Seeing through Extreme Mist
Durjoy Chakraborty Shouri & Ashik Kabir
It has almost been two and a half months since the Holey Artisan attack. The memories of that atrocious night are still vivid in many of our observances specially those who have lost their loved ones. Without any doubt, our country has never perceived a terrorist attack with such devastating consequence, as we come to realize that a very imperative part of the youth in our country has been ill-advised and eventually a big number of them have bowed out to be extremists. The silver lining behind the clouds is that, we, as a nation, have always come back stronger in difficult times. In the past few days, everything has come to normalcy in the sense that we didn’t have much to hear about the attacks on religious minorities, secularists; LGBT rights activists, foreigners or atheists, thanks to the anti-militancy operations conducted by the law-enforcement forces. It is undoubtedly a great achievement from the side of Bangladesh government. The law enforcement forces have shown zero tolerances towards the extremists and abolished many of their hideouts.
But these developments do not advocate that we have a long term solution to this viciousness instantly and we might have to deal with the nightmares again. The thing which we will have to realize as soon as possible is that the government unaided cannot do anything without the support of the people against the injudicious youth and somewhat victimized young people who have developed a firm belief that they are amidst an ideological battle and of course those powerful people who are misleading the young people just to gratify their evil interest. So, it is high time we have to adopt indispensable steps and combat extremism by restoring tolerance and peace in every aspects of our society.
It has been mentioned earlier that the extremists are in an ideological crisis against the liberal and rest of the country. They must be tackled and brawled with contrasting ideology itself. Islam in our country was not established with the power of sword. Instead, the power of love spread by those who practiced ‘Sufi Islam’ helped gaining followers of Islam in this part of the world. They were tortured, neglected in the hands of their own sections religious leaders. Eventually they converted to Islam to lead a life with dignity and respect. People were able to see the affectionate side of Islam. Thus, people in this part of the world are believed to be peace-loving. This is the only way through which more hearts can be won. But the way we have witnessed the 19 year old Tarishi Jain, or Professor Shafiul from Rajshahi university, or the publisher Faysal Arefin Dipan, have been mercilessly stabbed, leavea us speechless. That does not represent the way Islam has won hearts in Bengal. These violent attitudes by the young militants also leave many questions behind. How they were attracted to such radical ideologies? Which are the things they were deprived of? In which circumstances they decide to join this path? Has the society done much justice to them? We have many things to worry as a significant number of militants involved in the recent attacks including that of Holey Artisan Bakery have come from well-to-do families. These children from the privileged part of the society might not have ever experienced misery in their lives.
They have also received education from the best possible institutions and enjoyed all the modern facilities. Radicalism has never been practiced in their families as an ideology. This shows the indifference to them committed by the society and their family members. I have to point out here that, getting education from a renowned Universities do not make you actually educated if you don’t show proper respect to others. These days we can notice that the number of young people indulged in reading books are radically falling down. This can cause horrific consequence, because at an early age if you are introduced to such diverse cultural and internationality, a sense of maturity, understandability and forbearance will be grown in budding hearts.
The modern facilities, and the gadgets and their virtual identity have somehow left them isolated, although these things could have been used in constructive ways. But how many of us actually do that? The actually problem with these militants from wealthy families are that, they get tempted by a glittering life with much material pleasure and no sense of responsibility towards their family, their society and their country. Suddenly they find themselves in a position where they see that they are lonely and frustrated amidst all those dazzling things they were attracted to and thus dragged down to reality. To overcome the depression, they try to seek for quick remedy. And this is the time when they can easily be manipulated.
Our Society should try and bring these children to constructive paths. They should be given much time by their family members. They should have all the possible opportunities to be rehabilitated. Community leaders, mass media, people from different sections of our society should join hands to raise consciousness. Libraries can be set up in different localities, cultural functions and sports competitions can be arranged as well to encourage our youth to come up with all their potentials. Religious leaders from different religions should join hands to teach the true essence of religion. People are misled only for the lack of true religious knowledge. And those who need psychiatric help should get counseled. Our society is yet to be open-minded to receive those who are suffering from depression, drug addiction or other mental disorders liberally. Their problems should be acknowledged and addressed publicly. This can also be a tolerant move by those who do not want radicalism to spread out in the society.
We should absorb to show tolerance and keep our patience during hard times. When we come across various religious traditions of different beliefs, it’s our duty to show respect to those. Our religion should be kept in private domain. It’s very crucial in our day to day life to differentiate between private and public domains. In recent time due to the advent of social networking, we can find many insulting, provocative and hurtful elements coming to the social media that break the privacy and moral code. Due to lack of moral education people are involving in publicity on atrocious objects which are hurting the feeling of religious sentiments.
Moral education starts from home itself, If at the early ages children are introduced with illustrious personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Junior and Nelson Mandela and other humanitarian leaders, surely a sense of humanity will grow in the soft minds, We have to keep an open mind to other religious teachings which will give an overview of loving caring and respect for others. These kinds of orientation will give us an understanding of different beliefs. For instant, if we read about Gautama Buddha’s teachings that will help to have sympathy towards all living beings. With this kind of diverse understanding we have to be very vigilant about the right and wrongdoings. It’s very significant to be able to differentiate right from wrong. Children are vulnerable to the atmosphere that they are leaning to.Children from an early age should be familiarized to the Classical writers. Writers like Charles Dickens, Daniel Defoe, Mark Twain, Rabindranath Tagore, Shakespeare and other classical writers establish a sense of humanity and softness in the mind of readers. Readers from any ages should get coddle in these kinds of books because nothing can move a mind which has an understanding of veracity. Extremism is like a fungus that surrounds the mind which has no access to diverse knowledge. An open mind open to different cultures will put an end to spreading of extremism.
Durjoy Chakraborty Shouri, is a B.A Journalism Student, University of Dhaka
Ashik Kabir, is a commentator on current issues