Recent violent attacks against Hindus have resurfaced old wounds for religious minorities in Muslim-majority Bangladesh. The violence took place after a photo showing the the Quran placed on the knee of a Hindu deity went viral on social media during the Hindu holy festival of Durga Puja. Since then, dozens of Hindu homes temples and statues have been vandalized throughout the country.
In Bangladesh, Hindus now comprises less than 9 % of the total populations. Over the course of the last 40 years, the percentage of the Hindu population of Bangladesh declined from 13.5% to 8.5%. It is astonishing to note that Bangladesh, which has outpaced India in improving development in dices in recent years has been alert to the emergence of majoritarianism religious extremism and has cracked down firmly on Islamist groups in past. But frequent violence against the Hindu community in Bangladesh is still visible.
Human rights commission, International rights groups Amnesty International etc have called on the authorities to take urgent steps to protect the members of the minority community against such attacks and ensure access to justice and effective remedies for victims. Religious unrest poses a challenge to Bangladesh which has always portrayed itself secular and minority friendly. Recent attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh, fueled by hate speech on social media, are against the values of the constitutions.
The spill-over effects have been witnessed in Tripura where local Muslims were targeted. It is a cause of concern that after nearly two decades of relative peace, the northeast has started to simmer again. India and Bangladesh have resolved issues amicably. It is time for both the countries to restore peace in the respective countries and maintain law and order the best. Let vested interests should not propel.