August 19, 2022
DHAKA – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (August 18, 2022) urged the Hindu community along with other believers and faiths in the country not to think of themselves as a minority, saying that all people irrespective of their religions will enjoy equal rights in Bangladesh.
“We want people of all faiths to live with equal rights. You are people of this country, you have equal rights here, you have the same rights as I have,” she said.
“You should always think that you are the citizens of this country and you will enjoy equal rights,” the premier said while exchanging greetings with the Hindu community leaders on the occasion of holy Janmashtami.
“We also want to see you in that way. Please don’t undermine yourselves. You take birth in this country, you are the citizens of this country,” she added.
The prime minister virtually joined the event at Dhakeshwari Mandir in Dhaka and JM Sen Hall in Chattogram from her Gono Bhaban residence.
She said if all people can move with this confidence then the evil quarter, from any religion, will never be able to harm the religious harmony of the country.
“We have to keep that belief and unity among us. I want this from you all,” she said.
The prime minister, however, came down heavily on a section of Hindu community people who try to imply that Hindus are in a very bad situation in Bangladesh.
“I would like to say one thing with grave regret that whenever any incident occurs in the country, it is propagated at home and abroad massively in such a way that the Hindus don’t have any right in this country,” she said.
Hasina said whenever any incident happens the government takes immediate action against it.
“But, colours are given to that incident in a way that the Hindus have no rights here. And the actions of the government after the incidents don’t get proper attention,” she noted.
In this connection, she said while taking action, many Muslims were killed in police firing to protect mandirs (Hindu temples). “This kind of incident took place in the country.”
She also mentioned the Cumilla incident. “But, those are not told usually, rather, it is spread that the Hindus are living in very much trouble in the country.”
The premier said the number of Puja Mandaps in Dhaka is higher than the number in West Bengal or Kolkata, and in all over Bangladesh the Durga Puja is celebrated massively.
She said the government not only takes initiatives to repair or renovate mosques, but also renovates or repairs mandirs, moths, and churches as well.
“It is not right to say anything that hurts anyone’s religious sentiment,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is a different place in the world where all people from all religions celebrate any religious festival.