Ironically Hindu Bengalee, be it a commoner, an intellectual, a politician or a media-person, are ever eager to  project that ‘All is well’ . Seldom to they have the guts or the inclination to speak the truth, ever afraid that they will be identified as ‘communal’ 

Thus it takes non-Bengalees and non-Hindus to speak for them ….

 

The Jihad against Bengali

By Janet Levy (http://www.americanthinker.com/janet_levy/)

Every February 21, a little-known observance occurs: International Mother Language Day.  Created in 2000 to promote and encourage the diversity of language, this benign and idealistic-sounding commemoration actually marks a bloody day in 1952 when an Islamic minority shot and killed university students protesting the imposition of an Islamic language, Urdu, on a Bengali-speaking majority in Pakistan.

 The students who died that day understood that forced reconfiguration of a language can have cataclysmic and devastating effects on a society.  Community identification can be shifted, populations and their practices repressed, and the established rhythm of daily life disrupted.

 In the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, Muslims have for centuries used Arabic languages as part of their jihad against Christians and Hindus.  A blatant example of this phenomenon occurred in 8th century Coptic-speaking Egypt when Muslims conquered the Christian nation and designated Arabic as the sole administrative language.  Coptic, which had flourished as a literary and liturgical language, was purposely denigrated by the Muslim conquerors and eventually prohibited in favor of Arabic, the language of Mohammed.  Today, Copts continue to be besieged by the Muslim majority in Egypt, and only a few hundred people speak the Coptic language.

 A similar struggle occurs with the Bengali language.  Although the student deaths of 1952 sparked a successful movement to create an independent Bangladesh, the majority Muslim population in that country persecutes Hindus and is Islamizing the Bengali language itself as a sort of linguistic Muslim jihad which has been going on for centuries.

History – Urdu vs. Bengali

Beginning almost 900 years ago, Urdu, a language associated with Muslims in India and Pakistan, was appropriated from Sanskrit-based Hindi over centuries of conquests by Persian, Arabic, and Turkic Muslims.  To create Urdu, the Muslim conquerors took Hindi and Islamicized it by injecting new words, changing existing words, and writing the language in Arabic script.  By de-Sanskritizing Hindi to develop Urdu, Muslim rulers de-Hinduized the language as a way of diminishing the infidel faith.  As Latin is to Christianity, Sanskrit defines Hinduism and is the language of Hindu clerics and scriptures.

In 1948, shortly after Pakistan gained independence from the British government, the newly installed Islamic government declared Urdu the official language of West and East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.  At the time, Sanskrit-based Bengali was the language of the vast majority of Bengalis, the inhabitants of East Pakistan, both Hindus and Muslims.

The Urdu language edict created great hardship for Hindus and Bengali-speaking Muslims who were not particularly proficient in Urdu.  Although Bengalis were a majority linguistic group, under the Urdu language requirement they faced discrimination and experienced alienation from mainstream Pakistani society.  Both Bengali Hindus and Muslims had difficulty finding employment and were discouraged from joining the Army, an important affiliation conferring social standing in Pakistan.

Bengali Language Movement

At the time when the Urdu language mandate was introduced, Muslims in Bangladesh were being pressured to become more Muslim in practice, to Islamicize the region, and to join Urdu Islamic political parties in Pakistan.  Bengali Muslims resisted, as they had a cultural affinity to Bengali and felt they were not getting their fair share of power in Pakistani politics relative to their numbers.  Out of the six major linguistic groups — Bengali, Urdu, Sindi, Punjabi, Pastho, and Baloch — Bengali was the largest in Pakistan.  Bengali Muslims came from a distinctly different cultural background from the Muslims in West Pakistan and had little in common with the other groups except Islam.  To thwart Bengali domination, the other linguistic groups banded together to reduce the influence of the Muslims of East Pakistan, thus isolating the Bengali Muslims. 

After the declaration of Urdu as the official language, extensive protests erupted amongst the Bengali-speaking majority of East Pakistan, both Hindu and Muslim.  Due to the rising tensions and demonstrations against the new law, the government outlawed all public meetings and rallies. 

On February 21, 1952, students protested the language edict and called for a general strike.  Amidst peaceful protests, the police fired on protesters and killed several students.  In 1956 following numerous protests over the years, the government relented and granted official status to the Bengali language.

The Bengali Language Movement strengthened the national identity of Bengalis living in Pakistan and eventually led to Bangladesh’s war for independence from Pakistan in 1971.  Suffering greatly from Muslim persecution, at least 20 million Hindus fled to India from East Pakistan from 1947-1971.  About one million Hindus were killed.  In the fight for independence in 1971, Muslims killed an additional 2.5 million Hindus.  Also during the conflict, the Pakistan Army bulldozed one of the most famous Hindu temples in the Indian subcontinent, believed to be over 1,000 years old.

In 1971, Hindus were declared enemies of the state of Pakistan and the government instituted the Enemy Property Act.  False allegations were made by the Muslim government that Hindus were spies for India, and their property was confiscated.  Following the independence of Bangladesh, the newly installed Muslim government retained the Pakistani law, merely changing its name to the Vested Property Act.  Approximately 75% of Hindu land in the area has been confiscated over time.

The Jihad against Bengali

Today, Hindus in Bangladesh and throughout the Indian subcontinent are reluctant to make demands in a majority Muslim country.  They typically remain silent about grievances, as they have little hope of equitable resolutions under Muslim control.  Their activities are limited, and they regularly face discrimination.  They are accountable to their Muslim masters, have fewer rights, and their movements are restricted.  It is not uncommon for a Muslim to stop and question a Hindu in transit, inquire of his travel plans, and demand to see his documents as well as the money he is carrying, which can be extorted with impunity.

Yet, ironically, the Bengali Language Movement is commemorated each year in Bangladesh on February 21 primarily by Bengali Muslims, who hold rallies across the country.   This same Muslim majority which allows the oppression of Hindus in Bangladesh is also Islamizing the Bengali language.  They have de-Hinduized certain words in their ongoing attempt to eradicate infidel Hindu culture.  For example, the Bengali word for “deity” has been replaced by a word that means “Allah” in Farsi, and the word for “water” has been substituted with an Urdu word.  An indigenous flowering tree named “Krishnachura,” referring to a flower worn in the headdress of the Hindu deity, has been renamed by Muslims to “Mohammed Chura.”

For Bengali Hindus, the battle to preserve their language and culture appears to have been a pyrrhic victory, and a temporary one at that.  With constant attacks on their businesses, homes, and temples sanctioned by the Vested Property Act, their numbers have diminished from one-third of the population at the time of partition to fewer than 10% today.  Ultimately, their language has become less representative of their culture and religious beliefs, they cower to the demands of the Muslim majority, and they continue to face grave threats to their survival.  The Bengali jihad may ultimately reduce the Hindus to the fate of the Copts, and the celebration of Mother Language Day may actually finally honor a language far removed from its Hindu and Sanskrit roots and now, instead, symbolic of Muslim expansionism.

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Secularism in a muslim majority country? That too in Bangladesh! That is like trying to straighten a dog’s tail!!

Hindus comprised nearly 30% of the total population in Bangladesh in 1947 and since then the Hindu population has dwindled from 22% in 1951 census to 15 per cent in 1991 and less than 10% in 2009.  About 2.5 million Hindus were slaughtered in the war in 1971. In 2009 the population of Bangladesh was estimated at 156 million. About 90% of Bangladeshis are Muslims and the remainder are mostly Hindus.

In contrast,  according to the 2001 census the Muslim population has increased to over 28% of the total in West Bengal and 31% in the state of Assam. At partition, only Murshidabad district was dominated by Muslims in West Bengal. But at present, two other districts, Maldah and North Dinajpur, have been added to the list. 

Thus the  riot and subsequent abandonment of Durga Puja by 42 Puja Committee in Deganga is not an isolated event nor is it the last atrocity.   

  

Violence mars Durga Puja festivities in Bangladesh

 

Dhaka, Oct 17 (IANS)  Attacks by drunken mobs and even policemen on Hindu devotees and Durga Puja marquees in many parts of Bangladesh marred the festivities of the country’s minority community even as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stressed on the virtues of secularism.

Reports of violence came from across the country as the biggest religious festival of the minority Hindu community ended Sunday.

The authorities withdrew policemen and closed down a police station after cops were found attacking Puja Mandaps, the makeshift bamboo-and-cloth marquees erected for the festival at some places, bdnews24.com, a newspaper website reported.

In Narayanganj, just outside Dhaka, two people were arrested for vandalism, loot and attack on a Puja pavillion at Tanbazaar.

Witnesses said at least 10 people were injured when around 15 drunk men attacked Hindus devotees, who were dancing at a pavilion in Minabazar area of Tanbazar early Saturday.

They stabbed organising secretary of the Puja celebration committee of the area, Ankan Saha Rana, 35, and member Sumon Das, 24, when they attempted to stop the drunks.

In Sunamganj in northeastern Bangladesh, six policemen including a sub-inspector were withdrawn from a police station for attacking devotees at a temple in Tahirpur Upazila (sub-district).

A sub-inspector of Sherpur Sadar Police Station in central Bangladesh was withdrawn to the police lines for burning a festoon with the image of goddess Durga.

Acting Superintendent of Police (Sherpur) Mohammad Anisur Rahman said legal steps will be taken against Badruzzaman, the sub-inspector.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stressed on virtues of secularism and said her country was ‘non-communal’ while speaking at a function hosted by Hindus in the national capital Saturday.

Hasina said that 27,000 Durga Puja mandaps or marquees were erected across the country this year, the highest ever. Similarly, 94,000 Muslims were proceeding on Haj to Saudi Arabia, which was also the highest, denoting freedom to practice different faiths.

‘Secularism is one of the four pillars of the country’s constitution and has no meaning if people cannot practice their religions,’ she said during her visit to the Dhakeshwari Temple Saturday, which marked the Mahanabami, a high point of the Hindu festival.

But the New Age newspaper said: ‘Even as the prime minister speaks of secularism and thanks her law enforcers for ensuring a peaceful environment, there are reports of attacks, even by cops, on puja mandaps across the country.’

 

‘Secularism’ to be restored in Bangladesh constitution

 

 Dhaka: Bangladesh will shortly restore the word ‘secularism’ in its constitution. However, it will remain an Islamic state , allowing functioning of religion-based parties, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said.

The government will reprint the constitution following a Supreme Court directive to restore ‘secularism’, but no political party bearing names of religions would be banned, a cabinet meeting chaired by Hasina decided Monday.

She told a weekly cabinet meeting that the reprinted constitution would restore secularism “as a fundamental state principle”, New Age newspaper said quoting a minister who attended the meeting.

Hasina asked her ministerial colleagues to “go to people and make sure they have no confusion about constitution amendments”, the minister said.

Her government would sit with the political parties named after Islam “to make them understand that secularism was not against religious faiths”.

The official cited many countries where Christianity was state religion but had secular polity, the Daily Star newspaper said.

A large majority of Bangladesh’s 156 million people are Sunni Muslims with Hindus, Buddhists and Christians forming less than ten percent of the population.

Religion-based political activity was banned in Bangladesh that separated from Pakistan in 1971 as these parties, including the Muslim League and the Jamaat-e-Islami , had opposed the freedom movement.

They were brought back to the political mainstream after the changes triggered by the assassination of the country’s founding leader and president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in August 1975.

Thanks Mr Benkin. But don’t you think it is asking too much from Mr Obama, when virtually none in Hindu majority India, neither the people nor the media or the government even acknowledge, let alone speak against it. It is an ‘untouchable’ topic.

 

Strange silence on Islamist terror

Richard L Benkin

 

Obama should have spoken up for the Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh who face terrible atrocities. But he has chosen to remain stunningly silent on South Asia’s ‘Hindu Holocaust’

There is growing concern in the United States over President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, especially in South Asia and West Asia. Although Mr Obama still enjoys media support and spillover goodwill from the election, more Americans are questioning his policies’ wisdom. He is alienating friends and trying to woo enemies; pushing away his strongest allies in the war against Islamist extremism, Israel and India, and pretending that nations behind global jihad (Iran and Pakistan) will help defeat it.

Even members of his own party are wary. When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently appeared before the US House Appropriations Committee to deliver the Obama line on Israel, it was Democrat Nita Lowey (along with Republican Mark Kirk) who replied that if the Administration was going to tie Israel’s hands, the House would counter by “restricting aid to the Palestinian Authority”.

Missing in the debate thus far has been concern for the developing ‘Hindu Holocaust’ in South Asia. In several policy pronouncements numerous speeches about the situation in South Asia, Mr Obama never once mentioned the human rights disaster that is rapidly bringing an end to the remaining Pakistani Hindu community. Nor has protecting 13,000,000 Bangladeshi Hindus ever figured in his grand design for South Asia.

While President Obama speaks of the need for international support and regional cooperation, he never once suggested that international aid be sent to care for the thousands of Pakistani Hindus who have been streaming into Indian Punjab. He has never challenged human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to investigate regularly-reported atrocities against Bangladeshi Hindus and the ensuing refugee nightmare; nor has he ever suggested that Bangladesh’s Vested Property Act is a racist law that is incompatible with his vision of peace in South Asia.

To be sure, the destruction of Pakistan’s Hindus has taken several decades, and it has taken three decades to reduce Hindus from under one in five Bangladeshis to under one in 10; so, silence about it cannot be laid at Mr Obama’s feet alone. But in Mr Barack Obama, Americans have a leader with a grand scheme for what he expects to be the future of South Asia to be — evidently a South Asia that tolerates anti-Hindu ethnic cleansing by Muslim radicals. At the very least, Mr Obama should be demanding help for the victims — no less so than that given the ‘Palestinian refugees’ who have an entire UN agency devoted to them.

Evidence of atrocities continues to pour in almost daily. If the US and India tolerate it, we can hardly expect the weak civilian Governments of Pakistan and Bangladesh to act. In March, I interviewed several victims in West Bengal myself. Most poignant was the testimony of a Hindu family that had crossed into India only 22 days earlier with their 14-year-old daughter who told me about being gang-raped by Islamist radicals in Bangladesh. The ‘Hindu Holocaust’ is real and it is happening now. Will an outraged world act or do what it normally does and cry for the victims only after their death?

In 1941, Western Allies began getting intelligence about the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews and others. Some initially dismissed the reports but eventually recognised their veracity. In the end, though, they said the best way to help the victims was to win the war and so did nothing. If that’s Mr Obama’s guide, he had better check his history. Because the vast majority of Holocaust victims were murdered after the Allies decided to help the victims by ignoring them.

The Islamic Crusades in India

 

 Islamic Crusades 6: India’s Millennial Burden

 

“…the Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex order and freedom can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without and multiplying from within.” Historian Will Durant (1885 –1981)

For three days in November 2008, all eyes were transfixed on the Jihadist bloodbath in Mumbai. These scenes of the burning Taj Mahal Hotel were on live feed to cable and satellite networks around the world. Many Westerners had heard of the rivalry between India and Pakistan, and may have been aware of the tensions centering on the disputed territory of Kashmir, but the sheer brutality and brazenness of the Mumbai Massacre brought the Jihad in India to global consciousness as never before. Unfortunately for India, the Mumbai attacks were only unique in terms of the high-profile media coverage accorded to them. The casualty figures, while appalling, were rather standard in the context of the series of Islamic terror attacks in India in the 21st century. And they are dwarfed by the massacres of tens and hundreds of thousands, sometimes in a single day, that pepper the 1300 year history of Islamic conquest on the Indian subcontinent.

Before the Islamic juggernaut burst in from the west, the native religions of these lands were Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism (* SEE CORRECTION). The Jihad against India was extraordinarily brutal even by Islamic standards. This is because unlike the so-called people of the book, Christians and Jews, who enjoyed some basic rights as subjected Dhimmis… Hindus and Buddhists were considered idolaters; the lowest of the low, worthy only of death.

Only 25 years after Muhammad’s death Islamic forces had crushed the Sassanid Persian Empire, and thus brought the spearhead of Islam to the borderlands of India. The first permanent Muslim foothold on the subcontinent was achieved with Muhammad bin Qasim’s conquest of Sindh in 711 A.D. He demolished temples, shattered sculptures, plundered palaces, killed all able-bodied men and carried their women and children into slavery. For example, it took his army three days to slaughter all the inhabitants of the port city of Debal. But the Arab Muslim conquest would stall here in the northwestern frontier.

By the end of the tenth century however, newly Islamized Turkic tribes began to expand the Ummah into what is now Northwest India proper. Mahmud of Ghazni (971-1030), who was also known as the “Sword of Islam,” mounted seventeen plundering expeditions between 997 and 1027 into North India.

Each winter Mahmud descended into India, filled his treasure chest with spoils, and amused his men with full freedom to pillage and kill; each spring he returned to his capital richer than before. At Mathura he took from the temple its statues of gold encrusted with precious stones, and emptied its coffers of a vast quantity of gold, silver and jewelry; he expressed his admiration for the architecture of the great shrine, judged that its duplication would cost one hundred million dinars and the labor of two hundred years, and then ordered it to be soaked with naptha and burnt to the ground. Six years later he sacked another opulent city of northern India, Somnath, killed all its fifty thousand inhabitants, and dragged its wealth to Ghazni. In the end he became, perhaps, the richest king that history has ever known. Historian Will Durant, from “The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage” 1935. pp. 459-463

A subsequent conqueror, Muhammad Khilji had the distinction of single-handedly wiping out Buddhist culture on the subcontinent by the end of the 12th century. He conquered their stronghold in Bihar and burned their famous library to the ground, slaughtering thousands of Buddhist monks and destroying dozens of ancient temples in the process. Muslims have done their best to erase any trace of this culture, even as recently as March 2001 when the Taliban destroyed four giant statues of Buddha in Bamiyan, Afghanistan.

Khiliji’s brutality also incited the first case of Jauhar in India. Jauhar is a desperate act of mass self-immolation. When Khiliji besieged the city of Chittor the Hindu inhabitants realized their cause was hopeless. As the men rode off to certain death in battle, the women and children burned themselves alive rather than suffer the dishonor of being killed or enslaved by the conquerors.

Another Turkic Muslim warlord, Timur, known as Tamerlane in the West, crossed the Indus River in 1398 and eventually captured the capital of Delhi. Timur explains the motivation for his conquest in his personal memoirs:

About this time there arose in my heart the desire to lead an expedition against the infidels, and to become a ghazi; for it had reached my ears that the slayer of infidels is a ghazi, and if he is slain he becomes a martyr. It was on this account that I formed this resolution, but I was undetermined in my mind whether I should direct my expedition against the infidels of China or against the infidels and polytheists of India. In this matter I sought an omen from the Kuran, and the verse I opened upon was this, “O Prophet, make war upon infidels and unbelievers and treat them with severity” [Quran 66:9]. My great officers told me that the inhabitants of Hindustan were infidels and unbelievers. In obedience to the order of Almighty Allah I determined on an expedition against them.– From the Malfuzat-i Timuri, an autobiographical memoir of the Emperor Timur (1336-1405)

Later he describes the sack of Delhi in his own words:

In a short space of time all the people in the fort were put to the sword, and in the course of one hour the heads of 10,000 infidels were cut off. The sword of Islam was washed in the blood of the infidels, and all the goods and effects, the treasure and the grain which for many a long year had been stored in the fort became the spoil of my soldiers. They set fire to the houses and reduced them to ashes, and they razed the buildings and the fort to the ground….All these infidel Hindus were slain, their women and children, and their property and goods became the spoil of the victors. I proclaimed throughout the camp that every man who had infidel prisoners should put them to death, and whoever neglected to do so should himself be executed and his property given to the informer. When this order became known to the ghazis of Islam, they drew their swords and put their prisoners to death.

One hundred thousand infidels, impious idolaters, were on that day slain…on the great day of battle these 100,000 prisoners could not be left with the baggage, and it would be entirely opposed to the rules of war to set these idolaters and enemies of Islam at liberty…no other course remained but that of making them all food for the sword. From the Malfuzat-i Timuri, an autobiographical memoir of the Emperor Timur (1336-1405)

By the early 1500’s the mantle of Islamic power in India had passed to the first Mughal Emperor, Babar. Over the next centuries the Mughal Empire would expand to occupy nearly the entire Indian subcontinent. During the Mughal period outright slaughters and enslavements were less common, but the regime provided many incentives to convert to Islam by means of degrading Dhimmi laws and burdensome Jizya taxes.

So far as the Hindus were concerned, there was no improvement either in their material and moral conditions or in their relations with the Muslims. With the sole exception of Akbar, who sought to conciliate the Hindus by removing some of the glaring evils to which they were subjected, almost all other Mughal Emperors were notorious for their religious bigotry. The Muslim law which imposed many disabilities and indignities upon the Hindus…and thereby definitely gave them an inferior social and political status, as compared to the Muslims, was followed by these Mughal Emperors with as much zeal as was displayed by their predecessors,. The climax was reached during the reign of Aurangzeb, who deliberately pursued the policy of destroying and desecrating Hindu temples and idols with a thoroughness unknown before or since.  -R.C. Majumdar (editor) The Mughul Empire, Bombay, 1974

Based on Muslim chronicles and demographic calculations Indian historian K.S. Lal has estimated that the Hindu population of India decreased by 80 million during the millennium of Islamic rule.

Yet despite a deliberate policy of genocide and conversion over the 1,000 years of partial or complete Muslim rule, the majority of the population miraculously retained their Hindu religion as modernity dawned on the subcontinent. In the next episode we will explore the continuing Islamic efforts to reconquer India in the modern era.

“These massacres perpetrated by Moslems in India are unparalleled in history. In sheer numbers, they are bigger than the Jewish Holocaust, the Soviet Terror, the Japanese massacres of the Chinese during WWII, Mao’s devastations of the Chinese peasantry, the massacres of the Armenians by the Turks, or any of the other famous crimes against humanity of the 20th Century. But sadly, they are almost unknown outside India.” – Serge Trifkovic

* CORRECTION – Sikhism was not present at the time of the Islamic conquest. Sikhism evolved in the early 16th Century as a militaristic response to Muslim tyranny.

 

 Islamic Crusades Episode 7: India’s Modern Struggle

 

As the power of the Islamic Mughal Empire steadily declined over the 18th and 19th centuries, European influence filled the void, culminating in the establishment of British rule in 1858. This period of colonialism is well-known and universally demonized in the West, and many blame British intervention for the Hindu/Muslim tensions we see in the region today. This flatly ignores the historical fact that Muslims had invaded the subcontinent 1,000 years before the Europeans, and Muslim on Hindu violence had been endemic ever since. To put things in perspective, the British Raj (1858-1947) lasted only 89 years, or less than one third of the 331-year span of the Mughal Empire (1526-1857), which was only the most recent in a series of Islamic empires that ruled India.

Although British rule brought its own brand of exploitation, the relative status of Hindus improved. They were no longer spat-upon infidels, but royal subjects- still occupied by a foreign ideology but now equal to Muslims and all other residents of the subcontinent. The British were more interested in economic gain than religious imperialism, and inadvertently or not, the infrastructure they built brought India out of feudalism and into the modern industrial age. Railways, roads, canals, bridges and telegraph lines were rapidly established so that raw materials, such as cotton, could be transported more efficiently to ports for export to England. By 1920, India had the fourth largest railroad network in the world, and 85% of the railroad network that moves 18 million Indians per day in 2009 was built by the British in the colonial period.

After World War II the British came under increasing pressure to leave, and no longer had the financial resources or domestic support to continue their occupation. In 1947 the British viceroy assembled leaders of the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities, who decided to partition the land. Hindu and Sikh-dominated areas would become a smaller core state called India, while Muslim areas in the West and East would form a new state called Pakistan. The prince of Kashmir, a majority-Muslim territory with a large Hindu minority, hesitated to join Pakistan and Islamic forces invaded to force the issue. The prince called for military help from India, igniting the first India-Pakistan War and ensuring division and instability in Kashmir ever since.

The name Pakistan is a recently fabricated acronym based on the five Muslim-majority regions in northwest India: Punjab, Afghan Border States, Kashmir, Sindh, and Baluchistan. Pakistan declared itself an Islamic Republic, and later codified the supremacy of Islam when it adopted the Koran as the basis for its constitution. In contrast the Republic of India’s constitution (PDF) laid the foundations for a secular democratic state in which the rights of all citizens would be respected. In the chaos following partition millions fled across the newly-drawn borders and about half a million died in inter-communal fighting. The fate of the minorities who remained on the wrong side of the borders is very telling.

PAKISTAN (West Pakistan)

In 1947 the population of West Pakistan, later known simply as Pakistan, was 15-20% Hindu. Today that figure has fallen below 2%. Hindus have been murdered, expelled and legally marginalized. Religious minorities have been forcibly converted and temples have been destroyed. Just as Arab Muslim textbooks and media vilify Jews, Pakistani Muslim textbooks incite violence against Hindus.

A 2003 study conducted by 30 experts of Pakistan’s education system found:

“Incitement to militancy and violence, including encouragement of Jihad and Shahadat (martyrdom)”; a “glorification of war and the use of force”; “Perspectives that encourage prejudice, bigotry and discrimination towards fellow citizens, especially women and religious minorities, and towards other nations” and “Omission of concepts … that could encourage critical self awareness among students”

With the rise of the Taliban in the Northwest Frontier and the Swat Valley the atrocious conditions for minorities are only getting worse. In early 2009 the Taliban instituted Jizya, the tax that Muslims are required to collect from subdued minorities, on the infidel population of the Swat valley. In May 2009, 2,000 Sikhs who refused to pay the tax were forced to take refuge in a Sikh shrine near Islamabad. Sharia courts have been established in Swat, meting out such progressive penalties as death for adultery.

BANGLADESH (East Pakistan)

In the former East Pakistan, known as Bangladesh today, the Hindu population has seen a similar decline since partition. (INSERT GRAPH). Persecution reached the level of genocide in 1971 when civil war broke out between West Pakistan and East Pakistan. Bengalis in East Pakistan were pushing for independence, so West Pakistan sent tens of thousands of occupying troops to put down the revolt of their fellow Muslims, but during the occupation Hindus wound up being the main victims. They made up less than 20% of the population but accounted for an estimated 80% of the three million deaths and 80% of the ten million refugees who fled over the border to northeast India.

In a report to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Ted Kennedy wrote:

 “Field reports to the U.S. Government, countless eye-witness journalistic accounts, reports of International agencies such as World Bank and additional information available to the subcommittee document the reign of terror which grips East Bengal (East Pakistan). Hardest hit have been members of the Hindu community who have been robbed of their lands and shops, systematically slaughtered, and in some places, painted with yellow patches marked ‘H’. All of this has been officially sanctioned, ordered and implemented under martial law from Islamabad.”

American Professor R. J. Rummel noted that:

“The genocide and gendercidal atrocities were also perpetrated by lower-ranking officers and ordinary soldiers. These “willing executioners” were fueled by an abiding anti-Bengali racism, especially against the Hindu minority. “Bengalis were often compared with monkeys and chickens. Said Pakistan General Niazi, ‘It was a low lying land of low lying people.’ The Hindus among the Bengalis were as Jews to the Nazis: scum and vermin that [should] best be exterminated.”

Anti-Hindu crimes continue to this day. 98% of reported rapes in Bangladesh are registered by Hindu women. The so-called ‘Vested Property Act’ has seen up to 40% of Hindu land snatched away forcibly, and Hindu temples are regularly vandalized. The Islamist Jamat-e-Islami party joined the government in 2001 sparking a new round of fleeing refugees, violent attacks and forced conversions. The government has openly called for the “Talibanization of the state.

India

Meanwhile the opposite has happened in India. Not only has the minority Muslim population grown, but it’s exploded at a 50% faster rate than the Hindu population. Between 1961 and 2001 the raw number of Muslims increased from 47 million to 138 million a growth of 193%. In short the Muslim community of India proper has been thriving as the Hindu communities in Pakistan and Bangladesh have been bullied into irrelevance. Muslims have full voting and citizenship rights in India and just as in Western Europe, the Muslim vote is becoming crucial to swinging elections. And like in Western Europe and North America, the ruling socialist Congress Party in India is loathe to criticize its Muslim population for fear of provoking civil violence.

Of course the horrific violence emanating from the Muslim community and from Islamic groups in neighboring Pakistan continues unabated. The following is a partial list of recent atrocities:

March 12, 1993: 257 killed and more than 1,000 injured in 15 co-ordinated bomb attacks in Mumbai.

December 13, 2001: Attack on the Indian Parliament complex in New Delhi led to the killing of a dozen people and 18 injured. Four members of the Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed were later convicted for their part in the plot

September 24, 2002: 31 people killed, 79 wounded at Akshardham temple in Gujarat

Aug. 25, 2003: Twin car bombings in Mumbai killed at least 52 people and injured 150. Indian authorities blamed the Kashmiri Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba

Oct. 29, 2005: Three explosions in busy shopping areas of south Delhi, two days before the Hindu festival of Diwali, killed 59 and injured 200. The Islamic Revolutionary Group claimed responsibility, but authorities blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba

March 7, 2006: A series of bombings in the holy city of Varanasi killed at least 28 and injured over a hundred. Indian investigators blamed Pakistan-based Islamic terrorists.

July 11, 2006: Seven bomb blasts on the Mumbai Suburban Railway killed over 200 people. Police blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba and Students Islamic Movement of India.

Aug. 25, 2007: Forty-two people killed and 50 injured in twin explosions at a crowded park in Hyderabad by Harkat-ul-Jehad-i-Islami (HuJI).

May 13, 2008: A series of six explosions in Jaipur killed 63 people and injured more than 150.

July 26, 2008: Serial explosions in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad killed 45 people and injured more than 150. The Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility.

Sept. 13, 2008: Five bomb blasts in New Delhi’s popular shopping centers left 21 people dead and more than 100 injured. The Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility.

And we all remember the Mumbai Massacre that played out in front of our eyes on live TV in November 2008.

And yet it seems that India is powerless to act. Because both India and Pakistan now possess nuclear weapons, India today faces the same unsettling choices that Israel will face in the near future when Iran acquires nukes. Democracies are accountable to their people. Wars in which the sons and daughters of the nation die in combat are barely tolerated, let alone wars in which entire cities are wiped off the map. Meanwhile Islamic governments are only accountable to Allah.

And so today, the population of India is held hostage by aggressive Islamists who value death as they value life. India faces the same conundrum as the Western democracies; how can they maintain an open and pluralistic society while confronting an enemy who will gladly use those very attributes to sow death, fear and destruction in their cities? But even free people have their limits, and if another Mumbai-style attack occurs on Indian soil the people’s anger may be impossible to contain.