People’s Republic of Bangladesh

People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Bangladesh was created after the India-Pakistan War of 1971, a conflict—elaborated in

this report—that was preceded by the massacre of an estimated two million East

Pakistani citizens and the ethnic cleansing of 10 million (mainly Hindus), who fled to

India from that country. In the summary of his report dated November 1, 1971 Senator

Edward Kennedy wrote:

Field reports to the U.S. Government, countless eye-witness journalistic

accounts, reports of International agencies such as World Bank and

additional information available to the subcommittee document the reign

of terror which grips East Bengal (East Pakistan). Hardest hit have been

members of the Hindu community who have been robbed of their lands

and shops, systematically slaughtered, and in some places, painted with

yellow patches marked ‘H’. All of this has been officially sanctioned,

ordered and implemented under martial law from Islamabad.2

Quite remarkably, this genocide has been largely erased from public memory and the

perpetrators escaped unpunished though identified in an official report. According to

Saleem Samad, journalist and human rights observer3, with the normal rate of population

growth, the Hindu population in Bangladesh in 1991 should have been 32.5 million. The

actual population was 12.5 million. By this calculation, the number of Hindus missing

from Bangladesh over two decades, ending in 1991, is already 20 million.

Initially, Bangladesh adopted a constitution with its basic structure ensuring

“Nationalism, Secularism, Socialism, and Democracy.” But on April 23, 1977, the

Constitution was amended; Bangladesh renounced official secularism and its Constitution

was re-adopted in the name of Allah and a new clause was appended: “The state shall

endeavor to consolidate, preserve and strengthen fraternal relations among Muslim

countries based on Islamic solidarity.” On June 9, 1988, the Constitution was amended

again, making Islam the state religion and prescribing that the principle of absolute trust

and faith in Allah would be the basis of all action.


Source : Hindu American Foundation 2005