President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday felicitated the Hindu community in separate messages on the occasion of Durga Puja.
In his message, President Hamid said, “The main religious festival of the Bangalee Hindu community is the Durga Puja. The country's Hindu community has been celebrating the puja amid huge enthusiasm and festivity with different rituals since ancient times.”
Durga Puja is not only a religious festival, but also a social one, the head of the state added.
Marking the Durgotshob (Durga festival), relatives, friends, family members and neighbours irrespective of caste, creed and religion get together to celebrate the festival, the President said, adding "So, it is a universal festival, which proves that religion for individuals, festival for all.”
President Hamid said Durga Puja is attached to the traditional heritage and culture of Bangla.
Apart from a religious festival, Durga Puja plays an important role in creating unity and mutual harmony among the countrymen, he said.
Noting that the global pandemic coronavirus has pushed the whole world into an uncertainty and is taking tolls on lives, economy, education, health, trade and businesses, employment and lifestyle, the President urged all to celebrate the Durga festival maintaining health guidelines properly.
The President said communal harmony is universal heritage of the Bengali nation. "We have to take forward this heritage with our overall collective efforts," he said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said that Durga Puja is not only a festival of the Hindu community, rather today it has turned into a universal festival.
Destruction of evil spirits and the worship of truth and beauty are the main features of the Durgotshob (Durga festival), the premier added.
Noting that Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony since ancient times, the premier said, “We celebrate all religious festivals together being imbued with the motto ‘Religion for individuals, festival for all’ in Bangladesh.”
"Our constitution ensures equal rights of the people of all castes and creeds… Bangladesh is a safe place for all people irrespective of caste, creed and religion," Sheikh Hasina added.
“The coronavirus has paralyzed the entire world. Our government is taking necessary steps during this crisis time… during this (crisis) time, everyone should help one another with huge patience and tolerance and sympathetic mind,” the Prime Minister said.
She urged all to celebrate the Durgotshob maintaining the health guidelines and social distancing in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sheikh Hasina also urged the people to maintain communal harmony being imbued with the spirit of the Liberation War to build a hunger- and poverty-free and happy and prosperous 'Sonar Bangla' as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Marking the Sharadiya Durgotsab, the premier wished peace, welfare and prosperity for all citizens, including the Hindu community, of the country.