Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bangladesh is looking for a new identity

SACHIN KARMAKAR

Shuva Bijoya Dashamai to you all, may Ma Durga keep this planet out of Ashurs(Devils).

SOMETIME DREAMS come true, let’s dream for a devil free secular Bangladesh. Man dreamed thousands of years about moon but physically touched it in 1969. Who knows one day Osama Bin Laden may submit himself to Lord Buddha or Mahatma Gandhi for eternal peace living behind Jihad and terror.

Human natural instinct is for love, truth and peace as said by Lord Buddha and Swami Vivekananda, hate and despise has to be planted to human mind from outside source by preaching devils doctrine. Due to strong political will of Bangladesh government, devils were not visible in Durga Puja Mandaps this year. There were few isolated incident but overall Puja flavor was festive.

This is my first Puja celebration in Bangladesh after 2001 minority massacre and living in exile for seven years in USA; beyond doubt atmosphere was the best since independence. All though Bangladesh is not a secular country, nor it will become ever, till minority Hindus has enjoyed their best in last forty years. The minorities and rights groups dream of European standard - equal rights for ethnic minorities, but we often ignore the past history, present reality and background of our politicians. Ironically our present best known secular Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina emphasized on equal rights of Hindus at Dhakeswari Temple this week chanting "Inshallah we will achieve equal rights for all minorities during our rule”.

Our national sprite is Inshallah and Mashallah, all state sponsored development projects foundation stones are engraved with the verses ”BISMILLAHHIR RAHAMANUR RAHIM”. Like basic democracy doctrine of former military dictator General Ayub Khan, Bangladesh is currently experimenting on a new doctrine of Islamic secularism. Under the new doctrine Jamaat-e- Islami and other radical Islamic political parties will be allowed to function with their name and title. If it succeeds present government will be credited internationally for the discovery.

The best chance to become a secular nation was lost in 1972, when a war winning popular secular government established Islamic Foundation and joined Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) summit at Lahore in 1974 without any reasons whatsoever; to do so government even welcomed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to Dhaka thus the journey to radical Islam began in Bangladesh. In 1972 the fate of secularism and minorities were decided by our national leaders, even they didn't abort the Enemy Property Act of 1965 rather re-imposed it as Vested Property Act to help extradition of minorities from Bangladesh.

So what is the future of minorities in Bangladesh? They will ultimately diminish from the country but will take a little longer time than Pakistan and Afghanistan. The danger to democracy and existence will emerge more visibly with the diminishing minority population, once the land is free of non Muslims there will be wide spread race between radicals in the society like Afghanistan/Pakistan and that will ultimately spread over the sub-continent and threat global peace.

Secular multicolor society is the safety valve for democracy in the world, that’s why Europe and America with 100% Christian population in their country encourages different cultural background immigration, but we do the opposite. #

First published on October 17, 2010


Sachin Karmakar is a liberation veteran, a war course officer. He recently returned to Bangladesh living in exile in United States