Published on Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bangladesh is in turmoil. Shahbag has taken a conscious stand in favour of capital punishment for the main war criminals. In doing so it has come in direct conflict with Jamaat. Jamaat and its student wing have been fighting for amalgamation of religion and state. That is why they were against the liberation of Bangladesh and tried to cripple the liberation war by unlashing all types of major criminal activities. From Islamic point of view they were and are correct. On the other hand, Shahbad represents a policy to separate religion and state. Shahbag is correct from the present international socio-political perspective as much water has flown down the Buriganga in past 14 hundred years.

Thus the present crisis in Bangladesh is a fight between two correct concepts and practices. The core issue is should Bangladesh be a country of Bengalis of 21st century or country of 7th century Arabia? As per Jamaat, the first one is 'Indianisation' and as per Shahbag the second one is 'Pakistanisation'. However, these arguments are counter-productive.

The Bangladeshis must choose for themselves either of the two paths and once for all. For both Jamaat and Shahbag the present conflict is the (virtual) second liberation war of the country.

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