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Hinduism in Bangladesh

Hinduism in Bangladesh

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Hinduism is the second largest religious affiliation in Bangladesh, covering more than 9.2% of the population, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. In terms of population, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 is the third largest Hindu state in the world after India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

.

In nature, Bangladeshi Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 closely resembles the forms and customs of Hinduism practised in the neighbouring Indian state of West Bengal
West Bengal
West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is also the seventh-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 91 million inhabitants. A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's GDP...

, with which Bangladesh (at one time known as East Bengal
East Bengal
East Bengal was the name used during two periods in the 20th century for a territory that roughly corresponded to the modern state of Bangladesh. Both instances involved a violent partition of Bengal....

) was united until the partition of India in 1947.

The Goddess (Devi
Devi
Devī is the Sanskrit word for Goddess, used mostly in Hinduism, its related masculine term is deva. Devi is synonymous with Shakti, the female aspect of the divine, as conceptualized by the Shakta tradition of Hinduism. She is the female counterpart without whom the male aspect, which represents...

) – usually venerated as Durga
Durga
For the 1985 Hindi Film of Rajesh Khanna see DurgaaIn Hinduism, Durga ; ; meaning "the inaccessible" or "the invincible"; , durga) or Maa Durga "one who can redeem in situations of utmost distress" is a form of Devi, the supremely radiant goddess, depicted as having eighteen arms, riding a lion...

 or Kali
Kali
' , also known as ' , is the Hindu goddess associated with power, shakti. The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Kali means "the black one". Since Shiva is called Kāla - the eternal time, Kālī, his consort, also means "Time" or "Death" . Hence, Kāli is...

 – is widely revered, often alongside her consort Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

. The worship of Shiva
Shaivism
Shaivism is one of the four major sects of Hinduism, the others being Vaishnavism, Shaktism and Smartism. Followers of Shaivism, called "Shaivas," and also "Saivas" or "Saivites," revere Shiva as the Supreme Being. Shaivas believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer,...

 has generally found adherents among the higher castes in Bangladesh. Worship of Vishnu
Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism is a tradition of Hinduism, distinguished from other schools by its worship of Vishnu, or his associated Avatars such as Rama and Krishna, as the original and supreme God....

 (typically in the form of his Avatar
Avatar
In Hinduism, an avatar is a deliberate descent of a deity to earth, or a descent of the Supreme Being and is mostly translated into English as "incarnation," but more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation"....

s
or incarnation
Incarnation
Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient creature who is the material manifestation of an entity, god or force whose original nature is immaterial....

 Rama
Rama
Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

 or Krishna
Krishna
Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

) more explicitly cuts across caste lines by teaching the fundamental oneness of humankind in spirit. Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

 worship in Bengal expresses the union of the male and female principles in a tradition of love and devotion. This form of Hindu belief and the Sufi tradition of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 have influenced and interacted with each other in Bengal. Both were popular mystical movements emphasizing the personal relationship of religious leader and disciple instead of the dry stereotypes of the brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

s or the ulama
Ulema
Ulama , also spelt ulema, refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. They are best known as the arbiters of shari‘a law...

. As in Bengali Islamic practice, worship of Vishnu frequently occurs in a small devotional society (shomaj). Both use the language of earthly love to express communion with the divine. In both traditions, the Bangla language
Bengali language
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

 is the vehicle of a large corpus of mystical literature of great beauty and emotional impact.

Bangladeshi Hinduism admits worship of spirits and patron deities of rivers, mountains, vegetation, animals, stones, or disease. Ritual bathing, vows, and pilgrimages to sacred rivers, mountains, shrines, and cities are important practices. An ordinary Hindu will worship at the shrines of Muslim pir
Pir (Sufism)
Pir or Peer is a title for a Sufi master equally used in the nath tradition. They are also referred to as a Hazrat or Shaikh, which is Arabic for Old Man. The title is often translated into English as "saint" and could be interpreted as "Elder". In Sufism a Pir's role is to guide and instruct his...

s
, without being concerned with the religion to which that place is supposed to be affiliated. Hindus revere many holy men
Sadhu
In Hinduism, sādhu denotes an ascetic, wandering monk. Although the vast majority of sādhus are yogīs, not all yogīs are sādhus. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving mokṣa , the fourth and final aśrama , through meditation and contemplation of brahman...

 and ascetics conspicuous for their bodily mortifications. Some believe that they attain spiritual benefit merely by looking at a great holy man
Darshan
or Darshan is a Sanskrit term meaning "sight" , vision, apparition, or glimpse. It is most commonly used for "visions of the divine" in Hindu worship, e.g. of a deity , or a very holy person or artifact...

.

The principle of ahimsa
Ahimsa
Ahimsa is a term meaning to do no harm . The word is derived from the Sanskrit root hims – to strike; himsa is injury or harm, a-himsa is the opposite of this, i.e. non harming or nonviolence. It is an important tenet of the Indian religions...

is expressed in almost universally observed rules against eating beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

. By no means are all Bangladeshi Hindus vegetarians, but abstinence from all kinds of meat is regarded as a "higher" virtue. Brahmin (Bram-mon) or "Upper-caste" Bangladeshi Hindus, unlike their counterparts elsewhere in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, ordinarily eat fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 and chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

. This is similar to the Indian state of West Bengal, which has a similar climate to that of Bangladesh, has led Hindus to consume[fish as it is the only major source of protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

 (regardless of caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

).

Demographics



According to the 2001 census there are 11,379,000 Hindus in Bangladesh. Hindus in Bangladesh in the late 1980s were almost evenly distributed in all regions, with concentrations in Chittagong
Chittagong
Chittagong ) is a city in southeastern Bangladesh and the capital of an eponymous district and division. Built on the banks of the Karnaphuli River, the city is home to Bangladesh's busiest seaport and has a population of over 4.5 million, making it the second largest city in the country.A trading...

, Khulna
Khulna
Khulna is the third largest city in Bangladesh. It is located on the banks of the Rupsha and Bhairab rivers in Khulna District. It is the divisional headquarters of Khulna Division and a major industrial and commercial center. It has a seaport named Mongla on its outskirts, 38 km from Khulna...

, Jessore, Dinajpur, Faridpur
Faridpur District
Faridpur is a district in central Bangladesh. It is a part of the Dhaka Division. Faridpur District has a population of over 1.7 million people and is situated on the banks of the Padma river . It is bordered by Madaripur, Narail, Rajbari, Magura, Shariatpur, Gopalgonj, Dhaka and Manikganj...

, and Barisal. The contributions of Hindus in arts and literature were far in excess of their numerical strength. In politics, they had traditionally supported the liberal and secular ideology of the Awami League and other left wing parties such as Communist Party of Bangladesh
Communist Party of Bangladesh
The Communist Party of Bangladesh is a Marxist-Leninist political party in Bangladesh, founded in 1968 as the Communist Party of East Pakistan.- History :...

 (CPB), and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD). However, barring the fundamentalist http://www.hrdc.net/sahrdc/hrfeatures/HRF48.htm Islamist parties such as Jamaat-e-Islami
Jamaat-e-Islami
This article is about Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan. For other organizations of similar name see Jamaat-e-Islami The Jamaat-e-Islami , is a Pro-Muslim political party in Pakistan...

, all the major political parties have fielded Hindu candidates. In the current Jatiyo Sangshad
Jatiyo Sangshad
Jatiya Sangsad or National Assembly is the national parliament of Bangladesh. The current parliament of Bangladesh contains 345 seats including 45 women reserved seats distributed on elected party position in the parliament, the occupants of which are called Members of Parliament or MPs...

, out of 345 members, there are only 33 Hindus: 32 are from the Awami League, and 1 from the Jatiyo Party. Hindu institutions and places of worship received assistance through the Bangladesh Hindu Kalyan Trust (Bangladesh Hindu Welfare Trust), which was sponsored by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Government sponsored Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar (radio) broadcast readings and interpretations of Hindu scriptures and prayers.

Since the rise of more explicitly Islamist political formations in Bangladesh during the 1990s, many Hindus have been intimidated or attacked, and fairly substantial numbers are leaving the country to India.

In present day Bangladesh, Hindus became a minority only in mid-thirteenth century of the Gregorian Calendar. In 1941 the Hindus formed about 28% of the population, which declined to 22.05% in 1951, as rich and upper caste Hindus migrated to India after Partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 in 1947. Since then, it has dropped by about half. Through a combination of mass exodus and genocide in the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities
1971 Bangladesh atrocities
Beginning with the start of Operation Searchlight on 25 March 1971 and continuing throughout the Bangladesh Liberation War, there were widespread violations of human rights in East Pakistan perpetrated by the Pakistan Army, with support from local political and religious militias, especially...

 by the Pakistan Army
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

 during the Bangladesh Liberation War
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

, this represents a loss of around 20 million Bangladeshi Hindus and their direct heirs, and reflects one of the largest displacements of population based on ethnic or religious identity in recent history. A significant driver of Hindu emigration has been the Enemy Property Act, later renamed as the Vested Property Act, through which the Bangladesh Government has been able to appropriate the property of around 40% of the existing Bangladeshi Hindu population (according to Dr Abul Barkat of Dhaka University).

A significant portion of the middle-class Hindu population left the region that is now Bangladesh immediately after the partition in 1947 when East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

 came into existence. Many of these East Bengali refugees
East Bengali Refugees
East Bengali Refugees are people that left East Bengal following the partition of Bengal, which was part of the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947.-History:...

 went on to contribute actively to Indian society after their migration. In 1971, during the Liberation War of Bangladesh from Pakistan, a similar scenario happened.
Declining Hindu population in Bangladesh region
Year Percentage (%)
1941 28.0
1951 22.0
1961 18.5
1974 13.5
1981 12.13
1991 11.62
2001 9.2


Source: Census of India 1941, Census of East Pakistan, Bangladesh Government Census http://www.newkerala.com/news.php?action=fullnews&id=6260 http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3452.htm

Despite their dwindling numbers, Hindus still yield considerable influence because of their geographical concentration in certain regions. They form a majority of the electorate in at least two parliamentary constituencies (Khulna-1 and Gopalganj-3) and account for more than 25% in at least another twenty. For this reason, they are often the deciding factor in parliamentary elections where victory margins can be extremely narrow. It is also frequently alleged that this is a prime reason for many Hindus being prevented from voting in elections, either through intimidating actual voters, or through exclusion in voter list revisions (e.g., see Daily Star, January 4, 2006).

Hindu population by administrative divisions

Hindu Population across Bangladesh
District Percentage (%)
Barisal 11.70
Chittagong 12.65
Dhaka 10.5
Khulna 16.45
Rajshahi 12.09
Sylhet 17.80


Banglapedia http://amardesh.com/

Hindu temples


Hindu temples are more or less distributed all across the country. The Kantaji Temple
Kantaji Temple
Kantojiu Temple is a late medieval Hindu temple in Dinajpur, Bangladesh. Built by Maharaja Pran Nath, its construction started in 1702 C.E. and ended in 1752 C.E. , during the reign of his son Maharaja Ramnath...

 is an elegant example of an 18th century temple. The most important temple in terms of prominence is the Dhakeshwari Temple
Dhakeshwari Temple
Dhakeshwari National Temple is a famous Hindu temple in Dhaka, Bangladesh and is state-owned, giving it the distinction of Bangladesh's "National Temple". The name "Dhakeshwari" means "Goddess of Dhaka". The temple is located southwest of the Salimullah Hall of Dhaka University...

, located in Dhaka
Dhaka
Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city...

. This temple along with other Hindu organizations arranges Durga Puja
Durga Puja
Durga puja ; দুর্গা পূজা,ଦୁର୍ଗା ପୂଜା,‘Worship of Durga’), also referred to as Durgotsava ; , is an annual Hindu festival in South Asia that celebrates worship of the Hindu goddess Durga. It refers to all the six days observed as Mahalaya, Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and...

 and Krishna Janmaashtami
Krishna Janmaashtami
Krishna Janmashtami , also known as Krishnashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti, Sree Jayanthi or sometimes merely as Janmashtami, is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Krishna, an avatar of the god Vishnu.Krishna Janmashtami is observed on the Ashtami...

 very prominently. The other main temple of Dhaka is the Ramakrishna Mission
Ramakrishna Mission
Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission are twin organizations which form the core of a worldwide spiritual movement known as Ramakrishna Movement or Vedanta Movement. The Ramakrishna Mission is a philanthropic, volunteer organization founded by Ramakrishna's chief disciple Swami Vivekananda on...

. The famous Ramna Kali Temple in Dhaka was destroyed by the Pakistani Army during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971, and Bangladeshi Hindus have been actively petitioning successive governments since independence to rebuild the temple on the site, where a massacre of around 100 devotees also took place.

Built in early 19th century, Kal Bhairab Temple
Kal Bhairab Temple
Kal Bhairab Temple is a famous temple located in Medda, Brahmanbaria, Bangladesh dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva.-History:The temple, dating back to the 19th century, is famed for the giant Shivalinga, said to be the largest in the world.-Significance:...

 at Brahmanbaria holds the largest deity of Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

 in the country.

Many Hindu temples have suffered from implementation of the Vested Property Act through which land and moveable property has been confiscated by agents acting on behalf of successive governments. Hindu temples are also high risk areas during communal disturbances (most recently in 1990, 1992 and 2001) when it has often been necessary to call the army to protect sensitive locations.

Community issues


The Hindu community has many similar issues as the Muslim community of Bangladesh. These include women's rights, dowry, poverty and others. Issues unique to the Hindu community include maintenance of Hindu culture and temples in Bangladesh. Small sects of Islamists constantly try to politically and socially isolate the Hindus of Bangladesh . Because Hindus of Bangladesh are scattered across all areas (except in Narayanganj
Narayanganj
Narayanganj is a city in central Bangladesh. It is located in the Narayanganj District, near the capital city of Dhaka and has a population of 220,000. The city is on the bank of the Shitalakshya River. The river port of Narayanganj is one of the oldest in Bangladesh...

), they cannot unite politically. However, Hindus became sway voters in various elections. Hindus have usually voted in large mass for Awami League and communist parties, as these are the only parties which have a nominal commitment to secularism; the alternatives are the increasingly pro-Islamist centrist parties such as the Bangladesh Nationalist Party
Bangladesh Nationalist Party
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party , commonly referred to as the BNP, is the mainstream center-right political party in Bangladesh. BNP ruled Bangladesh total 18 years since her independence, the longest than any other party in Bangladesh...

 and Jatiya Party (which both incorporate Muslim identity into their version of Bangladeshi nationalism
Bangladeshi nationalism
Bangladeshi nationalism is a political ideology that glorifies and promotes the citizens of the People's Republic of Bangladesh as a distinctive cultural and political nation...

 or the outright Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh (an offshoot of the Pakistan-based Jamaat-e-Islami
Jamaat-e-Islami
This article is about Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan. For other organizations of similar name see Jamaat-e-Islami The Jamaat-e-Islami , is a Pro-Muslim political party in Pakistan...

) which seeks to establish Islamic law under which there would be separate provisions for Hindus as non-Muslims.

The Pakistan Period (1947-1971)


The establishment of Pakistan in 1947 on the basis of the Two-nation theory
Two-Nation Theory
The Two-Nation Theory proposed by Allama Iqbal is the ideology that the primary identity of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent is their religion, rather than their language or ethnicity, and therefore Indian Hindus and Muslims are two distinct nationalities, regardless of ethnic or other...

 was a time of great upheaval for the Hindus of the area that is now Bangladesh. Because the Pakistani government endorsed Islamists, the Hindus directly faced state sponsored persecutions during that time.

On 3 January 1964, an unprovoked carnage of the Hindus took place in major cities of East Pakistan. In the city of Khulna
Khulna
Khulna is the third largest city in Bangladesh. It is located on the banks of the Rupsha and Bhairab rivers in Khulna District. It is the divisional headquarters of Khulna Division and a major industrial and commercial center. It has a seaport named Mongla on its outskirts, 38 km from Khulna...

 alone thousands of Hindus were killed in one night. It was aided and abbeted by the then Government of Pakistan
Government of Pakistan
The Government of Pakistan is a federal parliamentary system, with an indirectly-elected President as the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Pakistani Armed Forces, and an indirectly-elected Prime Minister as the Head of Government. The President’s appointment and term are...

. A false rumour was spread that the Hindus in India stole the sacred hair of the Prophet Mohammed from the Hazrat Bal mosque in Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

. This ignited the passion of the Muslims to go berserk and as a result scores of Hindus were murdered. It was followed by a mass exodus
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

 of the hapless Hindus from East Pakistan to India

However, in the lead up to the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, the Hindus and Muslims united under one banner to liberate the nation. Unlike during the Pakistan era, when state symbolism emphasized Islamic solidarity, the iconography of the Liberation War emphasized the unity of Bengali
Bengali people
The Bengali people are an ethnic community native to the historic region of Bengal in South Asia. They speak Bengali , which is an Indo-Aryan language of the eastern Indian subcontinent, evolved from the Magadhi Prakrit and Sanskrit languages. In their native language, they are referred to as বাঙালী...

s irrespective of religious identity. For instance, a popular song by Gauriprasanna Majumdar during the war had as its chorus:

Banglar Hindu, Banglar Bauddha, Banglar Christian, Banglar Musalman, Amra Sabai Bangali
(Translation: "Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Muslims of Bengal - we are all Bengalis")

Bangladesh Liberation and 1971 Bangladesh atrocities (1971)



The Bangladesh Liberation War resulted in one of the largest genocides of the 20th century. While estimates of the number of casualties was 3,000,000, it is reasonably certain that Hindus bore a disproportionate brunt of the Pakistan Army's onslaught against the Bengali population of what was East Pakistan.

An article in Time magazine
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 dated August 2, 1971, stated "The Hindus, who account for three-fourths of the refugees and a majority of the dead, have borne the brunt of the Muslim military hatred."

Senator Edward Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

 wrote in a report that was part of United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is a standing committee of the United States Senate. It is charged with leading foreign-policy legislation and debate in the Senate. The Foreign Relations Committee is generally responsible for overseeing and funding foreign aid programs as...

 testimony dated November 1, 1971, "Hardest hit have been members of the Hindu community who have been robbed of their lands and shops, systematically slaughtered, and in some places, painted with yellow patches marked "H". All of this has been officially sanctioned, ordered and implemented under martial law from Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

". In the same report, Senator Kennedy reported that 80% of the refugees in India were Hindus and according to numerous international relief agencies such as UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 and World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 the number of East Pakistani refugees at their peak in India was close to 10 million. Given that the Hindu population in East Pakistan was around 11 million in 1971, this suggests that up to 8 million, or more than 70% of the Hindu population had fled the country.

The Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

 winning journalist Sydney Schanberg
Sydney Schanberg
Sydney Hillel Schanberg is an American journalist who is best known for his coverage of the war in Cambodia.-Life:Schanberg joined The New York Times as a journalist in 1959. He spent much of the early 1970s in Southeast Asia as a correspondent for the Times...

 covered the start of the war and wrote extensively on the suffering of the East Bengalis, including the Hindus both during and after the conflict. In a syndicated column "The Pakistani Slaughter That Nixon Ignored", he wrote about his return to liberated Bangladesh in 1972. "Other reminders were the yellow "H"s the Pakistanis had painted on the homes of Hindus, particular targets of the Muslim army" (by "Muslim army", meaning the Pakistan Army
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

, which had targeted Bengali Muslims as well), (Newsday
Newsday
Newsday is a daily American newspaper that primarily serves Nassau and Suffolk counties and the New York City borough of Queens on Long Island, although it is sold throughout the New York metropolitan area...

, April 29, 1994).

The initial post-independence period (1972-75)


In the first constitution of the newly independent country, secularism and equality of all citizens irrespective of religious identity was enshrined. On his return to liberated Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a Bengali nationalist politician and the founder of Bangladesh. He headed the Awami League, served as the first President of Bangladesh and later became its Prime Minister. He headed the Awami League, served as the first President of Bangladesh and later became its...

 in his first speech to the nation, specifically recognized the disproportionate suffering of the Hindu population during the Bangladesh Liberation War
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

. On a visit to Kolkata
Kolkata
Kolkata , formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, it was the commercial capital of East India...

, India in February 1972, Mujib visited the refugee camps that were still hosting several million Bangladeshi Hindus and appealed to them to return to Bangladesh and to help rebuilding the country.

Despite the public commitment of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his government to re-establishing secularism and rights of non-Muslim religious groups, two significant aspects of his rule remain controversial as relates to the conditions of Hindus in Bangladesh. The first was his refusal to return the premises of the Ramna Kali Mandir
Ramna Kali Mandir
The Ramna Kali Mandir , also known as the Ramna Kalibari was one of the most famous Hindu temples of the Indian subcontinent...

, historically the most important temple in Dhaka, to the religious body that owned the property. This centuries old Hindu temple was demolished by the Pakistan army during the Bangladesh Liberation War
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

 and around one hundred devotees murdered. Under the provisions of the Enemy Property Act it was determined that ownership of the property could not be established as there were no surviving members to claim inherited rights, and the land was handed over to the Dhaka Club
Dhaka Club
Dhaka Club is the oldest recreation organisation and the largest of elite clubs in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It was registered on 19 August 1911 in the model of the Bengal Club of Calcutta. It was granted legal status on 14 September 1911 under the Indian Companies Act of 1882. The club is located near...

.

Secondly, state-authorized confiscation of Hindu owned property under the provisions of the Enemy Property Act was rampant during Mujib's rule, and as per the research conducted by Abul Barkat of Dhaka University, the Awami League party of Sheikh Mujib was the largest beneficiary of Hindu property transfer in the past 35 years of Bangladeshi independence. This was enabled considerably because of the particular turmoil and displacement suffered by Bangladeshi Hindus, who were the primary target of the Pakistan army's genocide, as well documented by international publications such as Time magazine
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 and the New York Times, and by the declassified Hamoodur Rahman Commission report. With almost 8 million displaced Hindus and more than 200,000 Hindu victims of genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

, it was difficult to establish direct ownership of property within legally specified timeframes. This caused much bitterness among Bangladeshi Hindus, particularly given the public stance of the regime's commitment to secularism
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 and communal harmony.

Largely because of these and other factors, such as the lack of attention to the Human Rights Violations of Hindus in the country, the Hindu population of Bangladesh started to decline through migration http://www.hrdc.net/sahrdc/hrfeatures/HRF13.htm.

The Rahman and Hussein regimes (1975-1990)


President Ziaur Rahman
Ziaur Rahman
President Ziaur Rahman, Bir Uttam, was a Bangladeshi politician and general, who read the declaration of Independence of Bangladesh on March 26, 1971 on behalf of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He later became the seventh President of Bangladesh from 1977 until 1981...

 abandoned the constitutional provision for secularism and began to introduce Islamic symbolism in all spheres of national life (such as official seals and the constitutional preamble). Zia brought back the multi-party system thus allowing organizations such as and Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh (an offshoot of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami
Jamaat-e-Islami
This article is about Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan. For other organizations of similar name see Jamaat-e-Islami The Jamaat-e-Islami , is a Pro-Muslim political party in Pakistan...

 in Pakistan) to regroup and contest elections.

In 1988 President Hussein Mohammed Ershad declared Islam to be the State Religion of Bangladesh. Though the move was protested by students and left-leaning political parties and minority groups, to this date neither the regimes of the BNP or Awami League has challenged this change and it remains in place.

In 1990, the Ershad regime was widely blamed for negligence (and some human rights analysis allege active participation) in the anti-Hindu
Anti-Hindu
Anti-Hindu prejudice is a negative perception or religious intolerance against the practice and practitioners of Hinduism. Anti-Hindu sentiments have been expressed by Muslims in Pakistan, Bangladesh, leading to significant persecution of Hindus in those regions, such as the 1971 Bangladesh...

 riots following the Babri Mosque
Babri Mosque
The Babri Mosque , was a mosque in Ayodhya, a city in the Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh, on Ramkot Hill . It was destroyed in 1992 when a political rally developed into a riot involving 150,000 people, despite a commitment to the Indian Supreme Court by the rally organisers that the mosque...

 incident in India, the largest communal disturbances since Bangladesh independence, as a means of diverting attention from the rapidly increasing opposition to his rule. Many temples and Hindu areas were attacked, including, for the first time since 1971, the Dhakeshwari temple. The atrocities were brought to the West's attention by many Bangladeshis, including Taslima Nasrin
Taslima Nasrin
Taslima Nasrin is a Bengali Bangladeshi ex-doctor turned author who has been living in exile since 1994. From a modest literary profile in the late 1980s, she rose to global fame by the end of the 20th century owing to her feminist views and her criticism of Islam in particular and of religion in...

 and her book Lajja
Lajja
Lajja is a novel in Bengali by Taslima Nasrin, a writer of Bangladesh. The word lajja/lôjja means "shame" in Bengali and many other Indic languages. The book was first published in 1993 in the Bengali language, and was subsequently banned in Bangladesh, and a few states of India...

 which translated into English means "shame".

Return to democracy (1991-present)


Hindus were first attacked in mass on 1992 by Islamic fundamentalists
Islamic fundamentalism
Islamic fundamentalism is a term used to describe religious ideologies seen as advocating a return to the "fundamentals" of Islam: the Quran and the Sunnah. Definitions of the term vary. According to Christine L...

. More than 200 temples were destroyed. Hindus were attacked and many were raped and killed. The events were widely seen as a repercussion against the razing of the Babri Mosque in India. Taslima Nasrin
Taslima Nasrin
Taslima Nasrin is a Bengali Bangladeshi ex-doctor turned author who has been living in exile since 1994. From a modest literary profile in the late 1980s, she rose to global fame by the end of the 20th century owing to her feminist views and her criticism of Islam in particular and of religion in...

 wrote her novel Lajja
Lajja
Lajja is a novel in Bengali by Taslima Nasrin, a writer of Bangladesh. The word lajja/lôjja means "shame" in Bengali and many other Indic languages. The book was first published in 1993 in the Bengali language, and was subsequently banned in Bangladesh, and a few states of India...

(The Shame) based on this persecution of Hindus by Islamic extremists. The novel centers on the suffering of the patriotic anti-Indian and pro-Communist Datta family, where the daughter gets raped and killed while financially they end up losing everything.

Prominent political leaders frequently fall back on "Hindu bashing" in an attempt to appeal to extremist sentiment and to stir up communal passions. In one of the most notorious utterances of a mainstream Bangladeshi figure, the immediate past Prime Minister Khaleda Zia
Khaleda Zia
Begum Khaleda Zia is the former First Lady of Bangladesh , and then Prime Minister of Bangladesh, having served from 1991 to 1996, becoming the first woman in the country's history and second in the Muslim world to head a democratic government as prime minister. She served again from 2001 until...

, while leader of the opposition in 1996, declared that the country was at risk of hearing "uludhhwani" (a Hindu custom involving women's ululation
Ululation
A is a long, wavering, high-pitched vocal sound resembling a howl with a trilling quality. It is produced by emitting a high pitched loud voice accompanied with a rapid movement of the tongue and the uvula. The term ululation is an onomatopoeic word derived from Latin...

) from mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

s, replacing the azaan (Muslim call to prayer) (e.g., see Agence-France Press report of 18 November 1996, "Bangladesh opposition leader accused of hurting religious sentiment").

After the election of 2001, when a right-wing coalition including two Islamist parties (Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and Islami Oikya Jote
Islami Oikya Jote
The Islami Oikya Jote is a political party in Bangladesh.At the last legislative elections, 1 October 2001, the party won 2 out of 300 elected members in an alliance with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. It is led by Ameer Allama Mufti Fazlul Huq Amini and Chairman Shaikul Hadith Allama Azizul Haq...

) led by the pro-Islamic right wing Bangladesh Nationalist Party
Bangladesh Nationalist Party
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party , commonly referred to as the BNP, is the mainstream center-right political party in Bangladesh. BNP ruled Bangladesh total 18 years since her independence, the longest than any other party in Bangladesh...

 (BNP) came to power, many Hindus and liberal secularist Muslims were attacked by a section of the governing regime. Thousands of Bangladeshi Hindus were believed to have fled to neighbouring India to escape the violence unleashed by activists sympathetic to the new government. Many Bangladeshi Muslims played an active role in documenting atrocities against Hindus during this period.

The new government also clamped down on attempts by the media to document alleged atrocities against non-Muslim minorities following the election. Severe pressure was put on newspapers and other media outside of government control through threats of violence and other intimidation. Most prominently, the Muslim journalist and human rights activist Shahriyar Kabir
Shahriyar Kabir
Shahriyar Kabir is a very popular Bangladeshi Author and a famous Journalist. He has been writing fiction for children for decades.-Books:*Puber Shurjo*Hariye Jaoar Thikana*Nuliachorir Sonar Pahar*Abuder Adventure*Comred Mao Tse Tung...

 was arrested on charges of treason on his return from India where he had been interviewing Hindu refugees from Bangladesh; this was by the Bangladesh High Court and he was subsequently freed.

The fundamentalists and right-wing parties such as the BNP and Jatiya Party often portray Hindus as being sympathetic to India, and transferring economic resources to India, contributing to a widespread perception that Bangladeshi Hindus are disloyal to the state. Also, the right wing parties claim the Hindus to be backing the Awami League.

As widely documented in international media, Bangladesh authorities have had to increase security to enable Bangladeshi Hindus to worship freely following widespread attacks on places of worship and devotees.

After recent bombings
17 August 2005 Bangladesh bombings
On 17 August 2005, around 500 bomb explosions occurred at 300 locations in 63 out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh. The bombs were exploded within a half hour period starting from 11:30 am. A terrorist organization, Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh claimed responsibility for the bombings...

 in Bangladesh by the Islamic fundamentalists, the government has taken steps to strengthen the security during various minority celebrations, specially during Durga Puja.

On October 2006, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom published a report titled 'Policy Focus on Bangladesh', said that since its last election, 'Bangladesh has experienced growing violence by religious extremists, intensifying concerns expressed by the countries religious minorities'. The report further stated that Hindus are particularly vulnerable in a period of rising violence and extremism, whether motivated by religious, political or criminal factors, or some combination. The report noted that Hindus had multiple disadvantages against them in Bangladesh, such as perceptions of dual loyalty
Dual loyalty
In politics, dual loyalty is loyalty to two separate interests that potentially conflict with each other.-Inherently controversial:While nearly all examples of alleged "dual loyalty" are considered highly controversial, these examples point to the inherent difficulty in distinguishing between what...

 with respect to India and religious beliefs that are not tolerated by the politically dominant Islamic Fundamentalists of the [BNP. Violence against Hindus has taken place "in order to encourage them to flee in order to seize their property".The previous reports of the Hindu American Foundation
Hindu American Foundation
The Hindu American Foundation is an American Hindu human rights group advocating on behalf of the Hindu community in the United States. Dr...

 were acknowledged and confirmed by this non-partisan report.

On November 2, 2006, USCIRF criticized Bangladesh for continuing persecution of minority Hindus. It also urged the Bush administration to get Dhaka to ensure protection of religious freedom and minority rights before Bangladesh's next national elections in January 2007.

Political representation


Even after the decline of Hindu population in Bangladesh from 13.5% in 1974, just after the independence, Hindus were at around 9.2% of the population in 2001 according to government estimates following the census. However, Hindus accounted for only four members of the 300 member parliament following the 2001 elections through direct election; this went up to five following a by-election victory in 2004. Significantly, of the 45 seats reserved for women that are directly nominated by the Prime Minister, not a single one was allotted to a Hindu. Several Hindu advocacy groups in Bangladesh have demanded a return to a communal electorate system as existed during the Pakistan period, to enable a more equitable representation in parliament, or a reserved quota since persecution of Hindus has continued since 1946.

Politics

  • Biplobi (revolutionary) Binod Bihari Chowdhury, centurian anti-British revolutionary
  • Comrade
    Comrade
    Comrade means "friend", "colleague", or "ally". The word comes from French camarade. The term is frequently used by left-wing organizations around the globe. "Comrade" has often become a stock phrase and form of address. This word has its regional equivalents available in many...

     Moni Sinha, founding General Secretary
    General Secretary
    The office of general secretary is staffed by the chief officer of:*The General Secretariat for Macedonia and Thrace, a government agency for the Greek regions of Macedonia and Thrace...

     of Bangladesh Communist Party
  • Ronesh Maitra, leader of Gano Forum
    Gano Forum
    Gano Forum , literally People's Forum, a political party in Bangladesh. GF was formed through a split of Awami League and Communist Party of Bangladesh in 1993. Dr. Kamal Hossain was the founders of the party...

     (previously Communist Party of Bangladesh
    Communist Party of Bangladesh
    The Communist Party of Bangladesh is a Marxist-Leninist political party in Bangladesh, founded in 1968 as the Communist Party of East Pakistan.- History :...

  • Bimal Biswas, Workers' Party
    Workers' Party
    Workers' Party is a name used by a number of political parties throughout the world. While the name has been used by both left-wing and right-wing organizations, it is currently used by left-wing followers of Communism, Maoism, Marxism, Marxism-Leninism, Social Democracy, Socialism and...

  • Amal Bose, joint secretary of Awami League

Former ministers

  • Phani Bhushan Mojumdar, Ministry of Law, under President Khondaker Mustaq Ahmed
  • Sunil Gupta, Ministry of Lands, under Major General Ziaur Rahman
    Ziaur Rahman
    President Ziaur Rahman, Bir Uttam, was a Bangladeshi politician and general, who read the declaration of Independence of Bangladesh on March 26, 1971 on behalf of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He later became the seventh President of Bangladesh from 1977 until 1981...

  • Netai Roy Choudhury, Ministry of Law, under Lieutenant General Hussain Mohammad Ershad
  • Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, Ministry of Youth Development, under Khaleda Zia
    Khaleda Zia
    Begum Khaleda Zia is the former First Lady of Bangladesh , and then Prime Minister of Bangladesh, having served from 1991 to 1996, becoming the first woman in the country's history and second in the Muslim world to head a democratic government as prime minister. She served again from 2001 until...

  • Goutam Chakraborty, Ministry of Water Resources, under Khaleda Zia
  • Satish Chandra Roy, Ministry of Livestocks, under Sheikh Hasina
    Sheikh Hasina
    Sheikh Hasina is a Bangladeshi politician and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She has been the President of the Awami League, a major political party, since 1981. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh and widow of a reputed nuclear...


Current minister

  • Romesh Chondro Shen, current Water Resources Minister, and Member of Jatiyo Sangshad
    Jatiyo Sangshad
    Jatiya Sangsad or National Assembly is the national parliament of Bangladesh. The current parliament of Bangladesh contains 345 seats including 45 women reserved seats distributed on elected party position in the parliament, the occupants of which are called Members of Parliament or MPs...

     (Dinajpur
    Dinajpur
    The Dinajpur District was split between India and Bangladesh. The term can refer to the following:* Dinajpur District, Bangladesh** In the district, there is the Upazila of Dinajpur Sadar* West Dinajpur district, India. It was split on 1992-04-01 into:...

    )

Current members of Jatiyo Sangshad

  • Suranjit Sengupta
    Suranjit Sengupta
    Suranjit Sengupta is a senior Bangladesh Awami League politician in Bangladesh, and a Minister without Portfolio of the Government of Bangladesh since 28 November 2011.-Life and Career:...

    , Sunamganj, (from Awami League), and Chairman of Parliamentary committee of Law Ministry
  • Mina Paal (aka Kobory Sarwar & also alias Sarah Begum Kobory), Narayanganj
    Narayanganj
    Narayanganj is a city in central Bangladesh. It is located in the Narayanganj District, near the capital city of Dhaka and has a population of 220,000. The city is on the bank of the Shitalakshya River. The river port of Narayanganj is one of the oldest in Bangladesh...

     (from Awami League), and was a famous film actress
  • Shookoomar Ronjon Ghosh, Munshiganj (from Awami League), and M.D.
    Doctor of Medicine
    Doctor of Medicine is a doctoral degree for physicians. The degree is granted by medical schools...

     of Sun Pharma (Bangladesh)
  • Shadhona Haaldar (from Awami League)

Former Members of Jatiyo Sangshad

  • Sudhangshu Shekhar Haldar (from Awami League)
  • Panchanan Biswas (from Awami League)
  • Shonkor Gobindo Chowdhury, Natore District
    Natore District
    Natore is a district of Rajshahi Division located in northern Bangladesh. It borders the metropolitan city of Rajshahi, and used to be part of Rajshahi district.-History:Natore was the District Head Quarter of Rajshahi since 1769-1825...

     (from Awami League) 1996 - 2001
  • Dhirendra Nath Saha, from Bangladesh Nationalist Party
    Bangladesh Nationalist Party
    The Bangladesh Nationalist Party , commonly referred to as the BNP, is the mainstream center-right political party in Bangladesh. BNP ruled Bangladesh total 18 years since her independence, the longest than any other party in Bangladesh...

     (BNP), previously Awami League
  • Goyesh-shor Chondro Raay, Keraniganj Upazila
    Keraniganj Upazila
    Keraniganj is an Upazila of Dhaka District in the Division of Dhaka, Bangladesh.-Geography:Keraniganj is located at . Keraniganj stands on the southwest side of Dhaka City on the bank of the river Buriganga...

    , Dhaka District
    Dhaka District
    Dhaka District is a district located in central Bangladesh, and is the densest district in the nation. It is a part of the Dhaka Division. Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, rests on the eastern banks of the Buriganga River which flows from the Turag to the south of the district...

     (from BNP)
  • Gautam Chakraborty, Tangail District
    Tangail District
    Tangail is a district in central region of Bangladesh. It is a part of the Dhaka division. The population of Tangail zilla is about 3.2 million and its surface area is 3,414.39 km². The main town of Tangail District is the district town Tangail...

    , from BNP
  • Nitai Roy Choudhury, Magura District
    Magura District
    Magura is a district in South-Western Bangladesh. It is a part of the Khulna Division.-Geography:Magura District with an area of 1048 km2, is bounded by Rajbari district on the north, Jessore and Narail districts on the south, Faridpur district on the east and Jhenaidaha district on the west...

    , from BNP), previously Jatiyo Party
  • Monoronjon Shil Gopal, Dinajpur District (from Jatiyo Party)
  • Poritosh Chokroborty, Rangpur District
    Rangpur District
    The district of Rangpur have 4924 mosques, 480 temples, 43 churches and six tombs.In an anthropologic view most people of Rangpur are having Rajbagshi blood in their veins...

    , from Jatiyo Party
  • Vaaroty Nondi (from Awami League), Dinajpur (1996–2001)
  • Chitra Vottacharjo (from Awami League), mother of economist Dr. Debopriyo Bhattacharya (1996–2001)
  • Narayan Chandra Chondo (Member of Jatiyo Sangshad
    Jatiyo Sangshad
    Jatiya Sangsad or National Assembly is the national parliament of Bangladesh. The current parliament of Bangladesh contains 345 seats including 45 women reserved seats distributed on elected party position in the parliament, the occupants of which are called Members of Parliament or MPs...

     from Khulna District
    Khulna District
    The district of Khulna consists 10859 mosques, 680 temples, 81 churches, 15 Buddhist temples and 9 tombs.-Places of interest:*The Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world. The royal Bengal tiger inhabits the area; it is said that seeing the tiger enables a person to understand what a...

    , Awami League)
  • Noni Gopal Mondol (Member of Jatiyo Sangshad, Awami League)
  • Biren Sikder (from Awami League), Magura
    Magura
    Măgura may refer to several places in Romania:* Măgura, a commune in Bacău County* Măgura, a commune in Buzău County* Măgura, a commune in Teleorman County* Măgura, a village in Bucium Commune, Alba County...

  • Satish Chandra Sarker, Dinajpur (from Awami League)

Upazila Chairmen

  • Shoumendro Kishor Chowdhury, Ishwarganj Upazila
    Ishwarganj Upazila
    Ishwarganj is an Upazila of Mymensingh District in the Division of Dhaka, Bangladesh.-Geography:Ishwarganj is located at . It has 56296 units of house hold and total area 286.19 km².-Demographics:...

    , Mymensingh District
    Mymensingh District
    Mymensingh is one of the districts of Dhaka division, Bangladesh, and is bordered on the north by Meghalaya state of India and Garo Hills, on the south by Gazipur district, on the east by districts of Netrokona and Kishoreganj, and on the west by districts of Sherpur, Jamalpur and Tangail...

     (from Awami League)
  • Bijon Koomar Chondo, Jamalpur Sadar Upazila
    Jamalpur Sadar Upazila
    Jamalpur Sadar is an Upazila of Jamalpur District in the Division of Dhaka, Bangladesh.-Geography:Jamalpur Sadar is located at . It has 102578 units of house hold and total area 489.56 km².Hazrat Sha Jamal & Sha Kamal & Maulana A. Jabber Khan were famous religious leader.-Demographics:As of...

    , Jamalpur District
    Jamalpur District
    Jamalpur is a district in Dhaka Division, Bangladesh. The main Jamalpur town consists of 12 wards and 80 mahallas. The municipality was established in 1869. The area of the town is 53.28 km². The town has a population of 116754; male 51.06%, female 48.94%. Density of population is 2191 per...

     (from Awami League)
  • Shoodhin Koomar Shorkar Mongol, Bhanga Upazila
    Bhanga Upazila
    Bhanga is an Upazila of Faridpur District in the Division of Dhaka, Bangladesh.-Geography:Bhanga is located at . It has 41462 units of house hold and total area 216.34 km².-Demographics:...

    , Faridpur District
    Faridpur District
    Faridpur is a district in central Bangladesh. It is a part of the Dhaka Division. Faridpur District has a population of over 1.7 million people and is situated on the banks of the Padma river . It is bordered by Madaripur, Narail, Rajbari, Magura, Shariatpur, Gopalgonj, Dhaka and Manikganj...

     (from Communist Party of Bangladesh
    Communist Party of Bangladesh
    The Communist Party of Bangladesh is a Marxist-Leninist political party in Bangladesh, founded in 1968 as the Communist Party of East Pakistan.- History :...

     (CPB)
  • Shoobroto Thaakoor, Kashiani Upazila
    Kashiani Upazila
    Kashiani is an Upazila of Gopalganj District in the Division of Dhaka, Bangladesh.-Geography:Kashiani is located at . It has 36965 units of house hold and total area 299.64 km².-Demographics:...

    , Gopalganj District
    Gopalganj District (Bangladesh)
    The district of Gopalganj consists 356 mosques, 359 temples, six churches and four tombs.-Places of interest:* Ulpur has a former Zamindar palace which is currently used a Tafsil Office and many other Zamindar mansions. It was the home of the Basu Roy Chowdhury family. Arpara has a zamindar palace...

     (Independent)
  • Bimol Bish-shaash, Kotalipara Upazila
    Kotalipara Upazila
    Kotalipara is an Upazila of Gopalganj District in the Division of Dhaka, Bangladesh.-Geography:Kotalipara is located at . It has 37603 units of house hold and total area 362.05 km².It is very improved as the election constitution of Shek Hasina...

    , Gopalganj District (from Awami League)
  • Bish-sho Naath Shorkar Beetu, Badarganj Upazila
    Badarganj Upazila
    Badarganj is an Upazila of Rangpur District in the Division of Rajshahi, Bangladesh.-Geography:Badarganj is located at . It has 44029 units of house hold and total area 301.29 km².-Demographics:...

    , Rangpur District
    Rangpur District
    The district of Rangpur have 4924 mosques, 480 temples, 43 churches and six tombs.In an anthropologic view most people of Rangpur are having Rajbagshi blood in their veins...

     (from Awami League)
  • Shopon Vottacharjo, Manirampur Upazila
    Manirampur Upazila
    Manirampur is an upazila of Jessore District in the Division of Khulna, Bangladesh. It is bounded by Jessore Sadar Upazila on the north, Kalaroa and Jhikargachha upazilas on the west, Abhaynagar Upazila on the east, and Dumuria and Keshabpur upazilas on the south.-Geography:Manirampur is located...

    , Jessore District
    Jessore District
    Jessore is a district located in the Khulna Division of southwestern Bangladesh. It is bordered by India to the west.The district produces a variety of crops year-round. Date-sugar called patali is made from the sap of locally grown date trees that is cooked, thickened and crystallised using a...

     (from Awami League)
  • Ghosh Shonot Koomar, Tala Upazila
    Tala Upazila
    Tala is an upazila of the Satkhira District in the Khulna Division of Bangladesh. It was established in 1913 and made an upazila in 1983.-Geography:Tala is located at . It has 47394 households and a total area of 344.15 km².-Demographics:...

    , Satkhira District
    Satkhira District
    The district of Satkhira consists 3296 mosques, 1305 temples, 59 churches, 35 Buddhist temples, 8 tombs and 45 shrines.-Subdivisions:Satkhira subdivision was established in 1861 under Jessore district. It was included into Khulna district in 1882. The subdivision was upgraded into a district in...

     (from Awami League)
  • Konok Kaanti, Jhenaidah Sadar Upazila
    Jhenaidah Sadar Upazila
    Jhenidah Sadar is an Upazila of Jhenidah District in the Division of Khulna, Bangladesh.-Geography:Jhenidah Sadar is located at . It has 60354 units of house hold and total area 467.75 km².-Demographics:...

    , Jhenaidah District
    Jhenaidah District
    Jhenidah is a district in South-western Bangladesh. It is a part of the Khulna Division. It is an area 1949.62 km². On the norther it borders the Kushtia District on the north, to the south by Jessore District and West Bengal , to the east by Rajbari District and Magura District and to the...

     (from Awami League)
  • Oshok Koomar Boral, Chitalmari Upazila
    Chitalmari Upazila
    Chitalmari is an upazila of Bagerhat District in the Khulna Division, Bangladesh.-Geography:Chitalmari is located at . It has 24,306 households and a total area of 192 km². Chitalmari Upazila is bounded by Tungipara Upazila on the north, Kachua Upazila and Bagerhat Sadar Upazila on the south,...

    , Bagerhat District
    Bagerhat District
    The district of Bagerhat consists 7815 mosques, 238 temples, 17 churches and seven tombs. The Sixty Pillar Mosque or Shat Gambuj Masjid is famous mosque. Khan Jahan Ali's tomb is the famous tombs.-Places of interest:- External links :...

     (from Awami League)
  • Probir Ronjon Haaldar, Morrelganj Upazila
    Morrelganj Upazila
    Morrelganj is an Upazila of Bagerhat District in the Division of Khulna, Bangladesh.-Geography:Morrelganj is located at . It has 61210 units of house hold and total area 460.91 km²....

    , Bagerhat District
    Bagerhat District
    The district of Bagerhat consists 7815 mosques, 238 temples, 17 churches and seven tombs. The Sixty Pillar Mosque or Shat Gambuj Masjid is famous mosque. Khan Jahan Ali's tomb is the famous tombs.-Places of interest:- External links :...

     (from wami League)
  • Shyamol Koomar Dey, Shalikha Upazila
    Shalikha Upazila
    Shalikha is an Upazila of Website http://www.shalikhaupazila.comMagura District in the Division of Khulna, Bangladesh.-Geography:Shalikha is located at . It has 22209 units of house hold and total area 228.64 km².-Demographics:...

    , Magura District
    Magura District
    Magura is a district in South-Western Bangladesh. It is a part of the Khulna Division.-Geography:Magura District with an area of 1048 km2, is bounded by Rajbari district on the north, Jessore and Narail districts on the south, Faridpur district on the east and Jhenaidaha district on the west...

     (from Awami League)
  • Ronodhir Koomar Deb, Sreemangal Upazila
    Sreemangal Upazila
    Srimangal is an Upazila of Maulvibazar District in the Division of Sylhet, Bangladesh.-Geography:Sreemangal is located at . It has 43,952 units of house hold and total area 450.74 km²....

    , Maulvi Bazar District (from Awami League)
  • Oboni Mohon Daash, Sullah Upazila
    Sullah Upazila
    Sullah is an Upazila of Sunamganj District in the Division of Sylhet, Bangladesh.-Geography:Sullah is located at . It has 13881 units of house hold and total area 260.74 km².-Demographics:...

    , Sunamganj District
    Sunamganj District
    The district of Sunamganj consists 3562 mosques, 560 temples and 61 churches.-History:The name Sunamganj is derived from its founder, Sipahi Sunamuddin, who established a bazaar on the bank of the river Surma. In the ancient period, Sunamganj was part of the Rarh Kingdom that included Sylhet,...

     (from Awami League)
  • Omullo Ronjon Haaldar, Nazirpur Upazila
    Nazirpur Upazila
    Nazirpur is an Upazila of Pirojpur District in the Division of Barisal, Bangladesh.-Geography:Nazirpur is located at . It has 31862 units of house hold and total area 233.65 km².-Demographics:...

    , Pirojpur District
    Pirojpur District
    Pirojpur is a district in South-western Bangladesh. It is a part of the Barisal Division.-Name:Myth exist that, second son of Shah Shuja, Firoz Shah died in this area and in honour of him, the area started to being calld 'Firozpur'....

     (from Awami League)

Judiciary

  • Justice Debesh Vottachaarjo, retired Appellate Division judge, father of economist
    Economist
    An economist is a professional in the social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and write about economic policy...

     Dr. Debopriyo Bhattacharya
  • Justice Bimolendu Bikash Raay Choudhury
  • Justice Gouro Gopal Shaha, retired High Court
    High Court
    The term High Court usually refers to the superior court of a country or state. In some countries, it is the highest court . In others, it is positioned lower in the hierarchy of courts The term High Court usually refers to the superior court (or supreme court) of a country or state. In some...

     Division judge
  • Justice Bijon Kumar Daash, retired Appellate Division judge
  • Justice Shurendro Kumar Sinha, current Appellate Division judge, first justice
    Justice
    Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

     from Bisnupriya Manipuri Society
    Bisnupriya Manipuri Society
    The Bishnupriya Manipuris are a group of people live mainly in parts of Assam, Manipur, Tripura and Bangladesh. They are believed to have occupied Manipur at a very early date and their headquarters were at a city called Bishnupur of Manipur. They speak a language of Indo-Aryan origin which is...

     of Bangladesh
  • Justice Shoumendro Shorkar, current High Court
    High Court
    The term High Court usually refers to the superior court of a country or state. In some countries, it is the highest court . In others, it is positioned lower in the hierarchy of courts The term High Court usually refers to the superior court (or supreme court) of a country or state. In some...

     Division judge
  • Madam Justice Krishna Debnath (first female Hindu justice of Supreme Court of Bangladesh
    Supreme Court of Bangladesh
    The Supreme Court of Bangladesh is the highest court of law in Bangladesh. It is composed of the High Court Division and the Appellate division, and was created by Part VI Chapter I of the Constitution of Bangladesh adopted in 1972. This is also the office of the Chief Justice, Appellate Division...

    )
  • Justice Vobani Proshad Shingho
  • Raana Daashgoopto, Prosecutor
    Prosecutor
    The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution in countries with either the common law adversarial system, or the civil law inquisitorial system...

    , 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War Crime
    War crime
    War crimes are serious violations of the laws applicable in armed conflict giving rise to individual criminal responsibility...

     Tribunal

Military

  • Chitta Ranjan Dutt (C R Dutt) (Bir Uttam), retired Major General
    Major General
    Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

    , and sector commander in Bangladesh Liberation War
    Bangladesh Liberation War
    The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

     in 1971
  • Jibon Kanai Das, retired Major General
    Major General
    Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

    . Former Master General of Ordnance, and Commandant
    Commandant
    Commandant is a senior title often given to the officer in charge of a large training establishment or academy. This usage is common in anglophone nations...

     of National Defence College (NDC), Dhaka
    Dhaka
    Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city...

  • Dr. Bijoy Kumar Sarkar, retired Major General
    Major General
    Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

  • Dr. Anjan Kumar Deb, retired Brigadier General
    Brigadier General
    Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...


Sports

  • Brojen Das
    Brojen Das
    Brojen Das was the first Asian to swim across the English Channel, and the first person to cross it four times.-Early life:...

    , swimming
  • Baadol Daash, football
  • Bimol Chondro Torofdar, sprinter and the fastest man in South Asia
    South Asia
    South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

     (SAF Games 1985)
  • Bikash Ranjan Das
    Ranjan Das
    Bikash Ranjan Das is a Bangladeshi cricketer who played in one Test in 2000....

    , cricket
  • Alok Kapali
    Alok Kapali
    Alok Kapali is a Bangladeshi cricketer. He is an allrounder who bats in the middle to lower order and bowls leg spin with a run-up similar to that of Shane Warne. He is the only Bangladeshi cricket player to take a Test hat-trick.-Test career:Kapali made his Test debut in 2002, against Sri...

    , cricket
  • Tapash Baishya, cricket
  • Dhiman Ghosh
    Dhiman Ghosh
    Dhiman Ghosh is a First class and List A cricketer from Bangladesh. He has played first cricket for Chittagong Division, making his debut in 2004/05, and represented Bangladesh through the age group levels...

    , cricket
  • Biplob Vottacharjo, football
  • Rojoni Kanto Bormon, football

Music

  • Debu Vottachaarjo, composer (also famous in Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

     film industry)
  • Shotto Shaaha, composer
  • Subir Nandi, singer
  • Tapan Chowdhury (singer)
    Tapan Chowdhury (Singer)
    Tapan Chowdhury is a Bangladeshi singer. In the beginning of his career in 1970s, he was associated with Souls. Later he started to sing as a solo singer. He is very popular in Bangladesh for his romantic modern songs.-References:...

  • Subal Das, composer
  • Shuvro Dev
    Shuvro Dev
    Shuvro Dev is a Bangladeshi singer. He started his career at the mid of 1980s and achieved recognition among the Bangladeshi for his modern romantic songs. He also performed duet songs with another Bangladeshi singer, Shakila Zafar. He was one of the first Bangladeshi artists chosen to have...

    , singer
  • Rothindronath Raay, singer
  • Shefali Ghosh, folk
    Folk
    The English word Folk is derived from a Germanic noun, *fulka meaning "people" or "army"...

     singer from Chittagong
    Chittagong
    Chittagong ) is a city in southeastern Bangladesh and the capital of an eponymous district and division. Built on the banks of the Karnaphuli River, the city is home to Bangladesh's busiest seaport and has a population of over 4.5 million, making it the second largest city in the country.A trading...

  • Shyam Shoondor Boishnob, folk singer from Chittagong
  • Indro Mohon Raajbongshee, folk music
    Folk music
    Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

  • Raajesh, famous composer
  • Kumar Bishwajit, pop singer
  • Nokul Kumar Biswas, singer
  • Ostad Baarin Mojumdar, classical singer
  • Bappa Mojumdar, singer, and son of Ostad Baarin Mojumdar
  • S.D. Rubel, singer

Business

  • Ranada Prasad Saha (Philanthropist, founder of Kumudini College
    Kumudini College
    Kumudini College is a women's college affiliated by the national university. It is located in Paradise Para, Tangail. The college runs under the Kumudini Welfare Trust. Kumudini College was regarded to be the third girls' college of East Bengal after Eden Girls' College and Sylhet Girls' College...

     and Kumudini Hospital at Mirzapur Upazila
    Mirzapur Upazila
    Mirzapur is an Upazila of Tangail District in the Division of Dhaka, Bangladesh.-Geography:Mirzapur is located at . It has 61479 units of house hold and total area 373.89 km².-Demographics:...

    , Tangail
    Tangail
    Tangail is a town in Tangail District located in central region of Bangladesh. It consists of 5 corporations, 8 municipalities, 72 wards, 211 mahallas. It is located on the banks of Louhajang River, and is part of the Dhaka Division.-Education:...

    )

Martyrs in 1971

  • Dhirendranath Datta
    Dhirendranath Datta
    Dhirendranath Datta was a Bengali lawyer by profession who was also active in the politics of undivided Bengal in pre-partition India, and later in East Pakistan...

  • Jyotirmoy Guhathakurta
    Jyotirmoy Guhathakurta
    Jyotirmoy Guhathakurta was a Bengali educator and humanist of the former East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. He was one of the Bengali intellectuals assaulted by Pakistan Army during the 1971 Dhaka University massacre on the night of 25 March 1971.-Early life:...

  • Govinda Chandra Dev
    Govinda Chandra Dev
    Govinda Chandra Dev , or G.C. Dev as he is popularly known as, was a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dhaka. He was assassinated at the onset of Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 by the Pakistan Army as part of a plan to eliminate the Bangladeshi intelligentsia.-Early life:G.C...


See also

  • Persecution of Hindus#Bangladesh
  • Islam in Bangladesh
    Islam in Bangladesh
    Islam is the largest religion of Bangladesh, the Muslim population is approximately 148.6 million, which is the third largest Muslim population in the world, constituting 90.4% of the total population as of 2010. Religion has always been a strong part of identity, but this has varied at different...

  • Christianity in Bangladesh
    Christianity in Bangladesh
    Christianity arrived in what is now Bangladesh during the late sixteenth to early seventeenth century AD, through the Portuguese traders and missionaries. Christians account for approximately 0.3% of the total population. Christianity's first contact with the Indian subcontinent is attributed to...

  • Buddhism in Bangladesh
    Buddhism in Bangladesh
    Buddhism is the third largest religion in Bangladesh with about 0.7% of population adhering to Theravada Buddhism. Most of the practiconers are the tribal Jumma people who are found mainly in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, where they constitute about 45% of the area's population.- Demographic Overview...

  • Hinduism by country
    Hinduism by country
    The percentage of Hindu population of each country was taken from the US State Department's International Religious Freedom Report 2006. Other sources used were the CIA World Factbook and adherents.com...

  • List of Hindu temples

External links


This article incorporates public domain
Public domain
Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

 text from the Library of Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

 Country Study
Library of Congress Country Studies
The Country Studies are works published by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress , freely available for use by researchers. No copyright is claimed on them; therefore, they have been dedicated to the public domain and can be copied freely. Note that not all the pictures used...

 on Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

.