Following the violent and communal incidents against Hindus in Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, instead of taking strict actions against the attackers shamelessly shot off a veiled warning to India that it shouldn’t do anything that hurts the Hindu community in Bangladesh. Such a vicious statement by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh needs to be answered in Modi style, and it is high time India should retaliate to teach Bangladesh a lesson.
What happened in Bangladesh?
Durga Puja — the biggest Hindu festival to be celebrated in Bangladesh turned into rubble and came to a violent end on Wednesday (October 13) when Islamists mobs ravaged the Hindu pandals and mandaps, desecrating the idols and creating chaos by instilling fear amongst the minority community. Few Hindus have been presumed dead as well amidst the violence.
Additionally, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple in the Noakhali district in the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh was attacked by a blood-thirsty, frenzied mob of 400-500 radical Islamists.
Read more: Durga Puja ends early in Bangladesh
The cycle of violence against Hindus started with a rumour, when some BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) and Jamaat-e-Islam miscreants planted a copy of the Quran at the feet of Ganesh in the Durga pantheon at Nanuyar Dighir Par Temple in Comilla district on Tuesday night.
Sheikh Hasina’s veiled warning to India
While Bangladesh is massacring its Hindu population, PM Hasina warned India against any reaction that could affect Muslims in India. However, Hasina, with her statement, has indirectly insinuated that if any kind of news regarding violence against Muslims came out from India, she will not be able to save the Hindus, as Islamists will have a much more concrete reason to go after them. For Hasina and her ilk, human rights are a transactional entity, and Hindus can only remain safe if Islamists are mollycoddled and cherished in India.
Bangladesh needs to be answered in Modi style
Over the years, while Bangladesh and India have only drawn closer to each other, more so in the era of Sheikh Hasina and PM Modi, the alarming persecution of the Hindu minority in Bangladesh is particularly concerning.
Earlier reported by TFI, a number of hardline Islamist groups violently protested the visit of PM Modi who in turn came with a gift of 1.2 million doses of Wuhan Coronavirus vaccine shots, as the groups accused PM Modi of discriminating against minority Muslims in India. The protests turned deadly with at least 10 people being reportedly killed during the clashes with the police.
Witnessing such atrocious crimes in Bangladesh and vicious statements by Bangladeshi PM, it is the right time for the Modi government to retaliate and teach Bangladesh a lesson. And, India has several measures to proceed with, when it comes to countering Bangladesh.
What India can do to teach Bangladesh a lesson?
After the 1971 war, almost 1 crore Bangladeshis migrated to Assam and West Bengal. According to the 2001 Census of India, there were 3.1 million Bangladeshis based on place of the last residence, and 3.7 million Bangladeshis based on place of birth.
Thus, the Modi Government has the opportunity to ensure the safety of Hindu minorities in Bangladesh if it asks Hasina to take back the Bangladeshis currently residing in India. Well, this is one of the best possible ways for India to threaten Bangladesh.
Another option that India can go along with is to impose targeted trade sanctions. According to a Hindustan Times report, in 2021, India’s exports to Bangladesh rose 46% on an annualised basis at $3.16 billion in January-March, as per the latest data from the commerce ministry. Indian merchandise exports to Bangladesh, which saw a 35.14% year-on-year growth to $0.95 billion in January and 17%to $0.94 billion in February, witnessed a 93.45% annualised jump in March to $1.26 billion. This clearly depicts the efficient trade relations between India and Bangladesh.
Moreover, India, in any scenario, needs to identify as many radical Bangladeshi Islamists as possible and ban them from entering India. These radical Bangladeshi Islamists need to be put on a sanction list and furthermore, the UN should be pressurised to take note of these radicals in Bangladesh.
In a nutshell, the situation in Bangladesh is alarming, to say the least, and the Modi Government, without making any delay, needs to take a note of the whole development and should step in with a concrete decision to save persecuted Hindu minorities from radical Islamists in Bangladesh.