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The Current Status of Hinduism in Bangladesh

By Jay Chowdhury

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On the Events of June 7

Ananda Gopal Ganguly was a Hindu priest in the Jhenaida district of Bangladesh, making his way to his temple on the morning of Tuesday, June 7, 2016, when he was assaulted and slaughtered by radicals. He was 65 years old.

“His throat was sliced with sharp weapons,” Assistant Superintendent of Police Gopinath Kanjilal said.

Here’s a link from The Hindu, and another from CNN. This is the latest sickening entry in my country’s apparently relentless tirade against citizens of minority religious groups or no religions at all–and this “tirade” is shaping up to be a daunting threat to the constitutionally assured well-being and safety of the Bengali people.

A Spotlight on Hinduism

Religion. A term that specifies our origin of faith and behaviors within the different ways on how we view the world through our sacred beliefs and practices. Because of our different beliefs, a separation among the human community is formed that caused each individual or groups being isolated from the other. As a result, this has caused a new revolution of “religious persecution” which cause systematic mistreatment among many individuals as response to their religious beliefs. Religious bigotry within religions has led to an era of “lacking life security”. This act of dehumanizing of these individuals has readily turned into eradicative violence resulting in a human rights problem in many countries across nations.

Today, let’s shine a light on Hinduism–a religion that often evades discussion in a world largely dominated by the presence of Abrahamic faith and the actions of its followers, whether good or bad. It’s also been enormously glossed over in Bangladesh.

Up to 13% of Bangladeshis belong to the Hindu faith, making the second largest religious affiliation in the nation. In fact, Bangladesh is only outgunned by Nepal and India when it comes to the size of its Hindu population.

Unfortunately, the history of Bangladeshi Hindus is blood-spattered. From the international broadcaster Deutsche Welle:

“In the decades following its independence, Bangladesh witnessed a number of attacks on the Hindu community. For instance, in the aftermath of the demolition of the Babri mosque in India in 1992, over 200 Hindu temples were destroyed in Bangladesh by Islamic fundamentalists. Many Hindu families were also attacked by extremists at that time. “

“The Hindu community living here has been facing persecution ever since the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, first in what was then East Pakistan until 1971,” informed Rana Dasgupta, the general secretary of the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council (BHBCUC).” And the situation didn’t change much even after the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent nation.”

Abul Barkat, an economist and professor at Dhaka University, demonstrated in his research that around 750 people from minority communities, on average, are leaving Bangladesh every day. These include a large number of Hindus, who rightly feel that their safety, well-being, and very lives will be jeopardized in the toxic and dangerous environment of fundamentalist Bangladesh. As a result, the Hindu population has perpetually dwindled down, now nearing 8-10%.

Sources

 

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