Bangladesh still at war against fundamentalists: Activist Kabir

Kolkata, Feb 21 (IANS) Even 46 years after the Liberation War, Bangladesh continues to be at war against fundamentalists, the country’s writer and activist Shahriar Kabir said on Tuesday, referring to removal of works of non-Muslim writers from school textbooks.

“We are very much at war. Pro-Pakistanis and fundamentalists are very active even in secular Bangladesh,” Kabir said here.

Among the poems and stories dropped is Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s poem ‘Aaji Bangladesher hridoy hote’.

Kabir, who has opposed the move along with a clutch of other intellectuals, noted: “Our argument is that we cannot say Bangla is a language of the Hindus. Even in medieval times, a number of Muslims wrote ‘punthis’ on Radha-Krishna etc.”

On the occasion of International Mother Language Day, Kabir stressed on the secularity of languages.

“Language has no religion. It (language movement) was the first movement that gave Bengali Muslims an identity. Earlier, Bengali Muslims were going through an identity crisis. We have inherited the 5,000-year-old history of Bengal,” he said.

“When Bangladesh was part of Pakistan, whatever the demands for cultural preservation, the Pakistan rulers always branded this cultural or political movement as anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam. The point is: All languages are secular,” he added.

–IANS

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