Cultural activists on Friday called on the country’s progressive organisations and people to be united to help the ruling Awami League win the next general election expected in December 2018 to uphold the freedom of speech, and the non-communal and humanitarian spirit of Bangladesh.
They observed that fundamentalism and sectarianism were two major concerns that were choking freethinking in Bangladesh.
They said it was high time for the cultural activists and cultural organisations to wage a social and cultural movement to thwart the fundamentalism and communalism in the country.
The cultural activist came up with these remarks while addressing Professor Kabir Chowdhury memorial lecture programme organised by Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee marking the educationist’s 96th anniversary of birth at the National Press Club in Dhaka.
Giving the memorial lecture on ‘thwarting sectarianism and fundamentalism: cultural movement in Bangladesh’, theatre activist Ramendu Majumder said the practice of freethinking had almost been disappeared in today’s Bangladesh.
‘A cultural renaissance is essential to reinstate the non-communal and humanitarian spirit of Bangladesh’, he said.
‘But we failed to build up a well-planned cultural movement,’ Ramendu said.
Journalist Kamal Lohani regretted that the communalism and fundamentalism continued spreading in the country but there was not enough cultural movement.
He said the cultural activists had greater responsibility in comparison to the politicians to guide the nation for a non-communal and progressive country.
Sammilita Sangskritik Jote president Golam Kuddus said the cultural activists had a glorious contribution to shape the nation in Language Movement, Liberation War and at the times when the country fell into crisis.
He said the latest extremist activities, especially the Holey Artisan café attack, made a call to the nation to be united against communalism and fundamentalism.
National Press Club president Shafiqur Rahman said the cultural activism should be in a line that would help the ruling Awami League win the forthcoming general elections to be held in next December.
Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee cultural affairs secretary Shomi Kaiser described the 2018 as crucial year for the existence of progressive forces.
She said the cultural activists should work as vigilant guards to uphold the spirit of progressive culture by helping Awami League win the next general election.