Is the Political Environment of Bangladesh getting progressively sectorial ?
|By Chandan Sarkar|
Feb 27, Dhaka: The British formed Legislative Assembly in the then India in 1936, the people’s representatives for the first time were selected in various Provinces of India. There was a sort of election, better termed as a referendum that took place in 1946 just before the partition of India. At that time, the Province of Bengal, known as Greater Bengal, was comprised undivided Bengal, Assam, Tripura and a part of present Bihar. Meaningful to point out that Bengal was divided into two parts, East Bengal alias East Pakistan which was a part of Pakistan till 1971 and became an independent and sovereign state thereafter, and West Bengal which is a province of India.
Thus, it would be unworthy to show religion-wise representation in the parliament in both 1936 and 1946, hence better to start from the election of 1954 till 2014 how minorities represent in the parliament in the then East Pakistan and present Bangladesh. The table below shows the percentage of minority populations and their representation in the parliament.
seat availed %
|1954||23||309||72||72||23.3||There were 72 seats reserved for minorities in the Provincial Assembly of East Pakistan, 23.3% of the population.|
|1970||15.0%||162||24||2||1.23%||Number of seats in East Pakistan of National Assembly of Pakistan. According to the ratio of minority population, the number of minority seats should be 24, in sheer contrast to actual 2.|
|1973||15.0%||300||45||11||3.66||First election upon independence of Bangladesh. Again, percent-wise number minority seats should be 45, but its only 11.|
|1988||13||300||39||4||1.3||Percent wise number of minority seats should be 39, whereas actual number of elected representatives is only 4|
|1996 Feb||11.5||300||34||3||1||Percent wise number of minority seats should be 34, whereas actual number of elected representatives is only 3|
|1996 June||11.0||300||33||8||2.6||Percent wise number of minority seats should be 33, whereas actual number of elected representatives is only 8|
|2009||9||350||31||11||3.24||Percent wise 31.5 but only 11|
|2014||8||350||28||12||3.14||Percent wise seat should be 28 seat but represent 12|
The political atmosphere of Bangladesh is taking a more and more communal turn over the years. The word secularism was an amendment from the constitution in 1977. Islam was declared as the state religion in 1988. The rise of communal political parties in last decade has further vitiated the atmosphere. As a result, there are only 12 Hindu members of parliament today out of 350. Generally, Awami league was considered as a party accommodative of minorities. Even today out of 12 Hindu members of parliament, 10 are from Awami league and two are independent in 2014. All other parties together have zero representation of Hindu members. It should be noted that in the cluster of 9 districts where Hindus have been reduced drastically, in 2001 elections the rapid Anti-Hindu Jamaat –e - Islami and BNP alliance won all seats except in Gopalganj district.
Government turned robber:
The enemy property act and the vested property act were the historical black law for the captured the Hindus property and deprived the Hindus community of Bangladesh. In1965 the law was established in the form of Pakistan and intentionally divided the Muslim and Hindus in the name of Islam. The Pakistani Ruler- the Muslim were Majority and to deprived the Hindus the introduced this Act. It is really unfortunate still today for Hindus deprived for this Act. Hindus deprived culturally, socially in every aspect Prof Abul Barkat said 27 lac acre lands of Hindus the 12 lacs land were affected by this illegal. The local influential person terrorists forcefully captured the Hindu lands and properties by the helped of state law, almost 60 lacks Hindu people affected by this Pakistani act.
Not only Socially and economically loss but also forcefully leave their mother land to India, forcefully conversion, genocide, physical and mental tortured, untrust raise due to increasing fundamentalism. It brings powerless, physical health down, mental tortured, poverty and handicraft violation of equality, socialism and social justice freedom for Hindus in the long run, Followers of Buddhism have faced a similar fate. The study of Abul Barkat highlights that In Chittagong Hill tracts which include three districts Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachhari, 22 % Buddhist people have been driven out of their households. Their traditional social ownership of land has come down from 83 % in 1978 to 41 % in 2009 thus essentially making them landless. Looking at this tremendous land grab figure, it is not at all surprising that when almost half the Hindu population is deprived of their property, they are forced to migrate out of Bangladesh.
"It was something far more than shameful as several hundred terrorists, probably supported by anti-Indian religious based party attacked Buddhist shrines and homes and vandalized those because of an alleged anti-Islamic photo on the facebook. It is at these moments are common day by day, few terrorists are using Islam of their own way to tortured the people and becomes unpopular in so many parts of the world. Few have taken collective and social barbarism to such heights even as they claim to be mistreated."
In 2013 elections and post-election frenzy, Hindus were targeted and brutally pressurized by various political parties. The reports of abduction of minor Hindu girls and their forced conversions are numerous. For example, The Dhaka Tribune reported in 2013 a story titled “Forced conversion of religion after abduction”.
Men kidnap and marry 10 to 16-year-old girls from minority communities by forcing them to sign declarations convert to Islam."Thus, a vicious cycle has been set where Hindus migrate to avoid persecution, leaving the rest of the Hindus in reduced numbers and more vulnerable to attacks. Ali Riaz, a political scientist and professor from Bangladesh who is now in the USA has concluded in his book ‘God Willing: The Politics of Islamism in Bangladesh’ that in last 25 years about 53 lakh [5.3 million] Hindus have migrated from Bangladesh.
Examples how the minor girl and affected:
1. Kona Rani Bepari (18) father of Bikash Chandrabapari and Mother of Renu rani, Village -Shingra Bunia, Patharghata, Barguna. When the Kona Rani is coming back from her college the perpetrator Dost Mohammed 45 kidnapped her and put into a micro bus and flown away an unknown destination.
Dost Mohammed (45 years) is a married and has two children. He was a friend’s of Kona’s maternal uncle. Uncle’s friend, free access to enter into the house due to easy and free access he takes advantage of Kona Rani. On the day of 19.04.2015 when she returned from her college, Dost Mohammed and gangs forcefully took her and forcefully put into a Miro bus and flown away to an unknown destination. To reduce the girl, the police did not do anything from the beginning.
After a long 1 month 9 days when kept the pressure to the law and order authority, police rescued that girl. But very interestingly to avoid the arrest the perpetrator Md Mohammed did affidavit to change her name and showing that Kona her wife, Md, Dost Mohammed a Nikkah certificate from a Kazi office without her concerned. Kona is now staying with her family and maybe she has a two options right now either she is going to suicide or may be again returned back to the culprit Dost Mohammed who has already one wife and two children because Kona right now pregnant.
2. Audity Biswas Mou (24) is a very bright student and her father was a freedom fighter who fights against the Pakistani army in the year of 1971. Audacity is the only daughter who is staying with her mother in a rental house at palbari power house, Jessore Municipality, Jessore, Bangladesh. She completed H.Sc and admitted to Jessore University of Science and Technology at the Department of Nutrition and Food Technology (JUST).
Syed Mahfuz Al -Hasan is a teacher of the department of Nutrition and Food Technology. In the Final semester, she has a practical and thesis paper under the guidance of Mr. Mahfuz, Assistant prof. of that Department. Md. Mahfuz intentionally arranged a field survey and brings Audacity with few others students at Rajshahi. To the field survey purposes they were staying in a hotel, Audacity was a senior student and Md Mahfouz gave priority for a single room. At night, 2 pm when each and everyone slept at time Mr. Mahfuz knocked her room and asking to open the door because he has to tell one important notes to her. When she opened the door he entered the room and looked and forcefully raped Adity. Mr. Mahfus told her don’t tell to anyone then you will be failed both Practical and thesis paper.
Moreover, he told to her that he is going to marry her. He started to entice and induce a sexual relationship her because of her simplicity and he kept threatening to fail her in the examinations(thesis paper) and she got trapped with making a nude video without her consent since 27.06.2013. As soon as the victim came to know that Sayed Mahfuz had ill motives he started to put pressure on her to convert into Islam then she wanted to get rid of his association. However, Mr. Mahfuz isnmarried and has one child and this wasn’t the first case he had cheated another girl too and threaten to mark her off on the thesis paper.
Atrocities are going on in the Hindu community but there is still a ray of hope that there are some Bangladeshi citizens and ruling parties who are genuinely concerned, but whether this is sufficient to change the fate of Hindus is another matter. Unlike the Islamic community which has a global standing the Hindus have no global network to mobilize a global opinion and pressure the support of Hindus. India, which should be the natural support base for Hindus anywhere in the world, prefers to remain mute on such subjects. Perhaps the Indian politicians fear to lose their precious secular tag but they should know injustice is anywhere that threat to justice in everywhere. On this background, the question looms large and real, are Bangladesh Hindus on the way to slow but sure annihilation?
The Oslo Times