Dhaka: Communal fundamentalist forces are emerging at various levels of society and state structure; Cultural activists have expressed fear that the anti-liberation war forces are creating division among people in the name of religion.
They also warned the government that the allies of the defeated forces of the 1970s, who are hiding inside the administrative and social structures, can strike at any time.
Cultural activists say that they will continue to protest against any injustice and adversity in the society through words, poems and songs. Cultural activists from different parts of the country will hold a cultural gathering in Dhaka and tell what kind of humane society they want to see in the future.
They said these things at the opening session of the conference of the combined cultural alliance at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in Segunbagicha of the capital on Friday (September 9) morning.
The 8th National Conference and Council Session is being held under the title ‘Wake up to the power of culture Bangladesh’.
Sociologist Professor Dr. inaugurated the conference. Anupam Sen.
Actor Ramendu Majumder, Mamunur Rashid, Nasiruddin Yusuf Bachchu, former Culture Minister Asaduzzaman Noor, actor Sara Zaker, author and trustee of Liberation War Museum Mofidul Haque, actor Jhuna Chowdhury and director general of Shilpakala Academy Liaquat Ali Lucky were present as honored guests in the inaugural session. Golam Kudduch, president of Sammilit Sanskari Jot, presided over the event. Acting General Secretary of Sammilit Sansikkar Jot, reciter Ahkam Ullah conducted the program.
Professor Anupam Sen said, when common people fall under the thumb of bigotry, then it is the responsibility of cultural activists to remove that thumb. I believe, the cultural workers of this country are the most energetic, lively and inspired by ideals. Their protest in poetry, song, recitation and drama can never go in vain. The song of rebellion in their voice will never fail.
Anupam Sen, a senior sociologist and convenor at the time of the founding of Cultural Alliance in Chittagong, said that the cultural activists never stop in the movement and struggle to establish a humane society today. The whole Bangladesh should hear the voices of cultural workers in protest against the gloom, injustice and bureaucracy sitting on the neck of the society.
Mamunur Rashid said, the neglect of culture today pains me. I think our policy makers do not understand the essence of culture. They think that culture means drama and music. But culture means people’s daily life. Various elements have been added to this Bengali culture for hundreds of years. Let the cultural workers discuss this issue. Besides, the cultural workers should also raise their voices against the changes in the curriculum suggested by the reactionary circle.
Nasiruddin Yusuf said, we were not tired of the anti-dictatorship movement in the nineties as well as the struggle against communalism and fundamentalism. But how far have we been able to move towards the spirit of the liberation war in Bangladesh? Have we been able to delete the communal statements from the constitution? Whether we are talking about economic disparity or social equality today, cultural activists have to start a march. If we can have the mass awakening of fifty-two, seventy-one, ninety or 2013, we can still talk about the liberation of people through creativity.
Asaduzzaman Noor said, how to remove the cultural bias in the country today? In the humanitarian disaster that has happened across the country today, education should be coordinated with culture. For the past twenty one years Bangladesh has been walking in the opposite direction, have we been able to completely organize Bangladesh in our own way? It’s kind of a failure. We need to identify and analyze those weaknesses and mistakes, coordinate cultural organizations and determine immediate actions.
Ramendu Majumder said, the major complaint against the Samilit Sanskari Jota is that it has lost its protestant character. Just as we sing the praises of the government, we must protest and criticize any injustice. A week-long conference should be held with cultural workers from all over Bangladesh, where actions should be decided.
In the meeting, Sara Zaker, a member of the Presidium of the Combined Cultural Alliance and the former president of Bangladesh Group Theater Federation, called for the activities of the alliance to be free from the influence of the government. He said, our position should not be sidelined in any way. Let us not refrain from protesting injustice through art by isolating ourselves further. We have not forgotten the great role of the collective cultural alliance in the anti-dictatorship movement. From that place of responsibility, the collective cultural alliance must be strengthened.
She later urged women artists to be active in the front lines of alliance activities.
Mofidul Haque said, today the time has come for self-realization and self-awakening from the place of self-criticism. We have failed to play the greater role in favorable environment that we played in adverse environment. Today when society is covered by communalism we have to think about what will be our strength, what will be our functional role. We also have to think about what is the overall position of the government today. Think about how to make the coalition more effective.
Golam Kudduch, president of Sammilita Sanskarti Jot, said, “Today, the big complaint against our alliance is that we are agents of the government.” Today, if any program is given, Awami League says we are agents of the left, the left says it is Awami League. But we want to say, we are not anyone’s broker; We are agents of liberation war. Today, when communal forces and anti-democratic forces are playing havoc at all levels of the state structure, we are making great preparations for a cultural awakening with cultural activists.
Bangladesh Time: 1828 hours, September 09, 2022