Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon the country’s artists, literatures and cultural activists to work together to help establish a non-communal society by changing the behaviors of those having terrorist and fanatic mindsets.
“Sometimes a question crosses my mind whether the Bangalee nation is deviating from its cultural mainstream which is non-communalism…maybe a section of people is getting derailed, but not the whole Bangalee nation," she said.
The Prime Minister came up with the call while inaugurating the year-long national-level program of the Cultural Affairs Ministry marking the birth centenary of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin at the auditorium of the National Museum in the capital yesterday.
Born on December 29, 1914 at a village in Kishoreganj, Zainul Abedin grew up to be a famous painter of the contemporary period.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that militancy, bigotry, intolerance and violence can not go with Bangalee culture, as fraternity, harmony and hospitality are the ideals of Bangalees.
She noted that terrorism has emerged in recent times as evil forces in the guise of religion are killing people and carrying out attacks on religious establishments.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that the entire nation witnessed destructive activities, vandalism and burning of the holy Quran at the National Mosque Baitul Mokarram last year. "These elements call themselves Muslims….this is very sad," she bemoaned.
Mentioning that non-communalism as the main characteristic of Bangalee culture, she said the motto of the Bangalees is people-to-people companion forgetting the differences and division of religion and caste and creed. "We don’t want confrontation, we want peace."
Hasina, in her speech, recalled with deep gratitude the contributions of the late artist Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin and said he was a genuine Bangalee artist and a pioneer of the modern Bangali arts.
Zainul Abedin was very powerful and sensitive artist who never considered arts as isolated from life. “Instead, his philosophy was to consider arts as inseparable part of life.”
She said the gifted artist Zainul wanted to develop a beautiful society enriched with culture, tradition and heritage and devoted himself towards establishing a coordinated environment for all in his four-decade long artistic life.
Hasina said the life-oriented and realistic works of the late artist in which he projected various features of the lives of the mass people, devastation of cyclones and tidal surge, the country’s War of Liberation, nature and famine are well-known to all.
In this context, she mentioned the painting of Zainul Abedin titled ‘Famine of 1943’ for which he was acclaimed worldwide.
Prof Dr Borhanuddin Khan Jahangir presented the memorial lecture at the event held with Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor in the chair.
Convener of the National Committee on Centenary Celebration of late Zainul Abdin at national level artist Mustafa Monwar delivered the welcome address. Begum Jahanara Abedin, wife of Zainul Abedin, also spoke on the occasion.
Programs marking Zainul’s birth centenary opened PM calls for a non-communal society