Pro-liberation civil society platforms on Saturday said they will call upon the people for casting ‘no vote’ in the oncoming national election instead of supporting the ruling Awami League, if the pro-liberation party goes against the secular spirit of 1971 by making a deal with Hefajat-e-Islam on any election equation.
Despite Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina’s assurance to international media about maintaining the secular foundation of the state, a section in the ruling Awami League is trying to persuade the government in accepting some of the demands raised by Hefajat on election equation, they claimed.
Terming all the 13 demands of Hefajat ‘unconstitutional and un-Islamic’, they cautioned that if any of the Hefajat demands is met by the government, the civil society, particularly the women and the youth, will take the hard-line against it.
The proposition came at a discussion meeting, titled ‘13 Demands of Hefajat-e-Islam: Role of the Government and Civil Society’, jointly organised by Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee and Forum for Secular Bangladesh and Trial of War Criminals of 1971 at the Women Volunteers Association.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Muntasir Mamun of Dhaka University said: “Historically, Awami League contains three traditions — rightist, middle path and mild-left. Among these, the rightist have no connection with people and they always have a tendency to side with reactionary forces for their self-interests.”
The rightist section in Awami League has been active to persuade the government to leave its ‘own ground’ of secularity and make deal with anti-liberation, so-called religious forces on election equation, he observed.
“Although the Prime Minister has assured that the government will not leave its own ground, but it can be feared she might be forced to do so,” said Muntasir.
“If needed, we’ll give a call for no vote. There’s no difference in either electing Awami League or BNP, if both lean towards Hefajat for election interest,” he added.
“The women, the young voters – who are the majority – will stand against Awami League, BNP, Hefajat, or Jatiya Party if situation demands,” he said.
Bangladesh Mohila Parishad president Ayesha Khanam said: “The political parties of the country need to move out for the adjustment policies. It’s the adjustment policy that is at the root of all the troubles.”
She also noted that Hefajat’s stand against the women empowerment and the National Women Development Policy 2011 is a matter of grave concern, not only for the women of the society, but for all who uphold the spirit of equality and secularity of the state.
International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) prosecutor Turin Aforz said most of the 13-point demands of Hefajat go against the constitution of the land as well as against Islam.
Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee acting president Shahriar Kabir said all the demands of Hefajat are in fact the demands of Jamaat-e-Islami.
Presided over by Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee adviser Kamal Lohani, the discussion meeting was also addressed by State Minister for Social Welfare Promod Mankin, Sammilito Sanskritik Jote president Nasiruddin Yusuf Bachchu, Bangladesh Sammilito Islami Jote president Mawlana Ziaul Hasan and Sector Commanders’ Forum ’71 acting general secretary Harun Habib.