Social barriers to cultural progress assume militant dimensions
Sunday, 24 August 2008

Udichi meet told

The societal impediments resisting cultural development in Bangladesh have assumed militant dimensions, educationist professor Serajul Islam Chowdhury has said, reports

"We have come to realise today how a set of moderate societal impediments can be honed to pose militant threats as regards expansion of positive cultural trends," he said at the inaugural of Udichi's two-day seventh metropolitan conference on Friday.
'The state deploys its various resources namely weapons, troops, law and money to dyke cultural flows within the bounds of spite and malice."
On the current trends of stifled cultural movements and activities, he lamented, "The freedom fighters had dreamt of raising such a fertile and fecund society as would free all of the shackles of poverty of all descriptions."
"Unfortunately, the society went barren, where individuals tended to soar higher than the nation, burying all sagas of sacrifice of the common man and woman."
Saying that inept leadership led to nourishing religious militancy and thereby Jama'at-e-Islami, the professor said, "The evil spirit of communalism which had split the sub-continent is still active in our society, which must be rooted out through proliferating our cultural activities at all strata of the society."
He called upon conscientious people living in villages, towns, localities and remote settlements to shun feudal-capitalistic ways and help develop an all-embracing democratic culture instead.
"An organisation like Udichi fails to flourish today as the state and the politicians have neglected such entities."
Central committee president Golam Mohammad Idu said Udichi had failed to convene its conference at Savar in the face of intimidations by the vested quarters.
"Governments said 'no' to us in the past, they still do. But Udichi has managed to survive through past four decades. And it has to grow bigger and stronger."
Questioning the legality of the caretaker government, central assistant general secretary Praveer Sarkar said, "The country's politics has been pushing us backward again and again. How do we know that the present government is a valid one? It started with chanting 'minus two', which has now changed to 'manage two'."
Sarkar underscored the need to bolster the organisation's prowess so that it may avenge the 1999 attack launched on the Jessore convention.
Presided over by Dhaka metropolitan council president Kazi Madina, the event was attended by a number of cultural personalities including Udichi's central general secretary Mahmud Selim.

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