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“गीता” : एक ‘मानवीय ग्रंथ’ … एक ‘समग्र जीवन दर्शन’ … व ‘मानव समाज की अप्रतिम धरोहर’

            "गीता” का शाब्दिक अर्थ केवल गीत अर्थात् जो गाया जा सके से लिया जाता है । किन्तु आतंरिक रूप से इसका अर्थ है कि जिस...

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

What the historical inaccuracies in “Dracula Untold” tell us about the rise of Islamophobia

What the historical inaccuracies in “Dracula Untold” tell us about the rise of Islamophobia


The vilification of Islam has reached such heights that when the Muslim Sultan Mehmet II is cast opposite history’s bloodiest psycho-tyrant, it’s Dracula who emerges as the tragic hero.

This week I saw Dracula Untold in Istanbul, with an Italian Turkologist who shares my enthusiasm for vampire movies. It was past 10pm when the credits rolled, and the audience was disgruntled. Outside, Istiklal Street was still booming. An armored police van drove passed us, weaving through indifferent crowds. “That film was very anti-Muslim,” said my friend. I’m the Muslim one in our relationship, but I was trying to shrug it off, because frankly what else is new?

I do love a good villain, and take some pride in that black-eyed madness the historical Turk is infamous for. So, far from having an objection to my forefathers being cast in a nefarious light, it actually took some effort to reign back the gleeful cackling every time Dominic Cooper’s Mehmet II came on screen. That said, my issue is one of historical accuracy, and contemporary significance.

Admittedly, Hollywood is no genius when it comes to accurate representation. If it’s not a larger-than-life action flick where America is saving the world from aliens, chances are they’ll get it all wrong. But why Turks? And why now, when all eyes are on Turkey, and the country teeters unwillingly on the frontline of impending war? In the current climate of global political tension and escalating Islamaphobia, what political statement does Dracula Untold make in pitting our vampire hero against the armies of Mehmet II?

The film’s generous use of the word “Turk” was interesting. To call an Ottoman a Turk is like calling a Roman an Italian. True, the Ottoman sultans were of Turkic origin. But the empire was much too big, much too ethnically diverse to be called Turkish.

In the Age of Enlightenment, “Turk”, “Moor” and “Mohammedan” were interchangeable terms which basically meant Muslim. When an Englishman adopted the Islamic faith (and records hint that there was an influx of “apostates” during the Jacobean period) he was said to have “turned Turk”. Europe wasn’t merely compromised by the economic and military might of the civilised Muslim world. It was compromised by the reality of Islam as a fast-spreading faith which bore alarming similarities to the Judeo-Christian revelation. It was appealing. Glamorised even, by wealthy, cultivated Muslim travelers hailing from exotic lands. The wide use of “Turk” then, was an attempt to tribalise the Islamic faith and associate it with foreign, potentially threatening powers, which were the common enemy.

I’ll fill you in on some more history. Vlad Dracul II of the house of Draculesti sought support from the Ottoman Sultan in his claim to the Wallachian throne. To put him on it, the Ottomans waged war with Dracul’s enemies. In return, Dracul willingly offered them not one, but two of his sons: Vlad Tepes Dracula and Radu cel Frumos – aka Radu the handsome.

While Vlad Tepes went on to become the progenitor of the vampire myth, his brother would remain loyal to the Sultan, and his childhood friend, Mehmet II. A skilled and celebrated general, Radu proved invaluable in the conquest of Istanbul. And when Vlad Tepes started wreaking carnage across the Balkans, Mehmet II dispatched Radu to quell his brother’s blood-thirst. Vlad’s insurrection was not dissimilar to the terror tactics of the so-called Islamic State. He killed indiscriminately: Men, women and children; Turks and Bulgarians; Muslims and sympathising Christians alike were put to the stake. He boasted of his cruelty to the horror of his foes and allies. And having been raised among Muslims, he had the advantage of disguise. During their guerilla attacks, his men were dressed in Ottoman uniforms. He talked Turkish, walked Turkish and burned villages to the ground.

The brothers battled long, but Radu was victorious. Vlad Tepes fled to Hungary, where he sought sanctuary with the Corvinus clan. But frankly they’d also had enough of his grizzly antics, so they imprisoned him on charges of treason. True story.

Fast forward to the 21st century. In Dracula Untold, Mehmet II seals his demands on Vlad with a bloody thumb-print, and the scene’s final shot is of the Sultan’s thumb on an imperial edict, alongside a stamp bearing the name of God in Arabic script. The Sultan’s cruelty then is the will of the Muslim god, who is out to get your children. Today, vilification of Islam has reached such heights, that even when the Sultan is cast opposite history’s bloodiest-psycho-tyrant, it’s Dracula who emerges as the tragic her

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Sunday, 12 October 2014

Hindus in Bangladesh Continue To Face Persecution

Hindus in Bangladesh Continue To Face Persecution
Come Durga Puja, the most revered festival of Bengali Hindus the desecration of the Durga idol and Mandap is a common occurrence in Bangladesh where the population of the Hindus have been reduced from about 25 per cent in 1947 at the time of Partition to about 8 percent in 2014. Every year on Bijoya Dashami, Ma Durga is immersed. Her mortal children cheer expectantly ‘Ashchhe bochhor abar hobe’ (It will happen again next year) — a call of hope and annual return.
In the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, another set of annual events centred on idols of Ma Durga  (Mother Duga) start somewhat earlier than the Puja itself. This is the widespread desecration and destruction of Ma Durga’s idols, always done by ‘unidentifiable group of miscreants’. Ms. Garga Chatterjee writes in the DNA, a Mumbai newspaper that at least 21 incidents of the pre-Puja idol-breaking campaign have been reported this year.
Chatterjee writes, “When parts of Mata Sati’s dead body fell on earth, each of those sites became a Shakti-peeth — a space of divine significance. Of the 51 Shakti-peeths on earth, Bengal is blessed with 16, of which Bangladesh has 5 — Bhabanipur, Iswaripur, Chandranath hill near Sitakunda, Joinpur and Shikarpur. The sacred geography extends to Dhaka where Ma Dhakeshwari has been offering protective cover over the city for centuries. She has been attacked regularly in the last 60 years. When large-scale planned destruction of religious structures is accompanied by a concomitant catastrophic fall in the proportion of religious minorities like in Bangladesh, it’s clear that both gods and their devotees are fair game.” Interestingly, Puja celebrations in ‘Opar Bengal, epar Bengal’ are held by both Hindus and Muslims alike. These have become a part of the Bangla culture.
However, the fact remains that Pakistan and Bangladesh have shown tremendous intolerance for Hindus, Sikhs and other religious denominations. The last attacks on Bangladeshi Hindus on a grand scale by the extremists of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), an Islamist party allied to the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was one of thousands of violent incidents in the run-up to the last elections in January this year. It occurred the day after the execution of Abdul Quader Mollah, a JI leader convicted of war crimes.
Earlier, in February 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal had sentenced Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the Vice President of the Jamaat-e-Islami to death for the war crimes committed during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Following the sentence, activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir attacked the Hindus in different parts of the country. Hindu properties were looted, Hindu houses were burnt into ashes and Hindu temples were desecrated and set on fire. According to community leaders, more than 50 Hindu temples and 1,500 Hindu homes were destroyed.
Local Hindus had nothing to do with these executions. But in Bangladesh members of the Hindu minority are particular targets of JI because of their religion and because they almost all support the Awami League, the nominally secular party which has run Muslim-dominated Bangladesh for the past five years and which won the election after the main opposition party BNP’s boycott. In terms of population, Bangladesh is still the third largest Hindu state in the world after India and Nepal.
The historic region of Bengal has a history of bloody communalism. A worried Hindu in Bangladesh said, “For last half a century, our community is living the life of a malaun (slang for non Muslims), not human. Unfortunately when something happens to a Muslim, it is interpreted as a war against Muslims. But when the victim is a Hindu, it is regarded as a vandalism conducted by some miscreants.
Sadly, de-population of non-Muslims in Muslim lands is almost a universal phenomenon. The Muslims themselves, on the other hand, have proliferated in non-Muslim countries and are quick to kick up a row at the slightest real or imagined threat to them. Alas, one seldom comes across any credible and effective measures for the security of minorities in Muslim lands. Their numbers keep declining. While, non-Muslims seem destined to gradually disappear from Muslim countries, some non-Muslim lands are on course to become Muslim.
The Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 resulted in one of the largest genocides of the 20th century. While the estimate of the number of casualties was around 3,000,000, it is reasonably certain that Hindus bore a disproportionate brunt of the Pakistan Army’s onslaught against the Bengali population of what was East Pakistan.
An article in Time magazine in August 1971 stated “The Hindus, who account for three-fourths of the refugees and a majority of the dead, have borne the brunt of the Muslim military hatred.” Senator Edward Kennedy wrote in a report that was part of United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations testimony dated 1 November 1971, “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”.
In the first constitution of the newly independent country, secularism and equality of all citizens irrespective of religious identity was enshrined. On his return to liberated Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his first speech to the nation, specifically recognized the disproportionate suffering of the Hindu population during the Bangladesh Liberation War. Despite the public commitment of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his government to re-establishing secularism and rights of non-Muslim religious groups, two significant aspects of his rule remain controversial as relates to the conditions of Hindus in Bangladesh. The first was his refusal to return the premises of the Ramna Kali Mandir, historically the most important temple in Dhaka, to the religious body that owned the property. This
Declining Hindu population in Bangladesh region
YearPercentage (%)
194128.0
195122.0
196118.5
197413.5
198112.13
199111.62
20019.6
Source: Census of India 1941, Census of East Pakistan, Bangladesh Government Census
centuries old Hindu temple was demolished by the Pakistan army during the Bangladesh Liberation War and around one hundred devotees murdered. Under the provisions of the Enemy Property Act it was determined that ownership of the property could not be established as there were no surviving members to claim inherited rights, and the land was handed over to the Dhaka Club.
Secondly, state-authorised confiscation of Hindu owned property under the provisions of the Enemy Property Act was rampant during Mujib’s rule, and as per the research conducted by Abul Barkat of Dhaka University, the Awami League party of Sheikh Mujib was the largest beneficiary of Hindu property transfer in the past 35 years of Bangladeshi independence. This caused much bitterness among Bangladeshi Hindus, particularly given the public stance of the regime’s commitment to secularism and communal harmony.
Largely because of these and other factors, such as the lack of attention to the Human Rights Violations of Hindus in the country, the Hindu population of Bangladesh started to decline through migration.
In 1988 the then President Hussein Mohammed Ershad declared Islam to be the State Religion of Bangladesh. Though the move was protested by students and left-leaning political parties and minority groups, to this date neither the regimes of the BNP or the Awami League has challenged this change and it remains in place. More than half of all land and property belonging to religious minorities was usurped and Hindus were made second-class citizen by introducing a State religion in the constitution.
Hindus were first attacked en masse on 1992 by Islamic fundamentalists. More than 200 temples were destroyed. Hindus were attacked and many were raped and killed. The events were widely seen as a repercussion against the razing of disputed structure in Ayodhya in India. Taslima Nasrin wrote her novel Lajja (The Shame) based on this persecution of Hindus by Islamic extremists. The novel centers on the suffering of the patriotic anti-Indian and pro-Communist Datta family, where the daughter is raped and killed while financially they end up losing everything.
Prominent political leaders frequently fall back on “Hindu-bashing” in an attempt to appeal to extremist sentiment and to stir up communal passions. The fundamentalists and right-wing parties such as the BNP and Jatiya Party often portray Hindus as being sympathetic to India, and transferring economic resources to India, contributing to a widespread perception that Bangladeshi Hindus are disloyal to the state. Also, the right wing parties claim the Hindus to be backing the Awami League.
On October 2006, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) published a report titled ‘Policy Focus on Bangladesh’, said that since its last election, ‘Bangladesh has experienced growing violence by religious extremists, intensifying concerns expressed by the countries religious minorities’. The report further stated that Hindus are particularly vulnerable in a period of rising violence and extremism, whether motivated by religious, political or criminal factors, or some combination. The report noted that Hindus had multiple disadvantages against them in Bangladesh, such as perceptions of dual loyalty with respect to India and religious beliefs that are not tolerated by the politically dominant Islamic Fundamentalists of the BNP. Violence against Hindus has taken place “in order to encourage them to flee in order to seize their property”. The previous reports of the Hindu American Foundation were acknowledged and confirmed by this non-partisan report
In November same year, USCIRF criticised Bangladesh for continuing persecution of minority Hindus. It also urged the US administration to get Dhaka to ensure protection of religious freedom and minority rights.
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Chinese President Xi Jinping is caught between a rock and a hard place as protesters occupy key parts of Hong Kong in their unprecedented quest for full democracy for the former British colony. 

If Xi gives in to the demands of demonstrators for the resignation of the unpopular Hong Kong Chief Executive C. Y. Leung and for open elections for the top post in the Chinese semi-autonomous territory, it would deal a severe blow to his tough guy image.

It could also trigger copycat protests demanding political reforms on the mainland. Beijing has already taken pre-emptive action by censoring news and social media comments about the rare show of mass civil disobedience in Hong Kong.

On the other hand, cracking down on the mostly student protests would conjure up images of the bloody suppression of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing and draw global condemnation and sanctions at a time when Chinese industrial production has slowed to its lowest level since the 2008 global financial crisis.

The coveted status of Hong Kong as a regional freewheeling capitalist hub may also be shattered.

Beijing could try other options, such as confining the protests to a small area of Hong Kong and hope that they run their course—there is already a split in the pro-democracy camp and rumblings among traders about business being hit by the mass demonstrations—or it could set up a panel of the various political groups in Hong Kong to consider a way out for the territory's political future.

"None of the options is likely very attractive to the Chinese leadership," Elizabeth Economy, a China expert at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) said. "All come with not insignificant political and economic costs," she said in a blog post Monday. 

Granting the protestors their biggest demand—an open slate of candidates determined by universal suffrage for the landmark 2017 election in Hong Kong—also "seems well outside the realm of possibility," she said.

But Economy appears hopeful of a peaceful resolution.

As the Tiananmen and Hong Kong protests are 25 years apart and in different parts of Chinaone in the capital on the mainland and the other in a business hub run as part of a "one country, two systems" model"it leaves open the hope" that the current demonstrations "will not result in the same violent suppression that befell those in Tiananmen," she said.

Rising tensions

Tensions are increasing, however.

Protesters have already occupied Hong Kong's busiest areas, including Admiralty, where the local government is based, the Central business district, the Causeway Bay shopping center, and the heavily-populated Mong Kok district in Kowloon.

Although riot police have mostly withdrawn following criticism over their use of tear gas and pepper spray on protesters on Sunday, the demonstrations involving tens of thousands are expected to snowball on China's National Day holiday on Wednesday, the deadline set by the Occupy Central civil disobedience movement for a government response to their demands.

It said "new civil disobedience plans" would be announced if the government refuses to budge.

Already facing violence in China's other autonomous regions in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Inner Mongolia, Xi could have averted the turmoil in Hong Kong.

"The events in Hong Kong this past weekend were as unfortunate as they were unnecessary," said Richard Bush, an East Asia expert at the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

He said it had been clear since 2012 on how to elect Hong Kong’s chief executive and that a sensible compromise was possible.

Such a scenario will allow competitive electionsthe pro-democracy camp’s hopewithout creating too much uncertainty or instability, which is Beijing’s fear, Bush said in a blog post. 

Moderate democrats had proposed approaches that would have led to such a compromise, he said.

Lot of control
In the end, however, the Chinese government set electoral parameters that would allow a one-person, one-vote election, but would give it and its allies in Hong Kong a lot of control over who could run. 

"With those rules of the game, Hong Kong’s radicals were empowered, and the instability that occurred last weekend was almost inevitable," Bush said. 

"Beijing has been quick to blame the pan-democrats for the disorder, but it had the power and the opportunity to facilitate a good outcome," he pointed out.

With protests set to escalate, can Xi, who has emerged as China's most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping, contain and neutralize them and avoid a contagion effect on the mainland?

“This is already much bigger than anything the Beijing or Hong Kong authorities expected,” Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University who studies democratic development, told The New York Times

“They have no strategy for peacefully defusing it, because that would require negotiations, and I don’t think President Xi Jinping will allow that," he said. "Now, if he yields, he will look weak, something he clearly detests.”

No easy solution

Economy of the Council on Foreign Relations says there is no easy solution. 

She thinks Xi should dump Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung and replace him with locally respected figures, like former city chief secretary Anson Chan or Christine Loh, a senior environment official and ex-founder of a Hong Kong human rights group.

"[T]he best outcome for now might be to test the waters by replacing C.Y. Leung not with a lackey of Beijing or a democracy activist but with a politician such as Anson Chan or Christine Loh, who have impeccable political credentials, as well as strong managerial experience," Economy said. 

"The next three years could then be a test case for what a more independent-minded Hong Kong leader might mean for the island’s relations with the mainland and provide guidance for further revisions to Beijing’s current limited conception of universal suffrage," she said.
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Hindus Uprooted By Bangladesh Land Administration

Hindus Uprooted By Bangladesh Land Administration

Kanuria Mukshudpur under Gopalganj distric filed case of release his ancestral property from VP(Kh) list under section 14 ( Kha) , but Local land officials including Tahsildar in connivance of political goons are spoiling Sheikh Hasina’s good efforts of transferring the property to the owner.
This sort of reports of thousand grievances pouring in different land offices in Bangladesh.
The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, ‘The scrapping of Section 14 (kha) of the Vested Property Act had dispelled the complexities over such properties of Hindus. It may be recalled that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in July 2012 asked the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to perform their duties sincerely for the welfare of the common people as well as to give special attention to rural development and creating more employments. "Remember, the facilities you get, including salaries and allowances, come from the incomes of the common people. Your main objective should be to work for them and you should keep this in mind all the time,” Sheikh Hasina told the DCs while addressing the inaugural session of the 3-day Deputy Commissioners Conference 2012 at her office.
About the government’s ongoing move on digitisation of land records, Sheikh Hasina directed the DCs to ensure correct recording of the land so that the real owners are not harassed. Urging the DCs to be the servants (sebok) of the common people, the Prime Minister also sought their cooperation in fulfilling the pledges of the government given to the common people. She stressed starting the development works from the very beginning of the fiscal year and also urged the DCs to enforce the Vested Property Return (amendment) Act 2011 properly in their respective areas. Mentioning that a transparent, accountable and pro-development administration is needed to build a democratic, moderate and non-communal state system, Sheikh Hasina said one stop service, public hearing day, district web portal and video conferencing are playing a supportive role to this end.
But as a human right group, we have been getting reports from different districts including Dhaka metropolitan that the land administration like AC land and Tahasilders in the field are demanding high stake of money for mutation, transferring land under VP Act (Kha) list. On the other hand Land ministry issued circular in May 2014 stating if the incumbent does not release land with in a year of this circular would automatically turn those lands under government custody.
It may be stated here that the circular issued by additional secretary (law) to the Ministry of Land Md Ibrahim Hossain Khan vide no- 31.00.0000.045.065.12(Part)-242 dated:22 May 2014 enjoys that anybody claiming property included in the newly repealed vested property ‘kha’ schedule property requires to establish his titles in respect of the property claimed within the period of one year from the date of publication of the circular, failing which the property shall become government khas land under the provision of Section 92 of the State Acquisition & Tenancy Act-1950.
Reports gather from all concerns of the country indicate that more than Six lakh (0.6 million) mutation cases have already been filed before the Assistant Commissioner (Land) and Tahsil offices in the country and May more are being filed everyday. Then for even 1%( one percent)of the person cases has not been disposed of since the annulment of Kha list and things have been made extremely difficult for the relief seekers by the beurocratic Mechanizations on dubious grounds which in most cases tantamount to extortion and denial of justice. It this present state of things continues, these cases can not be disposed of even in twelve years and the sufferers will be those who have already suffered for last fifty years.
‘It should not be enough to repeal the Vested Property Act, but it should be made an effective implementation so that the members of the minority communities are not deprived.’ Awami League advisory council member and minister without portfolio Suranjit Sengupta said there are many obstacles to make the Vested Property (Repeal) Act into an effective law.
‘The beneficiaries adopted many tactics and resorted to dilly-dallying and dirty tricks in making the law effective. The conspiracy is still on, Suranjit said, ‘The philosophy of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was that the members of the minority community were not subjected to legal hassles only because for their religious belief. Later, Bangabandhu’s philosophy in this regard was incorporated in the constitution.’
Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities ( HRCBM), an NGO in special consultative status with ECOSOC of the United Nations and also registered under Bangladesh society Act, appeals to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to kindly look into the matter on the priority basis so that the sufferers are not made to suffer further losses and humiliation at the behest of interested quarters, which is the sole beneficiaries of the Vested Property Laws ,the government never got benefit out of vested property. Bangladesh Non-Muslim Citizens Society strongly demand immediate cancellation of the circular in question and urge upon the government to direct the Land Revenue field offices to speedily dispose of the cases within specified period, otherwise all good intentions of the government shall go in vain.
Rights groups in Bangladesh earlier urged the government to expedite the implementation process of the Vested Property Return (Amendment) Act with a view to ensuring social discipline and justice by returning those lands to the genuine owners. “The government will have to make people aware about the provisions of the law through state-run BTV, private television channels and newspapers and let them know what needs to be done to establish their rights,” The Hindus have been suffering a lot since long centering the issue. “It’s now being delayed again. We apprehend that people might be deprived of their due rights.”
Parliament passed the Vested Property Return (Amendment) Bill aimed at smooth return of the vested properties to their rightful owners. What an irony of fate of Hindus, they are wondering hither and thither after filing case of returning their ancestral property, whereas government machineries in the field behaving otherwise. The district administration changed the land record of Devuttar Property and put as Khas land (Khatian no 1 of DC custody and some cases lease out to Muslims lease .
Over the last four decades in Bangladesh, The religious minorities in Bangladesh have been subjected to every conceivable form of indignity, socio-political discrimination, denial of equity and justice, dispossession of ancestral households under Vested Property Act, unequal application law, violation of Human Rights and Constitutional provisions, terrorizing and humiliation by using rape, vandalizing temples & worship places including forced convert to Islam and forced marriage to under aged girls and finally grabbing lands and compelled them for quit Bangladesh to take shelter in India as “stateless citizens”. Both the Governments of Bangladesh and India knew well that Bangladeshi Hindus were leaving their ancestral home silently and becoming ‘stateless citizens’ in the surrounding Indian States the Indian press and the Government circle at times have been highlighting the issue of the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh living in India.
Bangladesh Government has always maintained that there have been no so-called illegal immigrants from Bangladesh to India. It is interesting that no discussion on minority related issues have yet been held between India and Bangladesh in their bilateral talks or GSS meeting. Bangladesh Hindus have lost 22 lakh acres of their land and houses during the last six years (2001-2006), a Dhaka University Professor says. The market value of this land is Taka 2, 52,000 crore (about $156 million), which is more than half of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) reports Bangladesh dailies in Sept 2007...'This is a man-made problem contrary to the spirit of humanity. We have to get rid of this uncivilised state of affairs to establish a civilised society. Otherwise, we have to face a bigger historic catastrophe,' Professor Abdul Barkat, who teaches economics, insists in his research paper, 'Deprivation of affected million families: Living with Vested Property in Bangladesh'. Thus the estimated total missing Hindu population was 8.1 million during 1964-2001, i.e., 218,919 Hindus missing each year.
In other words, if out-migration of the Hindu population is caused mainly by communal disharmony resulting from the Enemy / Vested Property Acts, the approximate size of the missing Hindu population would be 600 persons per day during 1964-2001. The approximate size of the missing Hindu population was as high as 705 persons per day during 1964-1971, as against 521 persons per day during 1971-1981, decreasing to 438 persons per day during 1981-1991, and rising to 767 persons per day during 1991-2001.The four-decades-old law has seen around a million Hindus lose at least 2.1 million acres of land.
Living with Vested Property in Bangladesh'.
Politically powerful people grabbed most of the Hindu lands during the reign of Begum Khaleda Zia's BNP-led four-party alliance between 2001 and 2006. Forty-five per cent of the land grabbers were affiliated with the BNP, 31 per cent with the Awami League, eight per cent with Jamaat-e-Islami and six per cent with the Jatiya Party and other political organisations, the New Age, Dhaka daily quotes Prof Barkat as saying in his report.
As a result the silent migration of Hindus from this country could not be stopped. The minority community including Buddhist, Christians and Adibashis in Bangladesh participated in the War of Liberation so that in the newly liberated country we would enjoy equal status and rights along with the majority community. But in practice, the persecution of the Hindus continued like Pakistani days even after independence. Whatever the reason, every violence against the religious minority, especially against Hindus and adibashis, was either to take away their property and valuables or to establish terror among them. And also to scare them so they leave the country and the attacker’s beneficiaries could grab their property.
The Bangladesh Land Ministry by its field offices has been complimenting the land grabbers by issuing circulars that violates the rights of minority Hindus which tantamount to uproot Bangladesh Hindus. In spite of all good intention of government of Jananetri Sheikh Hasina to put an end to the miseries of a class of unlucky citizens particularly the Hindu citizens, the present circular of land ministry issued on 22 May 2014 is just a ploy to make a class of citizens’ property less and uprooted. This, according to many, is a kind of state-deception at the behest of beurocratic innovations so long lavishly exercised by the same group of beneficiaries, who always thrive at the misery of minority Hindus. In Bangladesh, being a Hindu means being a victim of oppression, torture and discrimination. This is Hindus fate in Bangladesh. Many may say that these rights pertain to the whole of humanity, why only address them in the context of minorities. True, but it is only through identifying social discrimination and ethno-racialism as social indicators of poverty and lack of justice that we can identify those very factors, which are equally responsible for the underdevelopment of minority communities as well as the hampered growth of a secular and democratic polity.”
Rabindranath Trivedi - the Secretary General, Human Rights congress for Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM), an NGO in special consultative status with ECOSOC of the United Nations and registered under Bangladesh society Act.
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Indian jihadist group calls for attacks on non Muslims

Indian jihadist group calls for  attacks on non Muslims

By Rupam Jain Nair
A group of Indian Islamic militants, operating out of Pakistan, has called for attacks on non Muslims in the region in retaliation for U.S.-led air strikes on fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The head of the little-known Ansar al-Tawhid fi’Bilad al-Hind urged Muslims to kill foreigners and other infidels in mainly Hindu India where Muslims have largely stayed away from global jihad.
"If you are in the fortunate position to kill an American or European, whether French or Australian or Canadian, or other unbelievers who have declared war on the Islamic State, then do so," said Maulana Abdul Rehman al-Nadwi al-Hindi in a 30-minute video posted online last week.
Indian security analysts said that Maulana Abdul Rehman is a pseudonym for fugitive jihadist Sultan Abdul Kadir Armar, a former resident of southern India who attended an Islamist seminary before going to Pakistan.
"Kill the idol worshippers wherever you find them ... shoot them if you can, stab them, throw stones at their heads, poison them, run them over, burn their fields - and if you are unable ... spit in their faces," al-Hindi said, referring to Hindus.
The emergence of a Islamic State-aligned militant group in India comes weeks after al Qaeda announced the formation of an Indian branch, aiming to rouse the world's third largest Muslim population into action.
"There is no doubt that the radicalisation process has begun in different parts of the country. Islamic fundamentalists are seeking to indoctrinate Indian Muslims," said Ajay Sahni, executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi which monitors militant groups across South Asia.
The rapid rise of the Islamic State has evoked admiration among some groups in India and the flags of the insurgent group have appeared at rallies in Indian Kashmir, the country's only Muslim-majority state and the site of a nearly 25-year armed revolt.
The push for new jihadi recruits comes at a time of increased tension between Muslims and Hindus in India following the election of Narendra Modi as prime minister in May. Some of Modi's Hindu nationalist followers have been stirring up communal differences.
India has long believed that its democracy provided a platform for Muslims and other minority groups to address grievances and that they didn't have to turn to violent jihad to pursue their aims.
Modi said last month that al Qaeda would struggle to recruit members from India's 175-million strong Muslim community and praised Muslims for their commitment to fight for the country.
Two suspected al Qaeda supporters were killed when a bomb they were making exploded in a house in the state of West Bengal on Oct. 2, police told Reuters. Police said they found documents linked to al Qaeda and Chechen rebels.

 
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China's Anti-Occupy Media Offensive 'Not Aimed At Hong Kong'

China's Anti-Occupy Media Offensive 'Not Aimed At Hong Kong'

Beijing clearly didn't expect such a mass "Umbrella Revolution" in Hong Kong, and it is secretly scared by it. After taking the line that the Occupy Central movement was instigated by "a small number of people," and spun the line, accompanied by loud laughter, that "Hong Kong extremists are a paper tiger," Beijing must have believed, once it had come up with its plan for fake universal suffrage, that it had the situation under control, and that victory was within its grasp. What it hadn't bargained for was the mood of protest among Hong Kong people.

The official media mouthpieces of the ruling Chinese Communist Party have criticized the Occupy Central campaign in the manner of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). They have launched broadside after broadside of acrimony and shrill rhetoric on the Hong Kong protesters, day in, day out. Their criticisms focus on three areas:

1. The Occupy Central movement is illegal and represents an attack on the rule of law in Hong Kong. Actually, it's the central government that has led the way in attacking the rule of law in Hong Kong. Their dictum that judges should set aside their judicial independence and be "patriotic," (which means they should love the party) is just one of a number of dire examples.

2. The Occupy Central movement has harmed Hong Kong's economy. Ever since Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule [in 1997], the [ruling] Chinese Communist Party has been damaging Hong Kong's economy with its close ties between officials and companies driving up property and consumer prices, widening the gap between rich and poor and turning Hong Kong to a money-laundering center for party officials. This has not only made Hong Kong people angry; it has dealt a real body blow to their economy.

3. The Occupy Central movement is the result of "overseas forces." Actually, the U.K. and the U.S. have given out quite vague messages on this occasion, causing dissatisfaction among the people of Hong Kong. Beijing's accusations that "overseas forces" are somehow involved is pretty far-fetched, and puts words into other people's mouths. Back in the day ... the Chinese Communist Party quite openly engaged foreign powers to sow civil strife and cause disarray, so as to seize power. For it to shout about overseas forces now is the pot calling the kettle black.

'Three Unswervinglys'

Beijing's propaganda about Hong Kong is all about the "Three Unswervinglys": to unswervingly implement the "one country, two systems" principle and the Basic Law; to unswervingly support the development of democracy in Hong Kong to promote the rule of law; and to unswervingly safeguard the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.

In the past 17 years, the party has in fact unswervingly tampered with the "one country, two systems" principle and the Basic Law, unswervingly hindered Hong Kong's democratic development, and unswervingly damaged our long-term prosperity and stability.

From the point of view of Hong Kong people, who have enjoyed freedom of the press, Beijing is making a noise and having its say, but what it says is a joke. Beijing's media offensive has been either ineffective or counter-productive when aimed at Hong Kong people. In fact, the gentlemen of Zhongnanhai probably already know that. Because their massive wave of criticism hasn't been aimed at the people of Hong Kong at all, but at those in mainland China.

The thing the Chinese Communist Party fears most isn't the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, but the possibility that the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong might spread to mainland China.

That is the fear that prompted the party to detain people for passing on information about the Occupy Central protests inside China. In a burlesque parody of their own paranoid weakness, Chinese police have even started questioning people with raised umbrellas on the streets.

Beijing's order to C.Y. Leung that he move the Hong Kong police in hard and fast against the protesters [on Sept. 28] also sprang from the same fear. The result was an equally quick defeat.

That tactic failed, so they tried another; mobilizing the triads to attack Hong Kong students with violence. The red and the black staged this joint farce, which bore all the hallmarks of the Communist Party: violence, bloodshed, sexual assault, corruption (sending people to pay the anti-Occupy mobs)...

Refusal to change

After dealing with the Tiananmen bloodshed of 25 years ago, the Chinese Communist Party leadership came to the following conclusions:

No concessions to be made from the outset; the pro-democracy movement should have been labelled unrest from the outset; and there should have been clear-cut opposition to said unrest from the outset.

Faced with the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement today, Zhongnanhai has learned its lesson of no compromise and no concessions from 25 years ago, while all this daily verbiage from thePeople's Daily's op-ed columns is nothing more than a rehash of that infamous [April 26] editorial titled "Resolutely Oppose Turmoil."

All of this shows that Beijing still relies on imperial modes of thought when faced with the question of democracy in Hong Kong. Even this new leadership has been unable to escape the old ideas from 25 years ago.
Such is the banal quality of its leaders' minds and the backwardness of the Communist Party, that it can only respond to innumerable changes with a refusal to change.
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Chinese Leader Xi Caught in a Bind Over Unprecedented Hong Kong Protests


Chinese Leader Xi Caught in a Bind Over Unprecedented Hong Kong Protests
Chinese President Xi Jinping is caught between a rock and a hard place as protesters occupy key parts of Hong Kong in their unprecedented quest for full democracy for the former British colony. 

If Xi gives in to the demands of demonstrators for the resignation of the unpopular Hong Kong Chief Executive C. Y. Leung and for open elections for the top post in the Chinese semi-autonomous territory, it would deal a severe blow to his tough guy image.

It could also trigger copycat protests demanding political reforms on the mainland. Beijing has already taken pre-emptive action by censoring news and social media comments about the rare show of mass civil disobedience in Hong Kong.

On the other hand, cracking down on the mostly student protests would conjure up images of the bloody suppression of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing and draw global condemnation and sanctions at a time when Chinese industrial production has slowed to its lowest level since the 2008 global financial crisis.

The coveted status of Hong Kong as a regional freewheeling capitalist hub may also be shattered.

Beijing could try other options, such as confining the protests to a small area of Hong Kong and hope that they run their course—there is already a split in the pro-democracy camp and rumblings among traders about business being hit by the mass demonstrations—or it could set up a panel of the various political groups in Hong Kong to consider a way out for the territory's political future.

"None of the options is likely very attractive to the Chinese leadership," Elizabeth Economy, a China expert at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) said. "All come with not insignificant political and economic costs," she said in a blog post Monday. 

Granting the protestors their biggest demand—an open slate of candidates determined by universal suffrage for the landmark 2017 election in Hong Kong—also "seems well outside the realm of possibility," she said.

But Economy appears hopeful of a peaceful resolution.

As the Tiananmen and Hong Kong protests are 25 years apart and in different parts of Chinaone in the capital on the mainland and the other in a business hub run as part of a "one country, two systems" model"it leaves open the hope" that the current demonstrations "will not result in the same violent suppression that befell those in Tiananmen," she said.

Rising tensions

Tensions are increasing, however.

Protesters have already occupied Hong Kong's busiest areas, including Admiralty, where the local government is based, the Central business district, the Causeway Bay shopping center, and the heavily-populated Mong Kok district in Kowloon.

Although riot police have mostly withdrawn following criticism over their use of tear gas and pepper spray on protesters on Sunday, the demonstrations involving tens of thousands are expected to snowball on China's National Day holiday on Wednesday, the deadline set by the Occupy Central civil disobedience movement for a government response to their demands.

It said "new civil disobedience plans" would be announced if the government refuses to budge.

Already facing violence in China's other autonomous regions in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Inner Mongolia, Xi could have averted the turmoil in Hong Kong.

"The events in Hong Kong this past weekend were as unfortunate as they were unnecessary," said Richard Bush, an East Asia expert at the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

He said it had been clear since 2012 on how to elect Hong Kong’s chief executive and that a sensible compromise was possible.

Such a scenario will allow competitive electionsthe pro-democracy camp’s hopewithout creating too much uncertainty or instability, which is Beijing’s fear, Bush said in a blog post. 

Moderate democrats had proposed approaches that would have led to such a compromise, he said.

Lot of control
In the end, however, the Chinese government set electoral parameters that would allow a one-person, one-vote election, but would give it and its allies in Hong Kong a lot of control over who could run. 

"With those rules of the game, Hong Kong’s radicals were empowered, and the instability that occurred last weekend was almost inevitable," Bush said. 

"Beijing has been quick to blame the pan-democrats for the disorder, but it had the power and the opportunity to facilitate a good outcome," he pointed out.

With protests set to escalate, can Xi, who has emerged as China's most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping, contain and neutralize them and avoid a contagion effect on the mainland?

“This is already much bigger than anything the Beijing or Hong Kong authorities expected,” Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University who studies democratic development, told The New York Times

“They have no strategy for peacefully defusing it, because that would require negotiations, and I don’t think President Xi Jinping will allow that," he said. "Now, if he yields, he will look weak, something he clearly detests.”

No easy solution

Economy of the Council on Foreign Relations says there is no easy solution. 

She thinks Xi should dump Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung and replace him with locally respected figures, like former city chief secretary Anson Chan or Christine Loh, a senior environment official and ex-founder of a Hong Kong human rights group.

"[T]he best outcome for now might be to test the waters by replacing C.Y. Leung not with a lackey of Beijing or a democracy activist but with a politician such as Anson Chan or Christine Loh, who have impeccable political credentials, as well as strong managerial experience," Economy said. 

"The next three years could then be a test case for what a more independent-minded Hong Kong leader might mean for the island’s relations with the mainland and provide guidance for further revisions to Beijing’s current limited conception of universal suffrage," she said.
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Friday, 10 October 2014

FBI Releases Documents proving Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun fled to Argentina in a Submarine


FBI Releases Documents Proving Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun fled to Argentina in a Submarine

Newly declassified FBI documents prove that the government knew Hitler was alive and well, and living in the Andes Mountains long after World War II.

On April 30 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his underground bunker. His body was later discovered and identified by the Soviets before being rushed back to Russia. Is it really possible that the Soviets have been lying all this time, and that history has purposely been rewritten?

No one thought so until the release of the FBI documents. It seems that it is possible that the most hated man in history escaped war torn Germany and lived a bucolic and peaceful life in the beautiful foothills of the Andes Mountains.

The Intelligence Community Knew.

Recently released FBI documents are beginning to show that not only wasHitler and Eva Braun’s suicide faked, the infamous pair might have had help from the director of the OSS himself, Allen Dulles.

: Hitler and Eva Braun fled Berlin and died in Argentina

In one FBI document from Los Angles, it is revealed that the agency was well aware of a mysterious submarine making its way up the Argentinian coast dropping off high level Nazi officials. What is even more astonishing is the fact that the FBI knew he was in fact living in the foothills of the Andes.

Who is the Mysterious Informant?

In a Los Angeles letter to the Bureau in August of 1945, an unidentified informant agreed to exchange information for political asylum. What he told agents was stunning.

The informant not only knew Hitler was in Argentina, he was one of the confirmed four men who had met the German submarine. Apparently, two submarines had landed on the Argentinian coast, and Hitler with Eva Braun was on board the second.

The Argentinian government not only welcomed the former German dictator, but also aided in his hiding. The informant went on to not only give detailed directions to the villages that Hitler and his party had passed through, but also credible physical details concerning Hitler.

While for obvious reasons the informant is never named in the FBI papers, he was credible enough to be believed by some agents.

The FBI Tried to Hide Hitler’s Whereabouts.

Even with a detailed physical description and directions the FBI still did not follow up on these new leads. Even with evidence placing the German sub U-530 on the Argentinian coast shortly before finally surrounding, and plenty of eye witness accounts of German official being dropped off, no one investigated.

Even More Evidence is Found:

Along with the FBI documents detailing an eye witness account of Hitler’s whereabouts in Argentina, more evidence is coming to light to help prove that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun did not die in that bunker.

In 1945, the Naval Attaché in Buenos Aires informed Washington there was a high probability that Hitler and Eva Braun had just arrived in Argentina. This coincides with the sightings of the submarine U-530. Added proof comes in the form of newspaper articles detailing the construction of a Bavarian styled mansion in the foothills of the Andes Mountains.

Further proof comes in the form of architect Alejandro Bustillo who wrote about his design and construction of Hitler’s new home which was financed by earlier wealthy German immigrants.

Irrefutable Evidence that Hitler Escaped:

Perhaps the most damming evidence that Hitler did survive the fall of Germany lies in Russia. With the Soviet occupation of Germany, Hitler’s supposed remains were quickly hidden and sent off to Russia, never to be seen again. That is until 2009, when an archeologist from Connecticut State, Nicholas Bellatoni was allowed to perform DNA testing on one of the skull fragments recovered.

What he discovered set off a reaction through the intelligence and scholarly communities. Not only did the DNA not match any recorded samples thought to be Hitler’s, they did not match Eva Braun’s familiar DNA either. So the question is, what did the Soviets discover in the bunker, and where is Hitler?

Even former general and President Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote to Washington.

It was not only General Eisenhower who was concerned over Hitler’s compete disappearance, Stalin also expressed his concerns. In 1945, the Stars and Stripes newspaper quoted then General Eisenhower as believing that the real possibility existed of Hitler living safely and comfortably in Argentina.

Is it Possible?

With all of the new found evidence coming to light, it is possible and even likely that not only did Hitler escape from Germany; he had the help of the international intelligence community. Released FBI documents prove that they were not only aware of Hitler’s presence in Argentina; they were also helping to cover it up.

It would not be the first time the OSS helped a high ranking Nazi official to escape punishment and capture. Look at the story of Adolf Eichmann who was located in Argentina in the 1960’s.

Did Hitler escape to Argentina? The answer is yes,
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