Bangladesh Nationalist Party launches ‘India Out’ movement


After failing to stop the January 7, 2024 general elections in Bangladesh by spending millions of dollars towards lobbyists and PR agencies in the United States, Britain and other Western nations, India and Hindu hating ultra-Islamist and pro-Pakistan Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has launched a movement titled ‘India Out’ with slogans “India is not a friend of Bangladesh”, “India is destroying Bangladesh” etcetera.

It has been learnt, sitting in London, convicted terrorist and acting chairman of BNP, Tarique Rahman has instructed BNP leaders and activists to launch an anti-India movement in Bangladesh xeroxing that of Maldives and incite anti-Hindu and anti-India sentiment in the country. Accordingly, members of the cyber wing of the party have started spreading anti-Hindu and anti-India hatred through social media platforms. One such notorious act of a BNP activist has been identified on X (former Twitter) platform where the account is continuously spreading anti-Hindu and anti-India hatred.

Commenting on the tweet in the above-mentioned account, BNP activists are saying – “India has never been a friend of Bangladesh; not even in 1971, when they looted the valuables and taken away across the border”, “Indian products boycott should be announced as soon as possible”, etcetera, while some of the commentators are indirectly indicating arson attack on Hindus and those trading houses dealing in Indian products.

In one post, a BNP activist on X wrote: “There you go – anyone criticising or boycotting India is tagged as Jihadists or Islamic extremists whereas India is the hotspot for Hindu extremists. For ages India has applied this policy to their critics in the subcontinent and at present Maldives is no different.

@ShekharGupta aka Rubbish Gupta is one of those sc*umbags who endorses such pathetic ideas and sell them. Their dirty face should be exposed to the world and sooner India crushes the better it is for subcontinent. #IndiaOut”.

In a post dated January 11, 2024, the same BNP activist wrote:

#SheikhHasina with the help of India has exploited the Hindus of Bangladesh to convey a wrong message to the world that the Hindus are tortured in Bangladesh which is absolutely. Bangladesh is not a racist nation like India but here Hindu and Muslim live peacefully. In turn, it is thought, Hasina has empowered the Hindu extremists to maintain the chaos for her own benefits. An extremist – be it Muslim or Hindu – is always harmful for a society and must be ignored. Politicians like Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi invest extremists – these politicians are a threat to any nation. Unity is strength”.

Similar accounts of BNP activists spreading anti-India and anti-Hindu propaganda have also been identified.

Meanwhile, as part of its anti-India notoriety, BNP leader Tarique Rahman has reportedly instructed several members of the party to establish contacts with Ataullah Abu Ammar Jununi, chief of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and provide them financial support in exchange for terrorist attacks inside India targeting key-point installations, media houses and offices of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

It may be mentioned here that Tarique Rahman was born on November 20, 1967 in Karachi city in Pakistan. According to the Library of the US Congress, “Tarique Rahman remains a controversial figure in Bangladesh’s politics, with US ambassador to Bangladesh James F. Moriarty accusing him of corruption and nepotism”.

It may also be mentioned here that anti-India and anti-Hindu agenda is in the DNA of BNP and its leaders.

BNP, the anti-India monster

After gaining independence in 1971, Bangladesh adopted secularism as a core principle, ensuring equal rights for people of all faiths. However, following the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975, subsequent regimes, notably that of Khondaker Mushtaq Ahmad and military dictator Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman, began to steer the country towards an Islamic republic.

Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman, trained in Pakistan, harbored deep hostility towards India and founded the BNP with the aim of advancing anti-India and anti-Hindu sentiment in Bangladesh, aligning the nation with a pseudo-Pakistani identity.

Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman realigned Bangladesh’s foreign policy away from India and the Soviet bloc, strengthening ties with the United States, Western Europe, and Islamic nations. He pursued an agenda of Islamization, amending the constitution to emphasize Islamic solidarity among Muslim countries and introducing Islamic religious education as a compulsory subject for Muslim schoolchildren. The ban on Islamist and anti-Bangladesh parties and associations, including Jamaat-e-Islami, was lifted during his rule.

Ziaur Rahman was trained at the Pakistan Military Academy in Abbottabad. He served as a commander of the Pakistan Army in the Second Kashmir War against the Indian Army, for which he was decorated with Hilal-e-Jurat (Crescent of Courage) award by the Pakistani government. Hilal-e-Jurat, the second-highest military award of Pakistan out of a total four awards, was created on March 16, 1957. It is considered to be equivalent to the Conspicuous Gallantry and the Distinguished Service Cross. This award holds significant benefits for the recipient including social, political and financial benefits. Land and pensions are awarded as recompense for serving in the Army of Pakistan on behalf of the State for acts of “valor and courage” during battle “against the enemy”.

Throughout his life, Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman was a diehard opponent of India. With such notorious hatred towards India and also towards Hindus, General Zia founded Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) with the goal of nurturing anti-India and anti-Hindu sentiment in Bangladesh and gradually advance towards serving as a pseudo part of Pakistan.

Military dictator Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman began reorienting Bangladesh’s foreign policy, addressing the concerns of the mostly staunch rightists coupled with some renegade leftist who believed that Bangladesh was reliant on Indian economic and military aid. He moved away from India and the Soviet bloc, developing closer relations with the United States and Western Europe, Africa and the Middle East. General Zia also moved to harmonize ties with Saudi Arabia and China, Pakistan’s ally who had opposed Bangladesh’s creation and had not recognized it until the assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975. He moved to normalize relations with Pakistan. While distancing Bangladesh from India, Maj Gen Zia sought to improve ties with Islamic nations, while he had established deeper relations with Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Zia’s move towards Islamic state policies brought his support and patronization from the Arab and Muslim world.

Ziaur Rahman believed that a massive section of the population was “suffering from an identity crisis, both religious and as a people, with a very limited sense of sovereignty”. To “remedy this”, he began a re-Islamization of Bangladesh. He issued a proclamation order amending the constitution, under whose basic laws would be set in an effort to increase the self-knowledge of religion and nation. In the preamble, he inserted the Islamic salutation “Bismillahir-Rahmaanir-Rahim” (“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful”). In Article 8(1) and 8(1A) the statement “absolute trust and faith in Almighty Allah” was added, replacing the commitment to secularism.

In Article 25(2) of Bangladesh’s constitution, military dictator Zia introduced the principle that “the state shall endeavor to consolidate, preserve and strengthen fraternal relations among Muslim countries based on Islamic solidarity”.

Later, Zia introduced Islamic religious education as a compulsory subject for Muslim schoolchildren. At the birth of Bangladesh, many Islamists had supported the Pakistani Army’s fight against independence and been barred from politics with the Bangladesh Collaborators (Special Tribunals) Order of 1972. Ziaur Rahman undid this as well as the ban on Islamist and anti-Bangladesh parties and associations, including Jamaat-e-Islami.

In public speeches and policies that he formulated, Maj Gen Zia began expounding ultra-Islamist and anti-India “Bangladesh Nationalism” and emphasized the national role of Islam as guide to principle of life. He even amended the constitution to change the nationality of the citizens from Bengali, an ethnic identity, to Bangladeshi while Bangladeshi nationalism excluded the country’s non-Muslim minorities, particularly the Hindu community.

After the formation of Bangladesh Nationalist Party in 1978, Ziaur Rahman took initiative for formation of political institutes and sponsored workshops for the youth to get active political lessons on Bangladesh nationalism by considering India as the “key enemy” of Bangladesh while he had openly propagated stating “survival of Bangladesh depends on continuous and committed confrontation with India”.

According to media reports, leaders of BNP consider Lebanese Hezbollah as a heroic organization while back in 2006, it had named a bridge as ‘Hezbollah Bridge’, while a senior leader of BNP told AFP: “I named the bridge Hezbollah because of our love for the Lebanese resistance group.

“Hezbollah is the only group which is fighting Israel and the bridge is named after the group as a mark of honor”, he added.

Media reports further said, in 2006 then coalition government of Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e-Islami named a bridge as ‘Hezbollah Bridge’ honoring the Lebanese terrorist group. The bridge is located in the southern part of the South Asian country, spanning the Batakhali River in an area known as Cox’s Bazaar. Junior communications minister Salahuddin Ahmed named the bridge after the Lebanese group at the height of Hezbollah’s war with Israel.

The bridge was renamed in 2013 by the Awami League government.

BNP-Jamaat coalition government’s former Foreign Minister M. Morshed Khan and a senior leader of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) issued several strong statements on the war, calling Israel’s actions “state terrorism” and “religious terrorism” and accusing the United States of sponsoring it.


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