Thursday, August 30, 2012

If Manmohan Singh being Pakistani refugee can become PM why not East Bengal Hindu refugee?

If Manmohan Singh being Pakistani refugee can become PM why not East Bengal Hindu refugee?

Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time: Eight Hundred Ninety Nine

Palash Biswas

The national seminar on the problems and plight of Bengali Partition Victime Hindu refugees eventually opted for Hindutva identity,. I have been warning that this lot of marginalised Indian Citizens have no survival kit left in the light of amended laws of the country to displace and deport them in corporate interest. I have been highlighting the problem since 2001, just after my late father Pulin Kumar Biswas, the President of All India Udvastu Committee succumbed to cancer fighting for refugees, minorities, peasants, excluded and excommmunicated communities.I had excellent relationship with Marxist leaders in Bengal who did support us while then Uttarakhand BJP Government branded us, the resettled rehabilitated Bengali refugees in Udhamsingh ngar since 1952 by governemnt of India as illegal migrants in 2001. But the Marxists did betray us once again while they supported NDA BJP presented Citizenship amendment Act, 2003 as they betrayed the refugees of Dandkaranya and masscred them in Marichjhanpi after inviting thme getting back home to create a favourable vote bank in 1979. Mraxists succeeded to get a sustainable Vote Bank of 27 percent Muslims, 17 percent scheduled caste and seven percent tribals and they needed not refugee vote bank any more.I had been focusing the problem specifically since citizenship mendment act passed and UID illegal project passed as the progressive and democratic forces never cared to hear our case. I had been writing consistantly that the religious, ethnic and linguistic communities are so much so segeregated that they have no other option but to be a hostage mobile votebank of the ruling hegemony. This is the root of the problem of communalisation.Indian Politics Centrist, right and Left and even the Ambedkarites use religion and caste identities to frame up favourable equations to ensure their share in Vote Politice. It has been a curous case why government of India chose to subject our people for indefinite persecution who have been already degenerated.We are discriminated as we are never treated Indian citizens despite the arrangement agreed in accordance with the partition plan and population transfer. I had been working with the Ambedkarites who also used us and did nothing. I had already talked to Udit Raj who in return never did care to raise the issue.It is queer that the people still crossing from the western border are treated otherwise with welcome gesture, but who crossed the border right after the partition just because the 26 percent land of undivided India given to the new nation, Pakistan was meant for only muslims and overnight our people were ejected out of their home as population transfer was the principle reigning. How these Partition victims should be treated as illegal foreigners as the refugees from west Pakistan not only are the legitimate bonafied Indian citizens, but the refugees like Dr Manmohan Singh and LK Adwani head the government and opposition respectively.The Bengali Hindus still stranded in Bangladesh are subjected to persecution and the refugee influx has to continue. Why the government do not distinguish between the persecuted and illegal migrants. It is the root cause of Assam Violence. The national media blacked out the news of attacks on Hindu Bengali refugees in  recent Assam violence. What does it mean? Personally, I am against religious or ethnic or caste identity. But our people have no option but to stress on their religious identity to focus their tragic plight.

I am attaching some news clippings about Hindu Bengali refugees attacked in Assam and also including human rights report on Bangladesh along with the works of Taslima Nasrin and Salam Azaad.Muntasir Mamun, Salam Azad, Shariar Kabir, Taslima Nasrin, all the writers from Bangladesh have been advocating the rights of minorities there ! But ironically, the Hindu Bengali refugees have no support or sympathy from the civil society, forget politicians!

Being a Pakistani refugee if Manmohan Singh & I K Gujral can become Prime Minister of India, Sri L K Advani can become Deputy Prime Minister, how can the Bangladeshi Hindu refugees be denied of their citizenship was a question of Prof Bhim Singh, the senior advocate of Supreme Court of India and Chairman of J&K National Panthers Party. Sri Bhim Singh was addressing the all India delegates of Bengali refugees at Mavalankar Auditorium, Vittal Bhai Patel House at New Delhi on 29th August, 2012. What is their mistake that they have been denied their constitutional rights? Refugees are human being and thus they do have the human rights. ;he promised that he would insist the Prime Minister of India to convene a meeting on national integration.

A convention of Bengali Hindu refugees of India was organized wherein hundreds of delegates from 14 states participated. The convention was inaugurated by Sri Chandan Mitra, MP in the presence of Sri Debabrata Biswas of General Secretary of Forward Block along with MPs like Sri Tapan Sen, Pradeep Majhi, Shyamal Chakraborty, Jharna Das Baidya and other dignitaries on the dais like Nimai Sarkar, Udit Raj, Manas Banerjee and Kumar Sen Bouddha. The convention was presided over by Dr Subodh Biswas, the national president of Nikhil Bharata Bangali Udbastu Samanway Samiti. Sri Paramananda Gharami, the General Secretary welcome the dignitaries while Dr Biswas put his keynote address.

In his keynote address, Dr Biswas drawn the attentions of the delegates about 4 major humanitarian issues faced by the refugees of East Bengal, who are basically son of the soil. Making necessary amendment to the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2003, Land rights to the refugees, caste reservation and mother tongue education.

In his inaugural address, Sri Chandan Mitra opined that there cannot be any cut off year for crossing over the border in case of refugees of East Bengal when there is no such cut off year for refugees of West Pakistan. Because, these teaming millions had to cross the border to protect their religion, prestige and lives. It is a matter of shame that they are being treated as criminals instead of as victims of historical circumstance, fleeing Bangladesh because of persecution, they have come to their country of origin, India, for refuge, but here too, thousands face fresh persecution because they are termed illegal migrants, locked up, and deported like cattle only to face the same cycle of persecution. They are living here for decades and their children have born in India but yet they are not recognized as Indian citizens. How long will this injustice continue? What happened to the promises of Pandit Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi & Sardar Vallababhai Patel? He promised that he would be with this mission till it reaches the goal.

Sri Debabrata Biswas brought to the notice of the floor that the rehabilitation of Bengali refugees was on Government of India initiative and the rehabilitated population had no choice in selecting the place of their abode; though they wanted to stay in West Bengal but had to reluctantly get along the rehabilitation policy of Government. Majority of this section of the society belong to Namasudra, Pod/Poundra and Rajbanshi communities which are considered as SC in West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram, Orissa and Tripura (Eastern part of the country) but not in other states. Caste reservation is a central subject and is considered for inclusion in the schedule based on the socio-ethnic condition of a social group; but the same cannot hold good for a displaced community like this as they have no relevance in their place of rehabilitation. They are SC as per the ethnicity of Eastern part of the India which does not hold good for other parts. As a consequence, the siblings of same parents, who are rehabilitated in Eastern states, are enjoying the constitutional rights while the one, who is rehabilitated in other states of the country are deprived off the same reservation benefits due to them; at whose fault? Had they been rehabilitated in Eastern states, they would have enjoyed the benefits at par with our siblings/relatives residing there.  

Sri Tapan Sen felt that it is shame on the part of India that even 65 years after the partition, we here the term 'refugee'. He also felt that, though after 65 years but is still good that the Nikhil Bharat Bangali Udbastu Samanvay Samiti has brought the displaced Bengalis under a common umbrella and should march ahead with its humanitarian goal and he would be with it. One group of victims of partition has been given the citizenship while other is not; why this discrimination?

Sri Pradeep Majhi advised to continue the fight outside the parliament while he will initiate it in the parliament. He shared that the Amendment Bill is already being prepared but due to adjournment of the parliament it has not come for the discussion. It would be brought to the floor shortly and the victims of partition must be given their due respect and status in the country. He also announced that he is with the democratic fight till the end.

Sri Nimai Sarkar (XMLA) asked when there cannot be any person without citizenship, how come we? Even if a baby take birth in an aircraft, the baby becomes citizen of that country; why this discrimination with us? The 3.5 crores Bengalis of 18 states must come together under the umbrella of Nikhil Bharat Bangali Udbastu Smanvay Samiti to obtain our constitutional rights. We don't have our own people in the State Assembly or in Parliament but in the days to we will have to elect our own MLA & MP to voice our cause at appropriate forum.  

Sri Shyamal Chakraborty recalled that when the NDA government placed The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2003 on 3rd December 2003, which did not differentiate between different sections of the society which would be affected by the Bill. The then Leader of Opposition Dr. Manmohan Singh stated that, "… with regard to treatment of refugees after partition of our country, the minorities in countries like Bangladesh, have faced persecution, and it is our moral obligation, that if circumstance force these unfortunate people to seek refuge in our country, approach to granting citizenship to these unfortunate persons must be most liberal. I sincerely hope that the Hon'ble Deputy Prime Minister bears this in mind in charting out the future course of action…" In response to his appeal, the then Deputy Prime Minister Sri L K Advani had said, "what the leader of the opposition has said, I am fully agreement with the views expressed…"  As you are aware, this should have been followed with a suitable amendment to Clause 2(i) (b) of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2003 in relation to the minority community refugees from Pakistan/Bangladesh. However, in spite of the consensus on the floor of the House, this was not done. For nearly a decade the matter has been pending. Meanwhile the insecurity felt by these teaming millions has been heightened as they are considered as illegal migrants facing the constant threat of deportation. May I ask when it was Sri Manmohan Singh himself was to raise this issue, why has he not taken any initiative even resuming the PMO for 2 consecutive terms?

Salam Azad-the 38 year old Bangladeshi writer and an eminent human rights activist predicted that there were "three options for Bangla Hindus. They can embrace Islam, leave the country or commit suicide". He made the predictions on February 9, 2002 while releasing the Hindi version of his Bengali book "Hindu Sampraday Keno Bangladesh Tyag Korcche" (why the Hindu community is leaving Bangladesh) in the last Kolkata Book Fair. His predictions came in the wake of unprecedented atrocities that were committed on the hapless Hindus by the armed cadres of BNP and its electoral allies before and after the October 1st parliamentary elections last year in Bangladesh. Since then persecution of Hindus has been continuing with occasional respite.

Salam Azad's book was first published in Kolkata towards the end of 1998. It has graphically described the reasons for the continuous exodus of Hindus from former East Pakistan now Bangladesh. He has been deeply shocked on seeing the sub-human conditions in which many well-to-do Hindu families of Bangladesh were now living in Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal. Azad has also lamented that had the Hindus not been driven out, their numbers would have been 32.5 million and they would have contributed much to the progress and prosperity of Bangladesh.

The State policy of Pakistan (of which East Pakistan now Bangladesh was originally a part of it) had all along been anti-Hindu because of the very nature of its birth in August 1947. In this connection, it bears recalling here that in the wake of a communal carnage in former East Pakistan in February/March, 1950, Pandit Nehru in his letter dated March 11, 1950 to Shri Liaquat Ali Khan (then Prime Minister of Pakistan) interalia said:

"...The root of this evil was the intense communal policy which led to Pakistan and which Pakistan has followed since. There is enough of communalism' in India also today. But, at any rate, it is not the policy we pursue and we combat it. In Pakistan it is the state Policy and this nurtures the feeling of hatred, violence and religious bigotry... This conversion of the State into a citadel of communalism inevitably leads to far-reaching evil consequences. It makes the lives of all those in that State who do not accept the predominant religion, unhappy and insecure."

Many believed that the agony of the Hindus would be over and they would regain their lost honour with the liberation of Bangladesh in December 1971. It was entirely a mistaken notion. By and large, the successive Governments in liberated Bangladesh have followed the same policy as was pursued and practised by Pakistan towards her Hindu and other minorities. The Hindus, however, lived in relative peace and safety during the Mujib and Hasina regimes compared to the military and BNP regimes. Nevertheless, the Hindu property was grabbed even when Mujib and Hasina ruled Bangladesh. In 1965, Pakistan Government enacted The Enemy Property Act and it operated disastrously against the Hindus. After the creation of Bangladesh, many Hindus and the liberal Muslims and intellectuals of Bangladesh thought and hoped that this black act would be repealed. Their hope was belied instead of repealing the act, it was reenacted under the new nomenclature of Vested Property Act (VPA) by the Mujibur Rahman Government in 1972. Under EPA/VPA, 1.64 million acres of land belonging to the Hindus have been grabbed-the market value of 60,000 crore (Taka) in Bangladesh currency.

A recent US State Department report on human rights in Bangladesh has put the quantum of grabbed land of the Hindus at about 2.5 million acres and it further added that this has almost affected the present Hindu population of Bangladesh.

Although the EPA/VPA was repealed by the Hasina Government in April 2001, it is yet to be implemented by the present Khaleda Zia Government by restoring the grabbed property to the owners of the Hindus. It needs to be mentioned here that a large number of the land grabbers are leaders of most of the political parties including the Awami League of Bangladesh. It is, therefore, doubtful whether the Hindus would get back their grabbed properties at all.

Bangladesh has been quite successful in achieving three objectives. Firstly, Bangladesh has been gradually denuded of its Hindu population. At the time of country's partition, the Hindu population in East Pakistan was 11.4 million or 29.17 percent of the total population. It has decreased alarmingly over the last few years and stood at 15.6 million in 2001. In other words it has come down to 12 per cent of Bangladesh's total population of 130 million. The Hindu population however, should have been 44.4 million in Bangladesh in 2001 as per the normal annual growth rate of 2.5 per cent and had been no migration of Hindus. In this connection, relevant Part is quoted here from a report titled "The Missing Population" dated January 7, 1994 from Holiday-a prestigious weekly of Dhaka:

"The Missing population was about 1.22 million during the period of 1974-81, about 1.73 million during the last inter-censal period of 1981-1991. As many as 475 Hindus are disappearing every day from the soil of Bangladesh on an average since 1974".

Further, the report on "State of Human Rights 1994 Bangladesh" edited by Father R.W. Timm said: "The Hindu population in Bangladesh stood at 1.25 crore in 1991.... The number of Hindus has been reduced by two crore in the last 50 years (till 1991). The most likely explanation is that they have left the country".

Secondly, Bangladesh has been sending lakhs and lakhs of Muslim infiltrators to India with the sinister design of carving out an Islamic state comprising of north-cast India, the bordering districts of West Bengal and three districts of Bihar viz Kishengunj, Katihar and Purnea.

The redeeming feature in an otherwise gloomy situation is that most of the major newspapers of Bangladesh have published the woeful tales of atrocities on the Hindus, have condemned the barbaric acts on them and blatantly criticised the Government for its deliberate failure to protect the helpless Hindus in Bangladesh. Likewise, the leading intellectuals and human rights activists of Bangladesh have brought the ghastly acts on the Hindus to the notice of international fora. Consequently, some of' thorn have suffered much for upholding the cause of the Hindus. The ordeal of Sahariar Kabir, the Dhaka-based celebrated film-maker, writer and human rights activist has come to my mind instantly. He was subjected to inhuman torture by the Bangladesh Government because of his exposure of "the atrocities (unprecedented since 1970-71) perpetrated against the Hindu community in Bangladesh during and after the elections held on October 1st, 2001".

Unless there is a radical change of policies on the part of the present Bangladesh Government towards its Hindu minority, their future is indeed bleak and uncertain. They will, therefore, have to opt one of the options out of the three as rightly predicted by Salam Azad in the Kolkata Book Fair in February 2002.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the novel. For the film, see Lajja (film).

This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.(December 2008)




Taslima Nasrin







Publication date


Published in


October 1997

Media type

Print (Hardback &Paperback)





OCLC Number


Dewey Decimal

891.4/437 21

LC Classification

PK1730.3.A65 L3513 1997

Lajja (Bengali: লজ্জা Lôjja) (Shame) is a novel in Bengali by Taslima Nasrin, a writer of Bangladesh. The word lajja/lôjja means "shame" in Bengali and many other Indic languages. The book was first published in 1993 in the Bengali language, and was subsequently banned in Bangladesh,[1][2] and a few states of India. It nonetheless sold 50,000 copies in the six months after its publication,[3] though Taslima fled her nativeBangladesh after death threats from Islamic radicals.[4]
Nasrin dedicated the book "to the people of the Indian subcontinent", beginning the text with the words, "let another name for religion be humanism." The novel is preceded by a preface and a chronology of events.


Lajja is a response of Taslima Nasrin to anti-Hindu riots which erupted in parts ofBangladesh, soon after the demolition of Babri Masjid in India on 6 December 1992. The book subtly indicates that communal feelings were on the rise, the Hindu minority of Bangladesh was not fairly treated, and secularism was under shadow.

[edit]Plot summary

In Ayodhya, in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, on 6 December 1992, Babri Masjid is demolished, and the demolition has repercussions even in neighboring Bangladesh. The fire of communal rioting erupts, and the Dutta family also feels and faces the heat of the communal hatred. Each member of the Dutta family feels about this in his / her own way.
Sudhamoy, the patriarch of the family, feels that Bangladesh, his motherland, shall never let him down. Kiranmayee as a faithful wife stands by her husband's views. Suranjan, their son, believes that nationalism will be stronger than communalism, but is progressively disappointed and finds himself adopting communal reactions which contrast entirely with the ideology of patriotism he has always had faith in. Nilanjana curses her brother's apathy and coaxes his brother to take the family to a Muslim friend's house for safety. It is a story of metamorphosis, in which disastrous events create disillusionment, resulting in violence and resentment.


The novel Lajja has been translated into many languages including French, Dutch, German, English, Spanish, Italian, Swedish,Norwegian, Finnish, Icelandic, Persian, Arabic, Assamese, Kannada, Hindi, Oriya, Urdu, Marathi, Telugu, Punjabi, Nepali andMalayalam.

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* Amnesty International reports/press releases on Bangladesh Amnesty International 2002 Report Canadian Research Directorate Report, 1997 US State Department's Report, 1997 US State Department's Report, 1999 US Government Report on Bangladesh (2000) Amnesty Reports Human Rights Watch Report Refugee Reports from UN

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