A MONOGRAPH “HINDUS BETRAYED: RELIGIOUS CLEANSING IN BANGLADESH” WAS ALSO RELEASED ON THE OCCASION
November 29, 2013, India International Centre, New Delhi
Chair: Shri RNP Singh, Noted Thinker and Author
Keynote Speaker: Prof. Jayant Kumar Ray, Ex. Director & Fellow, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institution, Kolkata
Released by: Shri K. P. S. Gill, Ex DGP Punjab and Assam, Prof. Kapil Kapoor, Noted Thinker, Pro Vice Chancellor, JNU
Majority-minority discourse is central to India but does its impact reach our neighboring nations even remotely? Realizing its moral responsibility towards the minorities of Bangladesh, IPF came up with an intervention paper viz. "Hindu's Betrayed: Religious Cleansing in Bangladesh" penned by Dr. Saradindu Mukherji. The monograph meticulously documents pathetic condition of Hindus in Bangladesh. Sh. K. P. S. Gill and Prof. Kapil Kapoor released the monograph.
“In 1971 we had opportunity of creating an enclave within Bangladesh for eleven million Hindus who were forced to leave their country. But that opportunity was lost.” - Legendary Combat Expert K.P.S Gill
Rakesh Sinha, Honorary Director of IPF, put forward some interesting data to compare the situation of the minorities in two sides of the border. According to 2011 census, in Assam general population growth had been 140% from 1961 to 2001 while growth of Muslim population was 200%. In West Bengal, this number had been 129% for general population growth but 189% for Muslims. In Bihar and UP, the general population growth is 136% while growth of Muslim population is 194% and 201% respectively. On the other side of the border more than 30% Hindus were there in Bangladesh at the time of partition which has now come down to 9%.
Prof. Kapil Kapoor with his inimitable style conveyed his concerns on the subject. He expressed his high reverence for K. P. S. Gill and called him the latest in line of Guru Govind Singh. Prof Kapoor said no dialogue is possible between hunters and hunted. He said three things are important for any civilization to survive i) continuation of knowledge tradition, ii) periodic reform of society and iii) courageous, righteous people ready to sacrifice for truth. From Adi Shankaracharya to Guru Govind Singh to Swami Vivekananda, this is the secret of sustainability of the ideal of India.
Shri Gill said that in 1971 he proposed to build a safe enclave within Bangladesh for the 11 million Hindus who took refuge in India. Taking a dig at Gandhi and Nehru, he said that Gandhi’s fast in Noakhali restricted the possibility of population exchange in Bengal. Criticizing the present political leadership, he said, “One cannot say that because they are now settled, they have no responsibility towards them who are left behind.”
Prof. Jayant Kumar Roy in his keynote address spoke about the miniscule fraction of Bangladesh civil society, who has taken great risks, subjected themselves to persecutions in order to take up the cause of the minorities.
Speaking on the occasion, the author of the monograph Dr. Saradindu Mukherji criticized the decision of Nehru-Gandhi for not agreeing to population exchange which was raised by visionaries like Rajendra Prasad and Baba Saheb Ambedkar. He said Tamils in this country have become a voice for the Tamils of Sri Lanka but any such effort is missing among the Bengalis in India.