Home Opinion Featured Articles Islamist force’s ‘India Out’ movement in Bangladesh stirs controversy

Islamist force’s ‘India Out’ movement in Bangladesh stirs controversy

Pinaki Bhattacharya
Pinaki Bhattacharya

In 2024, the India-out movement commenced in Maldives, coinciding with significant political developments in Bangladesh. Following the victory of the Awami League, securing 233 seats out of 300 in the 12th national parliament election on January 7, a movement under the banner of ‘India-out’ emerged on January 8.

Political analysts suggest that the government, led by Awami League president and PM Sheikh Hasina, daughter of the nation’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is facing opposition from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). It is believed that the BNP, envious of the Awami League’s fourth consecutive term, is collaborating behind the scenes to fuel the ‘India-out’ movement.

Although the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has not formally endorsed the ‘India Out’ movement, it is actively promoting individuals who discuss it on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter (now X). Furthermore, a significant portion of the proponents of the ‘India Out’ movement consists of BNP supporters and online activists. Additionally, political analysts point out the involvement of minor political forces such as Gana Odhikar Parishad and AB Party, along with their enthusiastic online activists. They have been pressing-forward for a boycott of Indian products in various areas in Dhaka and other cities in the country.

Meanwhile, Pinaki Bhattacharya, identified as an operative associated with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Pakistan’s espionage agency ISI, who fled Bangladesh and sought political asylum in France, has emerged as a prominent figure advocating for the ‘India Out’ movement. Pinaki has been actively producing video content on his YouTube channel, which boasts 1.6 million subscribers, for over a month. Through these videos, he propagates anti-India and anti-Hindu sentiments and advocates for the boycott of Indian products.

Pinaki’s campaign for boycotting Indian products drew criticism from Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, a prominent journalist and editor of the English newspaper ‘BLiTZ’. Pinaki by labelling Shoaib Choudhury as an agent of India and Israel, uses extremely offensive and derogatory language against him. In the video statements uploaded on YouTube, Pinaki Bhattacharya criticized Shoaib Choudhury for his articles in ‘BLiTZ’ and various international newspapers, which dismissed the ‘India Out’ and ‘Boycott Indian Product’ campaign in Bangladesh as a ploy orchestrated by the pro-Pakistan BNP. Pinaki alleged in his YouTube content that India and Israel were using Shoaib Choudhury to divert people’s attention from the ongoing anti-India movement.

In one of his videos, Pinaki Bhattacharya remarked, “Israel and India are akin to two lost brothers in a fair. Hinduism and Zionism share common traits”.

Additionally, Pinaki insulted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He alleged that Shoaib Choudhury is distributing funds in Bangladesh amongst various quarters with the attempt of sabotaging ‘India Out’ movement.

Author’s bio: Tajul Islam, a senior journalist and Special Correspondent of Weekly Blitz writes on a broad-range of issues in local and international media. Follow him on X @tajulraj1

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