Diwali (aka Deepavali) is the most globally celebrated and well-known festival in Hinduism. Diwali symbolizes the fight of good and light over evil and darkness and is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains around the World.
On Diwali 2016, Bangladesh newspapers reported that ‘Nasirnagar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Chowdhury Muazzam Ahmed the rampage began around 1:30pm during Diwali celebrations after a Facebook post a few days ago. The Nasirnagar Pooja Committee’s General Secretary Khailpada Poddar alleged that at least 15 Hindu temples were vandalised and robbed. “200 Hindu houses were ransacked and looted.” Brahmanbaria police Superintendent Mizanur Rahman told media that a mob of around 150 to 200 people (belonging to the radical islamist group Hefajat-e-Islam) launched the attacks and vandalized at least seven to eight idols of five temples in the area (a video covering some of the temple attacks is below). To put this in perspective, more Hindu temples were attacked and looted on a single day than all temples, mosques and churches attacked in India or the USA over the last few years.
An Islamic Extremist group called ‘Hefajat-e-Islam’ launched their attack on the Hindu community and vandalized their houses and temples,” said Riazul Karim, convener of Nasirnagar unit of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat.
In 2013, over 50 Hindu temples and hundreds of homes were destroyed by an extremist Muslim mob[/caption]Bangladesh has approximately 10 million minority Hindus in nation of over 150 million, where the majority faith is Islam. Hindus in Bangladesh have constantly been targeted since the nation’s creation, including the well documented 1971 genocide, where it is reported that between 300,000 and 1 million Hindus were killed and raped. It is also estimated that at least 1 Hindu or Buddhist temple is attacked every 24 hours and the rape and kidnappings of Hindu minority girls are a greater than daily occurrence. Earlier this year, over 6 Hindu & Buddhist temple priests and workers were hacked to death in broad daylight by Islamists, with the intent to create fear among minorities.
As of late October 30th, only social media posts and Bangladesh’s largest news site ‘The Daily Star’ and ‘BDnews24’ were covering this story – no global or major western media outlet covered this story (including VICE, CNN, CBC, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Toronto Star, NDTV, Reuters). Our team did some further analysis on Google News search and identified that an average of 25 to 100 stories are written around events of a Mosque or Church being attacked anywhere in the World where they are minorities. Why is this? There are 1 Billion Hindus in the World, yet the atrocities they face are never acknowledged, nor even written about. This is in comparison to the extreme coverage of silly news around Hindus, for example there were over 200 stories when 10 Hindus in India staged a protest in support for US presidential candidate Donald Trump. Think about this. When 15+ Hindu temples and 200 Hindu-owned houses attacked and looted in Bangladesh on their most auspicious festival Diwali, 0 coverage? Why is this? and it doesn’t stop there… Global human rights organisations like ‘Human Rights Watch’ or ‘Hindu Rights Council’ turn the other way when Hindus are attacked, but during the same day will tweet how Diwali celebrations are too loud for pets.
In all seriousness, such atrocities against Hindu minorities in Bangladesh will only stop once the media and human rights orgs start to cover this. Just like the native americans and black minorities fighting for justice in the USA and west, indigenous Hindus are fighting for justice in Bangladesh, just without a sword, pen or camera.