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Hindus in Bangladesh: Numbers in sharp decline

September 09, 2013
Bhadrapad Shukla Panchami, Kaliyug Varsha 5115

Communal politics blamed at seminar for the silent migration

The country’s Hindu population has declined sharply over the last four decades chiefly because of communal tension spilling in from neighbouring countries, land grabbing through violence, forced conversion, abduction, and killing, a Dhaka University professor said yesterday.

Prof Gobinda Chakraborty, who teaches political science, blamed the politics of communalism of all dominant political parties as the reason behind the perpetrators going unpunished.

“Zia’s [Ziaur Rahman] policy of sending mainland people to the CHT, Ershad’s initiation of making Islam as state religion and Hasina’s weird mix-up of secularism and Islam as state religion are strong evidence of the presence of the politics of communalism,” he said.

Citing statistics of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, the professor said Hindus made up 22 percent of Bangladesh’s population before 1971, and it declined to a mere 8.5 percent in 2011.

“This has happened because of the silent migration triggered by such forms of repression,” he said in his keynote speech at a seminar tilted “Oppression and Intimidation on Minority in Bangladesh”.

The Coalition for Communal Harmony in association with Sampriti Mancha and the Centre for Human Rights Safety Platform organised it in RC Majumder Auditorium at DU.

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman
Mizanur Rahman said there would be no Hindu citizen in Bangladesh after 20 years if the proposed “Endowment Property Management Act 2013″ was passed.

Noted educationist Prof Ajoy Roy said the migration rate had increased significantly with the wealthy and meritorious Hindus leaving the country.

Columnist Syed Abul Maksud urged the young generation and civil society to come forward in resisting the repression of Hindus.

“To stop the politics of communalism, we’ve to fight economically, politically, and organisationally,” said Robaet Ferdous, an assistant professor of mass communication and journalism at DU.

Source: Daily Star

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