‘Bengal’s Diminishing Hindus’ - that is the headline on the cover of the latest issue of Organiser, the English mouthpiece of the RSS.
Published in the run-up to PM Narendra Modi’s first visit to Bangladesh, the lead story in the May 24 edition of Organiser showcases the ‘pitiable’ plight of Bengali Hindus in the Islamist nation and its ‘cascading effect on demography’ on this side of the border — not only in West Bengal, but also in Assam and other northeastern states bordering Bangladesh.
The story warns that “Hindus are solely, but irreversibly, moving towards extinction in Bangladesh. That is the inevitable conclusion of Bangladesh Census 2011.” It mentions how the Hindu population in Bangladesh went down from 12.13% in 1981 to 8.60% in 2011.
It then dwells at length with the series of attacks on Bengali Hindus in Bangladesh and in its earlier avatar, East Pakistan, and explains how Islamist fundamentalists are implementing their agenda of doing away with all vestiges of Hindu existence after partition, in the first phase, and since 1971 (the year Bangladesh was born) till now, in the second.
The subject and the “facts” are clearly a “reminder” for Modi as he gets set to meet Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on June 6 and 7. Modi will also have Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee as company on his visit. RSS leaders in Bengal told HT on Tuesday that Modi “would do well to visit the temples and ashrams in Bangladesh that suffered terrible attacks in 1971 and have never been rebuilt”.
“If he wants to visit a temple in Bangladesh, he should visit Ramna Kali Mandir in Dhaka. It was partly demolished in 1971 and has not been reconstructed. He can also visit Jagatbandhu Ashram in Faridpur. There, eight sanyasis were shot dead, also in 1971,” Bidyut Mukherjee, prant pracharak of RSS in Dakshin Banga, said.
The 44-year-old Mukherjee is one of the senior RSS leaders in charge of south Bengal. He was the personal assistant of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat between 2004 and 2007.
“The Prime Minister should try to ensure that Hindus don’t come under new attacks in that country,” Mukherjee said, adding, “In Bengal, both the state and the central governments must ensure that terrorist and fundamentalist elements don’t get to spread their wings further.”
“Since the first partition of Bengal in 1905, Hindus have been on the receiving end on communal lines… Unfortunately, here too, the vote bank politics started by the Congress, nurtured by the communists and now being milked by Trinamool Congress has only accentuated the spread of Islamic radicalism,” the write-up mentions while summing up the situation in West Bengal.