Dr. Richard Benkin is an American scholar and geopolitical analyst, who met Robert Dold and Mohammad Ziauddin five years ago through a House Committee which talked about Ways and Means. Robert Dold was, formerly, a Congressman and Mohammad Ziauddin, Bangladesh's then Ambassador to the United States. The Committee on Ways and Means focuses on international trades and agreements related to trade and tariffs. This meeting was held to discuss the torment and torture that is faced by the Hindu community. It was set by Robert Dold, who had been a part of the Congressional Committee, to discuss and advocate the need to focus on the lack of action from Bangladesh.
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With more passage of time, the author realized the seriousness of the matter and that their concerns regarding the topic of discussion still existed. A little later, Dold questioned Ambassador Ziauddin, whether he's admitting that he has an issue(of persecution of Hindus)? When he agreed, Dold said that he would help in solving this problem. This should have been the start to a US- Bangladesh collaboration to support Bangladesh in reaching its aim of freedom and equality within all its religions which is the essence of its Constitution. Unfortunately, it never took place.
Sometime after that, Dr. Richard and one of the Congressman, Dold's staff had met Ziauddin to begin with this collaborative effort. The Ambassador Ziauddin's reply surprised them. He said after doing further study, he had gathered the information that Hindus lived openly and were not harassed or assaulted in Bangladesh. Whatever he had said earlier was his mistaken notion. Dr. Richard knew very well that "further study" meant that higher authorities from Dhaka had asked him to deny whatever he had said previously. The Americans had enough proof, compiled over decades that further stated that Hindus were, in fact, victim of violence and religious crimes in Bangladesh.
Governments of countries worldwide condemned the recent anti-Hindu violence in Bangladesh. Kiran Anklekar / Unsplash
The world has changed a lot since this interaction took place. Congressman Dold has now joined the corporate sector. New people are now working in the Bangladesh embassy in USA; Bangladesh and China have become closer; and the entire globe is going through a pandemic; among other things. One of the things that has changed is that no country in the world believes when the Bangladesh government blames certain group of people for the rising number of atrocities against Hindus.
Governments of countries worldwide condemned violence that happened with Hindus in the recent times that happened during Durga Puja (a Hindu festival) which was being celebrated in Bangladesh. Although the Bangladesh government is normally very strict, they failed to stop this violence. Everyone worldwide agrees that whoever had been the actual offender, it is the government's duty to safeguard the interests of its minority communities. The same kind of rules are followed in the United States. When police officers (in US) had been abusing their powers and had killed African-Americans, stern actions were taken against them. The government also tried to deal with the situation that lead to the increase in such crimes.
Bangladesh's move towards anti-democratic China. Unsplash
Senator Richard Durbin, a resident of Washington and a close associate of Dr. Richard, happens to wield a lot of power. The Senator recently wrote to Dr. Richard appreciating "the government's response", which was to send forces to limit the atrocities. He also emphasized on the need for more active approach "against extremist organizations that foment these attacks". Because growth of such organizations strengthens terrorism against the Hindu community, other secular organizations, and the religious groups which are in minority. He emphasized on the actions that is necessary for the government to take, to uproot their effect and react to the crimes that they are committing towards the civilization.
Al Jazeera published an article which led to speculations that the recent actions of United States could be a sign of their attitude change regarding Bangladesh. In December 2021, Australia, India, United States and Japan had invited 111 other democratic nations, most of whom were Asian, to the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. This Quad would help countries with trading and infrastructural development along with security. Bangladesh had not been invited. Experts from both Asia and the United States of America feel that this humiliation was probably deliberate. The Quad expressed concerns over Bangladesh's move towards despotic China; the degrading quality of Bangladesh's democratic nature, and the government's lenient nature towards the atrocities committed against the Hindu community.
Readymade garment economies continue to prosper post-pandemic. Crew / Unsplash
Bangladesh's biggest customer for readymade garments is the United States of America and China is their biggest rival. Currently the relations between United States and Bangladesh are at a juncture where the Bangladeshi government would be responsible for whichever way they choose to go. It will determine whether they will have a strong relation with the customers (of their readymade garments) or not. The course of action that the Bangladeshi Government takes will show whether they are remaining true to ideals which have given the birth of this country. If they keep on with their friendship with China and try to become more totalitarian, with continuing persecution of their minority inhabitants, then they would have to face consequences.
Senator Durbin had expressed his opinion and urged the Bangladesh government " to safeguard the rights and security of Hindus and all religious communities in the country". Dr. Richard Benkin offered to help, if the Bangladesh government finds it difficult to handle the situation. (TAA/SP)
Source: The Asian Age
(Keywords : Bangladesh, world, United States of America, India, Hindu, persecution, trade, future, minority, intolerance, government, China, democracy, terrorist, secular, pandemic, violence, abuse, discussion, evidence.)