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Fresh anti-Hindu violence has erupted in Bangladesh, this only a week after 15 Hindu Temples and 100’s of Hindu homes were set on fire by Islamic radicals. This week two more temples have been set ablaze along with several Hindu dwellings, causing Hindu families to flee their residences. The pogroms were sparked by a supposed facebook post which was described as being offensive to Islam.
Despite often touting itself as a “secular democracy”, the state religion of Bangladesh is Islam and until relatively recently it was state policy to seize Hindu lands under a series of “Enemy Property Acts”, a policy which has only been partially rectified. Additionally, in the past year Bangladesh has become a growing haven for ISIS which has claimed responsibility for several terror attacks against non-Muslims within the nation.
Due to the ongoing and prolonged violence against non-Muslims, many Bengali Hindus have immigrated to the United States, particularly to NYC. In light of the fact that their family members live under such difficult circumstances, the Bengali Hindus are known for being particularly vocal, bringing their grievances to the streets with large demonstrations.
This week dozens of Bengali Hindu organizations, headed by the Hindu Council of North America, demonstrated in Jackson Heights, Queens to bring attention to the plight of Hindus in Bangladesh. The demonstrations coincide with the launch of a video and petition campaign put out by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, calling for the protection of Hindus and other non-Muslims within Bangladesh.
Adity Sharma is a Hindu from Delhi India who now lives and goes to law school in New York City. She has joined JFH as part of our legal team.
The Justice for Hindus (JFH) organization is a bold and ambitious attempt to provide useful education/information to Hindus on issues that simply cannot be ignored anymore.
I learned of this fledgling organization in 2013 from a small write-up on Hindu Janajagruti Samiti a web portal which I am a frequent contributor to. I was instantly intrigued, because the event had taken place right here in New York. But owing to time constraints, I was unable to immediately quench my thirst for more information.
The event that was mentioned on the HJS website was regarding the annihilation of the Hindu minority Pakistan, something mainstream human rights organizations have failed to highlight. This is a very pertinent issue.
It is almost redundant to say that while Hindus across the globe have prospered and excelled in almost all areas, they have failed to safeguard their prodigious and venerable Hindu Dharma. Hindus continue to face merciless discrimination and slaughter in countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Malaysia. Even in the IndianState of Jammu and Kashmir, Hindus have faced ethnic cleansing. But Hindus, along with the non-Hindus seem to be in a deep slumber.
My efforts to initiate a Hindu association during my adolescence proved utterly fruitless, as it became painfully clear very quickly that most Hindus preferred Bollywood and being Desi over their own ancient heritage.
So I came across JFH, and my sagging spirit was lifted somewhat at the prospect of a real Hindu organizations for Hindus. I met Vincent Bruno, the brainchild behind JFH at a local Starbucks in Downtown Manhattan a month ago. I was fascinated and pleased to know of Vincent’s personal journey from Christianity to Hindu Dharma. It was very refreshing to meet someone around my age who understood the very real danger Hindu Dharma and Hindus are facing. His knowledge of Hinduism as well as issues affecting Hindus was vast, and he did not gloss over the root causes that are posing this acute global threat. I was hooked; I wanted to help JFH in any capacity possible.
The need for young Hindus to not only appreciate and practice Hindu Dharma, but also to understand the challenges it is facing at present is the need of the hour. It is young blood that can infuse hope and vigor into revival of Hindu dharma. We are the next generation of Hindus, and time has come for us to take the mantle of protecting and preserving Hindu Dharma into the 21st century.