Save communal harmony— October 20, 2021
Alaul Alam: Communal disharmony is a global crisis. It has been affecting humanity since the civilization. The minority communities are facing threats by the majority communities. The situation is like that the minority groups are born to face inequalities in the society.
Religious and racial conflicts are so pervasive in the world. The dominance over the weaker nations is common to notice in these days. Even in many cases justice for the vulnerable communities of the world is not ensured.
The white are considering them superior to the black and in many cases the black are denied of their fundamental rights. It is no denial that enormous changes have been noticed over the ages. In terms of acquiring knowledge and skills people of these days have superseded their lineages. They have been blessed with modern knowledges.
There goes a lesson that knowledge ennobles the individuals. The question may be pertinent to ask; how far we have been decent when we cannot think the humanity above religious and racial identity. Brutality, hatred and demeaning one another have been an everyday issue in the world.
However, it is evident that over the ages the South Asian people have enjoyed more communal harmony than those of others across the globe. People in this territory follow the four main religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianism.
People with different religions live together in a communal harmony. Besides, they have developed their common characteristics irrespective of the caste and creeds that have made them unique in the world.
But things have not been always appreciative. Since the late nineteenth century people of this territory have started facing religious and racial turmoil.
The emergence of communalism and fundamentalism spread a cancerous sickness of the mind of the people which is affecting people and society and causing unleashing violence and terrorism of the worst kind.
The partition of India and Pakistan is an example. The history claims thatthe separation of these two countries was mainly for religion where Hindus and Sikhs were on one side and Muslims on the other. Obviously, the communities in the Indian subcontinent who followed different religions had coexisted for years but the very partition in 1947 began the history of communal disharmony amid the people in this territory.
It is apparent that there may be third group who instigated the Muslims and Hindus and destroyed communal peace. Hinduism is the most driving religion in Hindustan, presently called India while Islam in Pakistan. Since the partition these two countries have never compromised each other due to their severe religious conflicts.
However, the existence of Bangladesh in the world map in 1971 brought a new height of communal harmony. Evidently, in our liberation war, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians fought together under the great leadership of the father of nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On the 7th March speech, Bangabandhu addressed the Bengalis to get ready for liberation war. He struggled throughout his life to emancipate the Bengalis from tyranny and inequalities irrespective of caste and creeds. He loved the humanity beyond their race and religions that made an iconic leader of the world. In one of his speeches Bangabandhu said “There are Hindus, Muslims, Bengalis and non-Bengalis in this Bengal. They are our brothers. It is our responsibility to protect them so that we are not discredited”.
Bangabandhu prioritized the humanity and emphasized secularism. It was his philosophy that all the people would enjoy every right, no matters whether they belong to Muslim or Hindu religion. He vowed to protect the Bengalis not Hindus or Muslims.
Though the Pakistan government tried to instigate Hindu and Muslim conflicts in this territory to weaken the Bengalis’ morale, Bangabandhu did not give them scopes as he led all-party Action Council in March 1964 to resist communal riots and consolidate the democratic unity of Hindus and Muslims of the province.
Not only that, Bangabandhu adopted secularism in the Constitution. His philosophy to adopt secularism was to give the people of every religion due freedom to observe their religious activities. Secularism does not mean atheism or non-existence of God or the rejection of religious morality, rather it is a practice that ensures harmony amid people of different religions.
These days it is obvious that Bangabandhu is not physically with us but his ideology and vision steer the Bengalis. His worthy daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has achieved significant achievements in every field including economic growth, women empowerment, agriculture, education, health, rural infrastructure and communication. Bangladesh has been a role model country in the world.
When the country is advancing with the peaceful living of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians, some miscreants are trying to break communal harmony in the country.Recently, a news has got viral that the Holy Quran was kept on the foot of idol at a temple in Cumilla. The Muslims roared across the country for demeaning the Holy Quran.
In the guise of religious issue miscreants attacked and vandalized some temples across the country. With this issue the political parties are smelling the rat to one another. But one thing is very appreciative that it is the expectation of people of both communities that let the fact be brought to public and the perpetrators be given exemplary punishment so that in future nobody dares to play with the religious sentiments of the people.
Law enforcing agencies are working to detect the perpetrators. Our Prime Minister has said that no perpetrators will be spared and must face the music who are involved in such heinous acts. We hope that without any delay the perpetrators must be brought to book. On top of that, it is very urgent for every citizen to promote communal harmony to take the country to a height.
The writer is teacher at Prime University and also a research scholar at the IBS