The Way to Peace

Bangladesh is taking notable strides towards achieving communal peace and harmony in South Asia.

By DR. ABANTIKA KUMARI | September 2022

Bangladesh comprises more than 160 million people who are multi-religious, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual. The Constitution of Bangladesh guarantees all citizens the freedom to freely and peacefully practice their chosen religions. Religious minorities make up roughly 12% of Bangladesh's present population, according to conservative estimates. Hindus account for 10% of the population, Buddhists 1%, Christians 0.5 percent, and ethnic minorities less than 1%.

It is an example of how people of different religions can live together, cooperate, and simply be together. Bangladesh is a country that values religious liberty, harmony, and tolerance. Its population is made up of a diverse spectrum of religious groupings and ethnic groups. Such communities and groups live in harmony, putting aside their differences and learning to embrace and respect the diverse and diversified culture that has contributed to Bangladesh’s equality.

Bangladesh stands out as a shining example of a country with unwavering social and religious peace. This country is an example of social harmony because of its rich culture of tolerance and respect, regardless of their views and viewpoints. Their liberal attitudes have contributed to the nation’s synchronization.

The Sheikh Hasina government has reached out to minority populations and assisted Dhaka’s famous Dhakeshwari temple in reclaiming property that it had previously lost. Bangladesh is also constructing a Buddhist pilgrimage center in Lumbini, Nepal, to serve Buddhist pilgrims from throughout the world.

The administration of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina maintains a Ministry of Religious Affairs. All mosques, temples, churches, pagodas, and gurdwaras in Bangladesh are under the Ministry’s jurisdiction.

Can anyone imagine a Muslim country constructing a Buddhist monastery in Nepal (a religiously Hindu country)? Recently, it established a clear example for all countries in the world that Bangladesh is the global role model of communal harmony. The Bangladesh government intends to maintain Bangladesh as a non-communal country.

For more clarification, according to media reports, two men of different faiths - in Bangladesh’s Khulna division, a Hindu and a Muslim, taught communal harmony via acts of compassion towards one another’s religion.

In Bagerhat district, a Hindu man contributed property for the construction of a mosque, and a local Awami League leader handed a section of his land to be utilized as a cremation site. Hindus can use this space to foster communal harmony in their community.

Hundreds of Muslim men, women, and children queue every day during Ramadan in front of a Buddhist monastery in Dhaka to receive iftar, the feast with which Muslims break their fast at dusk during the holy month.

The initiative by Dharmarajika Buddhist monastery to distribute food to the poor and destitute Muslims is a shining example of social harmony between two groups from two different religions in this South Asian country.

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Dr. Abantika Kumari is an Assistant Professor at the History Department of Allahabad College, Uttar Pradesh, India. She is also a researcher particularly focused on South Asia. She can be contacted at abanthikakumari@gmail.com

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