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Kazi Nazrul Islam Death Anniversary

28 Aug 2004

  

The poet's message is poignant in light of the increasing violence and intolerance in Bangladesh.  The effect of the breakdown of law and order fall on all sectors of the population but disproportionately on the marginalized and weaker, such as Hindus and Ahmadiyas.  The recent attack by grenades on a densely populated mass rally that left many dead and maimed is only the latest in the rapidly rising tide of violence and lawlessness of the past two decades.  This atrocity follows many others directed against  poets, political activists and intellectuals, and underline the criminalization of politics and the growing strength in Bangladesh of the forces of religious intolerance.  At the same time as these targeted attacks are taking place,  huge caches of very modern arms are being discovered in many parts of the country, perhaps portents of yet more ominous events to unfold.

 

It is well known in Bangladesh that the no holds barred confrontational politics of the two major political parties, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party  and the Awami League, has greatly aided in ushering in chaos and helped religious extremists become bold and strong.   However, we believe that the united strength of progressive forces in Bangladeshi society can defeat the forces of intolerance and bigotry and bring back the Democracy that was promised at the birth of  Bangladesh. This resolve is perhaps the best tribute we can pay to one of the greatest poets of South Asia.

 

The Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia marks the death anniversary of the poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.  The poet passed away twenty eight years ago in Dhaka on August 29, Sunday, 10 pm.  We, expatriates from South Asian countries now residing in the Boston area, remember the life of the poet as one of struggle against injustice and oppression and for love and harmony among all communities.

 

The poet?s message is poignant in light of the increasing violence and intolerance in Bangladesh.  The effect of the breakdown of law and order fall on all sectors of the population but disproportionately on the marginalized and weaker, such as Hindus and Ahmadiyas.  The recent attack by grenades on a densely populated mass rally that left many dead and maimed is only the latest in the rapidly rising tide of violence and lawlessness of the past two decades.  This atrocity follows many others directed against  poets, political activists and intellectuals, and underline the criminalization of politics and the growing strength in Bangladesh of the forces of religious intolerance.  At the same time as these targeted attacks are taking place,  huge caches of very modern arms are being discovered in many parts of the country, perhaps portents of yet more ominous events to unfold.

 

It is well known in Bangladesh that the no holds barred confrontational politics of the two major political parties, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party  and the Awami League, has greatly aided in ushering in chaos and helped religious extremists become bold and strong.   However, we believe that the united strength of progressive forces in Bangladeshi society can defeat the forces of intolerance and bigotry and bring back the Democracy that was promised at the birth of  Bangladesh. This resolve is perhaps the best tribute we can pay to one of the greatest poets of South Asia.

 

Translated by: Mohammad Omar Farooq

Let them spread jealousy, prejudice and defamation,
We will offer justice, peace and one God's proclamation.
Let them seek narrowness, pigeon-hole and mud from pond,
We will seek open space, shining light and love's bond.
 

                                            -- Kazi Nazrul Islam

 

 

 


The Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia was formed in 1993 to combat rising religious intolerance in South Asia and to campaign for peace and justice in the region. We are committed to working towards a just, non-violent resolution of the crisis we are currently living through. If you are interested in joining us in this work, please call 617-983-3934 or e-mail info@alliancesouthasia.org

12 Jun 2007

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