Movement against Bangabandhu’s sculpture: What are they saying?
News Desk || risingbd.com
The government has taken a plan to build a sculpture of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Dholaipar intersection in the capital.
But since the beginning of October this year, a number of religious-based groups have been protesting against the government’s decision to remove the sculpture.
The issue came up for discussion after speeches of top leaders of Khilafat Majlis in a conference held in Dhaka on November 13.
At the conference, Khilafat Amir Principal Muhammad Ishaq and Secretary General Ahmad Abdul Quader said, “If the government does not return from the sculpture construction plan, another Shapla Chattar incident will take place. We will throw away that sculpture.”
Hefazat-e-Islami’s Amir Junaid Babungari echoed the same at a rally in Chittagong’s Hathazari on Friday (November 27). “If a sculpture is made, it will be dragged down,” he threatened.
After these statements against the sculpture of Bangabandhu, a storm of condemnation arose in the progressive, pro-liberation forces, Islamic scholars and teachers-intellectuals all over the country. They said there is no relation between religion and anti-sculpture movement. Behind this, there is hatred towards the Liberation War and Bangabandhu. Those who do not have confidence in the independence of the country have started such a movement.
Reacting to the anti-sculpture remarks, veteran journalist Abed Khan said, “Those who are trying to make this country Pakistan have chosen December. This is the month of our Liberation War. They want to dispute all our achievements including the Liberation War in any way. Therefore, no importance should be given to Babungari. They should be charged with sedition for clearly trying to destroy the state, religion and the spirit of the Liberation War.”
Nisar Hossain, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University (DU), said, “They are not really against sculpture. They are against Bangabandhu, the Liberation War and the Independence of the country. It is the 50th anniversary of our independence. Bangabandhu’s birth centenary is going on. The country internationally recognised is moving forward. This move is the cause of their anger. That is why they want to embarrass the government. That is why communal tickling is taking place on such issues.”
He further said, “There is another matter. That is, after the death of Allama Shafi, there is a dispute among them over the huge property of Hefazat. The anti-sculpture campaign is to divert everyone’s attention from that.”
When asked, the playwright Ramendu Majumdar said, “They threw a big challenge to the government by staging anti-sculpture statements. We are also protesting against it in various ways.”
Fine Arts teacher Hamiduzzaman Khan said, “If we respect people, we will also respect sculpture. If we see the matter as an art, there is no dispute. Sculpture is an internationally recognised art. There are paintings and sculptures all over the world. There will be. So there is nothing to disrespect this industry.”
Freedom fighter and cultural figure Nasir Uddin Yusuf Bachchu said, “One of the reasons for statement against the sculpture is illiteracy. They abide by nothing. Again, they use their own pictures on passports and show own faces on the television, publish own pictures on different newspapers. According to them, the image is also against the rule of Islam. The photo is also a shape and a portrait. Then that too must be banned. They are poorly educated, bigoted, fundamentalists and enemies of humanity. This kind of fundamentalism must be eradicated now.”
Regarding the ongoing movement against sculpture, Misbahur Rahman Chowdhury, chairman of Islami Oikyajote, said, “I want to say two things about this. First of all, when the whole world is busy fighting against the coronavirus, shouting and shouting about this sculpture means conspiring to destroy the stability of the country. Secondly, there were sculptures in the Arab world during all Muslim rulers, including the Umayyads and the Abbasids. Many sculptures have been made in the Indian subcontinent during the Mughal period. There has never been any protest in this regard. There was no controversy. Our country also has many sculptures from the British period. Many sculptures have been made even after the country became independent.”
He further said, “All I know is that there are sculptures all over the Muslim world. There is a committee in the OIC that discusses fatwas on various issues. To date, there has been no discussion in any OIC meeting that the sculpture is illegal.”
He thinks that there is another motive behind this sudden movement against Bangabandhu’s sculpture.