Victims are two: Democracy and Minority Hindus
Aftermath of Bangladesh Elections
Asim Kumar Mitra
The parliamentary election in Bangladesh has raised the eyebrows of those who love to see that democracy should be maintained under any circumstances, but this time Bangladesh could not put forward a convincing picture of democracy. Both America and Britain and some other international groups and smaller countries have demanded a fresh election should be held with participation of maximum number of people. The spokesperson of American Government Murray Harf has said in a statement, given within 24 hours of the finishing of election, that “American Government thinks that Bangladesh is still a democratic country and to maintain that democracy they must have to go for a re-poll as the recent election has been ‘an apology for election”. This kind of international pressure on newly formed Hasina Government to hold fresh election is mounting day by day.
The Election Commission of Bangladesh has informed that in 139 seats where election has taken place the total number of voters has been 4,15,21,325 whereas the number of votes polled has been only 1,65,30,775. The rate of votes polled is about 40 per cent. Last time this percentage has been 87.13 per cent for the same 139 constituencies. Commonwealth has also expressed their agony over this small turnout of voters and they also supported the re-poll demand.
In the recent parliamentary election in Bangladesh held on January 5, 2014, Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League has won 104 of the 147 seats to which elections were held on January 5. Coupled with the 127 seats it won uncontested, the League has 231 seats or a three-fourths majority after a general election that was boycotted by the Opposition i.e. BNP and 18 other parties including Jamaat. Total number of seats in Bangladesh Parliament is 300.
Unfortunately, the international bodies in general, and local Bangladeshi institutions in particular, have deliberately ignored one very important issue of bashing minorities, especially Hindus. They are being humiliated, tortured and butchered on each and every plea the majority community of Bangladesh find convenient. There is hardly any exception to this. In this case election is a very big and handy issue for them which they did not want to lose.
Although conglomeration of BNP and others including Jamaat-e-Islami(They share hardly 2 to 4 per cent of the total polled votes) has boycotted the poll, they have restrained Hindus to cast their votes in election, not only that, BNP-Jamaat had started severe attacking on Hindu villages in Bangladeshl uprooting them from their homes and hearths, in post poll turmoil it is especially noticed that the security forces were not available during the action went on.
The Daily Star of Dhaka had reported: Panicked Hindus in Kalaroa and Satkhira Sadar Upzila were traumatised and unsure about going to polling centres for casting their votes.
In fact a reign of terror was unleashed against Hindu minorities of Bangladesh and there was none to help them out.
The hanging of war criminals in Bangladesh, death sentence to them and the pre and after poll political disasters proved fatal for Bangladeshi Hindu minorities. Violence upon Hindus continued after elections in Bangladesh. Thousands of Bengali Hindus left Bangladesh due to these clashes to take refuge in India. Most of them have taken shelter in North 24 Parganas, Nadia, South Dinajpur, and South 24 Parganas districts of West Bengal. As per source, some eight thousand Bangladeshi Hindus left Bangladesh through Hakimpur opposite Swarup Nagar in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal by crossing barbed wires and Sonai River.
Ever since Bangladesh was created, the common policy of that country had been to torture and persecute minority Hindus and this had been a practice. And this had been the reason why 25 millions of minority Hindus were simply wiped out from that country and no one, not even our own country had demanded any explanation from that country as to what happened to those hapless minorities. Indian Government, is not interested in talking about the plight of Hindus as they think it would not be progressive. According to them let Hindus go to hell.
There is no point in supporting Khaleda Zia as she had been hands-in-glove with the killers of minority Hindus. For that matter, minority Hindus of Bangladesh are skeptical on supporting Awami League as they have always played with the sentiments of Hindus with false promises and ultimately betrayed them.
Delhi unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad staged a massive demonstration on January 11 in protest against the growing attacks on the Hindus in Bangladesh. VHP workers also burnt the effigy of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
Addressing the protestors VHP State vice president Shri Ashok Kapur said though the atrocities on Hindus are going on in Bangaldesh for many years, the frequency and seriousness of them have increased for some time. When the Prime Minister Dr Singh returned from Bangladesh it was expected that there would be some arrest on such incidents, but practically these incidents have increased manifold since then. Attacks on Hindus and also demolition of Hindu temples are growing rapidly.
Protestors were addressed by district secretary Shri Ramniwas Atri and Bajrang Dal convener Shri Jasvir Singh Chauhan.
United Nations too Christian, claims report
Study calls for greater religious tolerance with Hinduism and Buddhism under-represented and funding a major issue.
Christianity dominates the United Nations and more diversity is needed to increase non-Christian representation in world peacemaking, according to a study. Research undertaken by Prof Jeremy Carrette, with colleagues from the University of Kent’s department of religious studies, has revealed that more than 70 per cent of religious Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) at the UN are Christian, and that there is historical privilege in allowing the Vatican a special observer status, as both a state and a religion.
The report, called religious NGOs and the United Nations, calls for greater awareness, transparency and equality in the way religious NGOs operate within the UN, and more emphasis on religious tolerance. The report also asks for greater understanding of how religions enhance and constrain human rights. It provides evidence that funding limits other religious traditions from establishing NGO work at the UN.
Islam, is represented more significantly through a collective of states (the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation) rather than civil society NGOs, which are dominated by Catholic groups, according to the report. Asian religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, are under-represented and funding is a major issue in preventing their equal access, it said. Carrette said: “It would seem there needs to be more of a ‘global goodwill’ to make the UN system work for all religions equally, and for religions to follow and share equally UN goals for peace and justice.” The report highlights that while all religions are represented in some way in the peacemaking system of the UN, there are structural and historical differences that need to be addressed. ”It also shows that religions form an important part of international global politics and that in a global world we need to establish a new pluralistic contract for equal access for all religions to the UN system.
The report questions claims by the Christian right that new age cults run the UN , saying evidence suggests these are greatly misjudged and erroneous. It also shows the number of inter-faith and new age NGOs is very small, and religious NGOs in total form only 7.29 per cent of the total of consultative status NGOs at the UN. But despite their small size, some religious NGOs can have a far greater influence, the research suggests. Among the most active religious NGO groups are Catholics, Quakers and the Baha’i faith.