In 2008, Tapan Ghosh founded Hindu Samhati (Hindu Solidarity Movement), dedicated to strengthening Hindu identity and serving persecuted Hindu communities in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India. A Physics graduate of City College in Calcutta, he first got involved with the Hindu Revivalist Movement in India in 1966 and led a mass civil disobedience campaign against the policies of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975-77. His work grows out of a long history of persecution, including genocidal persecution, of Hindus by Muslims in the region, beginning with the partition of India into Pakistan and India in the 1940s and furthermore into Pakistan and Bangladesh in 1971. I had the privilege of interviewing him when he was in New York during a recent tour. This is the second part of that interview.
Chesler: Why has the Hindu media been so passive? What is the response when you send out a press release, make a phone call, invite a journalist to view the destroyed property, the traumatized and re-kidnapped girls and women?
Ghosh: The role of the media, generally speaking, varies from being a passive onlooker, to being outright anti-Hindu. Let me give a fairly recent example regarding the meek surrender of the Bengali media to this extremism. When Islamic zealots ransacked the office of the renowned newspaper, ‘The Statesman’ in Kolkata, in retaliation for a mere reproduction of an article originally written by Johann Hari for The Independent (UK), the silence in the Bengali press, and for that matter, the national media, was deafening. Any reader of the article would know that there was nothing, even remotely derogatory against Islam and the article simply denounced religious extremism. In the end, while editor Ravindra Kumar and publisher Anand Sinha were arrested for offending Muslim sentiments, no action was taken against the rioters. Where was the freedom of press then? Now, we all know what happens when Hindu organizations protest against the Press, the news channels repeat the same footage for days at a time. While violence against the press cannot be condoned, why the double standards? As a general rule, while many Muslims resort to rioting at the slightest provocation, no one in the media wants to report these incidents to preserve their “political correctness” and for fear of being labeled “communal” (nationalist, “Islamophobic”).
Chesler: Why are the Muslims flooding over the border from Bangladesh into India? What do they really want? Is it strictly for economic reasons or do they have political and jihadic goals in mind?
Ghosh: Most Muslims who come from Bangladesh come for economic reasons, even though Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence and trans-national Jihadi groups also infiltrate their assets, using the cover of illegal immigrants. The immigrants are primarily interested in finding avenues of earning a living, but they carry with them the religious value system and teachings from the Islamic Madrassas of Bangladesh. They support radical Islam and carry with them the same ethos wherever they go. So even though, initially, they are overtly not working for the Pan-Islamic agenda and are only focused on earning a living, they become willing force multipliers to the goals of Jihad by supporting them when required.
Chesler: What do you need in order to keep your communities safe from such violence?
Ghosh: We need resources to increase our outreach and effectiveness. We also need people who are in positions of influence around the world to highlight the situation, so that our workers at the grassroots and the Hindu masses who are victims, feel that the story of their suffering is not falling on deaf ears. Most importantly, enough pressure has to be placed on the government and the Police, so that it acts against the Islamic expansionism- decisively.
Chesler: What do you hope to accomplish in your US tour?
Ghosh: The purpose of my visit is in sync with the aspirations of Hindu Samhati, that spreading awareness and raising concerted opposition to the advances of Islamic expansionism, is critical to the survival of secular, liberal democracies like India, the Hindu civilization and much of the western civilization, including the United States. During my stay here, I hope to create awareness about the current, ongoing religious tensions in rural Bengal and seek the help of Americans and their suggestions on how to best serve the population of Bengal. I will greatly treasure the opportunity that I had to meet a wide variety of people, from non-resident Bengalis to US politicians, think tanks, and other well wishing Indians and Americans. We have had a phenomenal response to the work done by our volunteers in the villages. Most agree that the situation is alarming and have responded very positively to help in any way they can.
Chesler: What would do you want the Indian government, police, and media to do?
Ghosh: We want the Indian government and the Police to:
- Apply Uniform Civil Code (so that Muslims do not have separate Civil law under a secular Indian judicial system), ban multiple marriages and enforce family planning laws.
- Stop illegal immigration from Bangladesh and send back all undocumented Muslims who came to West Bengal after 1971.
- Ban Madrassas and enforce secular education.
- Create a task force that is legally and logistically equipped to counter the Islamic expansionism by providing support to Hindus in areas where they are being forced to migrate, arresting and prosecuting known Islamic mafia kingpins and seizing their properties and resources.
We want the media to:
- Investigate and report the atrocities that are being perpetrated against Hindus.
- Eschew fear and double standards in addressing issues of religious apartheid.
Chesler: What do you want Americans and Westerners to understand? And to do?
Ghosh: People the United States must realize that the war on Islamic terrorism cannot be won without curbing religious extremism amongst the Muslim masses, be it in the suburbs of Detroit or Delhi or villages in rural Bengal. And this will require the active support and cooperation with each other ranging from cooperation at the highest level to those who work at the grassroots level. We hope that Americans and Westerners will come out and support the Hindus in Bengal in raising resources and creating awareness about our on-the-ground realities. Hindus need their socioeconomic support now, so that the situation does reach a point of no-return, and a military solution is the only option.