We are yet to achieve secular, democratic state: Ahmed Rafiq

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 12:21am on September 13, 2018

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National Professor Rafiqul Islam and cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor present a scarf to researcher Ahmed Rafiq during his reception at his 90th birthday celebration programme in Dhaka on Wednesday. — New Age photo

Bangladeshi language movement activist, writer and poet Ahmed Rafiq on Wednesday said although the country had achieved its geopolitical independence, the people were yet to achieve their social liberty.
‘Besides, we are yet to achieve a secular and democratic state that was the main vision of the country’s War of Independence,’ he said.
Ahmed Rafiq, a prominent researcher on Rabindranath Tagore, came up with the statement at a function, organised on the occasion of his 90th birth anniversary at the National Museum auditorium in Dhaka.
Onnoprokash and Anindya Prokash, two book publication houses, jointly organised the programme.
‘We have gained independence not only by political force, also culture and literature had a great impact behind it,’ said cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor while addressing the programme as chief guest.
People like Ahmed Rafiq had strengthened the power of all movements in the history of Bangladesh through their brave and inspirational writings, he said.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman realised the importance of art, culture, literature, science and education to form a real independent state and patronised the sectors during his lifetime, he added.
In his speech, Ahmed Rafiq said, ‘We have lost the consciousness that existed from 1952 language movement to 1971 War of Independence.’
National Professor Rafiqul Islam presided over the function while vice-chancellor of Rabindra University Professor Bishwajit Gosh, academician, folklorist and writer Shamsuzzaman Khan, dramatist Ramendra Majumder, director of Onnoprokash publication Mazharul Islam, director of Anindya publication Afzal Hossen, addressed the programme, among others.