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Over 90 religious human rights groups call on Biden to recognize 1971 Bengali genocide

Over 90 religious human rights groups call on Biden to recognize 1971 Bengali genocide
April 08
16:05 2021

India Post News Service

WASHINGTON DC: In a letter dated March 25, 2021, a diverse coalition of over 90 religious freedom, human rights, and civil liberty organizations signed a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to recognize the atrocities committed by the Pakistan army in Bangladesh in 1971 as genocide.

The letter to President Biden refers to “one of the greatest humanitarian disasters and crimes against humanity of the 20th century: the Bengali Hindu Genocide.” “This year, on March 25, 2021, we will mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the genocide. On that night, the West Pakistan military launched ‘Operation Searchlight’ in the capital city Dhaka, unleashing a campaign of targeted killings and massacres against the Bengali Hindu population, leaving thousands dead overnight,” the letter states.

The coalition letter is signed by over 90 US and international non-governmental organizations representing multiple faiths and communities, as well as over 625 religious freedom advocates from over a dozen countries around the world.

“After fifty years, the time has come to affirm this horrific event which remains one of the greatest unrecognized crimes against humanity of the 20th century. Therefore, we urge you to issue a public statement commemorating March 25th as Bengali Hindu Genocide Remembrance Day,” the letter states.

A copy of the letter is given below:

March 25, 2021

President Joe Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:
We are writing to you today to draw your attention to one of the greatest humanitarian disasters and crimes against humanity of the 20th century: the Bengali Hindu Genocide. This year, on March 25, 2021, we will mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the genocide. On that night, the West Pakistan military launched ‘Operation Searchlight’ in the capital city Dhaka, unleashing a campaign of targeted killings and massacres against the Bengali Hindu population, leaving thousands dead overnight.

In the ensuing months, historians estimate that 2-3 million people, primarily Bengali Hindus but also Bengali Muslim intellectuals and secular nationalists, were killed. About 200,000-400,000 women were raped and over 10 million people were displaced throughout the region, mostly in neighboring India. At the time, the U.S. and the world were aware of the atrocities being carried out. In a telegram titled “Selective Genocide” to the U.S. State Department, American Consul General Archer K. Blood wrote “Here in Dacca we are mute and horrified witnesses to a reign of terror by the Pak military. Moreover, with support of Pak military, non-Bengali Muslims are systematically attacking poor people’s quarters and murdering Bengalis and Hindus. Full horror of Pak military atrocities will come to light sooner or later.”

After fifty years, the time has come to affirm this horrific event that remains one of the greatest unrecognized crimes against humanity of the 20th century. Therefore, we urge you to issue a public statement commemorating March 25th as Bengali Hindu Genocide Remembrance Day.

In so doing, your words will help bring a semblance of justice to millions of victims and their survivors around the world, including tens of thousands residing in the U.S.
Sincerely,

ORGANIZATIONS (original signatories* in alphabetical order):

  1. Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, Central Committee (Dhaka, Bangladesh)*
  2. Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, USA*
  3. BHBCUC, USA*
  4. Forcefield, NFP*
  5. Hindu American Foundation (HAF)*
  6. Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities* 
  7. Indian Subcontinent Partition Documentation (ISPaD) Project*
  8. Indo-American Community Federation*
  9. Indo-American Kashmir Forum*
  10. Kashmir Hindu Foundation*
  11. New American Voters Association* 
  12. Silicon Valley Interreligious Council (SiVIC)*
  13. Sindhi Foundation*
  14. 3dinnovate
  15. American Institute of Vedic Studies
  16. Americans 4 Hindus
  17. Annapoorna USA Foundation
  18. Archika
  19. Armenian Council of America
  20. Armenian Genocide Committee 
  21. Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA)
  22. Association for Bangali Community Development (ABCD)
  23. Bangladesh Hindu Porishod
  24. Bangladesh Teachers Unity Council
  25. BHBCUC, Canada
  26. Cambodian Development Foundation
  27. Campaign Against Atrocities on Minorities of Bangladesh (CAAMB)
  28. CaoDai Today
  29. Center for Pluralism
  30. Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR)
  31. Cigiden
  32. Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA)
  33. Cozy Cupcakes & Crumbs
  34. Dharma Civilization Foundation
  35. Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) of Northern California
  36. Florida Armenians
  37. Forum for Hindu Awakening
  38. Forum for Religious Freedom
  39. Foundation for Advancing Cultural Ties
  40. FundacjaAravindam Social Development
  41. Global Bengali Hindu Coalition, Toronto (GBHC)
  42. Global Hindu Federation
  43. Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay
  44. Hindu American Political Action Committee
  45. Hindu Americans of San Diego
  46. Hindu Community Institute
  47. Hindu Council of Australia
  48. Hindu Council U.K.
  49. Hindu Existence Forum
  50. Hindu Forum Sweden
  51. Hindu Jewish Coalition
  52. Hindu Speakers Bureau
  53. Hindu Students Council
  54. Hindu Students Council High School Leadership Board
  55. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS)
  56. HinduPACT USA
  57. Hindus of Greater Houston
  58. India Awareness Foundation
  59. Indian American Community of Southern California
  60. Indian Association of Los Angeles (IALA)
  61. Indian Association of Sacramento
  62. Interfaith Dialogue Association
  63. Interfaithshaadi-org
  64. International Gita Society
  65. Irvine Hindu Temple
  66. Jago Hindu Parishad
  67. ManosriTarun Bani Mandir (MTBM)
  68. Kailash Foundation
  69. Mukthi Yoga
  70. National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)
  71. NRIs4Bengal
  72. OC Hindus (Orange County, CA)
  73. Overseas Volunteers for a Better India
  74. Paschim BongerJonya
  75. Path to Anandam
  76. Rising Star Steel Industries
  77. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)
  78. Sahayog Foundation
  79. San Diego Hindu Forum
  80. Sanatan Vidyarthi Samsad, Govt. M. M. College, Jashore
  81. Seven Stars Foundation
  82. Shri Surya Narayan Mandir
  83. Srishti Foundation
  84. Sanatan Vidyarthi Parishad (SVS)
  85. Swasthi Associates
  86. The Durga Temple of Virginia
  87. The Lead America Foundation
  88. United Hindu and Jain Temples
  89. Vidyarthi Adhibason
  90. World Hindu Council of America (VHPA)
  91. World Hindu Federation
  92. World Muslim Congress

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