Academics, professionals and religious minority leaders at a discussion on Tuesday said that Bangladesh deviated from the ideals of the War of Independence of 1971.
The article 2A, stating Islam as a state religion, was a betrayal to the ideals of the war, they said and lamented that the constitution of 1972 was not in effect as it was originally enacted.
Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council organised the discussion on ‘the rights of minorities and human right’ at its central office at Paltan Tower at Bijaynagar to mark International Human Rights Day.
The organisation’s central leader Hubert Gomes chaired the meeting.
National Human Right Commission’s former chairman and Dhaka University professor Mizanur Rahman said that 48 years had passed by after the independence, but the state failed to ensure human right of its all citizens.
He said that he did not want such a country where the ideals of the war were not upheld.
‘The state must not distinguish among followers of different religions,’ he said.
The council’s general secretary Rana Dashgupta said that though the article 12 upheld secularism and guaranteed religious freedom, the addition of the state religion to the constitution took away its secular character.
DU teacher Robayet Ferdous lamented that according to a recent survey, discrimination and violence based on communal divisions was on the rise.
Bangladesh Juba Oikya Parishad general secretary lawyer Tapos Kanti Bol presented the keynote paper at the discussion and proposed seven-point demands for ensuring human rights of the minority people.
The demands include formation of separate ministry for minorities, formation of separate minority commission, full implementation of Chittagong Hill Tract peace treaty and others.
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