Published on 12:00 AM, October 17, 2021

Attacks on minorities part of a blueprint

The attacks on religious minorities, their temples, houses and businesses are parts of a blueprint to force them to leave the country, said Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad.

Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, he said the ideological ancestors of the defeated forces in the Liberation War were behind the attacks.

The religious fundamentalists, who failed to create a country based on religion in 1971, are now out to achieve their goals, he said.

"They are active to create communal unrest and instigating religious sentiment of common people by spreading propaganda via different media.

"It is unfortunate that a majority of the grassroots leaders of the ruling Awami League are also seen joining them in conducting the attacks," he observed.

Rana also said, "Awami League chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is sincere to maintain religious harmony in the country. But for mysterious reasons, it does not reach the grassroots activists of the party."

Queried, Rana said there must have been a political motive behind the mayhems.

"The ratio of Hindu people has decreased to 10 percent from 29.7 percent of the total population in the country. If the members of the religious minority groups can be put under pressure and tension round the clock through these attacks, they would feel unsafe and think of leaving the country at one stage.

"If the ratio of the Hindus could be decreased to four to three percent, they would be no longer a factor in the electoral politics," he said, adding, "In that case, all the political parties would be put on a religious veil to win the polls."

For example, a secular party like the Awami League will turn into "Awami Muslim League" and this way, the ideology of the fundamentalists will be achieved, he added.

In that case, whichever party wants to go to power has to take religion as the main weapon, he further added.

Rana said the unity of all democratic forces in the country is required to resist the fundamentalist evil forces.

"We have to form a greater alliance with all the democratic forces if we want the country to remain a state for all citizens irrespective of religious and ethnic identities," he said, adding, "There is no alternative to it."