Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


Hindus in Bangladesh

Dt:   10/11/16


Hindus in Bangladesh


Dr T.H.Chowdary*




At the time of  partition and creation of   Pakistan, east Pakistan now Bangladesh had  a 35% Hindu- Buddhist population. They were being  expelled from out by various violent and discriminatory and oppressive actions of Islamist gangs, unchecked by government.  When the  flood of  Hindu- Buddhist refugees into India  was huge,  Sardar Patel addressed a mammoth meeting in Calcutta’s maidan  in March 1950 and warned Pakistan  that if  the flood did not  stop, a few districts in east Pakistan would be liberated and all the Hindu- Buddhist  people would be settled  in the  free districts and that they would be protected by  Indian armed forces.


2. Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaqat  Ali Khan came  to Delhi and there was the  Nehru – Liaqat Ali  Pact guaranteeing safety to the  minorities in the  two  countries. While   India   has been honouring   not only that pact but  has been giving  certain privileges  and special rights to Muslims  in India,  the exodus of Hindu Buddhists  from east Pakistan /Bangladesh has not stopped from 35% in 1947, it has come down to about 7% and is still going down; in contrast to India’s Muslim population going up from 9.8% in 1951 to about 15% by now.


3. Sri Jogendranath Mondal an SC Hindu leader  in East Pakistan and an ally of the  Muslim League was Law Minister of  Pakistan . He was repeatedly reporting to  Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan about the  rapes, lootings and forced  evictions  of Hindus, especially S.Cs among them, in East Pakistan .  But Liaquat dismissed those reports as false and that noble Islam would not  allow such things.  Mondal  Pak’s cabinet minister was ignored and humiliated. He fled from Pakistan and took refuge in Kolkata  where he died in anonymity.  Mondal’s  episode  must be a lesson to such SC leaders in India  who are being  inveigled to make common cause with minorities i.e Muslims for political  empowerment.  The less than one percent Hindus  in Pakistan  are  mostly SCs who are  prevented from emigrating  to India so that  they perform the  scavenging and  remove the dead animals and do such menial work in Pakistan.    


4. In  Sept 1951 Dr Ambedkar resigned from the  Nehru cabinet  and  in a statement in October  in the  Rajya Sabha he faulted Nehru for his obsession   with Kashmir and special rights and privileges  for Muslims not only in Kashmir but even in the  rest of India. He said  that India’s  real problem was not Kashmir but the fate of Hindus in Pakistan, especially in its eastern wing.  His advice in 1940 itself that after partition, there should be a full and organised exchange of minority populations between Hindustan and Pakistan  was not  heeded. Worse, while all  Hindus and Sikhs were expelled from west Pakistan, slow and  steady expulsion of Hindus from east Pakistan  / Bangladesh  has been continuing since partition and  even after  emergence of Bangladesh.


5. By now the once 35% Hindu Buddhist population in Bangladesh is reduced to about 7%. Atrocities on Hindus and  vandalisation and  destruction of  their places of worship continue  in articulated measure  so that  India’s ire  does not lead to some  immediate action  to save the  Hindu Buddhist population in Bangladesh. Notwithstanding Shaikh Hasina’s friendship with India  and her real commitment to secularism,  atrocities  on Hindus and Buddhists  continue in Bangladesh. The Chittagong area was once a Buddhist majority territory area. By almost all Buddhists are expelled.  It could have been  part of India, though separated by Muslim Pakistan / Bangladesh, just as East Pakistan was separated by intervening Indian  territory.  Another such Hindu majority territory, named Thar Parkar in Sind was also lost to India because of the over-generosity and  short-sightedness of Jawaharlal Nehru in regard to Muslims.


6. Freedom from British  rule in the Indian subcontinent has meant unfettered freedom for  Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh  but not such freedom to Hindus in what remains as India after 1947. Muslims in India  have more freedoms and  privileges than Hindus e.g Article.  They are  also exercising veto over what laws India  can enact  ( eg.  Common Civil Code, equal rights for all Indian women, child marriage, polygamy, secular education etc)   


7. It is necessary that India  takes a firm position  and tells Bangladesh in a decisive and friendly manner that either it should  guarantee the   security and honour of the  majorities or Sardar Patel’s   remedy shall be applied peacefully. (730 words)