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Ambience of multi-culturalism and tolerance in Bangladesh

The diversity and multiculturalism must have backing of the State institutions and acceptance of the population more specifically of the majority community in order to create a peaceful ambience of different cultures. Though the constitution of Bangladesh declares Islam to be the official religion of the country, yet it preserves the secularist principle. It makes it illegal to discriminate against people of other faiths and ensures that all religions are treated equally. Members of religious minorities, such as Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians, are continuously been taken into confidence to regulate the religious sites and maintain their security, so that peace and communal solidarity prevail.

In the present political dynamics, people are becoming vulnerable to intolerant path owing to the abundance of misinformation and hatred on different media platforms by extremists and radical outfits, who have been exploiting religion to a great extent. But, multicultural and multi-religious places like Bangladesh restore faith in humanity and universalism, despite its large Muslim population (89%). Bangladesh is home to at least 45 smaller ethnic groups, each of which has its own distinct culture, including its own language, way of life, clothing and social customs. Since 2000, there has been continuous efforts from the Bangladesh Government to curb religious violence and halt the intrusion of extremist ideologies in society through Imams, who could deliver their sermons as part of its professed commitment to avoid militancy and monitor mosques for ‘provocative’ propaganda.

Besides the constitutional provisions, there have been efforts to generate public consciousness and sensitivity towards religious diversity, making people aware of the benefits of the multiculturalism and religious harmony. Bangladesh has been featured globally and appraised for religious tolerance and respect for diversity as it respects and promotes non-Muslims residing in the country. India, being a dutiful neighbour is working side by side with Bangladesh in promoting multi culturalism, multi religious discourse and tolerance for diversity. Both the countries may show the world that peace can prevail in both the countries against all odds as Bangladesh and India have a bright future ahead in terms of mutual cooperation.

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