Probably, we are the only nation in the world that has to fight every day to find out our country. No, it doesn’t mean that we lost our country geographically every day, but there is a far distance between Bangladesh in our mind and in front of our eyes. ‘Bangladesh’ is a name of glorious history, deep-rooted cultural phenomena, and a name of interaction between various ethnic groups. The common people of Bangladesh never believe in any kind of anarchy. Though they are religious, as far as I can find their visions throughout their statements in various references and oral interviews, they never rely on any fundamental forces. So, it’s a big question now how these fundamentalist groups make their uprising in our state. The straight answer is ‘with the fresh aid of existing political forces’. If we look at the history of growing fundamentalism in Bangladesh after the liberation period, we find the state machine as a key force to make this happen. After the brutal assassination of the father of the nation, the state directly played the role to build up the fundamentalist forces. This role of the state is still in the van. As a reason, unfortunately, Bangladesh in the dream of secular forces is just like a stage play; there is no reflection in the present ruling or administration.
No doubt, the problem is at the core. The basic thing is that the psychology of people is never judged by the political parties. This is not only the current phenomenon but also a black step of all previous communal phenomena. From the partition period of Bengal, we faced the use of religion by all ruling forces and they used it to unrest the people, as a result, the existence of amity was challenged. Though Jawaharlal Nehru said in Tryst With Destiny that “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance”, the situation did not happen like that. It was accompanied by the largest mass migration in human history of some 10 million. As many as one million civilians died in the accompanying riots and local-level fighting. A religion-based partition reflects nothing but that. After the partition, Pakistan found out the real zero. The former East Bengal (Present Bangladesh) found it just like a suppression. From the very beginning of the partition, Pakistan tried to hit us culturally and due to the giant protest along with the sacrifice of lives, we regained our right to speak in Bangla. The people of then East Pakistan realized the actual picture of communalism. Pakistan, nothing but a failed state, used religion to surpass us. So, it is fact that our liberation war was also against all kinds of communalism and our heroic liberation fighters’ dream was to build up a secular Bangladesh. Yes, the constitution of 1972 was a clear reflection of that. But what was the practice? Especially after the assassination of Bangabandhu? We found the state under the fundamentalists’ umbrella. Zia, Ershad, and all other people established radical Islamic groups and war criminals. Militarism played a vital role in this black verse. After the fall of the Ershad dictatorship regime, Bangladesh came back in the way of democracy. But it was just the old wine in a new bottle. Among many equations, Bangladesh Awami League tries to prove itself as a pro-liberation force. No doubt, Bangladesh Awami League has a historic and precious contribution to our liberation war. But, no one can deny the statement that the ruling government of Bangladesh, though the major portion of it is Awami League, is not carrying the ideology of the then Awami League. The spirit of liberation that is carried by the present Awami League, is like chalk for cheese. Their press release says a type of statement, their activity shows a different picture. On the question of liberation spirit, Awami League plays a whimsical and ridiculous role. It is nothing but our ill-fate that, we have to see such Awami League making handshake with a religious bigotry militant fundamentalist group Hefazat-e-Islam.
The creation or uprising of Hefazat is a drama, scripted by Jamat and directed by the government. When Gonojagoron Moncho hammered on the issue of capital punishment of all war criminals and to ban Jamat-Shibir, Hefazat came onto the screen. They have created the so-called atheism issue and pointed it to the bloggers just to make the non-violent movement questionable. They have been tried it for the last fifteen months. But Gonojagoron Moncho never cares about it. The basic reason is that we completely know the way of the movement- philosophically, culturally, socially, and politically. The first step to demolish this movement from the government side was taken on May 6 of the previous year, while they cracked and seized our wooden stage as well as our leaflets, posters, and many other documents preserved in Media Cell, allocated in Shahbag. But before it, the government has been starting to play a negative role on the point of Gonojagoron Moncho since 26th March of 2013, when the spokesman, Dr. Imran H Sarker, asked boldly about the ultimatum of banning Jamat-Shibir on behalf of the activists. So the playground of Hefazat was smoothly created. But Gonojagoron Moncho focuses on their six points demands and on that issue they are carrying their movement.
Last three days ago, when Gonojagoron Moncho was going to their pre-declared campaign ‘Ghore Ghore Gonojagoron’ (Mass-rising door to door) with their six points demands and to inform the common people about the current situation of tribunal along with the cautiousness against the communal terrorism of Jamat-Shibir, Hefajat-e Islam Secretary General Junaid Babunagari threatened to kill Dr. Imran H Sarker, Spokesman of Gonojagoron Moncho, in an open discussion forum. Gonojagoron Moncho protested it through a press conference but we noticed that after giving the threat to kill, no action was taken from the Government. It is already two days over, but we find the government as a silent snob.
The speech of Junaid Babunagari, published in various media was not only a threat to Imran H Sarker but also a brutal statement against humanity, freedom of speech, and free–thinking. He called Imran H Sarker as ‘only one atheist’ of Bangladesh and told his followers to make a grave for Dr. Imran and to bury him. First of all, as a comrade of Dr. Imran, I know his philosophy about religion. He is a liberal person, can think of all kinds of opinions, and value these. We discussed a long time on the point of secularism and he always says his favorite and ideological statement- state is for all, but religion is a matter of person. I make this statement with my responsibility that he is not an atheist. But, he has a bright concept on the issue of secularism and the right to state for all people beyond all kinds of philosophy, opinion except the anti-liberation mentality. I am not trying to prove him as a holy Muslim as other people try, because as far as I know him, it never bothers him anytime. He is always focused on the philosophy of liberation war. From the global perspective, he has a vision, certainly based on secularism and humanism. That’s all of him.
But these are not important at this moment. The very important is that I have found two special points in Babunagari’s odd-mental statement. Number one, he said, anyone except the atheist can stay in Bangladesh; and second, he called the current Government to rule the country fifty or hundred years whatever, but under this condition that- Government should be pro–Muslims. After such a stupid statement there is no sound from Government. Even they don’t protest the statement that Government is for all citizens, not only for Muslims. Now if we look back to the history of liberation, we can recall that this state is for all. Religious identity never is the measurement to evaluate its citizens in a secular country. So, it seems either Babunagari’s challenge to secular Bangladesh is approved by the Government or the Government itself has no faith in secularism but it can’t express it. Atheism is nothing but a strong philosophy. In any developed or civilized country all opinions enjoy open windows. Any kind of suppression should be protested. For building up a scientific mentality–based society, we have to honor all kinds of pro–humanism opinions. I never heard from any atheist threaten to kill another person who belongs to a different philosophy. But belonging to Islam, I always find some stupid people who are threatening here and there, kill people in the name of religion, destroy the civilization, and so on.
Hefajat-e Islam is such a fundamentalist group that destroyed the whole Motijeel in the previous year. How much violent they are, has already been opened to all the people. But it’s a matter of great sorrow that we can’t find our government in any effective step. The cases filed in that period are in the refrigerator now. Hefajat-e Islam again tried to be united. It is the policy of Jamat. Our government plays such a fishy role that they are waiting for another tragic 5 May.
Beyond everything, we considered this Government as a bright gem in a dark cave. Day by day, it goes to zero. As a citizen of Bangladesh, I will always be concern about the pro fundamentalism policy of the current Government. The 57 of ICT Act, blogger arrest, the delaying of the judgment of war criminals, statement of law minister about banning Jamat, trying to collaborate with Islami bank and other war criminals’ economical sources and so self-hunting jobs like these seem that Government is going to dig their own grave.