Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said the citizens of the country, irrespective of their religions, will enjoy their equal rights as there is nothing like 'you and me'.
‘You, the people of the Hindu community, will live here with your own rights. This soil also belongs to you...there's nothing called you and me here, all citizens of Bangladesh have their own equal rights,’ she said.
The prime minister said this while exchanging greetings with members of the Hindu community at Ganabhaban on the occasion of Janmashtami.
‘In every sphere of life — socioeconomic, education, healthcare and religious rituals — all have the equal rights,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina said as the head of the government it is her responsibility to ensure the equal rights for all. ‘And we're performing our duty.’
Referring to her government's philosophy of 'religion is for individuals and festivals are for all', she said the people of all faiths had fought shoulder-to-shoulder in 1971 and embraced martyrdom to liberate the country.
During the great Liberation War, the prime minister said, people from all religions under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman participated in it and sacrificed their blood for the country's independence.
‘People brought Independence in lieu of their blood...so, this country is for the people of all religions,’ she said.
Giving importance to maintaining communal and religious harmony in the country, Hasina said every religion preaches peace, fraternity and tolerance and it is the important aspect of religion.
Describing the leaders of the Hindu community as the sons of this soil, the prime minister called upon them to work together to develop Bangladesh with the Liberation War spirit.
Pointing out the law enacted by her government for the Hindu community similar to 'heba law' of the Muslim community, Hasina said her government has done this to facilitate the transfer of property of the Hindu community members to their close relatives without any tax.
She said the government always tried to make sure that every festival of all religions is observed in a festive mood. ‘This is the beauty of Bangladesh where people from all religions participated in every religious festival.’
The prime minister extended her greetings to members of the Hindu community on the occasion of Janmashtami saying Sri Krishna had preached the message of love, justice and affection which all should promote.
Hasina said Lord Krishna was born to establish brotherhood among the people through 'Checking the wicks and nurturing the goods'.
Religious affairs minister Motiur Rahman, leaders of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Committee, Janmashtami Udjapan Parishad and Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee also spoke on the occasion.
Leaders of Janmashtami Udjapan Parishad, Bangladesh, Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad and Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee greeted the prime minister by presenting bouquets to her. Earlier, a one-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and other martyrs of the August 15, 1975 carnage.
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