Being Hindu in Bangladesh: An Untold Story is disturbing but necessary | Books and Literature News – DollarJob

Being Hindu in Bangladesh: An Untold Story is disturbing but necessary | Books and Literature News

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Written by Tanvi Manhas

Why is a new book needed for something already recorded in history? Because either history failed to give the full picture, or was written to suit a few. So it is with Bangladesh, a nation born of strife and bloodshed. Being Hindu in Bangladesh: An Untold Story brings to the fore personal stories of Hindu persecution in the nation — from the district of Noakhali before Partition, the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, the violence during Durga Puja in 2021, and many more.

Bangladesh’s Hindu population, at a meagre 9 per cent today, compared to 1947’s 30 per cent, belies the nation’s claim of a secular ethos.

To understand what really happened to their homeland between 1947 and 2002, journalist Deep Halder and academic Avishek Biswas travelled extensively across Bangladesh and West Bengal to assemble a comprehensive and incisive report of East Pakistan’s transition to a secular Bangladesh, and its journey thereon. What emerges is an account of a nation habitually going rogue on its minorities, amply documented in news, public speeches and views expressed by public personalities. Also disclosed are the current dispensation’s challenges in creating an inclusive and secular Bangladesh, united by culture and language.

After many pages, you may want to put the book down just to breathe, given the unrelenting documentation of atrocities. A beacon in this desolate panorama is a section of Muslims who are vociferous about redeeming the secularity promised by Banglabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. But these voices are far too few.



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