Prof Ajay Roy calls ruling Awami League to put the brakes on Hifazat

Professor Ajay Roy has urged the Awami League to put the brakes on the Hifazat-e Islam before radical force becomes an indomitable power to control.

Published : 5 Feb 2017, 10:03 PM
Updated : 5 Feb 2017, 10:03 PM

"If we change our textbooks, bowing down to Hifazat's demand, we won't be able to retain practice free thoughts. Bangladesh will become a communal country with the spirit of Pakistan," he said at a discussion on Sunday.

"They will compel even the prime minister to wear hijab," he said.

"Honourable Prime Minister (Sheikh Hasina), it is my request to and your party Awami League, which takes pride as a secular party, please act against Hifazat right now," he added.

Ganajagaran Mancha organised the discussion in the capital's Shahbagh marking its fourth anniversary.

Professor Ajay, who lost his son writer-blogger Avijit Roy three years ago, expressed ire over the government's failure to arrest the killers of his son and other bloggers, online activists, a publisher and priests.

"Our detectives have failed to arrest the killers. Is our government so weak?" he asked.

Recalling several attacks on religious minorities by suspected radical Islamists, he said, "We don't know how much longer we have to wait for justice. I feel very helpless now."

He observed that Bangladesh would 'step backwards' until those behind the 'sectarianism' in textbooks are tried. "Whoever are involved with this - no matter Hifazat or NCTB - they should be tried," he said.

He slated Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid for 'ignoring' the issue. "It is the education ministry's duty to ensure secular spirit in textbooks, but no one, not even the education minister, has taken the responsibility for 'sectarianising' the textbooks."

Ganajgaran Mancha Spokesperson Imran H Sarker agreed with Professor Ajay, saying the country was stepping backwards, and not with the spirit of the Liberation War.

"The aggression of the sectarian forces has not left the impressionable children out. We are watching as the religion-based organisations are controlling the entire education system, determining what the young generation should read," he said.

He claimed the government was fulfilling the Hifazat's demands word by word.

"This government is making benefits by creating differences in society, state," he alleged.