Ethnic Cleansing In Bangladesh

By Rahul Gupta

Vanishing Minority Population

 Hindus comprised nearly 30% of the total population in Bangladesh in 1947. After the exodus of minorities following the partition of India in 1947, the hindu population went down to about 22% by 1951. Due to unabated persecution, intimidation, and forcible conversion to Islam, the Hindu-Minority population kept on dwindling and now stands at a meager 10.5% of the total population in Bangladesh (1991 census). 

Interesting to note that minority Muslim population in adjoining West Bengal (India) showed a positive growth rate and according to 1991 Census, stood at nearly 24% of the total population from only about 12% in 1947.


India and West Bengal Census Data

 Source: Census of India 1991 (, Data Source : 1991 Census of India 

Table 29: Population of India since 1901 Census

 Table 24: Three Main Religions in every state, (India, 1991)


Hindus              687,646,721      82.00 %

Muslims            101,596,057      12.12  %

Christians          19,640,284        2.34 %

                        846,302,688      (Total)

 West Bengal (1991)


Hindus              50,866,624        74.7 % (1961 : 78.8%, decreased 4.1%)

Muslims            16,075,836        23.6 % (1961 : 20%, increased 3.6%)

Christians          383,477 0.6 %    (1961 : 0.5%, increased 0.1%)


West Bengal (1961-1991)


Year     Total     Hindu    Muslim  Chrsn    Others


1961     34.92    78.8      20.0      0.5        0.1

1991     68.07    74.7      23.6      0.5        0.6



 In Bangladesh, hindu population was 28% in 1941; 22% in 1951, 18.5% in 1961; 13.5% in 1974;

12.2% in 1981 and 10.5% in 1991. Hindu population decreased by 8% from 1961 to 1991 (Ref 1, 2).

 The vanishing minority population is understood from researching the census documents published the government. Fifty years ago in 1941, 28.3 per cent of the total population was minorities. The population of Hindu was 11.88 millions, while 588 thousand was other religious and ethnic minorities (Buddhist, Christian and animist). Evaluation of government statistics of 50 years, from 1941 to 1991, indicates a large drop in the figure for minorities. A comparative picture shows that the number of the Muslim majority increased 219.5 per cent while the Hindu community increased by 4.5 per cent. (Ref 3).

 If normal increase rate prevailed, the number of the Hindu community in this country would have been 32.5 million, but the Hindu population in Bangladesh stood at 12.5 million in 1991 Census (State of Human Rights, 1994). Therefore the missing population is 20 million. (Ref 3).


Ethnic Cleansing In Bangladesh

Ethnic cleansing of minorities in Bangladesh  (then East Pakistan) started in 1947. Over half-a-century has passed with no end is in sight. Minorities in Bangladesh,  including women and children were subjected to extreme brutality and torture following the last National Election in Bangladesh held in October 2001, forcing many families to migrate out of their  "Homeland of generations" for physical safety. 

Fig: Kamala Debi of Lord Hardinge under district Vola lost every thing due to barberious attack of communalist hooligans on Oct 10, 2001


In the recent past, there have been several cases of brutal killings of prominent members of minority communities in the strategic Chittagong and its Hill Tracts, by armed gang of Islamic fanatics. Significantly, these tragic incidents were perpetrated in the wake of Santu Larma - Khaleda Zia high-level talks at Dhaka on April 20, for establishing permanent peace in the said region. That very day in Rangamati (CHT), an armed gang of Bnp-Jei backed ‘United People’s Democratic Front’ (Updf) attacked pro-Larma Chakma tribals resulting in the death of four Chakma Buddhists. Next day (April 21), at Vill. Hingla in Rouzan locality of Chittagong, Gyanjyoti Borooah (55 yrs), a locally popular Buddhist Monk, running an Orphanage / Monastery was brutally killed. Thereafter on April 28/29, another Chakma Buddhist named Gyandarshi Chakma was shot dead at village Babupara in Mahalchhari (Cht). One of his companion sustained bullet wounds. The same night,  Madan Gopal Goswami, a Hindu Priest of  was gunned down in Gachhabil area of Manikchhari (Cht). These cases of utmost brutality generated strong resentment among local Chakmas and Hindus.

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." -Pascal


Some "recent" incidents (2002)

 ( 1 )    20th April 2002, at Moulavibazar district of Bangladesh, in Laxmipur village under Kulaur Police station several armed Muslim fundamentalists attacked the houses of Dulal Debnath and Jitendra Debnath, both members of the Hindu minority community. The houses were set ablaze. The group of miscreants led by Iuyas Mian of Balichiri village forcefully captured their lands. A case has been filed against them at the Kulaur police station.

 ( 2 )    8th May, 2002, N. M. Jahangir Alam-A well known journalist of the newspaper Sambad which is published from Dhaka, was beaten up by Muslim fundamentalists. Because he was accused of publishing several news, reporting the poor conditions of the Hindu minority of Bangladesh. He filed a case at the near by Police Station but the police did not show the any interest in arresting the miscreants 


Fig: Bangladeshi newspapers continuously featured on Minority Oppression after BD election 

 ( 3 )    5th May, 2002-in the morning, At the Dolu Bridge area situated in the Shattkaniya sub-district of South Chattagram, a group of Muslim fundamentalists kidnapped Rupam Mullick, a Hindu resident and damaged his arms and legs.

 ( 4 )    23rd May, 2002, near Sadhurpara situated at the Chandgaon police station of Chattagram, the local Muslim fundamentalists forcefully captured the lands owned by a Hindu widow Charubala Nath (80).

 ( 5 )    8th May, 2002,-in Narikelbaria village of Bakharpara sub-district situated at Jessore, a local Muslim extreamist, Saiful along with Kabir and other fundamentalists demanded, more than 1 lakhs takas (U.S. $2,000) as Jizya tax (tax imposed by non-Muslims on Muslims) from a business Subodh Saha. But Subodh refused to pay the tax. As a result the fanatics took a glass bottle fill with hot water and vehemently beat Subodh with it. He was badly injured. His two legs were damaged. Another person called Bablu Saha, who came to protect Subodh was also beaten up.

 ( 6 )    10th May, 2002, at night, a Hindu journalist named Manik Mazumdar's office was destroyed by a group of right wing Muslim fundamentalists. Manik Mazumdar is the president of reporter's union of Madhukhali sub-district in Faridpur.

 ( 7 )    25th April, 2002, 9 o'clock at morning in Thakurgaon district, Chandramohan Sarkar, headmaster of Shapla Adarsha Uchcha Vidyalaya was forcefully resigned from his post because of being a Hindu, by Muslim fundamentalists.

 ( 8 )    7th May, 2002, at the Shathkhira sub-district, in the Sreerampur village a Hindu housewife was raped by a reactionary Muslim fanatic named Shafiqul Islam. A case has been filed but no adequate action has been taken by the police against the accused.  

( 9 )    9th May, 2002, at night, a Hindu religious place-''Aditya Asram'' situated in the Khashipur village under the Banshkhali police station of Chattagram was demolished by some Muslim activists. A group of 30 to 40 muslim fundamentalists along with sharp weapons attacked the ''Aditya Asram''. The priest of the temple-Pradipananda Purimoharaj was deeply injured by the fundamentalists. The property of the ''Ashram'' has been looted & taken away by the attackers.  

( 10 )    4th May 2002, at night, near the Biyanibazar of Sulhet district, a Hindu Brahmin girl of the Uttabhag village has been kidnapped by a group of Muslim fundamentalists and raped mercilessly. 5th May, the villagers rescued her but she was totally senseless.  

( 11 )    3rd May, 2002, at night, in Kumilya district of Bangladesh Brajendra Bhowmick, a Hindu villager of Haludia situated under Mujaffargunge Union was attacked by armed right wing Muslim fundamentalists. The houses of Subhash Chandra Bhowmick, Nakul Chandra Bhowmick and Bimalendu Bhowmick have been set a blaze. The local police station is still indifferent regarding the incident.  

( 12 )    8th May, 2002, at night, in the Nator district of Bangladesh, the villagers of Bashantapur at Shingra sub-district were attacked by armed Muslim extremists. The houses of Niren, Nitai, Atul, Prabhat, Dinesh, Ajit, Krishna, Jitendra, Basudev and Sukumar, all Hindus were looted. The families have decided to leave Bashantapur for India.  

( 13 )    Recently, near the Patuakhali sub-district of Bangladesh, at Khachipara and Kalishuri village of Banpual-the Hindu minorities have been forcibly interned at their homes to keep them under observation. Shishutosh Dash, Bhabaranjan Das, Debendranath Sarkar and Hiron Kumar Sarkar were forced to sign and give away all their houses and properties to the Muslim fundamentalists. They only cried in silence and left their land to move away to any other place.  

( 14 )    20th April, in evening, at Uttapara sub-distict of Shirajgunga a Hindu clothes merchant, Nitai Sarkar has been attacked by some muslim exrremsits. Clothes from his shop were stolen that valued nearly, 1 lakh (U.S. $ 2,000) takas. Being mercilessly beaten he is now under treatment.  

( 15 )    15th April 2002, in the Chagal Naiya sub-distict of Pheni district, Khrishna Das (60) and Ujjal Das (27) Hindu vilagers of Sattar village has been severely tortured by local right wing Muslim fundamentaliss, because they refused to pay the jizya tax according to their demands.  

( 16 )    20th May 2002, at Bargauna district of Bangladesh, in Bukabania Zabar of Bamma sub-distrcits some Hindu owned lands surrounding a temple were captured by the Muslim partymen. They belonged to the fundamentalists group of the Bangladesh National Party. They have started to build their party office in that area.


Forceful Conversion of Two  Minor Hindu Girls to Islam-Attack on Family Members:

Monday, August 05,  2002 

Two  minor Hindu girls, namely Miss Sushma Rani Malo (15 year old), daughter of Shri  Anil Chandra Malo and Miss Putul Rani Malo (15 year old), daughter of  ShriMonoranjan  Malo of village Kulpaddy, Police Station and District of Madaripur, were  kidnapped from their houses one kilometer from Madaripur police station. The  guardians of the victims described in a very heart-rending manner to Advocate  Rabindra Ghosh, President HRCBM, Dhaka, Bangladesh, that their minor daughters  were students of Class VIII. The minor girls were kidnapped by some Muslims of  the same village, led by the Imman of Madaripur Sadar Hospital Mosque. They were  forced to sign an affidavit that they are 19 years of age and they wanted to  convert to Islam at their own will on 25th of July, 2002. In addition, they were  allured and detained and compelled by some Muslims of the same locality,  particularly the supporters of Jamal-E-Islami Party, to swear an affidavit by a  Notary Public at Madaripur. The victims, Putul Rani Malo and Sushma Rani Malo,  came back to their parents on 25th July, 2002, in the evening. On hearing the  news that the two girls had gone back to their parents some Jamal-E-Islamic  supporters numbering about 250/300 surrounded the houses of the victim-girls at  about 11 P.M. at night. The criminals started assaulting Arun Chandra Malo(26),  brother of victim Sushma Rani Malo. Arun Chandra Malo sustained severe injuries  on the lower portion of the eyes, which were still visible after 8 days. He was  under the treatment of local doctor. Ultimately those two victim girls were  again kidnapped by the Muslim criminals on 26th July, 2002. The police and law  enforcement authorities did neither provide any protection to the girls and  their families nor arrested the criminals. Not only that the miscreants with the  help of some police officials of Madaripur police station tactfully obtained an  undertaking from the guardians of the victim girls that they do not like to  lodge any complain with the police and they did not take any cases against the  criminals. Advocate Rabindra Ghosh finally was successful in filing two F.I.R.’s  with the Madaripur Police Station during his visit.

Advocate Mr. Ghosh pointed to the Deputy Commissioner  that the consent of any minor, according to law, is no consent and the date of  birth of the victims proved that they were minors. So the consent obtained by  the criminals by an affidavit in the Notary Public has got no force in law.  Until and unless the minor becomes 18 years of age she is not capable to give  consent as per the latest ruling of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. It is quite  astonishing to note that the "No objection certificate" obtained by some police  officers tactfully from the simple-minded and law-abiding guardians of the  victims are very much unwarranted and without jurisdiction; and for this  deceitful endeavor on the part of any law-enforcing agencies are highly  reprehensible and punishable under law. It is also astonishing to note that  while the victim girls were kidnapped from a house by the miscreants the police  was silent and they were allowed to organize processions in the locality in the  name of religion and promote violence and intolerance. Mr. Ghosh requested the  Deputy Commissioner of Madaripur to hand over the minor victims to the legal  guardians but no actions have yet been taken. A serious tension is prevailing in  the area and the minorities fear for their life and security.  



Fig: Miscreants sprayed bullets on Prof. Muhari.


3 injured as  Islamic terrorists attack Christian Para (locality) in Barisal : March  23rd, 2002

 UNB,  Barisal


Armed terrorists attacked  the Christian-dominated area at Kashipur on the outskirts of the town yesterday,  leaving three people injured, one witness said the hoodlums numbering around 10 swooped on the Christian Para at Icchakati at about 11 am  and ransacked a house belonging to Badal Baidya. During the raid,  they also stabbed three people, including Liton Sadhu, when they tried to resist  them. Liton was admitted to Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital "in  critical condition"  

Terrorists attack houses of Christian  community in Pabna : February 28th, 2002 

PABNA, Feb 27: At least 20 people were injured as some terrorists allegedly attacked and damaged several  houses of Christian community members in two villages of Chatmohor Upazila in  the district on Tuesday night, reports UNB. Local people said the violence  started when one Susanta Modal of village Kadamtol refused to pay money allegedly to some cadres of JCD, the student wing of ruling BNP, for buying  liquor. Refusal to pay money made the cadres angry and they went on the rampage  assaulting Susanta. Ten people were injured and four houses ransacked in the  attack, according to sources. 


Gang rape continues at  Naugaou, minority girls appeal for justice: February  13th, 2002

 Daily  Janakantha dated 13th February, 2002 

Naugaou: After brutal gang  rape of minority girl Purnima at Ullapara, another Purnima has become the victim  of gang rape at Niamatpur under Naugaou. Terrorists armed with lethal country made weapon burst into the house of Mr. Gajendra Nath Sarkar at mid night, the  miscreants went on rampage at the house kicking and punching family members  first and then forcefully kidnapped Ms. Babita Rani Sarkar, holding the family  at gunpoint. Next morning, the miscreants dropped off the subdued and tormented  body of Ms. Babita who was seriously wounded but alive. Terrorist warned the  local minorities for stern punishment if the incident is reported to police.  This incident further instigated fear among minorities at Bhahadurpur village.  To escape humiliation and save their females minorities are sending out all the  young girls and women to relatives in towns. Ignoring all the warnings,  oppression and torture of miscreants, Ms. Babita, a student of class ten in  local school and her family decided to file case in the local police station.  The brave girl identified one "Shariful" among eight evildoers. Police has  arrested Shariful and Ahidur Rahman while writing this report. Ms. Babita has  now taken refuge to the residence of her maternal uncle at Mandar Bevbra  village. Latter Police Superintendent Mr. Mustafijur Rahman visited the village  assuring the safety of minorities there but locals said minorities never been  safe since the last election. Some also stated that Babita's distant sister was also gang raped earlier but administration has not done enough to endow justice. 

References : 

1] Bangladesh A Country Study, Ed. J.Heitzman & R.L.Worden, 2nd Ed, Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, Publisher U.S. Army, 1989, pp.250,255  

2] Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Micropedia, Vol.1, p.789 Desh. 

3] State of Minorities in Bangladesh : From Secular to Islamic Hegemony : Saleem Samad  

Several other human rights related web sites.


Published at Mukto-mona (

Zakaria Khondker's rebuttal on this article

Rahul Gupta's follow-up response 

Relentless Propaganda: Ethnic Cleansing in Bangladesh

"Ethnic cleansing or not" : final response to Mr. Zakaria  

Ref : Hindu and Muslim Fanaticism-Two faces of the same coins : My last response to Mr. Nasir



Comments from the readers :

"What Rahul Gupta wrote is completely true.

The truth is that there is no place for minorities in an Islamic society. It is a divine sanction. Look at Quran; it clearly says to exile all unbelievers whenever possible.

We have to uproot this religious fascism from our soil if we care for our language, culture and ethos.

The pictures clearly resemble what I personally witnessed with my own eyes in 1971. Those vivid memories of Islamic atrocities has completely changed my view/s on religion."

Abul Kasem

Thu, 14 Nov 2002

This is a weak article.

It contains the descriptions of recent anti-Hindu/Chris incidents only, attributing a character of Publicity-Propaganda or Slogan. The necessary Reason-Effect analyses is missing.

Ethnic Cleansing started in early sixties on the instruction Ayub Khan. It was a state-sponsored terrorism against Hindus, a planned provocation of the local Muslim Mastan-youths who developed the dream of grabbing properties/lands of Hindus by threat at that time. Their dream was an easy success. That was the start. With a temporary pause in 1971, the property-greed shoed up again, this time with an added attitude of real violent Islam. What we see today is a continuous chronological development of that state-sponsored terrorism in early sixties.

This psychological undercurrent of last forty years in E. Pak-BD continuously pressed the birth of a bigger demon, Hindutwa in India. In my belief, recent uprising of Hindu fanatics in India is a direct and unavoidable produce of last 40 year's torture on Hindus in BD. It had to happen, nothing else could have happened. I have always been apprehending about it. I knew, Nehru-Gandhi's India won't be able to resist this destiny for long. That is the trend of history. Bad things happen with greater ease.

The article does not address the root cause. It sees the recent past of incidences only.


Wed, 13 Nov 2002

Dear Moderator,
I came across the inflammatory articles by Mr. Rahul Gupta and the chief editor of Mayer Dak.  I beg to differ with their analyses and conclusion. I am also sorry to observe  that the website is being used - not for impartiality,  but for serving the BJP agenda (much in common with LK Advani & Co.) against Muslims in Bangladesh.

Did it ever occur to these writers that Bangladeshi Hindus convert more to Christianity than to Islam? Just a statistical sampling analysis around Bangladeshi Christian population abroad would be sufficient to prove my point here. Five years ago, I did a personal (nothing too rigorous) analysis myself while visiting/touring hundreds of villages near Mangla, Khulna. Due to NGO and foreign missionary activities, village after village had converted to Christianity among the people there who had erstwhile been Hindus, mostly from the fishing and farming occupation. Not a single of them I encountered had converted to Islam. I challenge them to take a similar initiative and find out on your own if you have problem with my findings.

Well, if one goes to CHT, one could see the same kind of effort by Christian missionaries to win over converts among the minorities. And this is not a new phenomenon. As far as I remember from my days (when going to primary schools) in the '60s in that part of the world, you could always see Christian missionaries there doing their work. Such activities actually started much earlier, during the British period.

 Ours is a country, which is, sadly, economically deprived. As Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazul Hoque had once put it, "The politics of Bengal is in reality the economics of Bengal." What he so aptly said, some 6 decades ago, is, unfortunately, still true in Bangladesh. I am told by my friends, some of whom are Professors of Economics in universities in Bangladesh (and track such trends in population), that in the last two decades a growing number of indigenous people (including even some Muslims) have converted to Christianity because of NGO activities and a number of other reasons (not so all noble sometimes  like the opportunity to immigrate to the western world). That is a fact, no matter how we may be shocked.

 There is yet another factor that we should not lose thought of. That is the tendency among educated people to find better opportunities for them and their extended families wherever such opportunities exist. Just look around you. A great proportion of foreign students from our part of the world, which could be considered economically disadvantaged (including India, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan), do not return to their native places of birth. And once settled, they bring the rest of their families. Hindu students always represented a sizable percentage in science, medicine and technology in most major universities in Bangladesh. So, it is not difficult to fathom that a significant proportion of them may seek higher studies outside the country and then opt for settling there. After all, when a die-hard pujari of Hindutva from India and a molla from Bangladesh could opt for settling in the western world in preference to their native homes, I don't see a problem with my analysis above.

Something must be said about the census process. Unlike the western world, this system has not evolved to a level that is error-free in our part of the world. A good proportion of economically disadvantaged population is always left off from such accounting. Just a mere two years ago, while interviewing several rickshaw pullers in Chittagong and Dhaka, I noticed that more than 50% did not know anything about census. Most of these low-income generating people are Muslims. The situation for census taking in rural areas is still far worse than that in urban centers. As to Indian census, I am not in a position to know how accurate it is. But I am sure that it is not error-free either. It is true that all these former colonies of Britain definitely have made much progress in all sectors, including census. However, census is far from being accurate, and the situation was worse in 1947 or 1951 or 1961 than it is now. So, when the measurement system is inaccurate, one truly cannot say for sure how the proportions of minorities were or are now. First fix the measurement system and then use the data to analyze and draw conclusion. That is how the system works for reliability and accuracy in information. The whole impetus on six sigma activities round the globe is based on this proven notion. Anything short of that will only lead to possibilities, if and buts, doubts and pains!

As to making a big fuss about Hindu priest Goswami's murder (in Mayer Dak), I think it is an ignoble, criminal and politically biased propaganda to blame all such murders to a process of ethnic cleansing. Bangladesh never had and still does not have such a policy. Compared to India, Bangladesh, quite frankly, has been an oasis of tolerance among various religious communities (up to the time of last election) and we all pray (and should work hand in hand) that it should remain as such for all times to come. Last year's sad and criminal episode around the election time is an exception to the rule and should be treated as such. All Bangladeshis, irrespective of religion, creed, language or ethnicity, condemn such and should work towards making our region free from all forms of violence directed against any of its members. The criminals should be hunted down and punished. No compromise there. If our government fails to punish those culprits, it would be a shameful act and disservice to our nation's image. The fanatics of Hindutva in India will use this tarnished image to carry out their pogroms (much like what they did against Muslims recently in Gujrat) against other minorities, to ethnically cleanse Hindustan of everyone who is not a Hindu.

Much that we deplore, I must also remind the fact that the sad event of targeted harassment during the last election in Bangladesh was no different than what many Indian Muslims had endured and faced during the election times in India. Violence against Muslims was and still is a routine thing so that Muslims vote for a particular party and not others. As is true anywhere, it is the slum dwellers who are more affected than those who are better off financially. It is a shameful tactic that political scoundrels often use against vulnerable communities. Such should be deplored and stopped at any cost.
Personal and other kinds of disputes (involving wealth, land, women, etc.) have killed more people than anything else in Bangladesh. And in the last 10 years, add to this list - political rivalry and affiliation. If someone was known to be an AL supporter, he or she was abused by those who hated AL, and vice versa. All the major political parties have their cadres among students. In Bangladesh, it is more lucrative to remain a student affiliated with a student organization than to graduate and work legally in an office or a company. These guys with their weapons are ready to commit any violence that money would buy for them. That is the sad reality in Bangladesh, and I am as much, if not more, shocked by this downward trend in morality and basic human traits as you are. You see how the political parties use students for political control and they in turn terrorize each other and other innocent bystanders in our country.  I may like to remind you about the fact that quite a few college and university student organizations, belonging/affiliated to either major parties, are led by Hindu students. Some of the top terrorists in Bangladesh are/were also minorities (this is very much expected in a mixed population sample). Now in an ensuing battle between rival student groups, who act more like Mafiosi than anything else, if a Hindu got killed, and you were to cry foul that it was ethnically motivated - that would be simply unfair. Criminals don't have any religion, nor even party - they are like whores who could be bought and sold for a price, usually to the highest bidder.

    To talk about student terrorists, let me share with you something that is very personal. My parents' home in Chittagong was terrorized for a number of years by local (student) miscreants, who at one time had belonged to BNP and then switched allegiance to AL (when the latter came to power nearly five years ago). The notorious Mamunur Rashid (affiliated with the party of Mayor Mohiuddin of Chittagong), was behind the scene. Thanks to the AL government of Sheikh Hasina that this mafia boss was eventually put into the prison (and still is) during Nasim's tenure as the Home Minister. However, Mamun's arrest did not slow down his chellas from the Omar Ghani College to virtually create a hostage-type situation. Their mere presence in our compound was a sad reminder of how helpless we have become. They would come at any time of the day and night, roam about freely as if the house belongs to them and that my parents are at their mercy. No calls to police stations or mayor's office in Chittagong would stop them from their almost daily routine. A number of times when the police raid took place to arrest these low-lives, they had vacated the property, thanks (presumably) to some insiders in the corrupt police department. No personal plea would deter these miscreants. Only with the fall of AL in the last election, they moved out (i.e., vacated the property).

The interesting thing is that all this trouble to our family took place when everyone in our locality (including these local thugs) knew about my father, who was a close friend of the founder of the nation, the late Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and his many a humanitarian contribution before, during and after the liberation war. (He had distanced himself from AL soon after liberation.) Now if all these troubles could happen to our family in the hand of political touts, I could very well imagine how terrible things were and have been with the rest of our Bangladeshi people. A country that cannot provide security to its people is no place for one to live. And that is where, I think, Bangladesh has failed to live up to the dreams of all those who got martyred during the war of liberation. It is a shame to their memory. We ought to expect better from our government officials to protect and secure the lives of our people - Bangladeshis of all races, genders, languages and religion.

I have written in the past about my feelings on how I saw Bangladesh in some major newspapers in Bangladesh. For example, The Weekly Holiday had a full-length piece just a few years ago. I would not, therefore, lengthen this any further. I hope that Mayer Dak and Mr. Gupta would take my criticism of their biased analysis in a positive sense. There is no benefit in polarizing one community against another. Much in contrast to ethnic-violence prone territories in India, the people of Bangladesh have lived peacefully for almost a millennium now. Religion has always been a personal thing and that is great. We should not abuse religion nor use it to demean, abuse, hate, molest, or harm others, neither physically nor through hate-mongering websites that try to divide our world.

With best regards,

Dr. Habib R. Siddiqui.

Ethnic Cleaning in Bangladesh  

A debate on ethnic cleaning in Bangladesh is going on in e-forum. The subject has come in discussion because of some incident of minority oppression was occurred in Bangladesh after October 2001 election. During that time some Awami League workers were also oppressed by opponent political parties. Right wing political parties of Bangladesh believe that minority votes go in favor of AL. So 4 parties Alliance attacked them.

It is also true that a vast percentage of people of Hindu belief left their motherland after 1947 due to insecure position. Another reason was financial. The then East Pakistan was a colony of Pakistan and there was no democracy. Bengali population was hard hit by Pakistani exploitation. Economical disparity made them cripple. Industrial growth was slow. Owners of the industries were mostly non-Bengali, were not eager to hire people of Hindu believe. Whereas India started with democracy and secular concept and industry was growing fast as a result venue of earning for common people of both religion increased. Therefore Hindus were encouraged to go India for better life as they had relations and known people who migrated to that country earlier.

Bangladesh, after its independence, tried but failed to establish social justice by implementing a secular and democratic society with modern national out look due to local and international conspiracy. Pakistani ghost was whipping us. A new plundering class was created like Pakistan whose main job is collecting commission and use religion to camouflage their evil deeds. They require santrasi and mastan to protect their black money and to capture power to earn more commission. They will not hesitate to sell gas to India for commission though they are playing Pakistani old propaganda record of finding Indian conspiracy everywhere. Due to all these reason Bangladesh development was halt. Unemployment was multiplying. So common people of both the religion was crossing the border in search of job and better life.

Meaning of word “Ethnic” to me is the group of people of same race and culture. So the happening of occurrence in Bangladesh was not ethnic but it can be denoted as “Religion Cleaning”.


Setara Hashem



"Living in Banglastan"

Dear Rahul,

Thank you very much for your mails. I came to know through your mail that there was something called 'Mukto-Mona', and it has published my interview. Later on I searched through yahoo and google, and found the entire interview. I was much amused to see that there were a number of attacks on me by some primitives living in Helsinki to Los Angeles. These articles show how primitive the Bangali Muslims have become, they do science in the west but still live in the sixth century Medina and Mecca.

I have read your article 'Ethnic Cleansing In Bangladesh', which is an "objective documentation of the facts" "now" occurring in Bangladesh.

But things are "much" worse now. The Khabarer Kagaj, a weekly, published a long interview with me on 24 June 2002. I criticized hundreds of things, and in answer to a question about the success of the government I said, 'The present government has been successful in cleansing the Hindus, the present government has been successful in extending corruption, the present government has been successful in making rape a cultural activity, and the present government has been successful in abducting, murdering, and other fearful activities.'

Things have worsened by now. They have employed the army in eliminating anybody they dislike. I have just

finished a novel named '10,000, and 1 More Rape'. The message of the novel is obvious.


Dr. Humayun Azad

Minority repression as I see it By Jamal Hasan
A leaf from our history of ethnic repression By Dr. Jaffor Ullah


More comments:

  Subject Name/Email Date
8751 Re: Ethnic Cleansing or Not: Time to Stop. Dr. Ajoy Roy Sat  11/23/2002
8772 Re: Hindu and Muslim Fanaticism-Two faces of the same coins Rahul Gupta Sun  11/ 24/2002
8749 Re: Ethnic Cleansing or Not Dr Habib Siddiqui Sat  11/23/2002
8747 Hindu and Muslim Fanaticism-Two faces of the same coins A. B. M. Nasir Sat  11/23/2002
8738 Re: Minority repression as I see it (Replying to Farida Khan and Kus Jamal Hasan Sat  11/23/2002
8737 Re: Minority repression as I see it Mahbub Kamal Sat  11/23/2002
8723 Re: Ethnic Cleansing or Not ? Rumi Ahmed Fri  11/22/2002
8722 Re: Ethnic Cleansing or Not ? Partha Sircar Fri  11/22/2002
8702 "Ethnic cleansing or not" : final response to Mr. Zakaria Rahul Gupta Thu  11/21/2002
8701 Re: Relentless Propaganda: Ethnic Cleansing in Bangladesh kaushik Thu  11/21/2002
8700 Re: The Hindus the Vanishing Minority? A. B. M. Nasir Thu  11/21/2002
8696 Re: Islamic Ideology Dr Habib Siddiqui Thu  11/21/2002
8692 "Ethnic cleansing or not " : Dr. Humayun Azad responds Rahul Gupta Wed  11/20/2002
8691 Re: The Hindus the Vanishing Minority? Rahul Gupta Wed  11/20/2002
8689 A leaf from our history of ethnic repression A.H. Jaffor Ullah Wed  11/20/2002
8688 Re: Ethnic Cleansing or Not ? Setara Hashem Wed  11/20/2002
8687 Re: Ethnic Cleansing or Not ? Narayan Gupta Wed  11/20/2002
8686 Re: Ethnic Cleansing or Not ? Partha Sircar Wed  11/20/2002
8685 Relentless Propaganda: Ethnic Cleansing in Bangladesh Zakaria Khondker Wed  11/20/2002
8684 Re: Ethnic Cleansing or Not ? Raman Padma Wed  11/20/2002
8683 The Hindus the Vanishing Minority? A. B. M. Nasir Wed  11/20/2002
8682 Re: Ethnic Cleansing in Bangladesh dure_kothao Wed  11/20/2002
8681 Re: Ethnic Cleansing or Not ? Zakaria Khondker Wed  11/20/2002
8677 The depravity of Sohail Ahmad Farida Majid Wed  11/20/2002
8658 Re: Ethnic Cleansing or Not ? Rahul Gupta Mon  11/18/2002
8657 Re: Ethnic Cleansing or Not ? Indrajit Ganguli Mon  11/18/2002
8656 Re: Ethnic Cleansing or Not ? Ranjan Chowdhury Mon  11/18/2002
8655 Re: Ethnic Cleansing or Not ? Zakaria Khondker Mon  11/18/2002
8641 Mr. Sohail Ahmad is temporaily banned Mukto-mona Moderator Sat  11/16/2002
8640 Re: Ethnic Cleansing or Not ? Mukto-mona members Sat  11/16/2002
8622 Ethnic Cleansing or Not ? Mukto-mona Moderator Fri  11/15/2002


   Also visit: Prof. Ajoy K. Roy's Column - "Oppressed Minorities"

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