On the 6th of August, 2022, a Hindu Temple in Kainmari (Champai District) of Bangladesh was attacked and vandalised by a few Muslim boys. The assailants were identified by the local police as students from a madrassa. Idols of Hindu Deities such as Lord Ganesh and Goddess Kali had been destroyed in the attack. The Temple authorities had raised an objection regarding playing football around the temple premises. However, the boys retaliated and warned the temple officials of serious consequences. At night, some people entered the temple and began to vandalise the idols and deities housed in the temple.
Bangladesh is primarily a Muslim-dominated country. The majority of the population are Bengali Muslims and follow Sunni- Islam as their main religion. They constitute 89% of the total population. The Hindu Bengalis constitute the minority. They are mostly “Shaktas” (followers of Shaktism), and a few of them practise Vaishnavism and Shaivism. Religious Persecution in Bangladesh is not a new phenomenon, During and after the Partition of British India in 1947, communal riots broke out in East Pakistan. Prior to 1971, there was a huge genocide of the Bengali Hindus in Bangladesh in particular: the Adityapur, Akhira, Barguna, Galimpur massacres. There were huge pogroms in 1989, along with Fatehpur violence (2012), Nasirnagar Violence (2016) along with religious violent events in 2014, 2013 etc.
Ethnic minorities (mostly Hindus) have borne the “brunt” of temple destruction and forceful conversions. There have been numerous case studies of religious violence. The International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple in Bangladesh was looted and destroyed. There are a number of Hindu populated districts in Bangladesh that have been targeted by extremists. In the Cumhilla, Chandpur, Chittagong, Cox Bazaar, Noakhali and Gazipur districts of Bangladesh, communal violence was at its apex.
The main cause behind this is radicalisation which is prevalent in Bangladesh. Ethnic minorities such as Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and even their fellow Shia Muslim brethren are not been spared. Extremist groups in Bangladesh responsible for Islamic Radicalisation include “Ansarullah Bangla Team.”, Jamaat-e-Islami Party and a secret group called “Defenders of Islam”. These groups have created several “hit lists” of secular personalities in the Bangladeshi Government. The year 2013 in Bangladesh is especially remembered for anti-Hindu violence. In 2021, Bangladesh witnessed communal violence especially during the “Durga Puja” wherein around 50 temples were vandalised. Many Islamic groups in Bangladesh have even stated that: “By 2050, no Hindu will remain in Bangladesh”.
These notorious events have resulted in a mass exodus of Hindus into The Indian State of Tripura where there were high levels of communal violence. The Bangladesh government has deployed its paramilitary force to quell religious violence. Bangladesh considers itself to be a secular country. However, actions speak much louder than words- the nation has witnessed several Hindu massacres by the Bengali Muslims and the nation has done very least or almost nothing in response to these atrocities.