This Article is From Sep 08, 2023

"Nothing Like Minority And Majority Here": Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina To Hindu Community

Sheikh Hasina said everyone would enjoy equal rights and urged all irrespective of caste, creed and religion to work to build a developed Bangladesh.

'Nothing Like Minority And Majority Here': Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina To Hindu Community

Sheikh Hasina called for vigil against move to destroy Bangladesh's religious harmony (File)


Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday asked the country's Hindu community not to consider themselves minorities. She said the country belongs to everyone irrespective of caste, creed and religion as they fought for its independence against Pakistani occupation forces in 1971.

"Why would you call yourselves a minority? ... There is nothing like minority and majority here," she said during an interaction with leading Hindu community leaders coinciding with Janmashtami at her official Gano Bhaban residence in Dhaka.

"Don't undermine yourselves as a minority...Why are you doing so when you are the people of this country?," the Prime Minister said. 

She said those who were born on this soil, are the children of this soil and they have citizen rights "so, you will live accordingly".

"I want you all to practise your respective religions properly," Ms Hasina said and simultaneously called for constant vigil against any move to destroy the country's religious harmony and propaganda against its advancement.

She said all citizens would enjoy equal rights and urged all irrespective of caste, creed and religion to work together to build a developed, prosperous and Smart Bangladesh by 2041 as envisaged by her ruling Awami League-led government.

Hindus are the second largest religious community after Muslims while they are followed by Buddhists and Christians.

Ms Hasina is set to leave Dhaka for New Delhi on Friday afternoon to attend this year's G20 summit while foreign minister AK Abdul Momen in a briefing said she was expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the G20 sidelines.

The Bangladesh premier said her government always tries to maintain religious and communal harmony in Bangladesh and keep social solidarity where one won't undermine another and all the people will lead life enjoying equal rights.

"We know there are some vested people everywhere, who want to create some problems. All will have to pay attention so that none can create problems," she said.

Bangladesh in recent years witnessed some sporadic clandestine attacks on Hindu temples with culprits vandalising statues in the dark of night sparking protests by civil society and exposing pressures on law enforcement agencies to enforce stricter security vigils.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)