Bangabhumi (Bangla: বঙ্গভূমি, meaning the land of Bengal) also
known as Bir Bango (Bangla:বীর বঙ্গ), is a separatists movement to create
a Hindu country using southwestern Bangladesh envisioned by Hindu
politicians from West
movement was founded in 1973 in India soon after Bangladeshi independence to support the Hindu
refugees from Bangladesh, who were targeted by the Pakistani army
in the 1971 Bangladesh
However, this movement did not receive much
support at that time. In an interview with BBC
in 2001, Chittaranjan Sutar, one of the alleged organisers of the
movement, denied any existence of the movement at that time. The
movement openly became active again on 2003 when it declared the
independence of Hindu Republic of Bangabhumi.
Hindus made up 30% of the total population of East Bengal
in 1947. However, after the partition
, the Hindu population went down
to 19% in 1961. On 1998, it was down to 16% and on 2002 it was less
than 10%. Therefore, starting from 1998, within four years, the
Hindu population decreased 6%. On the other hand, the minority
population in the neighbouring West Bengal has increased from 12%
in 1947 to thriving 24% in 1991 according to Census of India. In
addition, a new amendment in the citizenship law of India has
passed, restricting Bangladeshis and Pakistanis to become Indian
citizens. Therefore, the refugees, who entered India after the
creation of Pakistan (including 1971) have become illegal in
amended the Enemy Property
Act giving the government the sole power to control the disputed
lands of the minorities. As a result of the amendments, the
government started to capture the lands of the minorities by the
name of hunting down the enemy properties.
People like Dr. Humayun Azad
talked about the
rights of Hindus in Bangladesh.
though no violence has so far been reported committed by these
groups, Bangladeshi government is concerned by this movement and
accuses India of funding
Bangladesh also wants to halt the
activities of at least five groups, Banga
led by Kalidas Baidya, Bir Banga Hindu Prajatantra (Hindu
Republic of Strong Bengal) led by Shakti Sen, Bangladesh Udbastu
Unnayan Parishad led by Bimal Majumder, Bangladesh Udbastu Mancha
led by Upen Biswas and Bir Banga Sena founded by Chitaranjan Sutar.
Bangladesh accuse that these groups are causing communal tension in
South-western Bangladesh. On the other hand, these groups claim
that they are fighting for a separate sovereign country for the
Hindus of Bangladesh.
- Bangladesh alleges 'separatist plot', BBC, December 22, 2001
- Banerjee Alok, "Hindu republic 'born' in Bangladesh"
India, February 4, 2003
- Saikia, Jaideep, Terror Sans Frontiers: Islamic Militancy in North
East India, Appendix 5, University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, July 2003.
- CIA Factbook
- 2003 Amendment of Indian citizenship act, section
- Bhowmik, N. C., Repeal
Enemy (Vested) Property Act for National Interest