‘Minorities under constant threat’
In the previous national and local-level elections, we have seen minorities being targeted for violence. Despite drawing attention to this issue, no one has done anything about it.
With the unprecedented rise of communalism in the country, religious minorities are under the threat of violence and conflict from different vested quarters, said minority leaders at a discussion yesterday.
The discussion, titled "National Election 2024: Rights of Religious-Ethnic Minority People", was organised by Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad at the seminar room of the Institution of Engineers.
Participating in the discussion, rights activist Sultana Kamal said, "Bangladesh has been communalised under the patronage of the state. It does not matter whether Jamaat has been banned or not, as the ruling Awami League itself is currently implementing Jamaat's agenda."
Eminent economist Debapriya Bhattacharya said the country has become even more communal despite the pro-liberation forces being in power for the last one-and-a-half decades.
Shahriar Kabir, president of Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, said, "Awami League has isolated itself from the spirit of the Liberation War. They have now joined hands with Hefazat-e-Islam, betraying the constitution and the spirit of the Liberation War."
Rights activist Khushi Kabir said, "Under the current political climate, the demand for the abolition of Islam as the state religion should be strongly raised."
Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of the Oikya Parishad, said, "In the previous national and local-level elections, we have seen people from the minority communities being targeted for violence. Despite drawing attention to this issue in the past from all political circles, including the Election Commission, no one has done anything in this regard."
Cultural activist Ramendu Majumdar said, "I think communalism has increased tenfold since the Pakistan era. I don't think I will live to see a secular Bangladesh."
Trustees of Liberation War Museum Dr Sarwar Ali and Mofidul Haque, Barrister Tania Amir, Educationalist Prof Mezbah Kamal, Dhaka University Teachers Association President Prof Nizamul Hoque Bhuiyan also spoke at the discussion, presided over by Nim Chandra Bhowmik, president of the Oikya Parishad.