Thursday, February 16, 2012

Is Bangladesh moving towards a new ethnic cleansing of Hindus?

A spate of Islamic onslaughts is being perceived in Bangladesh, though republic and democratic thus far and devoid of any saga of secularism, on Hindus these days. Even if religious persecutions on Hindus is nothing new in Bangladesh (erstwhile East Pakistan), torturing, at this time, has a new phenomenon – deadly attacks are taking place at different parts of the country simultaneously leaving the governance, assumed to be the one and only defender of secularism by the persecuted Hindus, remain confounded. And this situation is being exploited by the Islamic hardliners with great success making many Hindus apprehend the emergence of a pogrom before long.

The wave of attacks by Islamists was first witnessed in the end of January through mounting thefts in Hindu temples and beatings of Hindus without any cause. On January 27, 2012, Islamist radicals, masked and having deadly weapons to defeat any counteroffensive, assaulted holy deity of Devi Saraswati, at Moshang Secondary School, desecrated and finally destructed it. This incident took place at Moshang Secondary School premises within Uzirpur Upazila of Barisal district. The response of Hindus, in this regard, depicts the atrocious reality. Sri Sudhir Ranjan Halder – Head Master of Moshang Secondary High School lodged general diary rather than filing FIR (First Information Report) at Uzirpur police station. 

And the demolition of cemented shutter of Sree Sree Burakali Mata Mandir at Nowgaon District on February 08, 2012 established the apprehension of Hindus that something more sinister would happen. Meanwhile, on February 03, 2012, at night, the holy deity of Lord Shiva in a Hindu cremation ground at Shikdarbari of Motbaria Upazila of Perojpur District was demolished. It is to be noted that Hindus were building up the holy deity (of 9 ft. height) for months.

But what has taken place in Hathazari area of Chittagong in Bangladesh is beyond belief; a group of Islamists led by Jamaat-e-Islami activists simply destroyed wantonly a large number of Hindu temples in the area on February 8 and 9. The intensity of the situation compelled the local governance to impose Section 144 of the Bangladesh Penal Code to prohibit any public gathering in the affected area. The temples vandalized include Loknath Sebasram at Nandirhat, Sri Sri Jagadeshwari Ma Temple (also burnt down completely) Jagannath Bigroho Temple at Nandirhat and Kalibari Temple in Sadar Upazila.

Hindus across Bangladesh are living in abject fear; they are apprehending repetition of ethnic cleansing. 

No comments:

Post a Comment