TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AUGUST 27, 2002
I heard in the morning that my book, Utal Haowa (Wild Wind), has been banned inBangladesh.
The reason that was put forward by the government was that my book had destroyed the socio-political amity of the country.And that there were anti-Islamic statements in my book. The first part of my autobiography, Amar Meyebela, was also banned inBangladesh. Both these books chronicle my life. I have just one thing to say in this regard. You have no freedom of expression inBangladesh.
I have penned my views on politics, society and religion and they need not necessarily match the views of the government. If there is democracy in a country, a citizen will have the freedom to talk his mind out.
WhatBangladeshoffers in the name of democracy is farce. It is no democracy at all. Elected politicians act like dictators. But this is nothing new forBangladesh. Ever since 1971 whenBangladeshbecame independent, this has been continuing there. Various political parties use religion as a pawn to garner votes. Religion is the best tool with which you can fool the unlettered, the poor.
The government has taken away from me my right to citizenship. No government allows me to go toBangladesh. Whichever party has come to power has tried to throttle my voice. They are trying to show that they are doing all this to protect their religion. I understand, this will help them win votes.
But this is only going to push the country back by a thousand years. The possibility ofBangladeshever becoming a secular state is being destroyed by such acts.
Can you call a country a democracy where freedom of speech is not encouraged? Is it possible to dream of a healthy society in such a country? Never. No wonder political terror is pushing the country to the brink of devastation.
Murders are rampant, women are being raped, they are committing suicide. Ever since religion was made the guiding force of nation-building, torture on humanity has been on the rise. Fundamentalism destroys the amity between people. If this is not criticised, we will not have right-thinking people around. Without this, religious sentiments will keep a nation years behind in everything.
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