Another George Floyd: This time in Bangladesh; no one noticed

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Pic Credit – iStock&nbsp

Key Highlights

  • A Hindu Farmer of Gopalganj in Bangladesh, Nikhil was killed by ASI Shamim Hasan who kicked Nikhil’s spine with his knees several times

  • As the world debates that racisim is not only the discrimination with the colour of the skin, the incident of Nikhil also shows an incident of religious minority persecution

  • As we stand in solidarity and against the discrimination against one George Perry Floyd of Minnesota, did we overlook the story of a Hindu farmer killed in our neighbouring country?

New Delhi: Quite recently, there was a lot of discussion as former India cricketer Irfan Pathan tweeted saying, “Racism is not restricted to the colour of the skin. Not allowing to buy a home in a society just because u have a different faith is a part of racism too… #convenient #racism”. Many took to social media claiming that this was perhaps one of the vile forms of racism that the world is witnessing at the moment.

At the same time, the world erupted in massive protest and condemnation for the incident that happened in Minnesota, USA, on May 25. A man of colour, by the name of George Floyd, was murdered on a street of Minneapolis during an arrest attempt by the police. Terrifying videos soon surfaced all over social media as George Floyd kept pleading with the police handcuffed as a “white” police officer knelt over his neck. The whole of America and the world unitedly stood condemning the heinous act and spoke against the persecution on the basis of racial discrimination.

Nine days after that horrific incident another incident took place similar to that what the United States of America has witnessed. A Hindu farmer called Nikhil Talukdar in the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh met with the same fate. Around 11 in the morning as Nikhil and his friends were playing cards, ASI Shamim Hasan arrived with a local police “source”.

As Shamim started interrogating the four, the three companions fled and Nikhil was caught by the ASI and his associate. In a similar manner in which George Floyd was killed, this farmer belonging to the minority Hindu community of the country was brutally assaulted by the police inspector. According to the statements published in The Daily Star newspaper, a popular English Daily of Bangladesh, it is clear on how ASI Shamim hit Nikhil’s spine with his knees time and again as the two witnesses to the case, Milon Talukdar, Nikhil’s cousin and a local called Jhantu recollected the horrors.

It is known to the world that Hindus consisted of 22 per cent of the total population of the province of Bangladesh in 1952, a number that had been depleted to 15 per cent to 1991 and in the 2011 census was numbered at just 8.5 per cent. There was significant news about the persecution of Hindus and ransacking of Hindu temples and houses. The United Nations Refugee Agency in a report published in 2018, July indicates that almost 50 temples and 1400 Hindu houses were destroyed in the early part of 2013. The death of Nikhil Talukdar yet failed to evoke among the international community a hatred and a heinous attack against a minority of a country.

As 32-year-old Nikhil collapsed under the knee of the ASI and later declared dead with severe injury in his backbone, the world fell silent. The distance between Minneapolis and Dhaka, where Nikhil breath his last is 7700miles and across the distance, no one stood, resisted and protested to an incident that shook the conscience of many. As condemnation spread across the length and breadth of the world as the netizens of our country protested the brutal killing of George Floyd, the story of Nikhil Talukdar, a Hindu farmer in a neighbouring country remained fell in the darkness, away from marches, candlelight protests and banners.

As we stand in solidarity and against the discrimination against one George Perry Floyd of Minnesota, did we overlook another instance and kept silent. As Irfan Pathan said many in India are questioning whether is this the character of “convenient racism”?

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