fees or attend court on every hearing date with multiple witnesses.

iii) People are languishing in different jails (for instance: Father in Goalpara, mother in Kokrajhar- son (youth Bijoy Das of Dhupdhora, Goalpara planned to commit suicide- on being unable to release father and mother from jails for last one year). His telephone No. is +919854237259. His grandfather was given land for settlement in 1964 by the Govt. of India after migration to India from Bangladesh/ East Pakistan. Still they are jailed and allowed to stay with ordinary criminals for no fault. Few more specific instance of persecution (only deported or detained in jail) are mentioned below for ready reference.

FT : WP Name District Process stage- Jail/deportation

114/07:1240/10 Profulla Sarkar Kamrup (Metro) Goalpara (from 11/09)

443/07: 1069/10 Uma Biswas Lakhimpur -do-

90/07: 2745/10 Bali Biswas -do- -do-

72/08: 2740/10 Sandhya Rani Biswas -do- -do-

599/07 Ganesh Dey -do- -do-

:738/10 Satyban Das(Husband) Kamrup (Rural) -do-(from 15/1/10)

:733/10 Malati Das (wife) -do- Kokrajhar

:3859/10 Kalyani Roy Choudhury –do- Goalpara(from 14/11/09)

1063/G/06 Basana Saha Das Goalpara Kokrajhar

416/G/06 Benu Kumar Moitra -do- Goalpara

327/06 Sefali Saha (wife) -do- To be deported Kamana Acharjee & family -do- To be deported

463/06 Sabitri Das -do- Goalpara

:5558/09 Pabitra Saha & family -do- To be deported

1064/06 Uttam Das -do- Goalpara

606/07 Sadhan Das Hojai Deported

MC2780/0:WA143441 Ramal Biswas Morigaon Deported before judicial verdict

MC2631/08:WA6326/00 Dinesh Saha Hojai Deported before judicial verdict

iv) There are similar many horrible tales that come across through reports appeared in press/ news papers. The victims prefer to hide details, fearing police torture in the name of foreigner. A man Manik Das, 100% Indian citizen of Bengalee Hindu Community has lost mental balance out of torture in the hands of Indian and Bangladesh police. A man from Abhayapuri similarly was reported to had been picked up by the police and in the night thrown in water near “no man’s land’ between the border of India and Bangladesh. He was rescued by local fishermen from near-death condition. The person on return is however afraid to disclose his tale of sufferings on the fear of being picked up again by the Police, as ex-parte judgment has declared him foreigner and there is no provision of regular appeal, except Writ before High Court. There also Judges who are not reportedly same impartial. There are reports that Judges even threaten action on lawyer for abating foreigner while making plea in favour of an accused foreigner. Media Reports goes recently that in Guwahati City, illegal land gravers graved a person’s (Bengalee Hindu) valuable land after sending husband in jail. In the name sub-judiciary state, victim or his lawyer cannot come out openly before media. Police are deporting un-willing family members in non-man’s land between India and Bangladesh in life-threatening environment or near-death conditions – in contravention to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Irrespective of status and position, Bengalee Hindus are issued foreigner’s notice en-mass. Many of the members of the Bengalee Hindu community are debarred from exercising voting rights through unconstitutional methods on leveling them as ‘D’ (Doubtful) voters for last two decades. There is no provision of ‘D’ voter in Indian constitution or even in any other democracy in the world. It illegally exists in Assam alone.

We therefore reiterate our contention and urged upon

the Government of India to move suitable legislation conferring citizenship to any Hindu who has migrated and to be migrated to any part of the territory of India due to religious persecution at any time from Bangladesh and uniform laws for grant of citizenship to both East Bengal (Bangladesh) and West Pakistan displaced persons without discrimination and

The Government of Assam to withdraw Notification No. PIB-149/2008/88 dtd. 17 June,2009 or exclude the members of the Bengalee Hindu community from its operational purview (as being natural citizen of India) and to stop intimidation, repression, deportation of Bengalee Hindu who are detained in various detention camps, jails and police custody and to release them and withdraw all cases/ suits pending in the Tribunals and High Court unconditionally and to compensate & to rehabilitate them. We also request the Assam Govt to inform the Court immediately that the cases pending in the High Court against the orders of Foreigners’ Tribunals may be referred to the Govt. to reconsider the matter in view of the proviso to Section 2 of the Act of 1950.

With regards

25 February,2011 Yours sincerely,

Memorial signed by Shri Kamal Dutta, Shri Subir Sarkar and Shri Kishore Choudhury, and others

Including prominent citizens & Executives

On behalf of the Protection Forum for Bengalee Hindus of Assam

Ph: +91-9435168473, 9435195848, 9435652084, 9435342305.


Copy to for information & necessary action:

Shri Digvijaya Singh Shri Bhubaneswar Kalita

General Secretary, All India Congress Committee Hon’ble President, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee

115-117 South Avenue, New Delhi-110 011 Rajiv Bhavan, Guwahati-781 005

Srimati Sushma Swaraj. Shri Arun Jaitley,

Hon’be Leader of opposition, Lok Sabha Hon’be Leader of opposition, Rajya Sabha

8, Safdarjung Lane A-44 Kailash Colony

New Delhi-110 011 New Delhi-110 048