Washington: On a frigid winter day, buses filled with activists arrived in Washington DC, the nation’s capital from different parts of America. In the most powerful city on earth, where the fate of millions get decided based on the actions the US govt takes, these people arrived to take part in a rally and espouse a cause far bigger than themselves,a cause which calls for the survival of 25 million Hindus in far away Bangladesh. These are Hindus residing in America and who have felt in their hearts deep love for the Hindus of Bangladesh, But it was not just the frigid cold and inclement weather which they were braving. they were also up against threats by Islamist sympathizers against the organizers.
The formation of Bangladesh from the slavery of Pakistan was meant to be peace and happy times for the Hindus there.But it did not turn out so. Instead irrespective of the government in power, the focus has only been atrocities against the Hindus,seizing of their land, properties, killing and beheading of Hindu men and rape and molestation of Hindu women. Year after year, the Hindus have endured it. Whether it is Awami League in power or the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the aim has always been to wipe out the Hindus or the Malayuns as they are derogatorily called in Bangladesh. According to Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, 53 million Hindus are missing since the formation of Bangladesh in 1971, killed or converted forcibly.
The rally was addressed by Jay Kansara of HAF (Hindu American Foundation). He told the rally supporters that if Bengal falls to the Islamists, then there will not be any end to the troubles of India and the world. Something similar will never be allowed to happen he said. Sitangshu Guha one of the rally organizers who was threatened the other day by an Islamist sympathizer, Dr. Siddiqur Rahman, for standing for the persecuted Hindus, thanked all Hindus in US and the world for showing solidarity with the persecuted Hindus of Bangladesh. Utsav Chakrabarti who had previously lead a delegation to Bangladesh said that when Hindus in Bangladesh feel threatened, Hindus around the world cannot ignore it. Rajiv Verma an activist with many years of experience, when contacted said that the security of the Hindus in Bangladesh is paramount to the peace in India’s neighborhood. Satya Dosapati , who worked closely with the Trump campaign team when contacted said “What is happening to the Hindus in Bangladesh is an eyeopener for the entire Hindu community. The pain and the sorrow of the Hindu community in Bangladesh is felt by every Hindu worldwide”. Activist Rajesh Gooti , also expressed deep anguish over what was unfolding in Bangladesh.
The rally is part of the series of global rallies in London, before the United Nations, before Trump Towers and now in DC. Many who attended the rally, felt that the sacrifices they are taking up, to leave their work and join this rally will provide solace to the soul of those beheaded by the Islamists in Bangladesh. “We are doing this for the tailor Nikhil Joarder who got killed on the streets of Dhaka, Hindu priests Shyamonanda Das who was hacked to death, for the teacher Shyamal Kanti Bhakta who was humiliated by the Islamists, and particularly for the Hindu women , raped and molested everyday in Bangladesh. We are here to say that as sisters and brothers we stand with all persecuted Hindus back home and will leave no stone upturned to bring the perpetrators to justice.”, said Shyamal Roy (not his real name). The protesters also felt that free speech is being regularly muzzled in Bangladesh. The radical Islamists and killers are roaming free while Hindu protesters in Chittagong are being put behind bars. Four Hindu protesters were thrown behind bars for protesting against the atrocities by the Islamists recently.
Amidst support from different Hindu organizations, the common theme which resonated across all was the need to ban radical Islamic organizations like Tablighi Jamaat and Jamaat-e-Islami. These organizations have members who are linked to terror activities around the world. Experts believe that Tablighi Jamaat is in fact one of the biggest recruiters for ISIS. These groups are not just against Hindus in Bangladesh but also deeply anti-American. They hold large rallies inside Bangladesh with millions attending their events. While the leaders of these organizations reside in Bangladesh, their financing happens globally. Those attending the rally had a fervent appeal to the United States Government to ban these groups and dismantle their global financial infrastructure. Issue travel bans on the leaders and prosecute them for their crimes against humanity. This they believe is the only way to save the 25 million Hindus and other minorities in Bangladesh who are facing a genocide and one of the greatest tragedy in human history.