June 20, 2024

The declining Hindu population in Bangladesh is a concerning issue of disappearance.

2 min read

According to a preliminary report from the Population and Housing Census-2022, the Dhaka Tribune stated on July 27, 2022, that the Muslim population in Bangladesh has increased compared to followers of other religions. The report reveals a decline in the Hindu population from 8.54% to 7.95%, the Buddhist population from 0.62% to 0.61%, the Christian population from 0.31% to 0.30%, and a decrease in the population of other religions from 0.12% to 0.14%. In contrast, the Muslim population has risen from 90.39% to 91.04%.

In 2016, PTI (Press Trust of India) reported from Dhaka that the number of Hindus in Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority country, had increased by one percent to 1.70 crores, constituting 10.7 percent of the population by the end of 2015. The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) released a report indicating that the country’s total population reached 15.89 crores by the end of 2015, with 1.70 crores being Hindus. Previous BBS studies showed that Bangladesh’s Hindu population was 1.55 crore in 2014, suggesting a growth of 1.5 million within a year.

Over seven years, from 2015 to 2022, government statistics reveal a significant decline in the Hindu population in Bangladesh, dropping from 10.7% to 7.95%. Similarly, the Buddhist and Christian populations also decreased, while the Muslim population increased. Hindus, as the second-largest religious group after Muslims, have voiced concerns about persecution and forced migration, leading to a silent exodus of Hindus to neighboring India. The decline in the Hindu population can be attributed to the unbearable persecution they face.

There is a desire among Islamists for Bangladesh to become a monolithic Islamic country, while the administration appears to have a different approach, and the government remains silent on the issue. The government has a responsibility to explain the astronomical drop in the Hindu population over the past seven years. Sources cite two reasons for this decline: Hindus leaving the country through out-migration, and a relatively low total fertility rate among the Hindu population, resulting in fewer children being born. Despite the government’s frequent demands that Hindus not leave for India, the government must address the reasons behind the disappearance of Hindus.

According to various sources and human rights activists, approximately 50 million religious and ethnic minorities, primarily Hindus, have been forced to seek refuge in India from Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) since 1947. Non-Muslims in the region have endured humiliation, vandalism, desecration of their places of worship, destruction of their homes and businesses, evictions, forced conversions, mass rape, kidnappings followed by rape and murder, burnings, church massacres, and gruesome killings for more than seven decades, including the past 50 years in Bangladesh.

Referring to Professor Dastidar’s book “Empire’s Last Casualty: Indian Subcontinent’s Vanishing Hindu and Other Minorities” (2008), US Congressman Robert Dold stated on the House floor that “since 1947, forty-nine million Hindus of Bangladesh have gone missing.” On July 19, 2019, Bangladeshi human rights activist Ms. Priya Saha reported to former President Donald Trump that “37 million Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians have disappeared from Bangladesh.” The exact years were not mentioned, but it is likely since 1971.

Article & image source: https://hinduexistence.org/2023/04/03/vanishing-hindu-population-in-bangladesh/

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