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Sheikh Hasina is playing fast and loose on the genocide of Bangladeshi Hindus: Here is how

When there were allegations that Hitler was putting Jews in camps, the New York Times correspondent reported that the Jews were being so well treated that they were actually gaining weight during their stay in these camps.

In the year 1938, as well as for most of 1939, there was someone who was passionate about making peace. In fact, his pleadings for world peace were so effective that they were almost a legend. Every time he would bite off a piece of some neighbour such as Czechoslovakia, or swallow one of his neighbours whole, such as Austria, he would talk of his commitment to peace. And it usually worked, in that it managed to fool everyone else.

That man was Adolf Hitler.

Okay, so Sheikh Hasina isn’t quite the same as Adolf Hitler. But we live in an era of exaggerations, so why not? The template is the same. Become the loudest voice against exactly what you are trying to do. Take a look at this.

Deccan Herald article

But also don’t forget what is really happening.

Times of India article

Ah, the mob! With a mind of its own, always undirected by anyone and enjoying zero political patronage. The mob always does the job that leaders who need to show their face on the world stage just can’t.

This year, they did not allow the Hindus of Bangladesh to celebrate Durga Puja. In nearly a dozen districts of Bangladesh, they attacked and destroyed Durga Puja pandals. They attacked even ISKCON temples and murdered devotees inside. In each case, their aim was exactly the same: smash the idols and kill the idol worshipers. No, they did not care that ISKCON worships Krishna and those in pandals were worshipping Durga. Note that Shri Krishna, born in present-day Uttar Pradesh, is always seen with his cows. On the other hand, eminent intellectuals such as Amartya Sen define their Bengaliyat by who worships Durga. But the mob in Bangladesh did not ask whose god is from the much-maligned ‘cow belt.’ The mob came for the idol worshipers.

Meanwhile, neighbouring West Bengal celebrated the annual Durga Puja festival with great pomp and show. Some Durga Puja committees even made idols of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. After all, she stopped the cow belt outsiders this year. She deserves all the devotion she can get. They say that Durga Puja is just a cultural festival. In fact, it is a festival for all Bengalis, by which I mean all the Bengalis who live on this side of the border, where it is still 70:30. Across the border, not so much.

Where do you think Sheikh Hasina stands on all this? Or let me put it like this. What do you think a veteran politician, with 17 years of experience as Prime Minister under her belt, is likely to do? Is she going to side with the community that has 90% of the votes or the community that has 8% of the votes, especially in light of projections like this?

Dhaka Tribune article

She is going to go out and tell the world that she is all for secularism and harmony. And on the inside, she is going to give a free hand to Islamists to wipe out the Hindu minority. On both fronts, she is being extremely effective right now.

On the domestic front, you know that Hindus can protest all they want. But everyone knows it is a lost cause. Just ask the Bihari labourers fleeing from Kashmir right now. Once the demography shifts, it is basically over.

On the international front, Sheikh Hasina already has it made. The tactical alliance between liberals and Islamists worldwide will protect her reputation. All she had to do was go up to the podium and denounce the anti-Hindu violence for the record. The global liberal media did the rest. They declared her an icon of secularism and progressive ideals. In fact, they will make this another occasion to bash up India’s reputation.

See? Sheikh Hasina spoke up against anti-Hindu riots in a dozen districts of Bangladesh. Remember the time when some drunk guy threw a stone at a church window in Navi Mumbai? Why can’t Modi condemn that?

Frankly, the hard part for Sheikh Hasina is to maintain a neutral expression while facing the camera, instead of bursting into laughter.

All over the world, the Hinduphobic template has been set by the left. They have marked out the Hindus as global villains. They have marked Hindu culture as something to be “dismantled.” The global liberal complex just rescued the reputation of the Taliban. Guarding the reputation of Sheikh Hasina is almost too easy for them.

And so they are on the job. They put disclaimers against the anti-Hindu violence in public and in private, they follow it with much glee. Along with that, they turn the issue on its head. Instead of asking questions to the government of Bangladesh, they ask questions to Hindutva forces in India.

Sheikh Hasina is sensible and secular, they say. She is the one who keeps radical Islamists in check.

I began by mentioning Hitler and how he came to be known for his appeals for world peace. Actually, there is more. When there were allegations that Hitler was putting Jews in camps, the New York Times correspondent reported that the Jews were being so well treated that they were actually gaining weight during their stay in these camps. Back in the day, the New York Times would tell readers around the world that Hitler is actually a moderate. That Hitler is the man who can keep the radicals in the Nazi party in check.

The New York Times article

Look who put curbs on “zealous Nazis,” even “rebuked” those who discriminated against Jews.

Sound similar? Now please go open the New York Times for your daily intake of ‘liberalism.’

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a columnist and author.  

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