Anti-communalism demonstration in Chittagong on 27 October 2021
Prothom Alo

The question whether the Awami League that is in power now is the same party that Bangabandhu led in 1971 has been raised by Bangladesh Hindu Christian Bouddha Oikya Parishad (BHCBOP) general secretary Rana Dasgupta.

“We do not have any confidence in any politician except the prime minister. We want self-purification within the political party,” he said.

Recently, puja mandaps (venues), temples, houses and businesses of Hindu community were attacked at different districts of the country centering an incident of placing the Holy Quran at a puja mandap in Cumilla. Protesting the incidents, a demonstration rally was organised by Chattogram divisional committee of International Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) on Nandankanan premises in Chattogram on Thursday afternoon.

Rana Dasgupta was addressing the programme. He also remarked that current Awami League is gradually turning into the Awami Muslim League of 1948.

“This country of communal violence is not the country dreamt by Bangabandhu. Political leaders here are accustomed to say – the kind of communal harmony that exists in Bangladesh does not exist in any other country of the world. But since 1975, all the political parties unitedly damaged the communal harmony by communalising the constitution and dividing people into Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian,” he added.

The senior lawyer further said, “When Awami League came to power, we thought there won’t be any repetition of communal attacks. But on the contrary to our hopes, communal attacks are not only continuing but also have increased.”

Leaders of Chattogram south, north and city units of Awami League and the BNP leaders were present at the demonstration rally. A procession was brought out after the rally.

Addressing the rally, Chattogram city unit Awami League general secretary and former mayor of Chittagong City Corporation, AJM Nasir Uddin said, “Like you I’m also saddened by the communal attacks. But we must think whether any quarter will seize this opportunity if you make your grievances public. Many are waiting to seize opportunities.”

Chattogram city unit BNP president Shahadat Hossain urged for united efforts to prevent communalism. He said, “Those who are involved with communal attacks should be brought to book immediately through judicial inquiry. We don’t want a trial that is just eyewash.”

AL advisory council member Anupam Sen said, “There cannot be any religion of the state. The article of state religion has to be omitted from the constitution. We seek capital punishment of the perpetrators of communal violence.”

ISKCON Bangladesh general secretary Charu Chandra Brahmachari presided over the programme where Chattogram district (south) unit AL president and MP, Moslem Uddin Ahmed, acting president of city unit AL, Mahtab Uddin Chowdhury, Chattogram district (north) unit president MA Salam, Jasad central leader Indu Nandan Dutt, Sri Krishna Mandir principle Lilaraj Gouradas Brahmachari, ISKCON’s Chattogram divisional secretary Chinmay Krishna Das Brahmachari, professor at Chittagong University Jinbodhi Bhikkhu, Patharghata Catholic Church father Lenard, Shankar Math principle Tapananda Brahmachari, Central Janmashtami Udjapan Parishad secretary Prabir Sen and Chattogram City Puja Udjapan Parishad president Ashish Bhattacharya also addressed the event.