Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the citizens of the country, irrespective of their religions, will enjoy equal rights as there is no “you and me”.
“The people of Hindu community will live here with their own rights. This soil also belongs to you...there's no you and me here; all citizens of Bangladesh have equal rights,” she said.
The prime minister said this while exchanging greetings with members of the Hindu community at her official residence Gono Bhaban on the occasion of Janmashtami.
“In every sphere of life -- socioeconomic, education, healthcare and religious rituals -- all have equal rights,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said as the head of the government it is her responsibility to ensure equal rights for all. “And we're performing our duty.”
Referring to her government's philosophy of “religion for individuals and festivals for all”, she said people of all faiths had fought shoulder-to-shoulder in 1971 and embraced martyrdom to liberate the country.
During the great Liberation War, the prime minister said, people from all religions under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman participated and made the ultimate sacrifice for the country's independence.
Giving importance to maintaining communal and religious harmony in the country, Hasina said every religion preaches peace, fraternity and tolerance.
Describing the leaders of the Hindu community as “sons of this soil”, the Prime Minister called upon them to work together to develop Bangladesh with the spirit of Liberation War.
She said the government always tries to make sure that celebrations of all religions are observed with due festivity. “This is the beauty of Bangladesh where people from all religions participate in every religious festival.”
The Prime Minister extended her greetings to members of the Hindu community on the occasion of Janmashtami, saying Sri Krishna had preached the message of love, justice and affection which all should promote.
Religious Affairs Minister Motiur Rahman, leaders of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Committee, Janmashtami Udjapan Parishad and Mohanagar Sarbojonin Puja Committee also spoke on the occasion.