Our nation has witnessed immense economic growth and commendable digitisation. However, as we move towards a new year, it is disappointing to see that our ethnic and religious minorities continue to be the most persecuted amongst us.
Recent data collected by the National human Rights Commission (NHCR) paint a dark picture: Since 1971, five million Hindus, which is almost 40% of Hindu households in Bangladesh, lost their lands.
Not to mention the recent attacks in Nasirnagar, Thakurpura, and Langadu.
We cannot shy away from these uncomfortable truths. Violence and hate crimes have been widespread and too frequent to go unnoticed.
We cannot really expect real progress and move ahead with our development plans, if certain sections of our population, people who make Bangladesh what it is and contribute to the nation’s continued development, continue to be left behind and alone to fend for themselves against land grabbers and intolerance.
Providing aid and shelter to victims of communal violence is never enough if we fail, time and again, to prevent such barbaric and hateful crimes to take place in the first place.
If the perpetrators of these attacks are not brought to book, we will see minorities needlessly suffer more and live in fear.
The government and local authorities need to take stern actions against such crimes, and take steps to ensure basic rights and safety to all citizens of the country, which include our ethnic and religious minorities.