Awami League never sees its people through a divisive attitude, she said
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said when people belonging to religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity undermine themselves by dubbing them “minority communities”, she feels very bad.
"I feel very bad. Why do you (people of Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and other religions) undermine yourselves? Bangladesh is ours, it is for all," she said while exchanging greetings with Hindu community members at her official residence Ganabhaban, on the occasion of Janmashtami, on Wednesday.
"I do not know why you repeatedly term yourselves as the minority. Are you not citizens of this state?" she asked. "Are you not you residents of this country? Is not this land your birthplace? This is your homeland."
She said every person of this country has equal rights to everything. "The Awami League government always thinks that this country is for all. Please do not treat yourselves as minority."
Mentioning that this land, country and homeland are for all, Sheikh Hasina posed another question: "Why do you not have faith in you? Awami League never sees its people through this divisive attitude."
She said if capable enough, each and every citizen of the country will get equal chance in every sector.
Talking about her government's philosophy of “religion is for individuals and festivals are for all”, the prime minister said people of all faiths had fought shoulder-to-shoulder in 1971 and embraced martyrdom to liberate the country.
She said during the Liberation War, people from all religions under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, participated in it and sacrificed their blood for its independence.
Underscoring the need for maintaining communal and religious harmony in the country, Sheikh Hasina said every religion preaches peace, fraternity and tolerance and it is the most important aspect of a religion.
About the law enacted by her government for the Hindu community, which is similar to the “hiba law” of the Muslim community, she said the government formulated it to facilitate the transfer of property of Hindu community members to their close relatives without providing any tax.
The prime minister said the government always tries to make sure that every festival of all religions is observed in a festive mood. "This is the beauty of Bangladesh where people from all religions participate in every religious festival. And from that aspect, Bangladesh is unique in the world."
She extended her greetings to the Hindu community on the occasion of Janmashtami, saying Sri Krishna had preached the message of love, justice and affection which all should promote.
Sheikh Hasina said Lord Krishna was born to establish brotherhood among the people through “checking the wicked and nurturing the goods”.
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumdar, State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, President of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad Milan Kanti Dutta, its General Secretary Nirmal Kumar Chatterjee, President of Janmashtami Udjapan Parishad Gourango Dey, its General Secretary Bimal Kanti Dey, former general secretary of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad Advocate Chandan Talukdar, President of Mohanagar Sarbojonin Puja Committee Shailandranath Majumdar, Vice-chairman of Hindu Religion Welfare Trust Subrata Paul, and former General Secretary of Janmashtami Udjapan Parishad Debashish Palit also spoke on the occasion.