Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, USA (BHBCUC USA) is very saddened and disappointed by the several news items that hit the headlines lately. Going to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and, later, CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019) passed by the both chambers of Indian Parliament that offers citizenship to people (Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Jain, Shikh, Parsi) who have been persecuted in neighboring Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan for their religious beliefs the government and opposition of Bangladesh started speaking in the same language.
When Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, USA believes that some other people belonging to Muslim community who, though have not been persecuted for their religious belief in those countries, they definitely might have been persecuted for their political opinions. And, these political dissidents of those countries and/or any other country should have a way to receive protection under refugee law and Constitution of India.
By offering protection to those religious minorities the present Government of India has done a great job, taken the long overdue step to protect human rights of those hapless and persecuted people. We, Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, USA, congratulate the Indian Government and peoples of India for their most generous gesture after the Liberation War of 1971 of Bangladesh. We express our heartfelt gratitude to the present Indian Government and its people.
We also believe that Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah’s comments during the passing of the Bill do reflect the truth that religious minorities in Bangladesh and elsewhere in Pakistan and Afghanistan have been persecuted by successive governments and Islamic extremists. All the governments, directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly have been accomplices-either by conniving or by encouraging it. No exception.
Soon after passing of CAB (later CAA) the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh and the General Secretary of main opposition party BNP reacted, almost in the same vein, regarding atrocities committed on the religious minorities of Bangladesh.
It is very unfortunate that the parties who are at loggerheads with each other, who blame each other for every single thing under the sun, found unanimity in denying a glaring fact that religious minorities are the victims of atrocities even today.
Mr. Fakhrul Islam denied any wrongdoing on the part of his party and alliance, while MR. Abdul Momen outrightly rejected the fact that minorities are being targets and victims of systematic persecution.
The BNP and its allies cannot go with impunity for the atrocities they inflicted on the minorities, particularly on Hindus in the aftermath of 2001 general election. The perpetrators, including the high-ups of this party, should be brought to justice.
If the BNP wants to break itself from its murky past of minority persecution the best bet for the party should be an open unconditional apology to the religious minority communities, particularly to Hindus, along with a sincere promise to bring the perpetrators to justice. They must compensate the victims and their families as well.
What saddened us the most, at the same time, is current Foreign Minister Mr. Abdul Momen’s denial of the fact that minority persecution is an on-going issue. As recent as the Bhola incident, Nasirnagar, Rangpur, Satkhira, Ramu along with barbaric jail killing of Advocate Palash Roy this Government has failed to show its sincerity in protecting the religious and ethnic minorities in Bangladesh.
The persecution is an on-going issue and it remains true even today. The present government that constituted Shahabuddin Commission after assumption of office in 2009 failed to officially even publish the Report, let alone acting on it. The latest action of this government in including some names of minority Hindus in Razakar’s List (though subsequently withdrawn, the damage has already been done) proves that the smear campaign against the minorities and its leadership is being carried out as a part of a very deep-thought-plan.
So we, the members of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, USA, would like to request the Government of Bangladesh and its Opposition (who are political minorities) to be able to accept the reality and fact that all of them have and had failed the constitution of Bangladesh in protecting the religious and ethnic minorities in Bangladesh. We would also like them to apologize for their failure and sincerely take immediate action to this regard. The State of Bangladesh must fairly compensate all the victims and their families for their loss, pain and sufferings.
Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, USA will be very happy to assist the Government and the Opposition in achieving that goal in any way possible. We want a society and state that is fair and just for all-majority and minority.
Queens, New York
December 23, 2019
Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, USA