Bangladesh had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be the Chief Guest for an event marking the Golden Jubilee Year of Bangladesh’s Independence; the Prime Minister accepted the invitation. Since Bangladesh was founded by India, it was expected to invite the Prime Minister of India for the event.
India has good relations with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at present. Sheikh Hasina’s father and Bangladesh’s first Prime Minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and his family were rescued by Indian troops from the clutches of Pakistani army during the 1971 war. The relationship has been strong ever since. Later, Mujibur Rahman and his family were murdered by the army. Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana survived since they were in Germany at that time. Mujibur Rahman had a good relationship with Indira Gandhi; however, when the army changed power, the Government was dominated by religious fanatics. Later, Sheikh Hasina kept her party alive, regained power and re-established good relations with India. She arrested and prosecuted religious fanatics and military officers who overthrew her father, and sentenced many to death too.
Yet religious fanatics have a huge influence in Bangladesh. Hindus have been persecuted by religious fanatics before Independence. Since the creation of Bangladesh, they have not stopped. No matter how good the relationship is with Sheikh Hasina, the fact that the Indian Government has not been able to do anything to protect Hindus cannot be denied.
When PM Modi went to Bangladesh, he visited the temple of Jeshoreshwari Kali Mata, one of the 51 Shakti Peethas there. He also went to other temples and performed worship. The fanatics there did not like this. If PM Modi shows the courage to go to a Muslim-majority country and worship in a temple there, for religious fanatics this act must be avenged. With this in mind, the religious fanatics attacked Hindus and their temples as soon as PM Modi returned to India.
Attacks on temples are frequent in Bangladesh and Pakistan. It is obvious that the recent attack in Bangladesh has been carried out only to annoy PM Modi. An attempt might have been made to show that they can attack our religion, they have power there. PM Modi’s motive in visiting temples can be that temples are very important for Hindus and treats them in a similar manner. If anyone plays mischief with temples, India will not tolerate it. PM Modi’s visit to Bangladesh was opposed by jihadi organisations there. Twelve people were killed in the violence.
It is not clear at this moment how long will this vengeful violence continue after PM Modi’s visit to temples. As it is, any excuse would suffice for the religious fanatics to attack Hindus. It is likely that they will become more vindictive now. We have to observe how Sheikh Hasina controls this and protects Hindus. So far, however, she has not made any special efforts to protect Hindus.
Hindus insecure in India too
In 2002, when Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, religious fanatics set fire to the Sabarmati Express at Godhra in which 59 Karsevaks were killed. Then, riots broke out in Gujarat, which taught a lesson to the religious fanatics. After this, they did not dare to attack Hindus again for 19 years. What happened in Gujarat had never happened before in India.
Before and after that, Hindus have faced attacks constantly in different States except Gujarat; however, they have not been properly checked. Even with BJP Governments at the Center and many States, they have not been able to prevent such attacks permanently. Therefore, it is difficult to stop attacks on Hindus not only in Bangladesh but also in the world, especially in Islamic countries. It should not be wrong to say that religious fanatics in Bangladesh have attacked temples and are now, in a way, challenging Modi.
Due to PM Modi’s good relations with the Gulf countries, the Hindus there are getting good treatment to some extent. A grand Hindu temple is being built in Abu Dhabi; this had never happened earlier. However, such a thing is unlikely to happen in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It would not be wrong for anyone to think that PM Modi has the ability to take up this challenge in the present situation. If Sheikh Hasina’s thorn is removed by the religious fanatics or their army in Bangladesh, the slightest hope to protect Hindus there may evaporate. In view of this, India must take immediate steps to protect the Hindus there.
India has to be aggressive
India has to be aggressive to protect Hindus and their temples all over the world, including India. If a Jew is attacked or persecuted anywhere in the world, Israel will retaliate. The policy of India should be similar. For this, a policy will have to be decided at the Government level. In the current situation, even Hindus in India are not protected, how will Hindus in other countries, especially in Islamic countries, be protected ?
Swatantryaveer Savarkar had said about religious fanatics – “Where Hindus are a minority, they are persecuted by the religious fanatics. To protect themselves where Hindus are in majority and religious fanatics are in minority, Hindus should create dread among religious fanatics so that Hindus in the minority will not be adversely affected”. Since Swatantryaveer Savarkar’s policy was not adopted, Hindus are at the receiving end everywhere. Given this situation, now is the right time for India to adopt Savarkar’s policies !