In the January of 1990, Hindus living in the vale of Kashmir were given three options : Ralive, Tsaliv ya Galive i.e. covert to Islam, leave the valley or simply die. The resultant mass exodus of Hindus has since been a stain on the credentials and capacity of the Bharatiya republic. After 32 years, the Hindus have never been able to go back. Their houses, gardens and properties taken as “maal e ganimat” i.e. property looted from enemies of Muslims and distributed among victorious Muslims.
A tragedy of similar kind is unfolding in West Bengal these days. In this day and age, where social media provides real time updates about events, political and religious violence has been continuously raging across Bengal. Indeed, the situation today in Bengal has many parallels with the situation in Kashmir during the exodus of Hindus.
The role of Islamic clerics and Muslim leaders in the exodus of Hindus in Kashmir is well documented. The loudspeakers at Masjids were used to instigate Muslims to attack Hindus and broadcast threats to Hindus. The Muslim clerics and media of the time in Kashmir abetted the genocide and ethnic cleansing. One can see Muslim clerics from Bengal making similar threats. In November it was reported that influential Muslim cleric Abbas Siddique asserted that Muslims are 35% in Bengal and Hindus are actually a minority! The same person had also wished to Allah that 50 crore Hindus should die in the current pandemic. His brother Nawsad Siddiqui won the elections.
It was not only the clerics who issued threats. Political leaders, starting from the CM herself, threatened the voters of consequences if they did not vote for her. She threatened central forces and asked her cadre to gherao them. The BJP as well as CPM had filed complaints against her for the same. She was not the only one either. For example, TMC MLA Hamidur Rahman publicly threatened to “deal with traitors post elections”. One can imagine what would be the condition where there were no cameras and how TMC workers must have coerced voters. One can make a case that Mamta Banerjee is a self confessed Hindu Brahmin and thus it is not a communal issue. However, her affinity for Muslims goes long back. Not only has she been photographed praying in the Muslim fashion, she also has an MA degree in Islamic History. In fact, for some time in 1980s claimed to hold a PhD from a fake American university on the topic “The Impact of Mughal Harem on state and policies”. Thus, her sympathies have long been clear.
The killings of prominent persons, political leaders as well as common Hindus in Kashmir starkly parallels the current spate of violence in Bengal. There have been killings of political workers, common Hindus and even MLAs in the run up to the elections and after the elections. This is designed to strike terror into the hearts of commoners and also make more areas dominated by Jihadis.
The exodus of about 80000 people into neighbouring state of Assam shows that the terror campaign is succeeding in its goal. Had this been of any other community, all hell would have broken loose. However, Hindu lives are cheap and their property holds no value. Those who did not migrate are being killed, forced to leave BJP for TMC and even forced to pay Jizya, the Islamic tax to survive! This was the same in case of exodus of Kashmiri Hindus.
A shocking statement has come from West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who revealed that the poor Hindus in West Bengal asked him : “Would we be left alive if we convert to Islam?” Can there be any bigger indictment of the broken law and order situation in West Bengal? Any bigger shame for a secular republic?
— Asianetnews Bangla (@AsianetNewsBN) May 15, 2021
A visibly upset Governor was narrating the harrowing tale of victims of post poll victims including in areas of Cooch Behar. He requested the CM to stop violence and castigated the police and administration. This is another strange parallel to Kashmir, where Jagmohan had tried everything in his power to normalise the situation during the Hindu exodus. However, the Communist rag The Hindu criticized the visits by the Governor to violence affected areas as being out of line. It is amazing how during this dance of death and destruction, communists at The Hindu are more worried about Constitutional niceties.
Sadly, another common feature is an inactive central government. It was oblivious of the plight of Kashmiris then and has almost completely ignored the Bengalis this time. The Governor has termed this the worst violence since partition and except a “token dharna” and some routine letters, nothing has been done to alleviate the situation of Bengali Hindus. Probably the hands of the leaders are tied by our “secular mores”.
The Bengal violence makes it clear that the demographic domination by Muslims would always be followed up by physical eradication of Hindus from Muslim majority areas. This is particularly true in areas which border Muslim majority countries. The census of 2011 showed that West Bengal had just more than 70% population as Hindu. It had been in secular decline since 1951, when it was about 79%. The current proportion is probably around 67% as Hindus. BJP got 37% votes in Bengal and noting the situation of Muslim booths, got negligible Muslim votes. Thus a majority of Hindus, about – 55% of Hindus- voted for BJP. That is still not sufficient for them to win.
This has important lessons for Hindus, specially in states like Assam, Andhra and Kerala. Unless we focus on promotion of Hindu Dharma to ensure a favourable demography and also organise Hindus, Kashmir like situation awaits us all over the country.
Did you find this article useful? We’re a non-profit. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.