In the case of countries with multiple religious communities like Bangladesh, an obvious question is likely to arise – how is the relationship among the communities? The book starts with the investigation of the changing relationship among the communities therein from the past until the incidence of violence in the post- parliamentary election held in 2001. The violence in fact is a form of relationship. The violence was observed throughout the country for six months since election under four broad heads – action and property related violence, psychological abuse, and physical assaults including rape and murder. The major part of the study was directed towards the cause of violence and it was sought in a multidisciplinary explanation. As the violence against minorities turned into an invariable event after every election in the recent past, it was believed that violence against them was likely to recur again. Thus, the study gave considerable thought on how Bangladesh might come out of the violence against the minorities.
Although the study was contextual to Bangladesh, the learning from here can also be relevant for countries with similar communal problems. This excellent qualitative and quantitative research combining both field observation and conceptual explorations should attract a wide range of readers particularly those dealing with social problems and will come to regard this book a bold and pioneering work on the issue in Bangladesh.
Mohammad Rafi did most of his schooling in Rajshahi Cadet College and completed formal education by receiving PhD in Sociology from Emory University, USA. Presently, he is a Senior Research Fellow in the Research and Evaluation Division of BRAC, and is coordinating a research unit called Social Development. He also teaches as an Adjunct Faculty at BRAC University. He has published articles both in national and international peer reviewed journals on research methodology, social impact of BRAC, and group dynamics. He has also authored/edited a book – Counting the Hills: Assessing Development in Chittagong Hill Tracts (University Press Limited 2001