Plagued by anger and grief, I updated on Facebook, “Sylhet is the capital of Bangladeshi version of political Islam where Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia almost ceremonially proclaims the power of political Islam, prior to every national election. This government neither willing nor have the political capital to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
This was just a couple of months ago when a Hindu temple was vandalized by a fanatic Muslim mob in the shrine city of Sylhet.
And, regrettably, I’s right; nearly two months since the crime was perpetrated, none even the Imam who ordered the attack were brought to justice despite having video-graphic evidence of that heinous act.
Once again, in two separate districts Brahmanbaria and Habiganj Islamic fanatics group reportedly Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat organized an armed mob – vandalized 15 temples, looted homes and caused grievous bodily harm to over 100 people of the minority Hindu religious community.
The police reportedly arrested 6-9 of the suspected criminals, filed two cases against 1000-1200 unnamed persons, but interestingly, none of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat leaders were mentioned or arrested.
This increasing trend of hostility and violence against the Hindu community in Bangladesh is very worrisome, but however, more than that, despite graphic reports and clear evidences Bangladesh’s failure of bringing the well known criminals to book is an utter disgrace.
Apparently, the state of Bangladesh seemed to have somewhat too selective about the kind of criminals it punishes.
There are now in Bangladesh, several dozens of Madrasa based political outfits, with an agenda of intolerance and communal hatred-torching down homes and temples; raping, killing, assaulting Hindus on a regular basis; but, for some mysterious reasons, the Bangladeshi establishment allowing the fanatic outfits and their leaders to operate freely, turning blind eye on them, and as reported by the national-international human rights groups creating an environment of impunity.
The more we dig deeper, the worse it looks.
The actions of our justice system at the events of such atrocities- the looting, rape, arson attacks questions the credentials of our political system, political leaders and even our status as a democratic nation.
These forces of evil, over the years, have flourished like mushrooms because of the unwillingness of the Bangladeshi political establishments to control them effectively. Whenever an atrocity is committed, instead of drastic and thorough legal measures against the leaders of the fanatics, it has apparently become a tendency to reduce this serious issue to a law and order crisis to be controlled by the BGB men armed with baton to keep the mob away from the victims.
Is Bangladesh deliberately ignoring the universally accepted doctrine of “command responsibility”, that a commander or a civil superior who have effective control over those individuals who committed the crime should in certain circumstances be responsible for those crimes?
Solidarity, emergency assistance, compensation for loss of property all sounds great, but none of those are good enough, if not followed by actions that hold the leaders of the criminal mob accountable. It just allows the criminals to emerge as a victorious defender of Islam among their fanatic supporters.
The continuous events of atrocities against the Hindu people in Bangladesh are nothing less than crimes against humanity. The Bangladeshi Hindus today, due to intolerance, discrimination and injustice, have literally become a group of second class citizens in their own land. The incidents of injustice towards them are growing at a concerning rate covering almost every sector of human affair – political, religious, even personal.
Bangladesh seriously needs to grow up. The success of Bangladesh does not rely on infrastructure build up, or 7.11% GDP growth, or its influence over regional diplomacy, rather on harmony, equal justice and a functional democracy.
The treatment of our Hindu brothers and sisters is not only a shame to our nation but it’s also a question over functioning of our secular democracy.
The social network response in solidarity of the victims of Brahmanbaria and Habiganj is an ample indication for the government to end the barbaric culture of impunity, arrest the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat leaders who bear the responsibility of command of the crime, and bring the evil monsters to justice.