May 16, 2021


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Extremism must be stopped in the interest of the democratic system

The Corona epidemic of 2020-21 poses a major challenge to the world. About 3 million people have already died. Bangladesh is not free from this danger. Public life, economy, social and family structures are affected by the epidemic. That is why most of the celebrations of the golden jubilee of independence and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu have been canceled. Only a few events were held from March 16 to 26 this year, so that the states and governments of the five South Asian countries could physically attend despite the epidemic crisis. Those who could not come, sent messages welcoming the celebration. Everyone paid homage to the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh and praised the socio-economic development of Bangladesh.

But the fear is that this limited-range event has also been hampered. Those who have witnessed the riots on March 26 and the next few days through the country’s newspapers, television and social media are the ones who are worried. Because they have seen how even the ignorant little children of the madrasa are trying to be fanatical. How to try to make ordinary people angry! After watching these scenes, a question naturally arises, is the Qaumi Madrasa-based organization now trying to emerge as a political force, or is a Taliban revolution being rehearsed in Bangladesh? Doesn’t this make his symptoms clear?

Without a proper environment and cause for any movement, it inevitably fails, for which the leaders have to take responsibility. Ordinary people are more affected by these reckless movements. That is why it is worth considering the rationale behind the protest that was organized around the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh. Narendra Modi visited Bangladesh in 2015. The protesters were silent at the time, and even top anti-government political leaders greeted the Indian prime minister. Therefore, there must be an opportunity to raise the question as to why the Madrasa Taleb Alems had to take to the field this time, when the same Narendra Modi came to attend the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.

There is no denying that Narendra Modi is at the heart of the rise of Hindu nationalist politics in India. After a long period of monopoly Congress rule and a brief reign of the left and the center, Hindu nationalist politics began to control almost the whole of India. It is not yet time to judge how permanent or fragile this rise is. However, there are strong protests against it in India itself. It is being openly said in the anti-government circles that if the power of India is in the midst of its pluralism, then in that India, if the fanatical hegemony and communalism of a single religion prevails, then it will face great danger. But the reality is that Narendra Modi is the elected Prime Minister of India. His party did worse than expected from opinion polls, which saw them at gaining about a third of the support. What comes to the likes or dislikes of any of us? The political rise or fall of India depends on the support or disapproval of the people of India, not on the people of Bangladesh. But it was seen that a fierce communal excitement was raised, starting from four-five year old children to young Taleb Alems with sticks, knives and swords in their hands. Destruction was carried out everywhere, just like a jihadi call!

Some may say that what happened is accidental. But will everyone accept this argument? Because it has become clear in the pictures and news of the media, the main target of this movement was Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who is the father of the state of Bangladesh and at the same time the war of liberation, the people’s war that gave birth to this state! And it has also been seen that Modi, not only Modi, but also India, the main ally of Bangladesh’s independence, became the main target in this violence. In a democratic society, citizens have the full right to express their views and opinions, and even protest against government policy. But the way insanity has been created by discrediting the holy religion; The manner in which railway stations, public and private installations, traditional cultural institutions, shops, houses have been set on fire; The way Bangabandhu’s mural has been broken; The land office, the municipality has been ravaged; Police have tried to snatch weapons; Ordinary public life has been affected, have the planners of the movement been able to cover up their motives?

Many analysts are compelled to think that in the midst of these events, first of all, there has been an attempt to question the historic anniversary of the completion of half a century of Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan. Second, the arrogance of hurting the epoch-maker Gananayaka, who was celebrating his birth centenary, has also been shown. Third, the Qawmi Madrasa-based Taleb has been rehearsed to show the political power of a special theologian and religious group with the Alems. But not once did I think that there are innumerable schools-colleges-universities in this country, they also have a large number of students, there are also students of other madrasas, what will they see in this political exercise?

There is another question. Will religious fanatics and religious groups be able to succeed in the end? Will they be able to overturn the state, the constitution, the parliament, the existing laws? Will they be able to change the victory of 1971 and complete the revival of communal consciousness of 1947? It is very clear that this will not be possible. Because the biracialism of 1947 was defeated by this Bengali people on the battlefield of 1971, when millions of patriots sacrificed their lives on this land, millions of Bengali women lost their dignity, the scars of the catastrophic national war.

This soil is still contained in the soil.

Even after the many shifts in relations with India, 1971 must be said to be an inseparable chapter in the history of Bangladesh and the people of India. Inviting the Prime Minister of India to the Golden Jubilee of Independence not only honored the truth of history, but also expressed the gratitude of the people of Bangladesh for the historic role of the people of India. It should not be forgotten that India sheltered one crore people who had fled the country under the torture of Pakistani barbaric forces and their domestic followers.

There is evidence in history and in the recent past of how much the people of India respect the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh. India has issued commemorative stamps on the centenary of Bangabandhu’s birth, which the country had earlier issued in the case of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Vladimir Lenin and Ho Chi Minh. However, there is no denying that there are still some unresolved issues between the two countries that need to be addressed quickly. It is necessary to think about why the common river, especially the Teesta water sharing and border killings have not been solved. Recently, there has been the issue of citizen registration in India, the revised citizenship law, as well as the issue of Bangladesh in state elections. Needless to say, extremist groups in Bangladesh would like to use these issues to gain political advantage. Undeniably, with long adjacent borders and people living in the same language, culture and history, these crises cannot be removed overnight. But it is also true that the two countries have shown remarkable success in resolving centuries-old crises, such as enclave exchanges and demarcation of maritime boundaries. Sheikh Hasina’s government has extended maximum cooperation to ensure stability in the North East of India. India and Bangladesh have given top priority to relations. Therefore, there is an opportunity to show India’s highest goodwill on unresolved and uncomfortable issues. Because everyone with good sense wants Bangladesh-India friendship to be further expanded.

Religion and religion politics are not one. The common man respects imams and theologians for religious reasons; But it was not seen that he accepted Mollatantra. On the contrary, those who want to do politics by using the religious sentiments of the people have become enemies of the people from time immemorial. That is why revolutions have taken place in many parts of the world against the unjust interference of fanatics and religious groups in politics and the majority of people have supported that revolution. After the French Revolution of 179-90, the wealth of the powerful clergy was nationalized and distributed among the victims. There was a mass explosion against the oppressive Catholic priests on the one hand and King Lewis on the other. This French Revolution paved the way for the establishment of state or government domination throughout Europe. Even later, the rise of Mollatantra in the country has been stopped.

No one will deny that the country’s anti-independence forces have been systematically rehabilitated for almost two decades since the assassination of Bangabandhu. As a result, the history and ideologues of the war of liberation returned to power after two decades and faced a huge crisis. Guess, maybe in that context he had to find a tactical way to deal with the enemy. But the events of March 2013 and 2021 have provided an opportunity for new insights. No, not only this time, this same fanatical fundamentalist force has hit the sculpture of Bangabandhu in the recent past as well, taking a stand against free thought and the eternal culture of Bengalis. No matter how apolitical they may be, they want to impose Mollatantra by standing outside the law and the constitution. National history, tradition and culture did not grow up for them. Surprising to think, a large part of them still do not adopt the national anthem and the national flag. They wanted to give birth to another state within the state. The people of Bangladesh are not only religious, they consider religion as a big part of life; As they resist anti-religion, they also resist Mollatantra in the name of religion. Therefore, in the interest of the history of the birth of Bangladesh, the cherished tradition of the Bengalis and the democratic state system, this extremism must be stopped. Where is the alternative?

Author: Freedom fighter, writer and analyst