Monday 6 December 2021
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India Must Acknowledge, Treat Bangladesh As Rogue Nation

Bangladesh's history of antagonism towards India has failed to irk our state or draw warranted provocative measures against the neighbour


Sauvik Raha
Former lecturer in chemistry at Ramanuj Gupta Junior College, Silchar; Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science

Left-‘liberals’ have been peddling lies and furthering strawman arguments to paint the recent massacre of Hindus and desecration of their deities in Bangladesh as nothing but “usual instances of religious conflicts”. The intentions are first to divide guilt between Hindus and Muslims and finally give a clean chit to the latter. Fabricated narratives of Muslims (labelled as minorities) facing persecution at the hands of Hindus in India are doing the rounds at the same time. A prominent adherent of the leftist ideology from Bengal was found ranting in a Facebook post — if these attacks on Hindus at all have originated from communal hatred towards Hindus. He fancies subtler reasons behind the violence and thinking that religion (of course alluding to Islam) can hardly be shoddy (ঠুনকো) enough to induce such brutishness asks readers to contemplate hard on the issue so as to take an informed stand. When he assumes two invisible forces pulling the strings of the members of their respective communities to riot against each other, he deliberately paints a vague picture of Hindus being equally responsible for all the campaigns of genocide they have been subjected to by the Muslims. In the name of religion, only the Abrahamic communities commit widespread violence and brutality across the globe. Actions taken in defence against such atrocities cannot be described as communal violence.

আর মানুষ মানুষকে মারছে না ধর্মের নামে। নেকা অন্ধ কোথাকার! মুসলমানরা মারছে হিন্দুদের তাদের আল্লাহর এবং ইসলামের নামে।

Translation: Men aren’t slaughtering men in the name of dharma. Muslims are killing Hindus for the sake of Allah and Islam which is no dharma but mazhab or religion.

Afflicted with leftist ideology, such individuals are making appeals to overlook the misdeeds of Muslims in general who follow all their extreme fanatic precepts in toto. Let us not be misled by the antics of the ‘liberal’ gang and make our own analysis to actually reach “an informed stand” on the issue. At the outset, let us stop dumping the blame of Hindu-Muslim conflict, unlike conspiracy theorists, on politicians and the British.

Muslims have a long history of persecuting Hindus ever since they first arrived in the Indian subcontinent. Then the first fact to acknowledge is the long tradition of Muslim persecution of Hindus in the Indian subcontinent. Secondly, it becomes imperative to call to mind certain incidents from the last few decades to check if the said tradition has percolated down to the current time and has undergone an extension of dimensions around it. And finally, given that all noises and confusions generated by left-‘liberals’ to divert the attention of the general public are gotten rid of and clear acceptance of Islamic terrorism eroding India’s integrity gains an embedment in the Indian psyche, may we Indians witness our government taking on hostile countries like Bangladesh, dealing with them decisively and effectively checking their aggressions and adventurism.

It is difficult to fathom what has upheld trust between New Delhi and Dhaka in the wake of the latest assaults on Hindus by Muslims in Bangladesh with the Indian state perhaps wary to have the forward movement in bilateral ties stymied. The Bangladesh government under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina Wazed hasn’t taken any concrete measures to put an end to the violence against Hindus and ramp up their safety and security. Empty verbal assurances should have by now met with forthright cynicism and vehement rejection from India’s end. For obvious reasons, the Bangladesh government isn’t expected to show an iota of keenness to tread on corrective courses to shut down long-standing and systematic genocidal campaigns against Hindus in the country. It requires no rocket science to realise the undeniable inimicality of Bangladesh to India’s national interests. The country’s with India has been a strained one – although zoomed out by left aligned media – almost ever since its inception (that was of course courtesy of India’s timely assistance only) as the vestige of Islamic fanaticism saw an exponential resurrection to full-blown animosity towards Hindus and India.

The twin guilts of Hindu subjugation and Muslim imperialism have continued to elude the acknowledgement of not only the Bangladesh state but also the country’s greater spheres and policy spaces. In the same vein, massive outflow to India of persecuted Hindus for refuge and Muslims for better economic prospects – despite bragging by Bangladeshi loyalists sitting in India of Bangladesh’s alleged booming economic growth – and extension of Dar Al-Islam have been denied with Muslims emigrating far more than the minority Hindus in the recent years. Likewise, Muslim belligerence against the Indian state in the form of harbouring Islamic terrorists have also been confronted by brazenly spurious repudiations. The presence of ISI and Al-Qaeda within the territory of Bangladesh and their roles in fanning domestic turmoil and unrest in India was straightaway denied when the matter was taken up by the Indian state back in the Vajpayee era. Subsequent intelligence reports surfacing in 2004 about Bangladesh in collaboration with sheltered Islamic terror outfits like Al-Qaeda planning terror strikes in India with the greater and long-term objective of carving out a separate Islamic state out of India’s Northeast was fretfully dismissed by Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s notoriety doesn’t end here. The country has the glaring track record of granting asylum to the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), a terror outfit with origin in Assam and whose activities have claimed the lives of uncountable innocent civilians of Assam. There was a time when top leadership of this insurgent group, that had in the course of time set up links with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Afghan Mujahideen, operated from unspecified locations in Bangladesh. The militant group ran training camps and owned thriving businesses, including hotels, clinics and soft drinks manufacturing units within the frontiers of Bangladesh. Not long ago, several militant organisations that include the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K), the Kamtapur Liberation Organization, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), etc. united under the banner of a so-called ‘United Liberation Front of Western South Asia’. They colluded with Bangladesh’s homegrown Islamic terror outfits like the Jamat-e-Islami and the Jamat-ul-Mujahideen (who in turn are funded by Pakistan’s ISI) to launch terror operations on the Indian soil. Despite Sheikh Hasina’s exhibition of ostensible grit to root out Islamic terrorism from Bangladeshi soil, Bangladesh continues as a sure exporter of Islamic terrorism.

India’s Northeast has for a long time been a hub of separatist movements with separatist sentiments still seething just below the surface in the region. Those inspired by and backing separatist ideologies customarily detest the presence of Bengalis in this region of the country over which they claim exclusive possession but tend to take pride in lending pro-Bangladesh voices when they are barely witnessed speaking about India and its heritage in favourable terms. The deep angst against the Indian state has again translated into concrete policy and actions very recently when Mizos opposed CAA – although they had already been kept out of its purview – fearing lest they be swamped by persecuted Hindus from Bangladesh in their native state but heartily opened their doors to Christian Chins from neighbouring Myanmar regions without even giving a hoot to an advance MHA’s advisory to Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and that border Myanmar to prevent a possible influx into Indian territory. Unification of anti-India operations and pro-Bangladesh campaigns is an undeniable reality literally rampant across the north-eastern states of India – chief among its prime objectives is to pan-Islamise the Northeast and forceful annexation of its border areas into Bangladesh.

If the left-‘liberals’ indulge in the fabrication of a myth of a dearth in data on unauthorised settlement in India by illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, then it needs stressing that there is a sure shortage of trustworthy data to refute the actuality of smouldering embers of covert designs to bring all Islamic outfits on both sides of the border and the North East insurgents under one umbrella with an eye to boost insurgency and ferment communal and ethnic conflicts. Unconfirmed reports have time and again emerged speaking of Bangladesh having a direct hand in the growth of masjids and madrasas across India’s Northeast in places of strategic importance that allegedly function as terrorist camps where young Muslims receive indoctrination in jihad. The Muslim pockets thus generated by the routine proliferation of subversive activities have become the breeding ground for mafia, smugglers, gun-running, hawala transactions. narco-trafficking, an influx of fake Indian currency and terrorist activities. Bangladesh has also become a nodal point for transhipments of the illegal armoury to the insurgent outfits of Northeast from Southeast Asia’s arms market whose major player is China.

China, therefore, has a critical role to play in such deterioration of regional stability across the eastern borders of India with an equally paramount role essayed by Bangladesh. Besides, Bangladesh has in the recent past consolidated its economic and defence relations with China turning itself into a strategic partner of the Dragon. Chinese investment in the South Asian nation has spiralled rapidly with China replacing the United States as the country’s top investor in 2018 and holding its position since then. With bulk of the investments being pumped into infrastructure, the loanee state doesn’t believe or rather, mind getting beholden to China on account of its dependence on Chinese funds. Whether or not India admits these ongoing developments in the landscape of geopolitics, Bangladesh has only become increasingly estranged from India propelled by the country’s ideological makeup. Bangladesh is now touted as China’s ingratiating sidekick.

Bangladesh’s long history of antagonism towards India, probably, has failed to irk the Indian state or draw warranted provocative measures against Bangladesh. The Indian Prime Minister maintaining studied silence on the recent attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh leaves one wondering as to if India is losing its strategic clout across the subcontinent. India has at its disposal many levers to back Bangladesh into a corner only if it wishes to in order to compel Bangladesh to accommodate some of its vital wishes, foremost among which is the safety of Hindus in Bangladesh and a stop to communal violence against them. For India’s inaction will only portray India as a helpless and soft state on the world stage. Following the recent hideous Hindu persecution that underscores anti-Hindu and anti-India sentiment running deep in Bangladesh, India may halt trade and diplomatic ties with the neighbouring nation.

The economic situation in Bangladesh will nosedive if some of India’s close allies standing in solidarity with Hindus and India put their foot down and kick off some degree of economic disengagement with Bangladesh till the time it displays a total commitment to corrective actions to stop Hindu genocide on its soil. Further, India can play with the water supply originating in its territory. Yes, India may recourse to active weaponisation of water. India, which lies upstream from Bangladesh, may, by releasing decreased volumes of water, create water shortages in Bangladesh that will put the latter on its back foot and tilt regional political power towards India. The idea is to launch strong diplomatic and economic offensives on Bangladesh to bring the hostile nation to its knees and leave it terribly impoverished. If all measures fail, India will probably have to involve its military to decide on a course towards permanent solutions to all its long-standing unresolved issues with the rogue nation of Bangladesh.

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