The Cry of a Bangladeshi Hindu – A tale from 1202 CE

man holding container with smoke
Photo by Prabhala Raghuvir on

Picture this: 

It is 1202 CE! You live with your mother, father, two young brothers, and your wife in a beautiful village in Dhaka. You live nearby a newly constructed Dhakeshwari Temple, where it was said that the gem of sati’s crown had fallen.

Hindus and Buddhists are living together in harmony in your charming town. There are numerous Durga, Ram, Shiva, and Krishna Temples, and Buddhist Monasteries. You are a businessman trading with Java, Sumatra, and Siam kingdoms. There is calmness, a beautiful Hindu-Buddhist unity when suddenly the world turns upside down.

An invader from Ghaznavid Sultanate (modern-day Afghanistan) Attacks Bengal. Your elder sister, married to a Hindu Trader in Govindapur (modern-day Kolkata), is missing! She is picked up by an invader’s army general after killing her husband. You got this news two days late.  

You are scared, scarred. Your village has everything – cattle, agriculture, beautiful temples, rich culture, prosperous land, gurukuls (schools) and some fantastic people. However, what you lack is an army, as you never thought anyone would attack such a tranquil place. So, you decide to take matters into your own hand. You, along with your brothers, a few friends, and the Sarpanch (leader) of your village, decide to travel to Govindapur (modern-day Kolkata) to fight the invader.

You reach your sister’s village, and there’s silence everywhere. You don’t find any humans around. There is smoke coming out from all the temples, and the Gurukuls are still burning bright. You break down, cry and try to figure out what exactly had happened? The village is empty, and there are bodies everywhere.

Khalji! Khalji! Khalji! Voice resonates as a kid comes running from a small hut. You try to speak to the kid, but he is incredibly terrified. You take him to a nearby pond for water, clean his face, and then talk. 

“Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji took my mother and my 9-year-old sister. He killed my father as he refused to convert.” screams the kid, crying again.

You take a deep breath, and slowly you realize what has happened. 

This is a religious invasion, and these new invaders are not here for land. They are here for daughters, wives, and temples. They’re here to wipe out all men, kidnap women and destroy the entire Sanatani Civilisation. The women are being taken as slaves. You realize that this is the beginning of the end.

You are not afraid of them. You know you’ve got to get your sister back. You know she was a fighter. After all, she was named after Durga Mata. You know you’ve got to fight the invaders to death, for Dharma, for her. 

You return to Dhaka with your friends, brothers, and Sarpanch. You call everyone from your village at the Gurukul, and the training to defend the civilization begins. You send caution notice about the invader to your trading partners in Java, who, in turn, send you some fierce guerrilla forces. You send messages to other kingdoms who send Kshatriyas (warriors) to train your people.

You build an army out of villagers and some Guerrilla forces from Java. Khalji left a thousand invading soldiers and the girls around 108 km from your village and moved to Tibet. You take your army and a few hundred warriors from a neighboring kingdom. You defeat the parked Afghani soldiers in a bloody battle. The girls are free now. Sadly, your sister is nowhere to be seen. The girls convey a piece of sad news. She didn’t accept the invader’s faith and was beheaded. She kept chanting Durga Mata’s name during the execution. 

You know you have to end this invader. You send a message to Tibetian Hindu-Buddhist friends about this dangerous enemy, cautioning them. Tibetan guerrilla forces brutally defeat Khalji, and the horror of ONE invader is finally over.

A thousand more invaders arrive every year, and you and people like you keep defending your region. Sadly, your population gradually goes down as your friends and family members are either dead or forced to embrace the invader’s religion with a knife hanging on their wives’ and daughter’s throat. 

This is the story of Bangladeshi-Hindus from the early medieval era. Kidnapping, brutal killing, and forced conversion (by kidnapping wives/daughters) have been a norm since the 13th Century. 

The recent attacks on Hindu temples, Durga Puja pandals, Hindu homes, shops, and villages are due to the forced convert-or-die mentality of the medieval era invaders. 

Bangladesh, this is your chance. History has wronged you. The protagonist in this story might be your ancestor looking at you from above. Your silence will hurt him. Speak up. Your ancestors have fought many, many, many battles to survive and keep the Hindu culture alive. Most of you have adapted some other faith, and I am no one to question you for your belief. I respect your religion. But, please don’t harm the first inhabitants of your land. Don’t harm the originals. The ‘desert cults’ had kidnapped, sexually abused, and mutilated your ancestors. Remove these cults from your society, remove them from your mentality and protect Hindus. They are your history, your survivors, and your believers. They are you.

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