It is pertinent to recall that Ahmadiyyas are a beleaguered community in Bangladesh. A section of religious bigots have sought to prevent them from practising their faith for years. Besides, they have clamoured during this period that the government declare Ahmadiyyas as non-Muslims which is altogether affront not only to democratic values but also to the spirit of religious harmony. Worse, they have unleashed attacks on them and their homes and places of worship on several occasions. Regrettably, however, successive governments have hardly taken any deterrent steps against these crimes. Rather, they appear to have pursued an appeasement policy when it comes to dealing with such bigotry. All this may have, on the one hand, emboldened the bigoted elements in society to continue their misdeeds and, on the other, prompted the law enforcing agencies to give indulgence to the tormentors of the Ahmadiyyas.
Most people in Bangladesh, irrespective of their religious faiths, believe in communal harmony; the bigots are essentially a minority. If the government is serious, it can tackle such bigotry that is posing a danger to our syncretistic social fabric, developed over centuries. Ironically, the denial of rights of a community occurs at a time when a political force, which usually loves to be identified as the defender of that secular entity of the country, is in power. The incumbents indeed need to do something decisive to ensure the rights of all minorities, including the Ahmadiyyas, as well as to thwart the overall activities of the bigots.