Bangladesh has always been a peaceful country. Its occasional collective outbursts managed to tear open the coats of imperialism in such fury that it left behind permanent divisions in the regional map.
In the 18th century Bengali muslims rose up against two superpowers. They opened up two fronts militarily and culturally. On the one hand they had to resist the rising power of unjust zamindars (landlords of mostly non-muslim origin), and on the other hand were the British mercenaries employed by the British East India Company.
Two names cant escape this blog. Titumir and Haji Shariatullah (followed by his son Haji Mohsin). These two Bengali Muslims ignited the passions of the freedom loving Bengali peasants. The British eyed them suspiciously fearing rebellion against the Company, while the newly crowned zamindars needed the peasants to remain subjugated like slaves for the sake of safeguarding their British blessed wealth and property.
Titumir’s Basherkella and Haji Shariatullah’s Faraizi Movement printed their immortal footprints in the history of this land.What is the connection between Titumir’s Basherkella (fortres made of bamboo sticks), or the Faraizi Movement of cultural revolution? Are’nt those stories now way too old for us in the 21st century?
The connection lies in between the colonization of Bengal by the British East India Company (with the help and support of zamindars) and the current usurpation of peoples’ freedom under domestic totalitarianism. The struggle then and now are like the two wings of a bird. It is a struggle against the power of an evil and corrupt system.
The culture that is on the rise seems quite clear if someone picks up a newspaper. More and more people are discovering their roots in the rural country side. Younger people want to know from where did our current conflicts originate? More importantly, they would like to be get a convincing reply to this, “who is right?”
To find answers to the right vs wrong questions one will have to go back and look at the sources of social set-ups and the structure that holds families together. Because this curiosity will grow larger I am calculating in the next few years Bangladesh will experience a new kind of socio-cultural understanding of their world. I know Bangladeshis had until now abandoned the human (and divinely provided) need for discovering the world around them with a broad voewpoit of the world outside Bangladesh.
The good news is when we begin to search for the truth, regardless of where we look for it, the truth will also start to look for us.