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     Volume 6 Issue 21 | June 1, 2007 |

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Blame it on Bangladesh!

Indian media's claim that Bangladeshis were behind the Hyderabad blast is not only laughable, but also harmful for good neighbourly relationship

Ahmede Hussain

It has become a fad in the Indian establishment to blame Bangladesh for every problem their country is plagued with. When several bombs went off in Delhi, some rightwing Indian newspapers were quick to jump the gun and Bangladeshi hands were suspected behind the blasts, and that too within hours after the gruesome incident. An unknown group, related to the liberation of Indian occupied Kashmir, later claimed responsibility for the attack; and Indian media never offered an apology to the people of Bangladesh for staining the image of the country.

Indian Muslims walk en-masse after leaving Mecca masjid mosque in Hyderabad, following Friday prayers a week after a blast at the mosque

It is sad that instead of displaying the magnanimity that any big democracy should show, some in the Indian media are bent on pulling the meanest of pranks at the expense of the image and national security of Bangladesh. The recent blast in the Mecca Masjid is a case in point. According to the news circulated by some in the Indian media, the materials used in the blast actually went from Bangladesh, which, given the long distance between Bangladesh and the place of the incident, is extremely improbable. It is not understandable how anyone will be able to cross the border, carrying the explosives, without both the nations' border guards noticing it. What makes it even stranger is the distance between Bangladesh and Hyderabad: Indian officials must have been snoozing, if any terrorist can travel with such deadly devices without anyone having a clue.

Indians must admit the fact that they badly need to set their own house in order. It is not Bangladesh, but India itself that has a history of patronising terrorists. In the early eighties anti-Bangladesh Shanti Bahini (SB) that launched a terrorist attack on the state of Bangladesh found a safe heaven in bordering states of India. Lately the SB's mother organisation Jana Shanghati Shamiti has signed a peace treaty with the government of Bangladesh, but some top criminals and terrorists are still living in India; in fact, the recent arrest of a top criminal in Kolkata asserts the long-standing Bangladeshi claim.

Development in a capitalist economy can never be homogenous; it is little wonder, then, that a big and ethnically divided country like India should have problems of insurgency and terrorism. Indian establishment's failure in handling ethnic and religious problems--at times exploitations-- is more evident now than before as some parts of the country is experiencing a massive economic boom while the toiling masses are living in abject poverty and deprivation.

In fact it is high time that India gives its best to try to improve its relationship with its neighbours. Pushing its own Muslim-population into Bangladesh will not help the cause; neither will the huge imbalance of India-Bangladesh trade going to help India becoming a good neighbour.

It is well known around the world that Bangladesh has taken its own war on terror seriously; the country has lately hanged six militants who wanted to destroy the country's democratic institutions. This is a major achievement in the sense that countries like the US and UK are still struggling to find a way to tackle rising fanaticism in its own soil. Bangladesh's commitment in the war on terror and the country's success in handling the issue of extremism have never been into question. On the contrary, the world knows how Bangladesh and its people are striving hard to build a country free from bigotry and intolerance.

Meanwhile India must find a way to solve the problems it has been plagued with, most of which are made and consumed in India itself. Everyone in the South Asian Sub-continent wants to see a stable India, and the Indians themselves have to find a way to make it possible.


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