Home News Anger in Bangladesh as India’s Modi attends fiftieth Independence Day

Anger in Bangladesh as India’s Modi attends fiftieth Independence Day


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Bangladesh to attend its Golden Jubilee celebrations of independence and the delivery centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the nation’s founder and father of present Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Modi’s two-day tour to the Muslim-majority nation, beginning on Friday, will cap Dhaka’s 10-day celebrations already attended by leaders from Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives.

Throughout his go to, Modi will tour two temples in southern rural districts, together with the birthplace of a outstanding Hindu reformer who has hundreds of thousands of followers within the Indian state of West Bengal and Bangladesh.

In the meantime, a number of protests have been held since final week to oppose the go to by Modi, who many Bangladeshis accuse of stoking non secular tensions and persecuting Muslims in India.

On Thursday, police in Dhaka fired rubber bullets and tear gasoline at tons of of primarily pupil demonstrators protesting in opposition to the Hindu nationalist chief’s go to and criticising the federal government for inviting a pacesetter who they are saying has blatantly persecuted Muslims in India.

Protest in opposition to Modi’s go to exterior Dhaka’s principal mosque final week [Mahmud Hossain Opu/Al Jazeera]

The protesters stated greater than 1,000 folks, most of them Muslims, have been killed within the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002, when Modi was the chief minister.

“His authorities has handed a number of legal guidelines which make Muslims a second-class citizen in India. We don’t need him right here in Bangladesh,” stated Maulana Mamunul Haque, secretary-general of Hefazat-e-Islam, an Islamist group that protested in opposition to Modi’s go to exterior the capital’s Baitul Mukarram mosque final Friday.

“A pacesetter like him shouldn’t be allowed to attend the fiftieth Independence Day occasion,” Haque instructed Al Jazeera.

Although Hefazat-e-Islam calls itself “non-political”, the Islamist group has gained eminence after the autumn of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh’s largest Islamist political get together.

On the protest exterior Baitul Mukarram mosque, Hefazat supporters slammed Modi for “killing Muslims in Gujarat, Kashmir, Delhi and different elements of India”. They took their sneakers of their fingers to point out disrespect to the Indian chief.

Demonstrators raised their sneakers of their fingers to register their anger [Mahmud Hossain Opu/Al Jazeera]

Foez Ullah, president of the Bangladesh College students’ Union, stated Modi’s insurance policies go in opposition to the essential tenets of Bangladesh’s founding rules.

“Inviting India’s riotous, communal prime minister Narendra Modi to the golden jubilee of independence is in opposition to the spirit of the liberation conflict,” the group stated in a press release.

India helped Bangladesh acquire independence from Pakistan by way of a nine-month bloody conflict in 1971. India and Bangladesh have since shared shut ties.

Earlier this week, Bangladesh’s Overseas Affairs Minister AK Abdul Momen instructed Al Jazeera that since India helped Bangladesh obtain its independence, “so it is vitally pure that the Indian prime minister might be requested to turn into Bangladesh’s Golden Jubilee celebration’s principal visitor”.

“We’re not involved what the fundamentalists are saying about Modi’s go to. They don’t symbolize the voice of the nation’s folks,” he stated, including that “solely a small fraction of individuals” have been protesting.

“They’re making a problem out of it with none legitimate cause,” he instructed Al Jazeera.

However Imtiaz Ahmed, professor of worldwide relations at Dhaka College, feels inviting Modi for the celebrations was “not a good selection”.

“Together with the Golden Jubilee, we’re additionally celebrating the delivery centenary of father of the nation. Sheikh Mujib fought for a secular nation whereas Modi is inherently communal. He [Modi] is criticised in his personal nation for his hardliner Hindu nationalist stance,” Ahmed instructed Al Jazeera.

Ali Riaz, distinguished professor of politics and authorities on the Illinois State College in the US, instructed Al Jazeera there was widespread discontent amongst numerous Bangladeshis in regards to the unequal relationship between India and Bangladesh.

“It’s typically understood that India has huge affect on the home politics of Bangladesh. BJP leaders’ derogatory statements about Bangladeshis and discriminatory insurance policies of the Modi authorities have additionally compounded the state of affairs,” he stated.

Faisal Mahmud contributed to this report from Dhaka, Bangladesh