Dear Orkney News
I received an email from Avaaz, asking me to sign a petition and contact Antonio Guterres, General Secretary of the United Nations, about the situation which is developing in India, regarding some of the inhabitants of the state of Assam.
The petition was accompanied by this information………
“In a few days, India will delete as many as 7 million Muslims in Assam State from its master list of “citizens” because they speak the wrong language and worship the wrong God.
Husbands, wives, and children could be torn apart and left to rot in prison camps.
This is how genocides begin – how the nightmare of the Rohingya began. But it’s all unfolding quietly — if we raise a massive alarm calling for the UN Secretary-General and key governments to intervene – we can stop this horror before it starts:
The Assam government has already begun quietly building another new prison camp and deploying troops.
Like the Burmese regime that attacked the Rohingya, the government claims they’re acting against illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. But the vast majority of the people targeted are just poor, illiterate Muslim citizens without “proper” documentation. They’ve never needed it before!
António Guterres, the Secretary General of the UN, has pledged to fight on behalf of those who can’t:
“I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.”
We need to hold him to those words because right now the Bengali Muslims in India have no one to speak for them on the global stage — except us.
Sign the petition below and together we can stop a road to genocide in Assam:
The rise of virulent Hindu nationalism in India is behind this aggressive move to render millions of Muslims stateless and vulnerable. History teaches us that these movements know no limits except the ones citizens set for them. Let’s draw a line in Assam, and send a message to governments everywhere – we’re watching.”
I tried to think of what I can do about this, so I have signed the petition, and written an email to Antonio Guterres ………..Here’s my email…………..
“With reference to the situation which is developing in India, regarding some of the inhabitants of the state of Assam.
This is the 21st Century – we tend to think that we have put this kind of behaviour behind us. Unfortunately, as a species, we appear to learn nothing. Those who want to behave this way, have to be prevented from doing so, if that is possible without armed conflict.
Please, do what you can about the developing situation in Assam. Please, don’t let it happen again – we’ve had too much of it, far too much of it. We’re supposed to be civilised and progressing.
This is a heartfelt plea from an ordinary citizen of the planet Earth – which is what we all are – including the poor souls in Assam, who may be treated as non-beings, if we don’t take what action we can. Please – take that action.
Bernie Bell, Orkney
This is how it begins. Does it all sound all too familiar? How many more times? Where next? Please, do what you can.
This is such untrammeled rubbish. Bangladesh under the previous Islamist administration had a policy of demographic aggression. This was turned both inward and outward. On the one hand, they flooded the Hindu-Buddhist majority Chittagong Hill Tracts with Muslim settlers, often the most ideologically extremist, converting the 90% Hindu-Buddhist majority there into a 45% minority. On the other hand, they flooded Assam and other neighbouring Indian states with infiltrators. These are sensitive areas, often inhabited by very regionalised tribes, who massively resent these people. The tribes usually also have granted regional land rights and autonomy. They have been agitating violently to secure the border and expel these infiltrators, who often have an explicit goal of Islamic conquest and attempt to drive out the tribals, leading to entire swathes of Indian land with only Bangladeshi infiltrators.
When a census was done in the 1960s, Muslims were 20% of the population in Assam. Today, Muslims are 40%. This is simply impossible as a natural population increase. However, India has maintained a local population register and infiltrators are easy to detect. Note that, in the meantime, Bangladesh has been driving out Hindus and Buddhists, reducing their percentage of the population from 21% to 9%. Sorry, but these people are not Indians and cannot live in an already overpopulated country. If you feel so strongly, open your borders and settle them in Orkney. You think they are normal Muslims, which many of them are not. They will soon drive you out.
Today, Bangladesh has a progressive government. They are secular and are working with India to stabilise the situation. Whatever happens, a consultative process will be conducted between the two countries. This has been hard-won for Bangladesh. Please read about all the bloggers who have been stabbed and killed there.
I accepted the information which was presented to me by a group which I consider to be reputable, and trustworthy. And so, I acted on that information, to the best of my ability. The alternative would be to hear of such things happening, and do nothing. I entitled this piece “This is how it begins” because, many times, this has been how what is now termed ‘ethnic cleansing’ has begun.
You have presented another aspect of this situation. Possibly you have a closer connection to the nation of India, than I have.
I consider Avaaz to be a well-intentioned organization, who hope to publize and possibly avert harmful behaviour in the world. If you feel that this information is incorrect – do take it up with them, and, if applicable, ask them to publish a retraction of their statements.
I will add, yes, I now live on Orkney, but I grew up in Bradford – so am aware that there can still be tensions between Hindu and Muslim, Indian and Pakistani etc. etc. In other words – humans – we just can’t seem to get along with each other, and when this spills over into the possibility of actual hurt on a grand scale, then those in a positon to do so, need to try avert this, if they can. That’s why Avaaz asked us to appeal to the General Secretary of the United Nations – a very legitimate course of action.