BBC’s latest comments that local Christians in Bangladesh are not feeling safe came to us as a shock. This is an utterly erroneous concept contrary to the reality on the ground. Only the other day the Christian community celebrated Easter Sunday with usual solemnity. Every newspaper carried articles and photographs of the celebration across the country. So, does this impart the message that the Christian community is facing any communal problem?
Anyone who has the slightest idea about the secular nature of Bangladesh Awami League will not ever say that this is a party of the communal people. Bangladesh Awami League, the ruling party of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was born with a mission to establish democracy, rule of law, human rights, and secular ideals upon which the Independent Bangladesh was founded.
Secularism is the main mission Bangladesh Awami League has been upholding since its inception. The Awami League under Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was also upholding and maintaining secularism as its main objective to unite the nation; and the Awami League under Bangabandhu’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is also leading the nation with secular ideals. Neither Bangabandhu, nor his daughter Sheikh Hasina relinquished secularism for a single moment from their mind.
The tragic death of Bangabandhu and the repeated attacks on Sheikh Hasina were because of upholding secularism as the main principle of the party. The anti-liberation and the extremist forces are trying to eliminate Sheikh Hasina only because she will not allow anything other than secularism to be the guiding principle in uniting the people of various faiths.
Sheikh Hasina and her ruling party Awami League has been working in pursuit of building a social bonding among the people and creating communal harmony in the society by strongly maintaining secularism. And that’s why the leaders, workers, and the supporters of Awami League often had to pay with their lives. If Bangladesh Awami League and its leaders had compromised with the ideals of secularism in the heavily Muslim dominated society of Bangladesh, then sacrificing so many party workers would not have been necessary.
In fact, for this reason, Awami League had to face continued political challenges in the country of 90 percent Muslims. Despite having such dedication and devotion to the ideals of secularism, the Bangladesh Awami League is being accused by the BBC that under the Awami League the Christian community in Bangladesh are at risk.
A media like BBC which has a global reputation in revealing truth and making news maintaining objectivity, we fail to comprehend how they can produce such news which has no connection with reality. Even the Christian community in Bangladesh has expressed concern about this news item produced by BBC.
Media reports show that Most of the influential Christian clerics and senior leaders of Bangladesh, have denounced the statement coming from a recent BBC talk show, which with an ill-motive claimed that the Christians are currently feeling insecure in Bangladesh.
They also publicly said that Christians are in best position ever under the regime of Sheikh Hasina led Awami League government. William Proloy Samaddar, General Secretary of the Christian Association of Bangladesh said, “The BBC’s statement is totally irresponsible. Though the BBC talk show claimed that Christians community in Bangladesh, under the ruling Awami League, is feeling insecure, they could not bring any specific incident in support of their claim.”
BBC could not mention where, who, why and how such claim of feeling of insecurity is prevailing under the ruling party, the top leader of Bangladesh Christian community added.
Where is the reference, the sources and statistics of such kind of claims? He asked the BBC authority. He said, “I am completely disagreeing with the statement that came from a recent BBC talk show.” Hailing the role of the current government, especially that of Sheikh Hasina in the betterment of all religious minority groups, William Proloy Samaddar, who is also the Vice president of Bangladesh Baptist Church Shangsha, clearly said, “ Truly we are in the best position ever under the current government.”
He further commented, “The very few isolated attacks on Christian community in the country was only aimed to make the government friendless in the global community. And the attacks were carried by some organized groups.” Referring to the several attacks against the Christian community in a neighboring county, the second in command of the Christian Association of Bangladesh, said, “ We are clearly in the best situation in Bangladesh than any other country.”
Bishop Paul S Sarkar, an Anglican Bishop, who has been the Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh, a united province of the Anglican Communion, since 2007, said, “ We are not feeling any insecurity during the Awami League led government.” We are in much more better situation now, he added. However, he claimed there is also an opposition side of everything. When Awami League comes to power, some anti-Awami League forces hatch conspiracy against government targeting minority communities.”