26 Jun 2015

It’s Up to Us!

It’s Up to Us!

Dr. Richard L. Benkin

richard_benkinAfter the population transfers that accompanied partition, Hindus accounted for about a third of the East Pakistani population (1948). When East Pakistan became Bangladesh, they were about a fifth (1971).  Today, they are down to nine percent.  In the past 60 years, how many UN resolutions were passed about it?  How many outraged world leaders spoke out about it? How many times did Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch protest it?  The Hindus of Bangladesh are being wiped out, and no one seems to care.  Waiting for those world bodies to do the right thing about this will accomplish nothing but to insure the death of Bangladesh’s Hindu community—just as it has done for Pakistan’s Hindus. And now that we know this, we each have a choice:  either act courageously and relentlessly to stop the slaughter; or do nothing and be complicit in it.

In February, I will again stand with my Hindu brothers and sisters in the illegal refugee camps of West Bengal and Assam; and in cities like Delhi, Siliguri, and Guwahati.  Not only will I do this to show them that somebody does care, but also to continue gathering evidence of these atrocities for people in Washington who are beginning to take notice.  Already two government human rights bodies are receiving the information and promising to act on it.  Already members of the House and Senate are recognizing the atrocities and that what happens over there determine what happens here. An end to the atrocities is within our grasp; we need only seize it, and you can be part of it.

The American Hindu community and particularly Hindu youth, is the key.  If they actively seek justice here and abroad and refuse to be complicit in these atrocities; our future will be secured.  The United States—our United States—is the key because we recognize our obligation to stop the killing, and the US is the most effective entity to get it done.  When I bring this matter before different bodies, they frequently ask why, if things are so severe, are Hindus themselves not up in arms.  My answer is that they are but like everyone else need a focused effort to turn outrage into effective action.  The coming months will have many people can act right now:

1. As the United States considers legislation that affects the Bangladeshi Hindus, we must tell lawmakers that their votes are literally a matter of life and death; and that we expect our lawmakers to stand on the side of life.  We can do that only if we are prepared with an organization that can mobilize phone calls to every Congressional District in the country. We need volunteers to be part of that calling chain—to make calls themselves but and get others to do the same.  The method is simple, but only you can build the chain of moral outrage that will save millions of lives.

2. While real atrocities occur all the time, many of the reports I receive are suspect.  Winning the respect and attention of people in Washington requires that we give them only accurate information and are on solid ground when they receive the expected lies and denials from the perpetrators. We need volunteers to help sort through the information, put it in a format that people can use (and which I will provide); and ultimately allow us to verify or refute the information.

3. Children and students are compelling. Depending on your current level of schooling, we can organize lectures and seminars, vigils and marches, pen pals for Hindu children in the camps, and so forth.

4. And like everything else, this takes money. You can donate to my not-for-profit NGO or get others to do so by going to my web site, http://www.interfaithstrength.com, and clicking the “Donate” link.  All contributions to Forcefield are tax deductible.

Remember your choice: Take a stand to save Hindu lives now or cry over the dead bodies later. Contact me atdrrbenkin@comcast.net or on Facebook.

26 Jun 2015

Stop Ethnic Cleansing of Hindus in Bangladesh

Stop Ethnic Cleansing of Bangladeshi Hindus—and radical Islam

Dr. Richard L. Benkin

What is happening to Bangladeshi Hindus is a crime against humanity.  What is worse is the complicity of the government of Bangladesh it that crime.  What is even worse than that is the world’s silence about it; especially shameful is India’s silence; and especially important is the United States’ silence.  But as terrible as all of that is, we must also understand that it is part of something bigger—international jihad. To stop this crime not only saves lives and prevents genocide but also strikes a blow to the most evil and corrupt movement of the 21st century:  international jihad and radical Islam. richard_benkin

This is an important battle in a greater war—which is how we must treat it.  What should our strategy be?  Many, including our current US President, have counseled “outreach” and finding a way, as he put it, “to turn old foes into friends.”  But that is the deadly sort of thinking that has made our enemies appear strong—just as those who counseled the same strategy in the Cold War against communism.  We need to reject them as President Ronald Reagan did:

“Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.”

And that is what happened.  All we need is the will and we will defeat our enemies, too.  That is why we are here, and that is the only reason why we have any business being here.  Empty talk strengthens our enemies.  Our mantra must be:  “The only reason to meet is to act, and the only reason to act is to succeed.”

 

So let us begin first by getting ready for battle:

1.         We need a focus. You will never get people to respond to abstract concepts or gigantic issues.  We need to break them down into achievable goals that every decent human being can support—regardless of party, regardless of political philosophy; so worthy in fact, that those who do not support it will reveal themselves as morally bankrupt.  There can be more appropriate or worthy goal than putting an end to ethnic cleansing; than stopping the horrors visited upon innocent men, women, and children by a racist enemy:  END THE ETHNIC CLEANSING OF BANGLADESHI HINDUS.

 

2.         We need to be organized.  Many individuals are just that, many individuals.  But an organized group commands attention. And that principle holds whether our efforts are underway in the United States, India, or anywhere else where we will fight.

 

3.         We have to have defined goals; and specific objectives. Even people who want to help will not if we do not ask them for the right things.

4.         We have to get others involved. And we do so not just by getting them interested, but also by getting them involved immediately.  Even people who want to help will not if we do not give them specific things to do.

5.         We must be confident, passionate, and audacious. Our enemies are fond of hyperbole and do not mind looking like idiots.  Show them that we are just as passionate and formidable as they are but are not idiots.

6.         We must be tireless and relentless. Our enemies are and they are convinced that we do not have the passion or courage to carry on the fight or stand forever on principle.  Wherever I have been successful, I have outlasted them.  Wherever we have failed, we confirmed their belief.  And we must never compromise with murderers!

So, those are our principles.  How do we put them into practice?  There are three basic tracks:  Public Policy and Public Relations. Although the two need to be worked on as separate tasks, they overlap and tend to build on one another.  And all the time, we need to capitalize on any resource we have to Organize and Grow—in the background while the others are very public, but constant and relentless.

Public Policy

 

We begin with the understanding that there is no internal dynamic within the Bangladeshi government—regardless of party—that will lead to a just solution to Bangladesh’s ethnic cleansing of minorities or appeasement of jihadis.  That means we have to rely on others to create a situation that makes doing the right thing in the interests of the powers in Dhaka.  There are separate public policy tracks for the United States, India, the United Nations, and other countries.

Bangladesh is a nation that is extremely vulnerable in that it is dependent on aid from the outside, as well as continued purchases of its exports.  Its high contribution of UN peacekeepers has become critical to the nation’s economy and social stability.  Each of these vulnerabilities are pressure points that we can use to force Bangladesh to stop supporting murder and injustice.  And there are specific ways to do it with specific actions such as lobbying, resolutions, organized vote banks, public demonstration, and so forth.  Alone, I have been able to help stop pro-Bangladeshi trade legislation in the United States.  Imagine what we can do together!

In all cases, the activities must be planned, coordinated, and compelling so that no one in power will be able to dismiss them.  If we use tried and true methods—and stick with them—we will be able to stop the slaughter.

Public Relations

 

Outside of a small group, very few people beyond the Indian subcontinent know about this, and many of them either do not care or even want to see it continue.  We have to change that with a directed and organized program of speeches, public demonstrations, protest actions, articles, outreach, news interviews, winning the support of high visibility individuals who will speak for our cause.  But the process is long and hard and fraught with failures and tiny successes.  It must be compelling and relentless.  Above all, we must never be afraid to be thought impolite!

The program must be international in scope focusing on the United States, India, Canada, Australia, and Europe.

Organize and Grow

 

Ultimately, the success of many activities depends on numbers; on how many people seem motivated enough to do something about the situation.  Each locality provides a unique set of challenges and opportunities.  For instance, as I traveled North and Northeast India, meeting with Bangladeshi Hindu refugees; I noticed that several lakh were living in “refugee camps.”  That provides an easy structure to organize actions.  In the United States, we are divided into Congressional districts.  One prominent Congressman has said that any Member of Congress who gets at least ten phone calls fro constituents on any issue will take notice and likely vote that way.  It is not quite that easy, but we have natural structures here for organizing people who can be mobilized on a particular issue at a moment’s notice.

People also are hungry to help but need to be given directions on how to help; once they do, we can see how interested they are in taking on other duties, even leadership.  It all depends on good organization.

This intense seminar is designed to take these ideas and immediately turn them into action that we all can participate in creating.

Our job will be to make the Bangladeshi’s appear to be the “bad guys” that they are.  (What else do you call people who are willing to tolerate murder, rape, and ethnic cleansing?)  We can do that, too, because it is the truth.  Our other concern is this.  We often seem to be losing or not making gains in the war against radical Islam because they set an agenda and we follow it.  We have to change that dynamic.  We have to show them up for who they are—and show up anyone who is willing to appease them—and make them react to us.