2 days after the Ganga Jamuna cultural festival, Islamists attack Hindus in Bangladesh

News of the Hindu temples and houses burnt down in Bangladesh by Islamists has drawn worldwide attention, from the government and the media to spiritual leaders condemning the systematic religious attack.

However, just before the Hindus of Bangladesh found themselves homeless, the Shilpakala Academy of Bangladesh in the capital Dhaka had concluded the “Ganga-Jamuna Cultural Festival 2021. ‘

What is the Ganga-Jamuna Cultural Festival?

“Aiming to consolidate harmony between Bangladesh and India through cultural exchanges, the Indian and Bangladeshi Committee of Ganga-Jamuna Sangskritik Utsab Parshad jointly organized the 10-day festival. ” read a 2019 report on the Ganga-Jamuna cultural festival.

In 2021, the festival ran from October 1 to 12 after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic. While “Indian cultural organizations” were unable to participate this year due to Covid-19 travel restrictions in place, more than 3,500 artists from 140 local cultural organizations attended the event.

Ganga-Jamuna Cultural Festival 2021. Image source: The Daily Star

Ganga-Jamuna Sangskritik Utsab Parshad organizer Ghulam Quddus reiterated the same saying goes, “We have organized the cultural festival for eight years to promote cultural exchange between Bangladesh and India.”

Interestingly, the theme of the Ganga-Jamuna festival this year revolved around the “Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s Independence and the Centenary of the Birth of the Country’s Founding President, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman”.

Tributes were also paid to the late theater personality Amalesh Chakraborty, who launched the Ganga-Jamuna cultural festival in Kolkata.

The Minister of State for Cultural Affairs, KM Khalid, during his inauguration speech, had noted, “..From our Ministry of Cultural Affairs, we want to sponsor active cultural organizations. To ensure adequate support to the appropriate organizations, we will prepare a list and hand it over to cultural icons after proper assessment. “

“Violence strikes on October 13”

Ironically, just two days after the cultural program ended, reports of pandal vandalism in Durga Puja over an alleged rumor of “Hindu desecration of the Koran” began to surface in the media.

A district official himself had confirmed: “The disbelievers took pictures of this and fled. Within hours, using Facebook, the propaganda spread like wildfire with the provocative images. “

However, the Islamic extremist mob torched 101 Hindu temples and pandals and 181 homes and shops in a systematic attack that lasted for 10 days, killing seven people. The violence was brought and justified on the basis of a misplaced false post on Facebook.

Violence against Hindus in Bangladesh

Several pleas for help and requests to the government and the Muslim community by Hindus in Bangladesh have fallen on deaf ears.

It has now emerged that the one who started the violence against Hindus in Bangladesh is an Iqbal Hossain.

Iqbal Hossain, 35, son of Nur Ahmed Alam from the Sujanagar region in Comilla, is said to have deposited the Koran in a Durga Puja mandap in Nanua Dighir Par in Comilla on October 13, triggering a series of community violence against the Hindu minority in the country.

This is not the first time that a fake social media post has been used to spark violence against Hindus. From riots in Bangalore to stone bombing in Maharashtra to vandalism of an entire Hindu village due to a social media post, the pattern has been repeatedly followed by Islamic mobs to lead an attack on the Hindus.

Darcy J. Skinner

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