Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Rise of Fundamentalism: Agenda for Socio-Political Reform

It has been a remarkable observation by the news and views expressed by the Bangladeshi media outlets that religious fundamentalism and militancy have been on rise in Bangladesh. We don’t need to conduct any social or political opinion survey in this regard. Historically, for the first time in Bangladesh militant Jamatis have enjoyed the flavor of administrative power because of petty interest of the current Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s political greediness.

In that respect, Jamatis have already reaped their own political interest by exploiting opportunities to directly and indirectly occupy administrative and socio-political set-ups by placing their own people. This kind of islamization has never happened before in Bangladesh. It has direct and unprecedented impact on socio-political fabric of our society. If you review the news and views, there has been an obvious and remarkable polarization taking place that people are facing the choice of either pro-Islamic alliance with a so-called nationalistic view point or a secular pro-democratic alliance to eliminate religious fundamentalism in the coming years. In the recent by-election, popular jamati incumbent seat has been lost to a popular pro-people anti-government candidate which is showing the turning point in our political dimension.

In order to measure the progress of anti-fundamentalist force in Bangladesh, we need to identify political polarization from people’s perspective. We need to identify the persons, faces, institutions that have been infiltrated by the religious fundamentalist Jamati forces. We need to enlist their activities, institutional influences and paradoxes, so that they can not change their color over night. We have seen in the past they became sea turtle to hide their face. In order to prevent the rise of religious fundamentalism, we need non-partisan people based socio-political agenda that will unmask the political economy and socio-political aspects of fundamentalist forces in Bangladesh. I hope my colleagues will come forward to lay out a socio-political agenda for people that will successfully annihilate Jamati politics from Bangladesh forever. If any one wants to see the proof, I’ll invite them to look at the fall of Ershad’s military regime in 1990. People still hold power in Bangladesh and they can easily and peacefully change the fate of greedy politician’s dream very unexpectedly. In order to bring war criminal Jamatis to justice, we need to free this critical issue from partisan politics and make it a popular demand. Hopefully, it is a new beginning of a socio-political agenda to free Bangladesh from the curse of fundamentalist and war criminal force.

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