There has been enough talk on secularism and its value, but these words ring hollow
While we have undoubtedly been making steady economic progress as a nation, the intolerance and violence against our minorities remains a point of contention.
Just this week, yet another idol of Hindu goddess Kali was vandalized by unidentified miscreants at a temple in Thakurgaon, and unfortunately, this is neither the first, nor will it be the last of such incidents of vandalism -- these acts are nothing but acts of intolerance towards a certain minority community.
Our country continues to see such intolerant behaviour towards our minority population, and this fact is particularly distressing if we remember that Bangladesh was built upon secular values, where freedom of religion applied to one and all, and nobody was to be marginalized on the basis of their religion or kin.
Indeed, every year, while we speak of economic development, we fail to protect our minorities and their rights to practice their beliefs safely, which is an absolute basic right that they rightfully expect and deserve.
Bangladesh must take a long, hard look within, and recognize and acknowledge that its secular values may be slipping, and call for concrete action to be taken that would put a halt on these incidents of violence against our minority communities. There has been enough talk on secularism and its value, but these words ring hollow if places of worship continue to be desecrated and minorities continue to feel unsafe in this country.
It is up to not just the authorities concerned and law enforcement, but also, every citizen in Bangladesh, to stand against violence against our minority groups and ensure that they are afforded the liberty to lead their lives just as any other citizen of Bangladesh.