If we look in the past, religious violence in Bangladesh is not a new issue. This issue is discussed over decades, but unfortunately no corrective or preventive actions were taken. If I want to explain it in a very simple way, actually no action of punishment were taken against the persons or organisations responsible for these sorts of violences in Bangldesh. As a result, religious violence specially against religious minorities are still continuing. These violences are spread over very large scale to individual level. I will try to take you through all the processes of violence in different level today.
There are some individuals in Bangladesh who live in small towns or villages, are very much concern about their cast or religion. Even sometimes, these concerns are so extreme that they start fighting against each other. This issues are mainly social related but governed by religions. For example, marrying a person of other religion or cast, local leadership etc. These violences are restricted from individuals up to group of families. Local police normally take care of these violences and as usal poor people become poorer for questionable legal system in local government in Bangladesh.
There are some religous violence in Bangldesh which covers a city or town. I visited a place in last Christmas in Meherpur district where all the Christians live together in a place where people from other religions do not live. I was informed that Christians used to be attacked at night before few years in that area by people of other religions, therefore they were forced to live together in a place. I won’t say, this is the same all over the country; but I will say, there are number of places where the same picture is pasted. In these sorts of places religious violences are mainly take place in large scale, where a whole village or area is burnt by people of other religions. Sometimes, political attachments are visible in these violences, that may be local politics or national politics. In case of political attachments, main violent activities are executed through local politicians.
Some religious violences take place in Bangladesh which become national issue, but these violences are not actually country wide. Most of these cases, violences are politically intended and planned. Different political parties try to make these violences as a political issues and try to get sympathy out of this from religious minorities. Political parties normally drive these violences specially before or after the national elections. In fact, this has become a practice. If you ask any conscious citizen of Bangldesh who has primary knowledge on politics, he can tell you when and which religous group will be attacked by which political party before or after the election.
So, It has become a routine or habitual act by people of Bangladesh. I don’t really know, when this will be over or how. We are trying to make a way or solution to raise our voice against it though writing. I hope, this will at least make a change in the mind of politicians who uses religious violences as tool of winning elections.