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This brings me to the point I’ve been trying to make over and over again on these pages: that religious identity politics are driven more by the political-economy of control over scarce resources than by religion. Certainly not "secularists" who think that taking "Bismillah" out of the constitution is going to magically empower our Hindu citizens.
And since most of our intelligentsia falls into this category, that should answer our question as to why they haven’t really looked into the reasons behind the Vested Property Act being instituted in the first place in 1974 in a Bangladesh supposedly built on a secular Bangali nationalism. Jamaat would stink if it had more power as would JP.
For those who need more confirmation that our political parties do not care about our religious minorities, here is Professor Abul Barkat’s study on the Vested Property Act.
Nevertheless, he remains a highly intimidating character.
Imagine you were insane enough to challenge him to a fight.
But also needless to mention, not many political economists among the Dhaka intelligentsia have bothered to investigate these reasons.
So the epithet (good to some, bad to others) of being "minority-friendly" stuck. Yet, as Barkat shows, who the beneficiaries of such confiscations ("legal" till 2001) were depended solely on who was in power.