Vol. 5 Num 1053 Sat. May 19, 2007  
Front Page

Bangladesh lacks real practice of secularism
Says Indian envoy

Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty yesterday said democracy would be stronger in Bangladesh if it could establish a 'real secular country like India'.

"Bangladesh is a secular country but there is no real practice of secularism... as there is a religious ministry here," he said while addressing a function on the occasion of foundation laying of Chandranath Temple in Sitakunda.

The high commissioner said democracy is very strong in India as there is no division or discrepancy among the people of different faiths and values and real secularism is practised there.

He suggested that Bangladesh follow his country for practising real secularism, which would help it establish a strong democratic country removing all discrepancies among the people of different beliefs and values.

Giving assurance of all possible cooperation from his government for the development and establishment of the temple, the Indian envoy said Bangladesh government could expand it as a potential tourism centre.

Chief of Dhaka Ramkrishna Mission Swami Aksharananda Maharaj and Secretary of Bangladesh Hindu Bouddha Oikya Parishad Prof Nimchandra Bhoumik, among others, were present at the function presided over by Suvash Chandra Lala, president of Sitakunda Shrine Committee.

US Ambassador Patricia Butenis, who was also scheduled to attend the function, sent a letter to the Shrine Committee wishing overall success of their activities.

In the letter she regretted that she was unable to attend the programme due to her busy schedule in Dhaka.