On October 20th, 2021, members of the Bangladesh community held a protest on the steps of the university centre at Memorial University of Newfoundland St. John’s Campus.
On the Facebook event page, Protest Assembly on “Stop Atrocities against Minority Hindu Community in Bangladesh,” the group states they felt the need to protest due to “The systematic oppression, lack of media coverage, and the inability of the Bangladeshi government to protect its minority groups have left us heartbroken and worried about our families, and the millions who are currently living with fear. This vigil is to condemn and protest the heinous crimes committed by the Radical Islamists in Bangladesh and to show solidarity with the victims and their families. We want to seek the attention of the Bangladeshi government and the whole world so that no Hindus may live in fear in their homeland and demand the perpetrators to be brought to justice. We demand a peaceful world!!”
Event organizer Sanchita Chakraborty states, “Dear friends, the need of the hour is to stop the brutalities against Hindus in Bangladesh immediately. Enough is enough. So, we urgently and sincerely request you all to condemn this gross violation of human rights in Bangladesh and to do whatever you can from your individual positions as well as collectively to save the minorities in Bangladesh. It’s not a huge demand. Safety is everyone’s right. A fundamental right.”
The next speaker states, “Things that are happening today at Bangladesh goes against everything that Bengali people believe in. It goes against the fundamental cause why Bangladesh was born. It was not a Hindu country. It was not a Muslim country. It was a country where all of us could live peacefully together.”
The final speaker states, “It’s not safe for my friends to live there, and you know, especially the Hindu community and Bengali culture is very connected. I mean, Bengali culture is Hindu culture, so like it’s just heartbreaking. I don’t know what else to say, but I just want to tell my Hindu friends that I stand with you guys, and I want you to feel safe.”
Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.