WILL THERE BE EVER A TRIAL OF WAR
CRIMINALS IN BANGLADESH?
By S. Karmakar
August 26, 2008
The biggest massacre of civilian population after
World War II was committed in former East Pakistan, now called Bangladesh, by
the Pakistani Army during the 1971 war of liberation. In a period of nine
months, the barbaric Pakistani Army, with the help of local fanatic mullahs,
killed millions of innocents and sexually abused four hundred thousand women. Ninety
(90%) of the murder victims were Hindus, and 95% or more rape victims were non
Muslims, in other words, Hindus. In the past 37 years no minority organization,
including Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity council, has ever demanded
the trial of 1971 war criminals, like the Jewish people have demanded and
received justice for the victim of holocaust.
The demand for justice against the perpetrators of
1971 is more important than the movement against the Vested Property Act, or
the movement for the restoration of
Temple. Rape is
considered as the most heinous crime of all. We may some time in future get
back our properties, but not the dignity that we lost. We the victims never
demanded justice for 1971 holocaust, and have thus helped the perpetrators to
get away with their crime. If we could succeed in serving justice to the victim
of 1971, then all other issues would become that much easier to solve. Because
we could not serve justice to the perpetrators of 1971, the massacre of Hindus
in 2001 was possible. And undoubtedly more will come in future. Due to
financial, moral & diplomatic support from Muslim countries the
perpetrators of 1971 war crimes are still unaccounted for by any court of
government has yet requested the UN nor the
International War Crime Tribunal for assistance, because they believe the
majority Muslim population of
will not support such trial.
The mindset of Bangladesh government and people
are very clear about the perpetrators of 1971 war crimes. Many believe rape and
forced conversion of non Muslims are legal under Muslim Sharia law during war.
After being ruled for centuries by foreign Muslim rulers, converted Muslims of
India consider the Arabs and Persians a higher race and dream of an Islamic khilafat (caliphate) in
India. You will find many ruthless
Murderers like Sultan Mahmud and Timur
Lang (Tamer Lane)
held up as heroes of Islamic history and many parents proudly name their child
in those killers’ names. The war criminals of 1971 merely tried to repeat the
history of their barbaric ancestors.
Buddhist, Jain, Sikh and other religions that were
born in the Indian subcontinent, never denied their debt to Indian culture. But
in contrast, Muslim elites not only refused to acknowledge their link to Indian
culture, they tried to impose an essentially foreign culture on their
population, by holding up the norms of Arab culture as worthy of emulation. We
will see the same pattern of cultural attitude in the Muslim population of Europe
The partition of India
brought an end to centuries of Arab, Dutch, French and British domination of India, but
culturally split the society into many groups. Many different religions can
live side by side in harmony but not different culture. During 900 years of
Muslim rule, the rulers planted Arab culture within Indian society through
newly converted Muslims, which ultimately led to the
partition in 1947. An Islamic political party, the All India Muslim League was
founded in 1905 at
Dhaka with Bengali Muslims
in the forefront. Referendum for partition was held on 1946. In that historical
referendum, a majority of Bengali Muslims voted for
Pakistan. Without mass Bengali
Muslim participation, partition of India would have not been possible.
This is the mindset of Bangladeshi people today. Although there are so many
myths about the independence war, the fact is that Bangladeshis overwhelmingly
voted for Awami League in 1970 for economical parity,
not for separation from
Purely on sectarian basis, the two nation theory was put forward by All India
Muslim League leaders like Mohammad Ali Jinnah. After
a series of communal riots between Hindus and Muslims in 1946,
Pakistan became a sovereign state for the
Muslims and India
remained committed to all religious sects. Just one year after partition, the
first governor general Mohammad Ali Jinnah declared
“Urdu” as the only state language of
Pakistan. People of East Pakistan started agitating against the decision of
Mr. Jinnah and that led to bloodshed of 1952. This
language movement in 1952 planted the seed for Bangladeshi independence
struggle in 1971.
Bangladesh is the only country in the world that still
practices apartheid: minority Hindus are officially enemy of the state by a law
called “Enemy Property Act” (which was conveniently renamed as the Vested property Act after independence). Under this unfair
and draconian law, the government can confiscate Hindu properties and
redistribute them to Muslims. So far more than a quarter million acres of Hindu
owned land has been grabbed by the government and given over to Muslims.
Ottoman and fascist
used similar law to confiscate non Muslim and Jewish owned properties. During
Muslim occupation of India,
the majority Hindus were forced to pay infidel tax (Jaziya).
was created with spilling of Hindu blood and Indian military support in 1971.
Ironically, India and Hindus
are officially enemies of the state in Bangladesh today.
The first farcical war crime trial ended with the
restoration of citizenship to Golam Azam (one of the top war criminals of 1971) and the present
movement will likely end with a historic judgment from the Supreme Court that
will effectively establish that there are no war criminals in
Thus, a dark chapter of human history will be closed for ever like the Turkish
massacre of Armenians during the First World War.
A country that officially practices apartheid can
never serve justice to another apartheid victim. If all minority organizations
strongly campaign world-wide for justice for the victims of 1971 Holocaust, we
may succeed one day. But by remaining quiet and diverting attention otherwise,
we are helping the perpetrators.