The neon of ZIA finally went off. Speculations buried but the action has spawned enormous demagogy in all type of media formats, as usual. More than BNP had it, it gave our gloriously neutral intellectuals fodder to indulge profusely in munch and muse. The comments discreetly chided Government’s act as meanness, madness or dastardly. Sorority of critics factored into the benefit of Zia’s faltering image. But abstract intellectualism does not diminish pertinence of an argument on this issue; on public radar, it is neither trivial nor ignorable. To find justification in name-change practices of public installations by either party, someone may need to look into our political gamut with certain degree of above-partisan-judiciousness. Reasoning should start in recognizing the degree of ideological and genetic differences that exist between two main political polarities; in broad brush – one is a coalition of pro-liberation lineage, the DNA of the other party manifests genetic fusion of contradicting ideologies like faith merchants, Naxal and Paki Dalal. The next step needs further integrity of brain waves of readers to get answers of the following questions:
– Can the existing differences of two mainstream politics be accommodated in democracy?
– Ghulam Azam, as the then GS of DUCSU, presided over first protest meeting of Language Movement at historic ‘Amtola’. Today we do not recognize him as a ‘Bhasha Sainik’ because of his subsequent legacy of treachery and crime against Bangalees, their language and culture. Drawing parallels, can we yet call Ziaur Rahman a Freedom Fighter?
– Do you believe in faith based politics?
If the answers of above questions are ‘No’ then we may find merit and logic in this latest name change action and also in future cleansing and overhaul required to make our democracy functional. In this context, one can always debate the logic of naming the most important artery of our country after Hajrat Shahjalal, an Arab invader and preacher. The seminal reason may be appeasement with the Islamic sentiment giving them a sense of a sanitized image of secularism and a non-controversial spiritual image of the airport, rather than a toxic partisan image.
If any of the answers is yes, attempts at any argument is futile. Placement and replacement of signboards, epitaphs, even the history of a country will continue unabated with the change of rulers. Our future generations will keep growing up in an utter ambiguity and confusion, without knowing our own history correctly and without having judgment who is the national hero and who the villain is.
The proliferation of this discordant politics always mutilates our democracy and tears apart the very fabric of our nation. The crisis trespasses political boundary and ploughs into our conscience, into our moral ground. Today, to remain neutral or to be complacent to the status quo may be permissible only in ‘Narodnik’ circles of intelligentsia. For the public, who in the darkest hour of the night, yet map their routes with reference to 1971, who still fill their heart with the dreams of martyrs, who are extremely biased to genesis of Bangladesh – for them it is the opportune moment to consolidate and to charge ahead again to obliterate once and for all the coalition of enemies in every front; enemy of democracy, enemy of history and enemy of 71.