Census and Hindu population of Bangladesh - Sojasapta Talk

Census and Hindu population of Bangladesh

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"Now the number of people belonging to Hindu or traditional religion in the country is 7.95 percent. In the 2011 census, Hindus were 8.54 percent. The Hindu population has decreased by 0.59 percent in this census compared to 2011 census.” -Written by Chiranjan Sarkar.

Since 1947 the Hindu population in our country is decreasing little by little. That picture was also seen in the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics' preliminary report of 'Census and Household Census 2022'. Now the number of people belonging to Hindu or Sanatan religion in the country is 7.95 percent. In the 2011 census, Hindus were 8.54 percent. Compared to the 2011 census, the Hindu population has decreased by 0.59 percent in this census. On the other hand, the Muslim population has increased by 91 percent. In 2011 which was 90.4 percent.

The first census in the independent country was held in 1974. Then the Hindu population was 13.5 percent. Four more censuses followed. According to the latest census of 2011, 8.5 percent of the total population of the country are Hindus. More lotus this time. Does that mean the number of Hindus in this country will continue to decrease? A time will not be exhausted?

The answer to this question is not pleasant at all. In fact, a system has been created in this country, where Hindus are not able to live with their honor and dignity. In many cases they do not have civil rights. No security. No social-administrative protection. Even if they attack the homes of Hindus by announcing on the microphone, even if they burn village after village, there is no one to stop it. Even though similar incidents are happening again and again for the last three decades, there is no remedy.

But the rulers talk so well. So if it happens then why not even a case of attack on the homes of Hindus? In fact, Bangladesh is not where it used to be. Awami League is not in the same place as before.

More or less all parties have contributed in making Bangladesh a Muslim only state. Briefly, that history needs to be highlighted. This country became independent by fighting the liberation war against religious based Pakistan. One of the goals of the Liberation War was to establish a secular, democratic and just and egalitarian state. The constitution was framed in 1972 with that goal in mind. That constitution mentioned four fundamental principles of the state - secularism, democracy, nationalism and socialism. On August 15, 1975, the four principles of the constitution were killed along with the assassination of Bangabandhu in his family. Secularism goes into exile. comes 'full trust and faith in Allah the Most Merciful'. That was the beginning of the reverse journey from secular Bangladesh to religious Bangladesh.

The military government of Zia-Ershad and the civilian governments of their subordinates have advanced this reverse journey. Ziaur Rahman opened the way for religion-based politics and gave opportunity to the sectarian religious parties including Jamaat-e-Islami to reorganize. And dictator Ershad came and made Islam the 'state religion'. They made other religions 'second class citizens' overnight.

After the end of the Zia-Ershad military regime came the democratic regime of Khaleda Zia. But Begum Zia's BNP is practically the ideological successor of Ziaur Rahman. As a result, there was no change required. Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina came to power in 1996. But as he did not have the required two-thirds majority to amend the constitution, no change was possible in the service. Khaleda Zia came to power again. Jamaat is the sharer of power as a friend. Two top war criminal sectarians became ministers. The rise and development of radical religious sectarian terrorism is state and government sponsored. After that, the Fakhruddin-Moinuddin government supported by the army remained in power for two years. Sheikh Hasina's government returned with a huge majority on December 29, 2008. There are three consecutive terms.

In the first term, the initiative to change the constitution was taken. In the meantime, the ruling of Zia-Sattar-Saym and Ershad was declared 'illegal' by the judgment of the Supreme Court. As a result, the changes made in the four principles of the state through the 5th amendment of the constitution during Ziaur Rahman's tenure were considered illegal. According to the same source, the right of religion-based politics is also illegal. But the 8th Amendment regarding state religion introduced in 1988 remained in force. Wasn't the 8th Amendment illegal in conflict with Bangladesh's birth identity and national spirit? The poet became silent on this question!

Sheikh Hasina's government brought the fifteenth amendment of the constitution in the first term of three consecutive terms. Many amendments were passed together. The four principles of the 1972 constitution came back. But for the sake of 'reality', 'Islam' remained the state religion. The right of religion-based politics remained.

By doing this, the constitution actually became a significant character! One of the four basic principles of the state in the post-fifteenth amendment constitution is 'secularism', on the other hand, the 'state religion' of this state is Islam. Religion and secularism are all there. There is also the right of religion-based politics.

When the state recognizes a particular religion as the state religion, those religious bigots jump on the bandwagon and insult the weaker sections. And in religious identity, the weak become inferior.

Suppression of Hindu community has become a daily occurrence in this country. Insults, neglect, scorn, mockery, attacks, threats are causing silent exodus. Still every day some Hindu families from some part of the country are taking refuge in other countries. They are being forced to leave their native land by taking over their land, using various methods of torture on the women of the family. Even though the Awami League government has come from 'enemy property' to 'assigned property', thousands of complaints have been left unresolved for years. BNP-Awami League, right and left are not lagging behind when it comes to possession of assigned property.

Even though there are frequent incidents of torture, no case of Hindu atrocities has been prosecuted till date. On the other hand, the religion of Hindus is constantly being hurt. Hinduism is always spoken derogatorily from various mahfils. Content full of anti-Hindu statements across Facebook-Youtube. Insult when tipped. Titkari when wearing shells. Idols of gods and goddesses are being broken regularly. They are being slandered. 'Dui boatoy pa', 'Barte bape bai ja na kaen' are said regularly. There is no question of equal rights, except for giving a little mercy to the religious minorities, there is nothing else allotted in this country.

Those who can afford to leave the country after being continuously beaten, humiliated, and deprived of land. And those who cannot afford to leave the country are still clutching their teeth. And kicking like a football. Who is kicking? Yes, both teams are hitting. There are basically two parties in our country. One is Awami League, another is Anti-Awami League. The people of the Hindu community of this country have somehow survived by kicking and punching from both sides.

However, the way it is going, it doesn't seem like it will take much time for Bangladesh to become Hinduless!

Yes, if Hindus are considered as citizens of Bangladesh, first of all a political decision has to be made to prevent the reduction of Hindu population or their 'disappearance'. It must be declared that these Hindus cannot be tortured. If tortured, he will have to suffer severe punishment. Besides, state religion should be abolished. All efforts should be taken to build a non-discriminatory state based on justice and equality. The rule of law must be established. Speedy trial and punishment should be ensured in any case of persecution against religious minorities. The administration should send a strong message that minorities will be held accountable in cases of torture. Will be fired if necessary. The practice of secularism and respect and tolerance towards other religions should be increased in the society.

The question is who will do these things? Who will say that they have not become anti-Hindu in the spirit of what they are supposed to do?

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