Bangladesh Government has cracked down upon the free-thought young bloggers & already arrested some of them, exposed them publicly before media with their horrible weapons (?) like laptops & PC & sent them to police remand as common criminals. It is quite an awful, unexpected, disappointing, heartbreaking and finally disgusting phenomenon to the enlightened people, as well as the pro-liberation forces of the country to see that the government of Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh begins to arrest the free-thought bloggers and putting them behind the bar without any proof of any specific allegation of so-called blashfamy against them, simply in compliance with the demand of the religious bigots, like so-called Hefazat-e-Islam, backed by the Jammat-e-Islam, a war criminal organisation.
Strangely enough, in the epoch of such an utmost culmination of science & technological revolution, when the scientific values such as rationalism, human rights, fundamental rights, right to speak etc, are encroaching all time-bared backward & tradition-trodden superstitious values & ideas of the societies gradually, as the inevitable order of the day, then this perpetration of the government to muzzle the free thinkers, in contravention of the fundamental right of thought stipulated in our blood-shocked constitution, is nothing but obviously a pitiful submission of the ruling party Awami league to the religious bigots with a futile hope to bag their votes in the ensuing national election leading the country to a backward journey to the medieval age.
It is in fact, not a bolt from the blue to the progressive people. Rather, if we explore the chronology of facts, we hopelessly find that the Awami league, a secular & nationalist party, as it was born & which led the war of liberation in 1971, gradually shifted its position from the spirit of liberation war destined to establish a exploitation-free, secular, democratic & non communal society.
If we recapitulate the glorious history of our liberation war, we can see Bangladesh has come in to existence through a continuous struggle for achieving the right of self-governess for two decades & then a bloody war of nine months, sacrificing the lives & honours of millions. It was in fact a recourse of the human history to the right track rectifying the wrong done by our forefathers creating a paradoxical single state of Pakistan, based only on religious faith with two wings staying more than eleven hundreds mile away from each other, by air, at the two corners of a subcontinent like India, having population of absolutely different culture. Hence, inevitably, the struggle of self-governess by the Bangalee people has got the shape of a secular & nationalist movement which gave birth to a nation-state. In the consequence, the directive principles of the constitution of the nascent state were laid down to be Democracy, Secularism, Nationalism & Socialism. It was in fact a tremendous achievement for a nation lagging far behind in education & culture to choose such progressive & modern principles as the fundamental guiding thread of the constitution, which had been achieved by the western society through a renaissance in the twelfth century.
Then the new-born country was supposed to be destined to a prosperous future by following the guiding principles already adopted. But, unfortunately the history was not so pleasant. Within about three & half years of independence, a bloody change over took place by assassinating the founding father of Bangladesh on 15th August, 1975. The military junta, who staged the revolt, brought forward the question of religion to mislead the common people from the real fact. The leader of that rebellion, a traitor from Awami League, Khondoker Mustak came to the scene with a black cap upon his head as a symbol of Islam-loving man.
In the consequences of frequent coup d’états, since November, 1975, Major Zia took over first as martial law administrator & finally as president. Though major Zia happened to be a renowned freedom fighter, he was the first helms-man to introduce religion again officially in the politics of the new-born state. He used to say loudly in public “ Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim”( In the name of Allah) before his every speech to show himself as religious man. He first replaced the Secularism by the Name of Almighty Allah in the directive principles of the constitution. He also modified Socialism in the name of social justice. It was Major Zia, who successfully could reroute the path of development of a newborn country from the track it chose at the eve of its birth in compliance with the dreams of millions who sacrificed their lives at the alter of freedom by the 5th amendment of the constitution. Another general H.M.Ershad, repatriated from the then west Pakistan, the most disgusting, prurient & dishonest fellow took over by another coup from a civil government established after the assassination of Major Zia, used the religion in politics in a very crude way. He was such a clown who used to go to a mosque every week for saying his Jumma prayer & would say that he had gone there as he had been instructed in a dream at the previous night. When democratic movement against him got serious momentum then he declared Islam as the state religion. How silly! This trend of using religion in politics for mere political benefit since the change over of 1975 continued & the big political parties like AL & BNP not only submit to this trend, rather there was & is a nude competition among these two parties to show whose one is more inclined to the religion. Awami league once launched demonstration for the care taker government against the government of BNP along with Jamaat-e-Islam & latter the BNP made alliance of four parties with the Jamaat-e-Islam & finally shared the state power with it.
But history always take it own course in rational way. In a judgment of a writ case on a different matter, the apex court of the country has declared the 5th amendment of the constitution null & void ab-initio, paving the way for re-establishing the constitution of 1972 when AL is in power. But at the utter surprise & dismay of the pro-liberation forces, the AL government did not utilize this unprecedented scope to put the country again in the right track of development, rather totally ignoring the suggestion of many constitutional experts, even the judgment of the court, AL amended the constitution amalgamating state religion with secularism keeping Bismillah at its top. It seems apparently very much mysterious and paradoxical as well, to find a secular party, at least as they claim to be, which led the war of liberation in 1971, to make our constitution more theocratic than the then Pakistan. But it happened, because AL still contemplating to have the votes of fundamental forces & hence intends to comply with the irrational & dogmatic urges of Islamic bigots by snatching away the fundamental rights of the people to speak out his mind. This amendment of the constitution deleting the provision of care taker government at the time of national election AL has given rise to a political crisis & supplied the opposition an issue of movement. Jammat-e-Islam launched a destructive movement against the trial of war criminals. In this volatile perspective, the religious bigots took the chance to be organised & putting forward their demands fulfillment of which obviously will lead the country to be a theocratic state. They have already staged a very big rallies at Dhaka, put forward 13 points demands, main opposition party BNP expressed its solidarity with them. AL also trying to bring them in its own court with an assurance of considering their 13 points & complying with their demands cracked down upon the enlightened young bloggers, who started a movement for real trial of war criminals & ban of war criminal organisation Jammat & Shibir.
It is needless to say that, in spite of such political turmoil, Bangladesh has advanced much in economic & cultural aspect. It achieved tremendously specially in education. But if the political parties who are at the helm & who are in the opposition yield to the capricious demands of the religious fundamentalist then our country would have no option other than to make its journey towards medieval age to be turned a backward, fanatic & undemocratic state.
What is to be done: It has now become to be the historical obligation of all secular progressive forces, regardless of political, social, cultural & human rights organisatons, to launch a massive campaign and a root-shaking cultural movement against this perpetration of the government, withstanding with the essence of the constitution of the country and to raise the collective voices of the general masses along with the voices of international secular-progressive forces, throughout the world with immediate demand of release of free-thinkers who actually fight to promote rationalism against all sorts of superstitions. Progressive people of the world obviously would realize that fundamentalism any where is the threat to rationalism every where of the world.