Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud urged the people of walks of life to always remain vigilant about the communal instigators so that none can destroy the country's communal harmony.
"Bangladesh was born as a non-communal state with the bloodshed of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians under the leadership of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman," he said.
Hasan said Bangladesh was born to create a non-communal state coming out from the communal state system of Pakistan.
He said these as the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of a colourful procession of a five-day Sree Sree Jamnastami Utsab, one of the major festivals of the Hindu community, at Chattogram city's Andarkillah crorssing on Friday morning.
“There are a few political parties in Bangladesh who do politics by capitalizing on communalism. They give communal slogans during elections, saying Awami League is the party of Hindus. Bangladesh Awami League is the party of all people including Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians,” Dr Hasan added.
Former Mayor and General Secretary of Chattogram city Awami League (AL) AJM Nasir Uddin inaugurated the function.
Mikel Dey, convenor of Janmastami Udjapan Parishad Chattogram, presided over the function while Commissioner of Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP) Krisnopada Roy, Sree Sree Janmashtami Udjapan Parishad Bangladesh (SSJUPB) Central President industrialist Sukumar Chowdhury, its Central General Secretary engineer Prabir Kumar Sen and different religious organizations, professional bodies and public representatives attended the function.
Sree Sree Janmashtami Udjapan Parishad Bangladesh (SSJUPB) brought out a colourful rally that paraded different important streets.
Thousands of Hindu devotees irrespective of genders and ages including theologians, hermits, hundreds of students from different educational institutions joined the procession witnessed by onlookers and passers-by from either sides of city streets.
Dr. Hasan Mahmud said whenever communal incitements were carried out, the government always cracked down on the troblemakers.
“You know those who chant communal slogans, who try to create communalism but they utter sweet words during elections. So I request you to remain careful about them when election comes” he said.
Hasan, also AL joint general secretary, recalled heinous incidents that took place in Cumilla and different parts during the Durga Puja last. “I spent sleepless night. I myself rushed to Rangpur. Because I am in-charge of Rangpur area from AL,” he said.
Pointing to religious minorities, Hasan said: "This country is of yours, none of you should suffer from inferiority complex. You are born on this soil. You will resist if someone hurts you. We always stay beside you. The Awami League will be on your side, the government remains on your side."
He said Janmashtami celebrations along with processions are held in Chattogram in a befitting manner with pomp and décor.
“I have also been a participant in this festival since my childhood. Apart from Chattogram, this festival is held in many places in the country, but nowhere such a colorful festival takes place likewise Chattogram. So this event in Chattogram is definitely a national event,” he said.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined virtually here too on Thursday on the occasion of Janmashtami.
Hasan said when the Duga Puja is held in Chattogram, someone who comes by plane or bus here can realise a massive festival is going on in this city.
Later, the minister spoke as the chief guest in a discussion on formulation of master plan for implementation of various development projects in special areas of Jangal Salimpur and adjacent mauzas in the district in the conference room of Chattogram Circuit House.
At the end of the discussion, he distributed cheque of financial assistances of Taka 50,000 each to 320 patients suffering from cancer, kidney, liver-cirrhosis, cardiac and neurological disorder and thalassemia under the initiative of the Ministry of Social Welfare.
Deputy Commissioner of Chattogram Mohammad Mominur Rahman presided over the function while Mayor of Chattogram City Corporation Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, lawmaker Didarul Alam, Chattogram city AL General Secretary and former mayor AJM Nasir Uddin, among others, attended the function.