TED Conversations

Pabitra Mukhopadhyay


This conversation is closed.

Why not someone tell the story of Bangladesh in TED?

Bangladesh is a young country that earned it's freedom from a repressive regime through a bloodbath. It's founding ideals had been those of a liberal, secular democracy. But for 4 decades the fate of Bangladesh oscillated between democracy and military rule. The story of Bangladesh remained a gradual takeover of the spirited and progressive society by Islamic fundamentalism. The political parties forgot the founding principles of the country and the sacrifice that its people made for it so that the traitors that once supported the massacre by Pakistani military could go unpunished and sometime even get to be ministers.
2013 is witnessing a historical movement by civil society in Bangladesh named Shahbag movement.
This is possibly the last chance for Bangladesh to win a decisive battle against religious fundamentalism and in favor of liberal democracy if not entirely secular. Can we accumulate our opinions about this remarkable social change by a largely Muslim population striking at the core of it's own religious extremism?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 25 2013: Kate asks my friend Salim how can we in other countries support it. Salim is too proud and too gentleman to seek solidarity from friends of other countries, I guess. Sitting on the opposite side of the border and as a person who speaks Salim's language and for which people on either side of that border sacrificed their lives, I can say at least this.
    Many of us in India, particularly in Bengal, see this upsurge as a just and democratic struggle coming up spontaneously and apolitically. Our children are refusing to live with misrepresented ideals and history. Like the bloody liberation struggle of Bangladesh of 1971, world watches over with caution and skepticism, India being no exception. That is possibly not a very good news.
    What is very good news is that individuals and social media are taking the bull by its horns, some like Richa Jha are calling spade a spade. http://kafila.org/2013/02/23/india-sleept-through-a-revolution-in-bangladesh-richa-jha/
    I am in absolute agreement with Richa but she possibly means English language print and televised media. In Kolkata, the most popular Bangla dailies are updating the news of this revolution with clear mandate in favor of Shahbag warriors. All noted Bengali intellectuals have publicly taken stand beside the Bangladeshis. But, alas, Bengal in India is just a state.
    I am personally against capital punishment. But I have witnessed in my own country judiciary taking mass appeal for such a punishment for a heinous crime. So why not Bangladesh judiciary too?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.