Remembering you, Avijit

Published on Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Today, on the eve of 26th February, the day Avijit was murdered last year by Islamists, the very thought that haunted me last year is haunting me again this year - why Avijt made that dreadful trip to Bangladesh, knowing full well that a death threat hangs on his neck. I am still longing for an answer…..

Many may opine that it was his love of the country and the people dragged him to Bangladesh; they may be right, I don't know, but that notion does not quench my thirst for the answer, because - I do feel just as much for the country and the people, I left behind, as he did; my heart and mind always wonder around every nook and corner of Bangladesh, I know, yet, I still hesitate to venture into that country; so much has changed in 35 years.

Some may call him a brave patriot, and call me a coward, but, I am sorry, I cannot give him that award for his death-defiant venture to Bangladesh. In my view, that journey was the gravest mistake on his part, and it has done nothing for the country or the people, but has devastated millions. The country and the people have lost such a gifted talent, who enlightened so many young minds in such a short period of his life. I just wonder, what else he could give had he been with us today and beyond. The young generation in Bangladesh lost a torch-bearer, who could show the way in the darkness that seems to be befalling on the society today.

The killing-spree continues in Bangladesh unabated. Recently, a Hindu Priest, at Panchagorh, has been beheaded in the temple as he was engaged in prayer. He was not an atheist or a blogger. So, what could be the reason for this barbaric act? It's an attack on non-Islamic religious minorities in Bangladesh. I hear ISIS have claimed its responsibility. This is the first of its kind of claim in Bangladesh, I believe.

I can glimpse at the future here, because religious minorities are the Cannery in the coal mine; attacks on them are the predictor of the big storm ahead. Such attacks occur just before a calamity engulfs the society, as it did at the beginning of the liberation war. After religious minorities, comes the progressives. So, this is the time to be mindful of that. The sad part of the recent tragedies is that – perpetrators still roam freely, and these heinous acts have no consequence. Consequently, the killing-spree continues, unabated. No one knows for how long, and where's the end?

I wish, I could blame the government, but I can't, because - I know the composition of the Bangladeshi society, and that makes me much more worried about the future of the society and the country. People are confused about the friend and the foe among them today.

Society has paid a heavy price for the cost of independence not long ago. At least, people, at that time, knew who was friend and who was foe, but now - they have nothing specific – except to think that society is infiltrated by foreign agents and their regional compatriots.

No one knows where this is going. All I see is that - Bangladesh is slowly becoming a global terrorist battle-ground. Unfortunately, there is no concerted effort around the world to fight it. So far, the effort has been confined in containment locally, which is not a strategy to fight it, in my view. Since, it is a global war, it will need worldwide concerted effort to fight it. When that happens, we will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Until then, there will be a period of darkness, as it is now.

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