Photo: Selling Religion/Bri Vos.
[Saleem Samad, Canada.]
This article exposes the mindset of the majoritarian Bangalee Muslim nationalist population in Bangladesh. To consolidate the power base, the political parties, politicians and military dictators, have always used religion as a tool.
It is evident from the series of amendment of the Constitution from a secular to Islamic trend portrays the hegemony of the majoritarian, the Islamic nationalist chauvinist of course, over the marginalized communities.
It is indeed a losing battle of the proactive secularists entailed with the civil society and the human rights organizations. Possibly due to their inability to forge a common platform, as some political scientist would explain. Let it be informed that the civil society is divided in thin lines and sometimes partisan, thus failed to make any dent in the fragmented society.
The only hope is the strong civil society among the rural population, specially the peasant society, particularly — women, who are apparently modest in practicing religion and discreetly turned down Sharia laws championed by rural elites.
After the end of military hegemony in state politics in 1991 (which of course is another debate, whether military has at all remained out of polity), the consecutive elections to parliament, municipalities/City Corporations and Union Parishad have anchored confidence in the electoral system of the voter