The Dhaka Tribune on July 27, 2022 reports that the population of Muslims have increased in the country compared to devotees of other religions, according to the preliminary report of Population and Housing Census-2022.
The report said that the Hindu population decreased from 8.54% to 7.95%, the Buddhist population from 0.62% to 0.61%, the Christian population from 0.31% to 0.30% and the population of other religions decreased to 0.14% from 0.12%. However, the Muslim population has increased from 90.39% to 91.04%.
PTI (Press Trust of India) on 23 June 2016 reports from Dhaka that the number of Hindus in Muslim-majority Bangladesh has grown by one per cent to 1.70 crore in one year constituting 10.7 per cent of the population by the end of 2015, an official report said today.
The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) said their latest vital sample statistics report found the country’s total population to be 15.89 crore by the end of 2015 with the number of Hindus at 1.70 crore. Previous BBS studies showed Bangladesh’s Hindu population size was 1.55 crore in 2014 suggesting that the numbers of the country’s largest minority community increased by 1.5 million in one year.
2015 to 2022, only 7 years, according to the government statistics, the Hindus population in Bangladesh has dwindled from 10.7% to 7.95%? Similarly Buddhist and Christian population also decreased while the Muslim population increased. On religion basis, after Muslims, Hindus are the largest population group. Hindus in Bangladesh are always complaining that they are persecuted and are forced to leave the country. One can easily understand the reason for the sharp decline of Hindu population, is nothing but unbearable persecution and Hindus are leaving the country silently for neighboring India.
Islamists wants Bangladesh to be a monolithic Islamic country, administration is looking otherwise, while the government is silent. Is not it the government’s responsibility to explain why in 7 years Hindu population dropped astronomically? Well, the sources cites two reasons for the decline, first, there is out-migration of Hindus, i.e. Hindus are leaving the country and secondly, the relatively low total fertility rate among the Hindu population, that is, Hindu couples give birth to relatively fewer children. The government frequently demanded that, ‘No Hindu leaves the country for India’, if so, then the government needs to explain why the Hindus are missing?
According to the different sources and Human Right activists, since 1947, from Bangladesh (erstwhile East Pakistan) roughly 50 million religious and ethnic minorities, mainly Hindus, were forced to took shelter in India. The non-Muslims in that area are subjected to humiliation, vandalizing and desecrating their places of worship, burning down their homes and business, eviction, forced conversion, mass rape, kidnapping followed by rape and killing, burning people alive, church massacre, and grisly murders, for more than 7 decades, including Bangladesh’s half a century.
Citing Professor Dastidar’s (Empire’s last casualty: Indian subcontinent’s vanishing Hindu and other minorities, Dastidar, S. 2008), US Congressman Robert Dold’s reported on the House floor that:
“Since 1947, forty-nine million Hindus of Bangladesh have gone missing.”
On July 19, 2019, Ms. Priya Saha, a Bangladeshi human rights activist, reported to former President Donald Trump that “37 million Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians have disappeared from Bangladesh [She didn’t mention the years but perhaps it’s since 1971].”
Dr. Abul Barakat, a Professor of economics Barakat of University of Dhaka has predicted that “No Hindus will be left in Bangladesh after 30 years.” (Dhaka Tribune, Nov. 20, 2016).
“The rate of exodus over the past 49 years points to that direction,” the Dhaka University teacher says in his book Political economy of reforming agriculture-land-water bodies in Bangladesh published yesterday. From his 30-year-long research, Barkat found that before the Liberation War, the daily rate of migration was 705 while it was 512 during 1971-1981 and 438 during 1981-1991. The number increased to 767 persons each day during 1991-2001 while around 774 persons left the country during 2001-2012, the book says.
According to the leading Dhaka Daily the Prothom Alo, on March 29, 2013, the National Human Rights Commission chairman, Dr. Mizanur Rahman, stated at a RTC (round table conference) at the Dhaka University Teacher-student Center yesterday that, government and civil society have failed to safeguard the interest of the religious minorities. He warned that ‘Hindus will become extinct in Bangladesh in the next 20 years!’ The RTC was organized by ‘Sompriti Moncho’ (Communal Harmony Forum).
On 22 September 2012, the daily Prothom Alo & weekly blitz published a report which states that, in the past 10 years, compared to the growth of the total population in Bangladesh, there is an alarming decrease of the Hindu population in the country. According to statistics available with the government sources, the proportionate decrease in Hindu population is around nine million. The statistics show a near elimination of the Hindu population in fifteen districts in the country. Most of the Hindu families in those districts were forced to leave the country. The district-wise statistics of population sees “huge decline” or “the near elimination” of Hindu population in fifteen districts, though the statistics terms the decline of Hindu population as “missing population”.
The Financial Express on 15 September 2013 published a story in the last page with headline, ‘Dhaka rejects UN report on 3.2m Bangladeshis’ migration to India’. It said the government will never endorse the latest United nations report on international migration, which said some 3.2 million Bangladeshis had migrated and settle in India over the past decades, a senior official of the ministry to foreign affairs said on Saturday. The report, prepared by the UN department of Economics and Social Affairs (DESA), and released on Wednesday termed the “migration from Bangladesh to India as the single largest bilateral stock of international migrants in the eastern hemisphere and also in the developing world.”
Only 1.93% allotted for religious minorities!
Bangladesh fiscal year 2021-22 budget allotted for Religious Affairs Ministry Taka 15,054.03 crore (roughly $1771 million) under the ADP (annual development project), of which Taka 290.08 crore (roughly $34million) was allocated for projects related to religious minorities. Religious minorities’ share of the religious affairs ministry’s total budget is only 1.93% and the rest goes to Islamic development, whereas the total religious minority population is more than 12%. It is a shame, discriminatory and humiliating, it seems that religious minorities have no rights, let alone human rights. Both Bangladesh Hindu Buddhists & Christian Oikyo Parishad (BHBCOP) and Hindu Grand Alliance (HGA) in Dhaka protested.
The post has been written by Sitangshu Guha, senior human rights based in the USA. The views are of the writer alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of www.currentriggers.com.