Malaun (Bengali: মালাউন) is term for a Bengali Hindu, most commonly used in Bangladesh.[1][2][3][4] The word is derived from the Arabic "ملعون", meaning 'accursed' or 'deprived of God's Mercy', and in modern times, it is used as an ethnic slur by the Muslims in Bengal for Hindus.[5][6] Political leaders from religious parties frequently abuse the Hindus as Malauns during the election rallies.[7]


The Arabic word "ملعون" (mal'un), literally meaning 'cursed' is derived from the root "لعنة" (la'nat) meaning 'curse'. In Islamic parlance, it means 'deprived of Allah's mercy'. The word has been loaned into languages of non-Arabic Islamic countries like Malay and Indonesian.[8][9] The dictionary published by the Bangla Academy gives the meaning of the Bengali word "মালাউন" as someone cursed or deprived of Allah's mercy or forcefully evicted or a Kafir.[10] It mentions that the word is used as a slur by the Muslims against the non-Muslims.[10] In Bangladesh, the word is more specifically used to refer to the Hindu religious minority. In colloquial usage, the word is sometimes shortened to Malu.


Nirmal Kumar Bose noted the usage of the term as early as 1946 in Noakhali.[11] During the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide, the Pakistani officers addressed Dr. Govinda Chandra Dev as malaun before executing him.[12] On 13 April 1971, after killing a Hindu, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury made a sarcastic comment to the mourning Muslims, "It's only a malaun that died."[13] According to eyewitness, AKM Yusuf had addressed a gathering of Peace Committee at Rampal in Khulna district on 19 April. At the gathering he addressed the Hindus as malauns and the Hindu women as spoils of war and exhorted the audience to kill them and loot their women.[14] Hussain Muhammad Ershad, while serving as the President, had referred to the Hindus as malaun at a rally in Chhatak. He apologized for his remark after protests from the Hindus.[15]

In December 2013, Ganajagaran Mancha presented a deputation to the Home Ministry complaining about police torture. The deputation alleged that on 19 December 2013 the police abused a Hindu woman activist as malaun because she had put sindur.[16] In December 2014, Nasiruddin Pintu, a convicted BNP politician, abused a Bengali Hindu police officer by calling him a malaun when he attempted to stop his lawyers and supporters from meeting Pintu illegally. Pintu threatened the officer with loss of job and called him son of a pig.[17] In January 2015, Awami League workers Shahnawaz and Anwaruzzaman Chowdhury abused fellow Awami League worker Sushanta Dasgupta at a party function in London.[18]

In the Internet, a Jamaat-e-Islami run handle named Basher Kella has given the call for killing all the malauns and turning Bangladesh into a country where only the Muslims will live.[19][20][21]

Impact on Hindu society

In few schools and colleges in Bangladesh, the Hindu pupils are frequently abused by their classmates by calling them malauns.[7] Many of them get mentally devastated by consistent bullying and drop out of their studies.[7]

See also


  1. Roy, Tathagata (2002). My People, Uprooted. Kolkata: Ratna Prakashan. p. 18. ISBN 81-85709-67-X.
  2. Dastidar, Sachi (12 April 2008). "Bangladesh: The Upcoming National Elections, Pluralism, Tolerance and the Plight of Hindu and Non-Muslim Minority - Need a New Direction". Bangladesh: Religious Freedom, Extremism, Security, and the Upcoming National Elections. United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  3. "Minorities Fear for Life and Security" (PDF). HRCBM. 12 September 2002. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  4. Chatterjee, Garga (4 March 2015). "The unholy killings of Avijit Roy and Govind Pansare". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  5. Watch, Human Rights; Ganguly, Meenakshi; Alffram, Henrik (2008). The Torture of Tasneem Khalil: How the Bangladesh Military Abuses Its Power Under the State of Emergency. Human Rights Watch. p. 28. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  6. House of Commons: Foreign Affairs Committee (25 March 2005). Human Rights Annual Report 2004: Fourth Report of Session 2004-05 (PDF) (Report). House of Commons, United Kingdom. p. 88. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  7. 1 2 3 Roy, Palash Kumar (2 January 2014). সংখ্যালঘুরা কাকে ভোট দেবে?. The Daily Jugantor (in Bangla). Dhaka. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  8. "Loanwords in Indonesian and Malay". SEAlang Library. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  9. Stevens, Alan M.; Tellings, A. Ed Schmidgall (2004). A Comprehensive Indonesian-English Dictionary. Ohio University Press. p. 610. ISBN 9780821415849. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  10. 1 2 Barua, Anirban (6 November 2016). মন্ত্রীর মালাউন গালি ও বাংলা একডেমির অর্থ. Amader Orthoneeti (in Bangla). Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  11. Bose, Nirmal Kumar (1999). My Daya With Gandhi. Orient Blackswan. p. 259. ISBN 9788125017264. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  12. Sajeeb, Mohammad Qutub Uddin. গোবিন্দচন্দ্র দেব [Gobinda Chandra Deb]. Gunijan Trust (in Bangla). Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  13. Anwar, Mahbub-ul. The History of Bangalee's War of Liberation.
  14. "Yusuf ordered killing of Hindus: witness". 1 December 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  15. সিলেটে হিন্দু মহাজোটের মানববন্ধন. (in Bangla). 10 January 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  16. Farooq, Omar (22 December 2013). 'মনে হয়েছিল এরা যেনো পাকিস্তান থেকে আমদানীকৃত পাকিস্তানী পুলিশ'. Kaler Kantho (in Bangla). Dhaka. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  17. "BNP's Pintu hurls ethnic slur 'Malaun' at a policeman". 18 December 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  18. ‘মালাউন’ গালি আনোয়ারুজ্জামানের, বিজয় অনুষ্ঠানে হাতাহাতি. (in Bangla). 7 January 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  19. Roy, Swadesh (28 March 2013). "Anti-Hindu attacks rock Bangladesh". Asia Times. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  20. "Turning Bangladesh in to Banglastan". Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  21. "Banglastan!". The Daily Star. Dhaka. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
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