How did Indian Muslims in the diaspora react to the religious fanaticism displayed in Bangladesh recently following the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the country to commemorate its 50th birth Anniversary? How do they react when they learn that in villages in Pakistan religious minorities are forcibly kidnapped and their places of worship desecrated or converted to mosques? Or, that a Hindu woman was kidnapped, raped, and then forcibly converted and married to her rapist despite having a husband and children?
Does it dawn on Indian Muslims that under similar circumstances they were converted to Islam and more so, that such terror was employed in the spread of Islam throughout the world? Indian Muslims now have to make up their minds and decide whether this culture of terror is going to be supported or not. Silence and indifference to terror and forced conversion is tantamount to aiding and abetment.
But such is the way that Islam expanded throughout Saudi Arabia and what is now called the Islamic world. In Saudi Arabia, the non-Muslims were subdued until the country was 100% Islamic, accepting Allah as the only God, Mohammad as his Prophet and the Quran as divine revelation. If today there is some tranquility in Indonesia, Malaysia, Kuwait, or other Islamic countries it is only because in these countries the non-Muslim populations have been reduced to less than 5% of the national population and not posing a threat to Islamic rule.
Kashmir, for example, did not become Muslim majority by natural population increases but by the ethnic cleansing of the non-Muslim population by Muslim rulers. The last segment of the Hindu population, the Kashmiri Pandits, that formed 5% of the population until 1990, was raped, beaten, murdered, their houses burnt to the ground and their temples desecrated and destroyed. Today, Kashmiri Pandits are refugees in their own country!
The abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution allowed the central government to remove privileges that only Muslims enjoy in Kashmir. For example, only Muslims and those born in Kashmir were allowed to own lands but the Hindu and Buddhist minority that refused to fall prey to Islamic terror had no protection from the Kashmiri state. Luckily, the removal of Article 370 has allowed all Indians the right to live, work, own properties, conduct commerce and worship as they know best without fear of persecution by religious fundamentalists and terrorists.
Tulsi Gabbard, a member of the US Congress, brought to the attention of the US Congress the systematic ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Bangladesh. In 1901 Hindus were 33% of the Bangladesh population. This number reduced to 28% in 1941, 13% in 1974, and 8.96% in 2011.
Abu Barkat of Dhaka University estimated that between 1964 and 2013 11.3% of Hindus left Bangladesh. Barkat went on to say that the Hindu population of Bangladesh should have been 28.7 million in 2013 instead of 12.2 million or 16-18% instead of 9.7% in 2013.
Professor Sachi Dastidar of the State University of New York has estimated that 49 million Hindus are missing from Bangladesh. And why has this number gone missing? Migration of the rich and upper-caste Hindus was the first reason. Seeing the rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism, they migrated leaving the poor and lower castes behind. The East Bengal Act confiscated the land and assets of the rich and the middles class and poor Hindus were “targets of discrimination under new laws.” The genocide and mass exodus executed by the Pakistan Army saw more than 10 m refugee flooding into India, three-fourths of which were Hindus.
The Enemy Property Act (Vested Property Act) appropriated the property of 40% of the Hindus of Bangladesh. Even Sheikh Majibur Rahaman did not return properties to Hindus after India had helped in the liberation of his country. The compound of the Rama Kali Temple of Dhaka, a historic land mark, which was burnt to the ground by the Pakistan Army was never returned to the Hindus despite numerous appeals. It was eventually converted to what is today the Dhaka Club.
Why did Kashmir, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and North India fell prey to Islam? It was because of the influence of Buddhism and its denunciation of the caste system and particularly, the warrior caste. Buddhism taught extreme ahimsa or non-violence that made the warrior caste redundant. Without a conscious warrior caste, few invaders were able to occupy the country and rule over it. Northern India- Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh-all under the influence of Buddhism-did not have a sitting army to resist the invaders and plunderers.
When the invaders rode into the Hindu heartland, Hindu resistance kicked in. Though more than 80 million Hindus were killed in this Hindu holocaust, our ancestors never surrendered to the tyranny of the cult of one God, one Prophet and One Book.
Throughout India great warriors arose and defeated the Muslim tyrants. When British East India Company arrived in India in the 18th century, Islamic rule had totally collapsed. Exhausted after more than 800 years of fighting, the Hindus welcomed the British. The 1857 First War of Independence failed because the Hindus were not prepared to put back on the throne Shah Bahadur, the last Mughul ruler, and so withdrew their support, resulting in defeat for the mutineers.
The Congress never had the support of the majority population but held on to power by promoting communal divisions along caste and religious lines. Muslims, tribals, and other castes were labeled backward and selected by the Indian state for direct benefits from the treasury. That policy included Article 370 that granted special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, thus fanning the flames of communalism.
The logic that Islamic countries can declare themselves Islamic states but India must remain a constitutional secular democracy for Muslims to cry discrimination and majority rule is hypocritical. In the midst of the call to recognize Kashmir as an Islamic majority state, the Muslims were engaged in systematic purges against the Hindus and Buddhists.
Modi is uniting the Hindus and so long as Hindus are united, the Islamic forces are going to fall in line. The Congress party that fans the flame of communalism is not going to win power in the near future.
Indian Muslims must wake up and reject the culture of terror that is unleashed in the name of religion. If this is not done now, too late shall be the cry. There is only so much that the Indian government and the Hindus can tolerate.