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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

ED: Rooting out communal enmity

Much of the violence was the result of a culture of ignorance and an education that prevents independent thinking
Update : 24 Dec 2021, 04:32 PM

While it is no doubt encouraging to hear from Information Minister Hasan Mahmud himself regarding the government’s commitment to rooting out communalism and fundamentalism from our midst, it is a promise we have heard before -- and we have been let down.

This let-down has come in various forms -- from an utter lack of implementation from law enforcement agencies, to the apathy of the people themselves, many of who simply decided to ignore the law as they felt fit. We have, in this way, created a culture of fear and doubt for our minority populations.

The recent fracas regarding a Facebook post, and the subsequent violence shown against minority Hindu communities, lays bare the unfortunate state of affairs. Such violence flies in the face of the multi-cultural and multi-ethnic history of Bangladesh, founded on democratic values and principles of equality.

The minister doubling down on Bangladesh’s democratic values was no doubt a welcome sign, stating that “no one in Bangladesh is a minority” but, at the end of the day, this is merely one minister -- the rest of the government and, in fact, the nation, must also come together in this regard.

Much of the violence was the result of a culture of ignorance and an education that prevents independent thinking, combining to produce masses who are currently being easily manipulated to further destroy the multi-religious spirit of the country, and sow communal enmity.

This cannot be allowed to stand, and the government must impose a zero tolerance policy for such divisive behaviour, especially when it is evident that unscrupulous parties are seeking to create violence and suffering for their own personal reasons. Bangladesh can be better than this.

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