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A group of five men including a government official, on 13th June 2009 at 12.45 am broke into a home. They engaged in some vandalization and finally abducted 20-year old Koli Goswami from the house while flaunting their arms throughout the street to terrorize civilians. The Goswami family hurriedly approached the local police station but all they got was denial of any investigation. The only reason for the abduction of 20-years old Koli was that her house was marked with a big yellow ‘H’. This yellow ‘H’ denoted that the family living in that house belonged to the ‘Kaffir’ Hindu community in the Islamic Republic of Bangladesh and the local police simply denied any ‘crime’ because the perpetrators were all from the majority community of Muslims who were ‘authorized’ for such a deed. When inquired on the issue by the Global Human Rights Defence and Bangladesh Minority Watch, the police officials told that “It is not kidnapping but a love affair between the kidnapper and the victim”. All the video-taped evidences, witnesses and reasonings were bluntly ignored and any investigation denied by the police.

The above event is mentioned in the book “A quiet case of ethnic cleansing: The murder of Bangladeshi Hindus” by the world-renowned human rights activist Dr Richard Benkin who is raising the voice of the minority Hindu community in Bangladesh. In the book, published in 2012, Dr Richard has given the accounts of degrees of atrocities on the Hindu community in Bangladesh and reasons and factors composing to the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the minorities of the south-Asian country. The book is a perfect blend of facts, figures and eye-witnessed accounts that showcases the sufferings of the victims of ‘ethnic cleansing’.

He has very efficiently explained that how Bangladesh (then East Pakistan), a country which raised its demand of a sovereign nation only to get rid of radical Islam’s persecution over the Bengali and ‘interfaith’ culture, is now itself have been clenched into the claws of Dar-al-Islam (the land of Islam) and Dar-al-Harb (the land of war) ideology. The irony is that the self-claimed secular parties of the country are also dependent over the Islamist organizations which will strive for nothing but Sharia law in the country. The constitution provides a mere unfulfilled promise of security and rights to the minority while the laws like the Vested Property Act only compels the Hindu Bangladeshis to leave the country or live in hell-like-situations. The book includes all the ways in which minorities and Hindu community to be specific is kept away from the basic human rights including cultural genocide, abduction of girls of child-bearing age, forced conversions, murders, land encroachment, rapes, etc.

On his regular visits in both East Bengal (Bangladesh) and West Bengal (India), he has witnessed the plight of the Hindu community on both sides of the international border. As per one of his such experience in the West Bengal in 2008, he notes that communist and pro-appeasement dominated state have always ignored the requirements and basic needs of the refugees from the neighbouring country. The communist workers keep the refugees deprived of any aids and provides a no-more-secure atmosphere in which the Islamic radicals in West Bengal on the call of attacks and exploits the Hindu refugee camps. The book “A quiet case of ethnic cleansing” also explains that how the radical Islam follows a general pattern throughout the world for its forceful imposition. The matter of a greater concern is that the world is unaware or trying to be unaware of all this brutality happening in an Islamic republic. The big watchdogs of human rights like the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, etc. have been failed to address the issue of ethnic cleansing. These so-called saviours of human rights have not even once strictly inquired the Bangladeshi state over the worryingly fall of the ratio of Bangladeshi Hindus from one in three Bangladeshis during the partition of the Indian subcontinent to a mere less than one Hindu in ten Bangladeshis currently.

In a talk organized by Youth United for Vision and Action at New Delhi, Dr Richard Benkin told that being a Jewish-American, people question his humanism because of the Israel-Islamic states relations but he argued that it is not a legitimate criterion to judge someone’s humanism but a mere diverting element from the facts and reasoning he makes. He also told that all his references in the book are either eye-witnessed by him or factually confirmed and no assumed myths are involved. Dr Benkin also said that it is the duty of the Asian super power India to pressurize the neighbouring country to take action on the issue through economic ways and using its soft power. Dr Richard Benkin has provided a great composition of writing style, facts, experiences and emotional accounts in his book “A quiet case of ethnic cleansing: The murder of Bangladeshi Hindus”.

Devanshu Mittal

Devanshu is a Mass Communication student from VIPS, IP University.

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