'We will launch strong protest programs if the government reforms the existing family law'
A platform of 20 Hindu community groups, under the banner of the Hindu Paribarik Ain Poribartan Protirodh Committee (HPAPPC), has protested rights activists’ demands to reform the existing family law and ensure equal property rights for women.
Addressing a press conference at the National Press Club on Saturday, HPAPPC convener Dr JK Pal said: “We will launch strong protest programs if the government reforms the existing family law.”
He further said the issue of family law should be resolved through religious scriptures, urging the government to not table a bill in this regard in parliament, reports UNB.
Pal claimed that some “selfish” and “ignorant” Hindu women wished to create unrest under the guise of activism, even though they knew nothing about the situation in the villages.
In a statement, the HPAPPC accused Bangladesh Mahila Parishad and several other NGOs of conspiring to destroy the Hindu family system.
"Any change to the law will be contrary to the scriptures and tantamount to destroying the community. The Hindu community cannot accept this,” the statement said.
HPAPPC Joint Convener Advocate Narayan Chandra Das said Hindus are a minority in Bangladesh, and the ruling Awami League would lose their votes if it reformed the law.
In late April this year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called for the protection of women's property rights and preventing the misuse of Sharia law to deprive them of their fair share of wealth.
The premier suggested replacing the words "son" and "daughter" in the laws with the word "child,” so that no matter what the gender of the child is, they can get a fair share of their parents' property.
On June 24, rights activists said Hindu women in Bangladesh are also deprived of their legitimate rights to property, due to discrimination in the existing law.
They urged the government to enact a unified family law, in order to establish the rights of women irrespective of religion, caste, and creed.