Information Minister and Awami League Joint Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud today said that the non-communal sprit on the basis of which everyone became independent in Bangladesh in exchange for huge blood was attempted to be destroyed through killing Bangabandhu and most of his family members on August 15, 1975.
He said after the August 15 killing the state was misled toeing the opposite direction of the spirit of the war of liberation for long 21 years.
Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina has been working to bring back the spirit after retaining state power in 1996, Hasan added.
He was speaking as the chief guest while distributing cheques to the destitute and the temples of the Hindu Religious Welfare Trust at local Circuit House this afternoon.
AZM Sharif Hossain, additional deputy commissioner Chattogram, presided over the function while Mofizur Rahman, General Secretary of Chattogram South District Awami League, Babul Chandra Sharma and Uttam Kumar Sharma, Trustees of the Hindu Religious Welfare Trust, President of Chattogram District Puja Udjapon Committee Shyamal Kumar Palit and it's General Secretary Ashim Kumar Dev, among others, addressed the function.
Hasan said that Bangladesh has emerged in exchange for the combined blood of Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Muslims.
"The country was divided on the basis of communalism. We got the state of Pakistan during the partition of the country on the basis of communalism, where the religious identity was considered paramount. But the culture, we Bengalees nurtured for a long time was not the main identity for us. In reality Bengali identity is the main thing for us," he added.
He said "When we saw that our Bengali identity was being hurt by trying to make religious identity the main thing, Bengalees culture and language were being hurt."
"Then, in order to get out of that communal state system, Bangladesh emerged in exchange of Hindu-Muslim-Buddhist-Christian blood through the freedom struggle and the war of independence under the leadership of the Father of the Nation," he added.
The information minister said, "We believe in the slogan of the religion of this state–the festival is for everyone. Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina believes in this principle, that is why she always has said this," he added.
Hasan said, "When there is a festival of worship in our country, it is not limited to Hinduism, the joy of the festival spreads among all Muslims, Christians and Buddhists."
"The joy of Eid in our country is not limited to the Muslim community. Similarly, when Pravarana Purnima, the festival of flying lanterns is not limited to Buddhists. This is the beauty of the state of Bangladesh. This is non-communal Bangladesh. But there are occasional attempts to incite communalism. Our government is determined to suppress such attempts with a strong hand," he added.
He said that during the Pakistan period, 10 percent of the population of a state was declared enemy by enacting the enemy property law.
"This law has been changed under the leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina. Attempts have been made to harass a community under the fence of this law, their auxiliary property has often been misappropriated. But laws are enacted to protect them and to bring back those that have become obsolete. The law was amended, and prosecutors were appointed. Many have already been benefited from it," he added.
The information minister said that "We are working towards the goal that all the communities have fought together and made the country independent."
"This is our difference with Pakistan. About 98 percent of Pakistan's population is Muslim, again there is Shia-Sunni riots. Shia's mosques are bombed, Sunni mosques are bombed."
He said that the Prime Minister and people of Pakistan sighed by seeing the progress of Bangladesh. This is the success of Bangladesh under the leadership of Bangabandhu.
Hasan said Bangladesh is ahead of Pakistan in all economic, human development and social indicators today. "In many ways, we have overtaken India in human development and social indicators. We are all working to take the state forward, it must continue."
Terming Chandranath Hills in Sitakunda as a pilgrimage site not only for the Hindu community in Bangladesh but for all the Hindu communities in the world, the information minister said that everyone can go there. "There needs to be an arrangement for that. I have talked to many. I think the Hindu Welfare Trust can take an initiative. As people of Chattogram, I will be by your side", he added.