Irrespective of doing incredible work for the underprivileged and marginalised especially at the time of a crisis like the Coronavirus pandemic, Bangladeshi NGO named Bidyanondo Foundation has now come under the attack of Islamist fundamentalist on social media. They are being targeted for its Hindu name and Hindu owner.
The attacks and propaganda against Kishore Kumar Das, founder of Bidyanondo Foundation, became so intense that he was forced to think of stepping down as the chairperson of the foundation. The announcement had come on May 5 through the official, verified Facebook page of the foundation.
The executive committee of Bidyanondo had, however, not accepted Kishor’s resignation which forced Kishor to take back the decision.
When Dhaka Tribune got in touch with the NGO’s chairperson he said: “I decided to resign following personal attacks against me on social media, due to my religious affiliations. But later I realized that it would negatively impact the foundation’s campaign and activities.”
For the last two years, activists of the foundation have been subjected to constant attacks on social media for its name and the founder’s religious affiliations, insiders were quoted as saying by the Bangladesh daily, Dhaka Tribune.
HinduPost reported, “Bidyanondo has been widely praised in Bangladesh for their work for the betterment of underprivileged children, fighting against hunger and social taboos. It has been feeding the underserved through a project titled “Ek takay ahar” (Food at Tk 1). Kishore dreams of a world where no child would suffer and no one would go to sleep with an empty stomach. After the coronavirus situation started unfolding, the foundation became even more active and started supplying food for the needy, spraying disinfectant in public vehicles and other areas of Dhaka, feeding street dogs and carrying out a multitude of activities that earned them praise from all quarters of society”.
According to reports, Kishor Kumar Das faced the ire of Islamists because of the “non-Muslim” sounding name of the foundation.
Few of the allegations levelled at the NGO and the chairperson were:
- The NGO’s cheap meals were laced with sedatives to put children to sleep and traffic them. Of course, this allegation did not stick as it was completely baseless.
- Last year, it was alleged that the iftar arranged by the NGO was adulterated with cow urine/dung to convert “gullible” Muslims into Hindus.
- It was alleged on social media that Bidyanondo is a Hindu missionary (ISKCON) organization funded by India.
- It has been alleged that Bidyanondo collects funds in the name of charity and smuggles it into India.
According to Hindupost, an article titled ‘Bidyanondo should not have to defend itself’ written by a Bangladeshi Muslim, Tanim Ahmed, Founder and CEO of Omnispace, lists out these ridiculous allegations hurled at Bidyanondo and its founder.
The writer had observed:
“There are strings of comments and remarks on social media questioning the authenticity and true intention of a Hindu organization being charitable, solely because it has a Bengali name and a founder who is said to be a Hindu…points to the growing religious intolerance among Bangladeshis. It is becoming obvious that Bangladesh is increasingly becoming a country of “Muslims” only, where people of other faiths will become second-class citizens while others like atheists and maybe even Ahmadiyyas will be hounded down”.
Bangladeshi NGO Bidyanondo Foundation
The Bidyanondo foundation was founded in the year 2013 by Kishor Kumar Das. The NGO has been widely praised in Bangladesh for their relentless work for the betterment of the underprivileged children, fighting against hunger and social taboos. It has been feeding the marginalised through a project named: “Ek takay ahar”.
After the coronavirus situation started unfolding, the foundation became even more active and started supplying food to the needy, spraying disinfectant in various areas in Dhaka, feeding stray dogs and carrying out a horde of activities that has earned the NGO praises from all quarters of the society.