If you come to kill, I will say, I too am Hindu, I too am Minority, the land that is burning is my country
by Faruk Wasif, translated from Bengali by Naeem Mohaiemen
When the Tamil massacres were happening, we came to shahbag with slogans “we are all Tamil.” When the Rohingya massacres happened, we protested that too. We protested killings in Iraq, we said we were Kashmiri when youth were being killed in Kashmir. Bu what about today? Day after day, the Hindu community is under attack. Mandir-statue are the soul of that community, that soul is burning. Even the unbeliever cannot sit still in front of this attack on his forefather’s religion. When Rome burns a flute plays, when the fire burns along communal lines, our state dances and mock-cries and and sings, “Look Public look, look how bad ‘they’ are!” We don’t need any more fires to know how bad Jamaat-Shibir are. Now please stop it. You, the state, also have communal, profiteer, criminals among you. For the sake of land grab, rape lust, and power equation, your own forces also need “minority” hunting.
Among a nation of crores, a few lakh people are helpless, lying in wait with their baba-ma-didi-bhai-thakur. When even their neighbors are not reliable hands, those people become “without country.” They lose hope as well. Most of the people of this country are landless, but some are doubly without country. Those who are not Muslim in Bangladesh are victims of this loss of nation. And if local-international, anti-people forces are able to seep deep fractures between communities, between groups, between faiths, will anyone– be it Hindu or Muslim– be able to hold on to their country any more?
Edward Said was born a Christian, but was able to say, I am a Christian wrapped in Muslim culture. The Hindus and Muslims of Bangladesh are wrapped around each other like pieces of cloth. They are united in life-culture-struggle, but whenever they have been divided they have lost country-land-life, everything. The task of communalism is to bring about the disaster and break them apart. Communalism sinks each community into hate and makes them forget about the real demands and needs of their lives. Communal politics is therefore deeply of-this-world in its selfish interests.
An attack on Hindus is also a reciprocal hit on Muslims. This assault will make Hindus losers and pin Muslims to the accused dock. That is why the BJP’s claim to do a long march toward Bangladesh to save Bangladeshi Hindus is really a program to make Indian Hindus communal. Bangladeshi Hindus will only become even more isolated by that. The only people who prodit from this are the Hindu and Muslim communal forces of each country. In 1947, the League and Congress won, and the losers were most Hindus and Muslims. Communalism always makes losers of people and country. This endless partition of countries has to stop. We have to stop it.
In the spirit of Edward Said, I want to say, when Hindus are under attack, they are my brothers. When Buddhists are in danger, they are my family. When Tamils are under attack, they are my near ones. When Rohingyas are under attack I am a Rohingya. When a Muslim is in danger I am a Muslim. When ‘Adivasi’ identity is attacked, I too am an Adivasi. When an atheist is threatened, let me be an atheist for the moment. Outside these identities, it seems no other identities are possible in Bangladesh. So, whether it is attack on Hindus, or oppression of Muslims, it is we, all of us, who are dying. The temples belong to human, the slums belong to human, these children have human parents; belief or disbelief, all of it is human possession.
Our identity as humans is dying in the face of the politics of the inhuman. These inhumans do not even take into account human lives, they think of it all as cheap. At night all the cats are grey. There are three such grey cats in our national politics. Together, they have imprisoned the lives of 180 million people– without any opposition, by which technique, by which weapon? Are there no people in this land to ask that question? Did the youth who woke up through Shahbag fall asleep again?
If you come to kill, I will say, I too am a Hindu, I too am a Minority, I too have lost my country.
Source: Alal O Dulal