bangla2000 Home • b2k Interactive  Home • all   bulletins New Members Sign Up b2k Members Sign In
Monday, July 16, 2018 BD

International Group

Bulletins Participate in the Bulletin
Enter Your Opinion
Click to add Emoticons.
blush confused cool cry eek frown biggrin
evilgrin supergrin kiss lol smile love mad
redface rolleyes sweat tongue trippy winky alien
devil happy indifferent nerd ohwell sick tired

Bulletins Bulletin : Published
Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2002
From: rap_bd
Recent Communal Unrest in South Asia and Role of the Civil Society

Discussants at a discussion on Recent Communal Unrest in South Asia and Role of the Civil Society held on 20 April 2002, described the people and society in Bangladesh as non-communal. They said the recent communal unrest in South Asia has been triggered by the political practice rather than the religious believes. It was observed that for too long, religion has been used to serve petty politics in the region. In the face of the failure of the State to protecting rights of the mass, especially rights of the minorities, the onus was on the civil society to start pro-people campaign and action programmes to further social resistance against these pronounced evils.

The programme organised by the Research Action People (RAP), a research and advocacy organisation on social issues, was attended by young people from various youth organisations, NGOs and educational institutions. Designated discussants included Mr. Enayetullah Khan, Editor, The Weekly Holiday; Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed, World Literature Centre; and Prof. M. M. Akash, Dept. of Economics, University. Among others Dr. Tasneem Siddiqui, Dept. of Political Science, Dr. C. R. Abrar, Professor, Dept. of International Relations, University of Dhaka, and Suranjit Baidya took part in the discussion and Mr. Shahzada Akram of RAP conducted the programme.

Mr. Enayetullah Khan expressed his concern about the trends of obscurantism and identified that as the real source of threat of fundamentalism and a potential fault line for increasing communal divide. Discussing the historical background of the region, he pointed out the merger of interests of petty politics and landed interest of the well to do in destroying the harmony in ethnic and communal lines. He said, it was time for the civil society of both India and Bangladesh to be more active in protection of minority rights rather than dancing with the tune of the political parties. He also said that certain NGOs, who claim to be the champions of civil society; should stop wooing the donors with fictitious stories of rising fundamentalism and communal politics in Bangladesh just for the sake of continued funding.

Professor M. M. Akash in his discussion said the apparent manifestations of communal divide and tension has underlying economic reasons and hence economic needs and power matrix driven. Generally it is the lower class minority population who are attacked and mostly not the other way round. Elaborating on the class dimension he said, the ‘civil society’ in Bangladesh especially, is a project of the middle class and elite who are not prepared to take up the cause of the common people to safe guard their socio-economic rights. Civil society is often busy with the superstructural and unproductive debates on political symbolism and is often partisan.

Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed observed that in every country minorities live like non-citizens. He expressed his concern about the recent tendencies of colouring political clashes with religious tones. He said renaissance in Bengal has transformed the general people of Bangladesh into a more tolerant and liberal lot and no incidents of real communal riots took place in Bangladesh. He identified past memories of loss and defeat and supremacy during the pre and post Mughal period as the reasons of communalism and riots in present day India. He said it has to be something more than economics and direct politics that drives people to brutal goals and let them be prey of the evil designs of the politicians. He expressed his optimism in activism by the general people in contrast to the so-called civil society, who lives with abstractions devoid of activism. He hoped that civil society would emerge in Bangladesh with the participation of the general people, which can then be called “Jono Samaj” in Bangla.

During open discussion Dr. Tasneem Siddiqui called for greater openness in debating over these issues and said political and economic underpinnings of apparent communal tension has to be understood clearly in order to have a healthy future. She stressed the need for non-partisan civil society activism and commonly accepted norms for civil society operation at the national and regional level for better protection of minorities and other vulnerable groups. Dr. C. R. Abrar in his quarry asked whether by playing in hands of certain quarters, who are out to demonise Bangladesh as a fundamentalist country; the minorities are damaging the prospect of mitigating and resolving the real sufferings and problems of their communities. He emphasised the need of proper and better understanding between/among the minority communities and the majority community of Bangladesh.

Md. Toufiq Islam
Research Action People (RAP)
C/39, Third Colony, Lalkuthi, Mirpur
Dhaka – 1218

People Discussion
There are currently no Opinions to this Bulletin.

Be the first to discuss this Bulletin by adding your Opinion in the box to the left.

Copyright © Bangla2000. All Rights Reserved.
About Us  |  Legal Notices  |  Contact for Advertisement