Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said Hindus in Bangladesh need to be self-confident instead of feeling like minorities.
Speaking to the leaders of Sri Sri Janmashtami Udjapon Parishad and Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad via video call on Janmashtami, the birth anniversary of Lord Sri Krishna, Hasina said people from all religions will have equal rights in the country.
“You [Hindus] have the same rights as I have. So, why should you feel like minorities?”
“You need to think that you are also the citizens of this country with equal civil rights. Never let a sense of inferiority seep into your minds…You need to think you own this country.”
“I think if you have this self-confidence, miscreants [won’t be able to target Hindus],” Hasina said, referring to recent communal violence.
“And no one will be able to do harm to us if we remain united.”
The prime minister said founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman always emphasised secularism and wanted people from all religions to live in Bangladesh with equal rights.
“Hindus came under attacks after the assassination of the Father of the Nation in 1975, because they [the rulers who took over after Bangabandhu’s killing] wanted to declare Bangladesh an Islamic state.
“They could not do it because of the pressure from the public.”