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Silent politics in loud communalism

Despite occasional protests at the social level over various forms of communal incitement and violence at the local level, mainstream political parties have been seen to remain silent or not play a visible role. While the small left-progressive democratic parties are vocal in their protest, the big parties have nothing to do. Especially the role of Awami League and main opposition party BNP is not visible, so is the main opposition party Jatiya Party in Parliament. The intellectual and civil society of the country fears that the inactive and silent position of the big political parties in this case is making the communal evil forces brave.

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The latest example of communal violence is the vandalism of a house belonging to a Hindu named Ramni Biswas in Amurbunia village of Morelganj in Bagerhat on Monday night over allegations of insulting Islam in a Facebook post, burning of straw and vandalism of a temple. With the intervention of the administration, 20 people involved in the violence, including Anas, were arrested. But political leaders and activists were not seen coming forward against the violence or on the side of the victims.

Many political parties have not been vocal in the recent incidents of torture of minorities, including the arrest of Hridoy Chandra Mandal, a science teacher in Munshiganj on March 22. Only left-wing political parties and organizations were vocal about the persecution and imprisonment of the teachers’ heart circle. They have held protest human chain programs in different places of the capital including Shahbag. But the two main political parties of the country, Awami League and BNP and other political parties did not show a strong role in this issue. Earlier, the lecturer of the Department of Theater and Media Studies of Tejgaon College in the capital. These political parties are also silent on the incident of humiliating Lata Samaddar. However, a strong protest was sparked by a flurry of criticism on social media and the families of the victims were rehabilitated by the administration.

Analysts say that not only the recent events, but also the recent spate of communal violence in the country has seen such silent-passive role of political parties in most of the cases. Leaders and activists were not seen standing by the victims of the violence, members of the minority community and their families. Even local MPs, especially elected MPs from different political parties, Upazila-UP chairmen and member-councilors did not visit the site in some cases. Many have complained that the political leaders and the people’s representatives are keeping silent because the victims are religious minorities and they are keeping their votes in mind.

They also say that after the incident of torture of any minority in the country, there is a lot of discussion and politics about it, but there is no justice. As a result, the incidents of torture are not stopping. On September 19, 2012, there was an attack on a Buddhist village in Ramu. Ten years later, no trial has yet taken place. A total of 19 cases were registered in this incident. Although only one case has been charged, the trial has not started. The investigation into the October 29, 2016 attack on a Hindu settlement in Nasirnagar, Brahmanbaria, has not been completed in six years. Those arrested at the time were also released on bail. Similarly, on 13 October last year, an attack was carried out on Pujam Pe on the banks of Nanuadighi in Comilla. After that several more pujam pe were attacked. But the investigation into those incidents is not over yet. Similarly, investigations into attacks on minorities in Rangpur, Comilla, Chittagong and Bhola have not been completed.

Professor Emeritus. However, Sirajul Islam Chowdhury told Samakal that the recent communal incidents in the country are not a matter for Awami League or BNP. In many cases these incidents involve personal or group interests. And by causing these incidents, those selfish quarters are looking for opportunities.

Advocate Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Parishad, said communal violence was the same as it was during the BNP-Jamaat era, now it is the same during the Awami League government. On the contrary, it seems to have increased in recent times. And neither Awami League nor BNP has ever taken any role in preventing communal violence. As a result, the country’s minorities are in a crisis of existence today. To get out of this crisis, the government has to play a visible role. Political parties also have to come to a consensus.

However, major political parties have denied any involvement in the killings. Awami League leaders say the Awami League has been instrumental in resisting all the incidents of communal violence that have taken place so far. With immediate instructions, the party leaders and workers went to the spot and brought the situation under control and stood by the affected families. Strict action has also been taken against those involved in the violence through the administration.

Awami League presidium member and agriculture minister. Abdur Razzak said the Awami League has nurtured non-communal ideology since its inception. The Awami League has always been consciously working to establish a non-communal democratic state system and to carry the spirit of the Liberation War.

He said the Awami League is active in resisting any communal violence. The local leaders and activists of the party were immediately sent to the spot and the situation was brought under control. Similarly, law enforcement and administration are also assisted. The Awami League does not and will not compromise with the communal evil forces.

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the BNP has always attached importance to the issue of protest against the torture of minorities. The BNP has protested from the ground in every incident of torture of minorities. The BNP has protested by forming an investigation team to protest against the Pujam Pe violence on the banks of Nanuadighi in Comilla last year and presenting the real information to the nation.

He said that although the incident of Munshiganj teacher Hridoy Mandal is very sensitive, it is a personal issue. There are no communal incidents here. Therefore, BNP has not taken or will not take any role in personal issues.

President of the Workers Party of Bangladesh Rashed Khan Menon MP said, “We do our best to prevent communal violence and pave the way for building a non-communal democratic state structure.” We are always talking about this. But the fact is that the big parties, especially the ruling party and the government do not take any action against it, do not even speak. On the contrary, it is the leaders and activists of the ruling party who are causing or taking part in the incidents of communal violence. That is what has become difficult. ‘

Hasanul Haque Inu MP, president of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD), said other progressive democratic parties, including the JSD, were doing their best to prevent communal violence. But the reality is that despite the big parties, especially the ruling Awami League, talking about secularism and secularism, they are showing purposeful indifference in mitigating communal provocative activities while pursuing the strategic moderation of electoral politics. And the BNP and its allies have dragged the communal extremist forces into their laps to overthrow the government. For this reason, they are compelled to remain silent in the face of extremist violence. As a result, communal violence is not decreasing, but increasing.

Mujahidul Islam Selim, former president of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), said that the country’s progressive democratic forces, especially the leftist parties, have continued to fight against communalism in a multi-pronged manner with all their might. Communist Party leaders and activists risked their lives in every incident, standing by the oppressed people. Such a role of progressive democratic parties shows the place of future hope. But the problem, he said, is that the big parties are inciting, indulging and supporting these communal forces. They are also competing among themselves over who is the biggest communal. They no longer do anything in the interest of the minority or the common people as the country no longer needs votes to come to power and as if there is an opportunity to come to power by stealing votes.

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