Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 15 December: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday cautioned the countrymen against the reappearance of fanaticism in her Victory Day speech, saying her government was determined to prevent any attempt to use religion as a “political weapon” to create social unrests.
“Don’t use religion as a political tool…we will noy allow anyone to create any anarchy or division in this country in the name of religion,” she said in her nationwide televised address.
Sheikh Hasina said a section of defeated forces of 1971 reappeared in the political landscape to mislead ordinary pious Muslims with concocted and confusing messages to create social unrests to return the country to a situation which the nation overcame 50 years ago.
She said being patronized by a political quarter, these elements even dared to show their red eyes to the government though Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had warned the nation against the use of religion as a political weapon many decades ago.
“The people of Bangladesh are pious, not religious bigots…the people of this country will proceed towards progress, advancement and development upholding the religious values,” the premier said in an apparent reference of a recently launched move by a quarter against sculptures.
“Let us not trample the Liberation War’s spirit of non-communalism…let us not forget our debt to tens of thousands of martyrs,” She added:
The premier reminded all that the country’s independence came in an exchange of blood of the followers of all faiths – Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians and added that Bangladesh still carried the heritage of liberal spirituality, culture and pluralism.
“This Bangladesh is the land of Lalon Shah, Rabindranath, Kazi Nazrul, Jibonanda…This Bangladesh is the Bangladesh of Shahjalal, Shah Paran, Shah Makhdum and Khanjahal Ali; This is a land of 16 and a half crores of Bengalis – this country belongs to all,” Sheikh Hasina said.
She also urged the youth to uphold this spirit and not forget the sacrifices made by our forefathers.”