Giving Up Islam As State Religion?

Date: 10/03/2016



Giving Up Islam As State Religion?

We take you to a development that might turn into history.

The Supreme Court of Bangladesh has agreed to hear a petition that challenges lslam's status as the country's official religion.

This has deeper implications for both Bangladesh and India. 'May be for the world as a whole.

All this has come it the second editorial in The Hindustan Times of March 8, 2016, titled “Separation Works Best”.

The matter had come a day or two ago as a box-item in some papers. We have not seen any report or commentaries on this in any dailies or on mail.

The backdrop has been well put, “One issue of concern for policymakers has been rising religious extremism which has manifested itself in the many attacks on minorities, including Hindus and Buddhists. There have also been high-profile murders of atheist bloggers.”

An interpretation to the consequences should the Apex Court of Bangladesh ultimately upholds the contention of the petitioners, is:

· A court ruling striking down the 1988 constitutional amendment that made Islam the state religion would be the impetus to enforce equal treatment of all religious communities, in a diverse nation where 85-90% are Muslims and about eight per cent are Hindus, in addition to other minorities.”

Also, “A state religion marginalises other communities and deprives society of the chance to deliberate its future collectively. Defining personal identity purely in relation to religion also restricts the freedom of individuals to adhere to no faith.”


1. It will indeed be a great risk to the judges involved as an occupational hazard if they uphold the petition.

2. Similarly, that would pose a grave threat to the personal security of Hasina, the incumbent Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Well, she is a brave lady, as she has shown her mettle already.

3. It would be important to know how Khaleda and her rabid followers will react in the event of the change sought for are brought about.

4. We hope Hasina's supporter will remain with her and the minority Hindus or Budhhists will not have to suffer any possible fall-out.

5. We are not aware who the petitioners are. Whoever they are, they would be a courageous lot.

6. Will there be any non-Muslim among them?

7. How will the ISIS, who have developed a strong base in Bangladesh and who had claimed the responsibility in killing some of the bloggers and the priest of a prominent Hindu temple, respond in the event the Apex Court's response is positive?

8. The Ministry of External Affairs, India, must be fully seized with the ongoing developments there.

Well, the question may be raised why such anxiety when the matter is in the realm of possibility. That is because this has deep security implications. It is like being forewarned is being forearmed.

Also, the matter is of grave importance and consequence for the hapless 8 percent Hindus in Bangladesh.

Hope you will like to join us in thanking the Editor, The Hindustan Times to have brought this sensitive matter to the fore.

Well, friends, any suggestion is welcome.