As the slanderous comments on the Prophet by a handful of Hindu school teachers are on the sporadic rise in the wake of the recent sexual harassment of a young girl student of the city’s Viqarunnesa Girls’ School and College, people now wonder if any unholy quarter is at work to destabilize the country’s social harmony.
The uneasy feeling is only getting credence as a recent write-up of the Indian strategic thinker Swami Subramonium, circulated in an Indian daily, laid emphasis on capturing Bangladesh territory from Sylhet to Khulna to create a Hindu vassal state here.
It will not only destroy Islamic fundamentalists in this country but also contribute to wiping out extremist Muslims from India, he argued. Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni said that the fear of Indian hegemony in Bangladesh is only a “juju” or bugbear story played by vested interest quarters, and that it will never come true. But Subramonium’s article will only add fear of the people and especially the slanderous comments of the handful Hindu teachers provoking communal harmony may only make things worse. The government should be on high alert.
Bangladesh is known for its pleasant socio-religious coexistence as a moderate Muslim nation where communal tension, least to speak of any violence, is but anything that one can remember in its post-Liberation history. People are religious but at the same time anti-communalism here, living and working side by side with the other communities in peace and harmony. Their psyche is built by the region’s liberal doctrines, accommodating and respectful to neighbours.
More singularly, the country’s educational establishments, especially the primary and secondary schools, have been the bastion of peace and learning until recently.
There was hardly any instance of the nasty sorts of things from teaching staff like hurling abuse to the Prophets or holy men of any other communities.
Motive behind it
It was unheard of and also unthinkable. But a spate of such disgusting acts and comments are now on the rise leaving the people to wonder what may be the motive behind it. Especially why a handful of Hindu teachers are taking the extra risks at schools’ classrooms to hurl sacrilegious comments on the holy Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and the Muslim way of life.
They wonder why they are acting in a way that may not only agitate the vast Muslim majority but also can bring dent on the popularity of the government.
The present government of Sheikh Hasina is politically very supportive to the Hindu community as it is placing more and more teachers from this community to schools and colleges.
It is also putting more officials at all levels of the administration and technical jobs.
But why in this situation a handful of them are increasingly speaking on the communal terms in school classrooms, it is difficult understand.
Proxy to a third party
So the question which may increasingly agitate the public mind is whether these people are acting on their own or as proxy to a third party which wants to see a kind of unrest in the country. What do they want to achieve from insulting the prophet, they ponder. They question, whether it is the emergence of a new combative mentality in a new political landscape.
Porimol Joydhor was one of them who later raped a school girl in the closed door when she went to attend tutorial classes he was conducting. It is perhaps the first such violation of a student by a teacher in this country.
Next comes the sacrilegious comment of Shankar Biswas on Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) in the classroom at a Tongipara High School in Gopalganj district. Biswas said that Prophet Mohammad was a “goat since wore beard”. When the students came out of the classrooms and local people joined the agitation, he fled away.
The district administration however took quick steps to restore peace by announcing his dismissal from the job.
No sooner had this dust settled, Modan Mohad Das, the assistant head master in Dhaka city’s Dhanmondi Boys’ High School made yet another slanderous comment on the Prophet to students in the classrooms. He is in the habit of making such derogatory comment publicly on the Prophet’s married life.
It provoked the students to come out of classrooms last week in protest. They laid siege on the busy city street including a section of Manik Miah Avenue. The government without delay removed him and transferred to a school at Panchaghar but he could not join the new work place again in the face of protest. The government later put him on temporary suspension.
Ratan Pal of Tejgaon Civil Aviation School is also reported to have been engaged in sexually harassing girl students but he is still in place despite protest from students and their guardians. Another Hindu teacher at a school at Dhamrai, some 30km from Dhaka city, was recently chased by the students and local residents for hurling abusive comments on the Prophet.
These are only few cases but a rise of the practice, analysts say, may eventually cause greater resentment and it may be the objective of an unholy quarter which may be working to disrupt the country’s communal harmony.
The government and civil society leaders must keep watch on these unusual developments so that the country does not fall victim to any conspiracy of any quarter.
source: The Holiday