Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud said Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony as people of different faiths have been living on this soil in peace from time immemorial.
“The Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians have been living here from time immemorial in amity and peace,” he told the opening ceremony of a nine-day Ratha Jatra, one of the major festivals of the Hindu community, at the city’s Probartak Sangha crossing.
Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary, said religion always works for bringing peace and prosperity in the country which eliminates terrorism, extremism and fundamentalism.
He called upon all to avoid fundamentalists who infuse fundamentalism in the country.
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) brought out a huge procession in which chariots of Sree Jagannath (other name of Lord Krishno) were pulled from ISKCON temple to Nandankanon Tulshidam after parading different city thoroughfares.
Thousands of Hindu devotees irrespective of genders and ages including theologians, hermits, hundreds of students from different educational institutions joined the procession in pulling the ropes of chariots witnessed by onlookers and passers-by either side of city streets.
Indian Assistant High Commissioner in Chattogram Dr Rajib Ranzon attended the inaugural function as the special chief guest.
Commissioner of Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP) Saleh Mohammad Tanvir, Deputy Commissioner of Chattogram Mominur Rahman, ISKCON Chattogram district General Secretary Chinmoy Krisna Das and leaders of different religious organizations, professional bodies and public representatives attended the function.
The information minister also urged all to boycott those spread the poison of communalism and want to turn non-communal Bangladesh into a communal state.
Mentioning the glorious past of Rath Yatra festival in Chattogram, Dr Hasan said, it’s a big festival in this region.
“This Rath Yatra has been a festival for ages. Thousands of people took part in the festival in Chattogram. In fact, various rituals of different communities have become a part of our culture. This Ratha Yatra has also become a part of our culture,” he added.
The Minister said Bangladesh was born as a non-communal state under the dynamic leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
He said one can deny the truth that country was divided in 1947 on the basis of communalism but it is true.