Over the past week or so, to say Bangladesh has been a hotbed for communal violence, unrest and a gross lack of empathy and consideration towards its Hindu population would be an extreme understatement. In every division in Bangladesh, in multiple cities, Hindu homes have been burned, temples and other places of worship vandalised and people have lost their lives.
While as many as close to 500 people have been arrested across 71 cases that have been fled in the country, this achieves very little. Yes, spreading rumours and inciting hatred on social media have been among the major reasons for the situation to have escalated to this point beyond control, but the fact of the matter is that these cases and arrests fail to address the bigger issue.
Bangladesh claims to be a secular nation and was founded upon secular values. If we are to believe that this is indeed a country where secularism still holds true, then we need less finger-pointing and scapegoating, and more action.
This action is not just to identify those who spread disinformation and bring them to book, but also the perpetrators who are responsible for carrying out these systematic attacks on the Hindu population.
As things currently stand, despite the assurance of increased security, this series of sustained attacks on Bangladesh’s Hindu population are worse than any that have occurred over the past two decades or so. The onus is on the authorities concerned to rectify the situation, not through words, but through concrete action. There can be no tolerating the intolerance that is on display currently in Bangladesh. Enough is enough.
This article first appeared in Dhaka Tribune.