The Killing Field

It is sad that another progre-ssive author-cum-publisher has been assassinated in Bangladesh. According to press reports, Shahzahan Bachchu, 60, an outspoken proponent of secular principles and owner of the publishing house 'Bishaka Prokashoni' that specialised in publishing poetry, was gunned down in his ancestral village Kakaldi in Munshiganj district in the central Bangladesh. It is sad that Bangladesh has turned into a huge killing field for creative personalities who uphold the democratic-secular ideology as authors, poets, dramatists, social activists, artists, bloggers and publishers. Bangladesh which happened to be the most secular society in the Subcontinent though being ruled by a non-Islamist party is under the complete sway of the criminal Islamists. These human blood thirsty sadist killers claim that only they know the truth and only they have the franchisee of the divine path, but, the fact is that these criminals are cowards who are scared of a poem, an essay, a drawing, a drama, a poster or a book. Their truth is so vulnerable and weak that it falls down on the ground by any creative expression of dissent.

In last five years almost 300 progressive authors, poets, artists and social activists have laid down their lives resisting the Islamist juggernaut.

It may be noted that the Hindutva organisations which continuously cry foul of Islam/Muslims and miss no opportunity to denigrate the latter keep mum on these killings. The most likely reason is that these bigots are undertaking such killings in India and do not want to embarrass their Islamist brothers-in-crime. A similarity between killings by the Islamisis in Bangladesh and Hindutva terrorist organisations in India has been that all victims are those who uphold dreams of democratic-secular, progressive and egalitarian society. These are the progressive intellectuals who are in the vanguard of fight against the religious zealots.

As per the forensic report submitted to the Special Investigation Team recently the same gun was used to kill journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist M M Kalburgi in Karnataka. Kalburgi (77) was shot dead in his house on August 30, 2015, in Dharwad and 55-year-old Lankesh on September 5, 2017 in Bengaluru. Religious fanaticism is on the rise and it has its economic base in the society. Unless they are isolated politically, economically and socially, nothing will change for the better. But forces on the left simply react to spontaneity without bothering about building a sustained movement against these religious bigots.


Vol. 50, No.52, Jul 1 - 7, 2018