Dear Prime Minister,
Re: Bengali Hindu Genocide of 1971
I am writing to you to highlight one of the most sickening humanitarian disasters, and crime against humanity of the 20th century: the Bengali Hindu Genocide. This year, on March 25, 2021, it will be the 50th anniversary of the beginning of this horrendous genocide committed by the Government of Pakistan. It was on that date the Government of Pakistan launched military action called ‘Operation Searchlight’ in the capital city Dhaka of the then West Pakistan. This targeted attack unleashed the massacre of the Bengali Hindu population leaving thousands dead in its wake.
Historians have estimated that some 2-3 million people, primarily Hindus, but also Muslim intellectuals and secular nationalists, were murdered. This state sponsored savagery escalated and some 200,000+ women were raped and over 10 million people displaced. Most finding shelter in India.
At that time, the leading western nations were fully aware of this Pakistani state sponsored genocide. This was history repeating itself with nations turning a blind eye. In fact, in a telegram titled “Selective Genocide” to the U.S. State Department, American Consul General Archer K. Blood wrote “Here in Dacca we are mute and horrified witnesses to a reign of terror by the Pak military. Moreover, with support of Pak military, non-Bengali Muslims are systematically attacking poor people’s quarters and murdering Bengalis and Hindus. Full horror of Pak military atrocities will come to light sooner or later.”
The UN Human Rights Commission in its 1981 report on the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNHRC) stated that the genocide committed in Bangladesh in 1971 was the worst in history. The UNHRC report said even if a lower range of 1.5 million deaths was taken, killings took place at a rate of between 6,000–12,000 per day, through the 267 days of genocide.
I understand you will be visiting India shortly, the nation that freed Bangladesh from the genocidal Government of Pakistan. I believe it would be fitting if you can make a public declaration commemorating March 25th as Bengali Hindu Genocide Remembrance Day. The history of Great Britain, and its historic relationship with the Indian sub-continent is well documented. So are the atrocities that have been committed, but all too often forgotten, neglected and hidden. Is it not now time to begin the process of remembering the victims?
We see that those who were enslaved, exploited, suppressed, persecuted, oppressed have today become the engine of global growth. India has now become the ‘pharmacy of the world’ by providing the vaccine that will save billions around the world.
As a nation we have many reparations that need to be made to salvage our honour and dignity. Every Prime Minister is afforded history making opportunities, but all too often these are missed. As our Prime Minister you have the opportunity to become one of the first western leaders to call out the Bengali Hindu Genocide for exactly what it was, the state of Pakistan committing human rights abuses that are not too different to the persecution of minorities by the Nazi’s during the 20th Century.
To stand on the right side of history on Brexit ultimately paved way for you to become our Prime Minister. I hope that on this occasion you will once again be on the right side of history and lead the international community to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bengali Hindu Genocide.
“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” ― Elie Wiesel