By S. M. Hali
Hindutva, a term coined by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in his 1923 pamphlet ‘Hindutva: Who is a Hindu?’ is the prominent set of movements advocating Hindu nationalism in India. An umbrella of organizations, called the Sangh Parivar, champions the concept of Hindutva and has endeavoured to revive extremism in India, purging the society of other religions and has resorted to violence at times. In the wake of the partition of the Indian Sub-Continent in 1947, Muslim refugees were set upon by Hindutvavadis (followers of Hindutva) and raped, looted and massacred. When Gandhi tried to stop the bloodbath of Muslims, he was eliminated by a follower of the Hindu extremist group.
The first Hindutva organization formed was the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), founded in 1925. “Sangh Parivar” includes the RSS, Bajrang Dal and the Vishva Hindu Parishad. The major political wing is the BJP which was in power in India’s Central Government for six years from 1998 to 2004 and is currently the ruling party of India with Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister.
For ages, Hindutva has been machinating to indoctrinate Hindu youth at an early stage of their recruitment in the Indian military and other important organizations. Many of them have now risen to command sensitive positions and have played havoc with Indian Muslims in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kashmir and even in neighbouring Pakistan. The massacre of Muslims in the Indian state of Gujarat, Indian held Kashmir, Malegaon and even the carnage of Pakistanis on board the Samjhota Express are but some glimpses of the horror they are wreaking.
Hindutva is now finding fresh targets in Bangladesh. It is ironic that the creation of Bangladesh came about with India prompting the separation of erstwhile East Pakistan, creating insurgency, rebellion and mutiny, finally invading East Pakistan with massive forces and forcing the capitulation of Pakistani armed forces.
India did not rest on its laurels and has interfered in the affairs of Bangladesh, prompting coup d’états and revolutions till it achieved a government which would kowtow to its diktats. The current government of Hasina Wajid was installed to achieve its heinous ends. Her previous tenure was lackluster, marred with corruption and bad governance. In order to ensure her re-election, a political crisis was created, which prompted the opposition parties to boycott the elections, paving the way for Hasina. She is the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founder of Bangladesh, who had been conspiring with India from the early sixties to break away from Pakistan. He won a landslide victory in the 1970 elections and was expected to form the government in United Pakistan. In an interview to APP, he made his intentions quite clear, when he declared that he would “rather be the founder of a nation (Bangladesh) than the Prime Minister of Pakistan.” The rest is history but his reign as Prime Minister of Bangladesh was cut short with his assassination within four years because of governance issues, nepotism and charges of corruption. His demise cut short India’s odious plans, but it did manage to reinstall Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s daughter Hasina Wajid after long periods of plotting.
Hindutva’s abhorrent agenda in Bangladesh currently in execution is under the garb of the Hasina Wajid’s government’s so called War Crimes Tribunal that was actually established by New Delhi to sentence those Bangladeshi nationals who opposed the disintegration of East Pakistan. Earlier, a renowned Bangladeshi politician and veteran Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Qadir Mollah, was sentenced to death. When his death sentence was overturned by the Judiciary, Hindutvavadiscreated chaos and anarchy, organized protest rallies by hired thugs demanding the hanging of Abdul Qadir Mollah. Ultimately, the sentence had to be carried out. Now the Hindutvavadis have acted with derision and ensured that Bangladesh judiciary sentences another veteran politician, Motiur Rahman Nizami of Jamaat-e-Islami. His alleged crime was to raise his political voice against the dismemberment of Pakistan. He wanted to fulfill his patriotic duty in accordance with the founding fathers of Pakistan, many of whom were Bengalis. In 1971, despite being a bona fide Bengali himself, he resisted the conspiracy against Pakistan. Now he is being branded as a traitor to the cause of Bangladesh by a puppet government, which is following the edicts of Hindutvavadis.
Patriotic Bengalis have been marked for elimination by the Hindutvavadis under the organized verdicts of sham war crimes tribunals, on behest of Indians, under planned charges of torture and destruction. Interestingly, Indian officials from Intelligence establishment, the Ministry of External Affairs and from Indian Army have officially confessed to hatching the conspiracy of liberating Bangladesh and of arming, training and funding insurgency through the militant group Mukti Bahini (Liberation Warriors). Indians still take pride in getting credit for Mukti Bahini’s creation, training and funding to implement the conspiracy in East Pakistan.
Hindutvavadis and their Bengali disciples in the shape of Mukti Bahini militants carried out massacres of non-Bengalis comprising West Pakistanis posted to East Pakistan and the Urdu-speaking settlers. They raped the women and brutally murdered the non-Bengalis, later dumping their bodies in mass graves. The cruelty executed by the Mukti Bahini knew no bounds; the torture carried out and desecration of the dead bodies would shame even Changez Khan. Ironically, theHindutvavadis later presented the same mass graves as those of Bengalis allegedly having been slaughtered by Pakistani Army. To date, no war crimes tribunal of Sheikh Hasina Wajid has ever tried or convicted any Mukti Bahini activist for high profile war crimes that they carried out with the connivance of the Indian army personnel.
The unjust victimization of the veteran Bangladeshi politicians, belonging to religiously motivated political parties is being conducted by the Hindutvavadis for creating political instability in Bangladesh and promoting religious extremism. It would provide India the perfect excuse for declaring the religious extremism to be a threat to India and carrying out unilateral action inside Bangladesh. Reportedly, even Hasina Wajid has also been marked for elimination, in case she fails to comply with the Hindutva edict. Hindutva thus is targeting Bangladesh with a vengeance but is being aided by Bengalis themselves.–OM