Major findings and some suggestions
The process of mass
out-migration of the Hindu community has started as a consequence of the
Partition of India based on religious ground. Communal riots became
major case of concern for the whole nation. Afterwards, the
implementation of Enemy Property Act/Vested Property Act has accelerated
the process of mass out-migration of Hindu population during mid-1960s
On the basis of
the analysis of Enemy Property Act/VPA, their impact, opinions of the
affected and knowledgeable persons as well as the officials (at the
Union and Thana levels) the following recommendations are made which
should be actively considered in order to develop a civil society and to
improve the condition of the religious minorities in this country:
Property Act as an encroachment on the law of inheritance, should be
abolished. More so, it is the fact that the context under which the
"Enemy Property Act" emerged does not pervail from the date of
proclamation of Independence of Bangladesh in 1971, and there exists a
Friendship Treaty with India, VPA is anti-constitutional.
2. A list
containing details (name, address, amount of land and other assets
dispossessed by type and year of dispossession, dag, khatian, mouza,
current status etc.) about those affected by EPA/VPA should be published
by the Government.
3. All activities
related to the identification and enlistment of any property as vested
should be banned, immediately. In this regard, a declaration in the mass
media should be the immediate action of the democratic government.
4. All vested
property under the custody of the government should be leased out to
real owners or their legal heirs who are permanent residents of
Bangladesh till the final settlement of the problem. In this regard
preference should be assigned in accordance with the law of inheritance.
5. No property
should be taken to the custody of the vested property administration if
the owners of the property of their legal inheritors are in possession
of that property.
6. All 99 years
leasing out of vested properties should be declared null and void and
the ownership rights of the original owners or their inheritors should
be established if they are the bonafide citizens of Bangladesh.
7. All vested
deity property and places of cremation should be unvested and brought
under public trust. The leased-out or sold-out properties belonging to
this category should be declared void.
8. Law of
inheritance should be enforced with adequate provisioning for women
inheritance. If the male heirs of the property are absent and the
females are permanently residing in
the property should be leased out to them until final settlement is
9. The Government
of Bangladesh should be requested to repeal this sort of black law for
the greater interest of better relationship with India; otherwise exodus
of Hindu minorities will be a great problem for India.
Introduction of Islam as state religion in
in the constitution
and Christian Unity Council was formed in Bangladesh in May 1988 when a
bill was introduced and passed at Parliament with a view to making Islam
as state religion of the country. Since Bangladesh was created through
liberation struggle with the help of India in the year 1971 with the
promise that it would be a secular state. Because of the very existence
of Islam as state religion in the Constitution of Bangladesh, the
equality cannot be guaranteed in a secular state. Above all, during the
liberation war several temples including 500-year-old "Ramna Kali Mandir"
and the "Ma Anandamayee Asram" in the capital city at Dhaka were fully
damaged by the Pakistani Army, but it is most unfortunate that till
to-day after 29 years of the Independence those temples were not
reconstructed nor any steps were taken to repair the same for obvious
reasons which added a black chapter for the whole nation of Bangladesh.
People of minority community have completely lost their faith in the
state policy. The communal scenario as occurred in October, 1990 is not
an accidental and isolated affair but a systematic and continuous
practice of communal state policy, since the establishment of Pakistan
in 1947. This has been putting tremendous pressure on them to leave the
country and the process is very much systematic. The people of minority
communities are now prey to serious insecurity and uncertainty. They
have been given to believe that former Pakistan and present Bangladesh
were created absolutely for the Muslims. The communal state character
revealed a deep-rooted political crisis which has already generated many
question regarding national unity and solidarity of the country.