The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), has announced protests in India against the attacks on the minority Hindu community in Bangladesh. They are also planning to hold a day-long global protest on October 23 to further raise their voice against the violence targeting Hindus in the neighbouring country.
When we spoke to the officials of Mumbai ISKCON, they did not show much curiosity about their participation in the protest.
Mumbai ISKCON officials said, “We are not going to go on the roads with protest marches. We won’t be doing any public shows. If it is decided with collective consent, we might stay in the temple silently and offer prayers.”
Radharam Das, vice president, ISKCON, Kolkata said, “Our people are already protesting in many parts of the world. Now, we are planning to hold a day-long protest and prayer meeting on October 23 for the victims in Bangladesh. We condemn such attacks.”
Since anti-Hindu violence first broke out in Bangladesh during Durga Puja festivities last week, ISKCON has staged protests in India, including Kolkata, and has taken initiatives such as seeking involvement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as the United Nations to bring an end to the attacks.
Its members also protested outside the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata. Sunday’s violence came after several such incidents over the alleged desecration of the Quran at a pandal during Durga Puja festivities in the eastern district of Cumilla.
From Cumilla, the violence spread to other areas with attacks on Hindu temples and clashes between mobs and the police in Chandpur, Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Moulvibazar, Gazipur, Chapainawabganj, Feni and other districts. Thousands of people have been arrested over the attacks and the spread of communal hatred on social media, according to reports. The Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI), along with its student’s wing Islami Chhatra Shibir, is suspected to be behind the attacks.