Hounding of Hindus: The Politics of Minority -Hit & Run
By Sarah Salahuddin
The stories related to separation of East Pakistan have left today’s generation in utter confusion, primarily due to distortion in transfer of events and information. Many criticize Pakistan (then West Pakistan) for creation of imbalance between own wing and the East Wing (Bangladesh today). Major reasons pertain to the cynical approach that was developed and fostered by Indian lobbyists against the objective efforts of Pakistan’s factions on various ‘sub-cultural military, social, political, educational grounds’. The challenge however remains significant on the part of Bengalis as well. Since partition, Bengal had time and again faced turmoil that requires identification from roots. It would not be wrong to say where Muslims underwent struggle to sustain their identity, Hindus as minority also faced consequences of Indian Forces’ malicious designs and Mukti Bahini’s transgression in Bengal during 1971. As Indian version of maligned history bombards Pakistan with questionable narratives there is hardly any discussion about the role of true culprits to have targeted their own Hindu faction under the minority hit and run scheme during Mukti Bahini Movement.
According to certain officials of Buddhist Christian Unity Council in Bangladesh, Hindu minority at time of partition existed to be around 29% which got reduced to 20% later in 1971. The dilemma requiring inquisitive approach here is that around 3,000,000 people subjected to genocide according to Bangladesh government largely outnumber the strength of approximately 30,000 paramilitary forces of Pakistan. India’s intervention and Mukti Bahini’s well-trained extremists not only slaughtered masses but also set patterns of psychological war frames which created ultimate illusions in the minds of Bengalis and Biharis alike. Schemes like Enemy Property Act prompted regrettable outcomes that further fostered enmity among Muslim and Hindus amid on-going separation campaign.
It has been estimated that among the stranded communities, about 250,000 were Biharis. This sets challenge for Humanitarian communities to fact-check statistics on ground that explain the ethnic distribution and gaps of Hindus and other minorities subjected to designed brutalities. Where minority groups are known to have comprised of Christian, Buddhists and Hindus in Bengal at time of separation of East Pakistan, certain dynamics require to be well-elucidated to reveal menacing Indian propelled schemes. This includes consideration of refusal of Indian authorities to take any further Bengali and Bihari refugees in 1971. Clearly it would not be out of odds to examine the hideous mindset of Indian Army to sacrifice Hindus under the self-induced prestigious caste system for higher achievements against Pakistan.
Unfortunately, internationally there has not been any community-specific survey that can explain the number of slaughtered Hindus as per their ethnicities. Distortion of historic facts sustain due to negation of requirement of qualitative survey that has dismantled true proportions of Hindu-victims. Furthermore, superficial quantitative surveys that have projected distorted views about Pakistan.
The deceptions created due to blurring of lines between events of Operation Search Light by Pakistan and Operation Jackpot by Indian army in coherence to Mukti Bahini mass murders can only be understood by obtaining a skeptical approach. Some facts can establish parameters for objective examination of the narrative as stated below:
1. There were around 25 base camps established under Indian army’s Operation Jackpot. Each camp consisted of almost 500 trainees with overall expenditure to be 1,55,000 rupees.
2. Where historic facts are manipulated about 25,000 Hindus-massacre to have occurred during Operation Search Light, hardly any description is known about the massacre of 3,500 people (known to be Hindus) at Panchagarh and 450 added to them at Saidpur. Surfacing of such information sets would make consequent involvement of well-trained Hindus to have targeted their own community inevitable.
3. The camps were categorized as Alpha sector, Bravo Sector, Charlie Sector and various others in West Bengal which overall existed along Indo-Bangladesh border. These gave birth to Niyomito Bahini (regular forces) and Gano Bahini (Guerilla forces). It is also known that out of 83,000 so called freedom fighters trained, almost 51,000 operated inside Bangladesh.
Furthermore, RAW-Indian intelligence agency fashioned 10,000 Mujib Bahini nuclei- the functions of whom are still not explicitly known to the world. Even the quantitative schemes of research and observations remain flawed enough to identify level of perforation of these cadres within Bangladesh’s governmental bodies.
Very few efforts reveal the chronological orders of events that led to creation of Bangladesh, but even those studies present an overall historic trail to the backgrounds, hindering discourse analysis of communal challenges of minorities settled alongside Indian borders even in Bangladesh’s post creation era.