Bangladesh is the only Muslim majority country that controlled the Islamic fundamentalism. To reach this phase, the present government had to walk a long uphill way, facing huge numbers of hard situations and applying many political and administrative operations. Besides those government operations, a titanic social movement had helped Bangladesh to ensure a major impact against Islamic fundamentalism and that was a youth uprising which was branded as Ganajagaran Mancha.
This youth uprising was the maiden one in this subcontinent, happened through the social network, after the Middle East uprising branded as Arab Spring. On the contrary, the impact, goal, and the characters of the Ganajagaran Mancha were totally opposite from the Arab Spring. The goal and characteristics of the Arab Spring was to over through the autocratic government, but in the street, the movement gave the room for all kind of people, even for the fundamentalists. On the other hand, the goal and characteristics of the Ganajagaran Mancha were absolutely reverse, for instance, the goal of the Ganajagaran Mancha was to strengthen the hand of the democratic government, and they did not give any room to any fundamentalists on the street. So it was entirely a progressive social revolution that became a towering movement against fundamentalism.
Now the question, why Ganajagaran Mancha was held in Bangladesh? Was it an ultimate and obvious? The answer is yes. We know the youth came on the street, organized themselves through the social network, with their demand for the capital punishment of the war criminals. But why did it spread all over the country like the spark of the electricity, and why did all the fundamentalists mark the Ganajagaran Mancha or the participants of that Mancha as their main enemy?
We know that in this subcontinent, India and Pakistan have been suffering from religious fundamentalism for a long time. In spite of that, why was the towering movement against the fundamentalism apprehended in Bangladesh? The main cause is that, India and Pakistan were created in the name of religion, and after the birth of these two countries, the Indian leaders have made their country secular in constitutionally, but no political movement was held in India which could help to change the huge number of people’s mind to be secular through the movement. On the other hand, Pakistani leaders have built their country constitutionally a dogmatic religious country. Religion cannot be a base of any country. So Pakistan is going to be a fail state, and the people of Pakistan are not resisting it. However, given this context, Bangladesh is completely a different country from India and Pakistan through its birth. To illustrate, the land of Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan once, but after the creation of the country, the progressive young of that land started to walk on the way of a modern and secular country through different political, cultural, and social movement. After all, to create a modern country, more mammoth political revolution was held in this land, besides, to cut the knot from the religious country- Pakistan, and to wipe out the religion rule, Bangladesh had to give the blood which was unimaginable. Despite, Bangladesh could not resist the counter-revolution by the fundamentalists. Within very short, the fundamentalist forces occupied the state power of Bangladesh with the help of the Pakistani military heritance in Bangladesh. Plus, after occupying power, they tried to make the country another Pakistan. They tried to make the people more dogmatic religious, gave all the opportunities to build up organizations to the war criminals of 1971, who committed crime against the freedom fighters and the common people of Bangladesh. Even they tried to make the people confused politically. For this reason, they destroyed all the documents of the history of the freedom struggle of Bangladesh. In that way they ran the power of the country around three decades. But the advance information technology changed the scenario. Through information technology, the new generation came to know the real history and the struggle of their fathers and mothers for a modern and secular country. They got their pride back. Besides, they came to know that they have a hero, who is Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Simultaneously they came to know what kind of crimes was committed by the war criminals in 1971. In this context, a kind of extreme hate was congregated in the mind of those proud youths.
In these circumstances, `general election 2008’ of Bangladesh came in front of the nation. The party Awami league that led the freedom struggle of the country in 1971 and toppled by the counter-revolution in 1975 declared in their election manifesto that if they won the election, they would trial the war criminals. The young generation of the country took it wholeheartedly. It showed that they were thinking the exact line of thought; so the trial of the war criminals became a demand of the young generation of the country before that election. Party Awami league got an overwhelmed victory in that election, for the young generation supported them enthusiastically. After the election, on the very first day of the parliamentary session, the government party decided to start the trial of the war criminals. On this context, they corrected the war criminal law through parliament and started the trial. From the starting of the trial, the young generation supported it through the social network like Facebook, Twitter and others mediums. So, a kind of bondage was built up in the youth in all over the country through the social network. Some group of them became the new soldiers of the new freedom struggle; they tried to restore the spirit of the freedom struggle. Their expression on social media was like that as they could not fight against the Pakistani soldier and the war criminals of Bangladesh in 1971, so they were fighting to re-establish the spirit of freedom struggle now. This spirit mingled with the spirit of their senior generations those fought against Pakistani and their collaborator in 1971. Basically, this combined spirit was the main chemistry of the Ganajagaran Mancha of 2013 and that is why it was happened in Bangladesh.
However, after the uprising branded as Ganajagaran Mancha, the fundamentalists and their supporters could understand that they have lost this land finally as it is easy to capture the power anyhow, but it is not easy to dominate the mind of the society. The youth gathered on the road demanding capital punishment when one war criminal Kader Mollha was awarded lifetime by the apex court. But within 48 hours like the spark of the electricity, it spread all over the country. Young people started to come to Dhaka to join the Mancha from all over the country, and many Mancha were set up in each and every area of the country. Then the fundamentalists could understand that it is the time for them for the last fight. They took many ways of fighting against the youth of Ganajagaran Mancha. They started target killing, did a much mobilization in the name of Hefajat –E- Islam, but at last they failed. And after the uprising branded as Ganajagaran Mancha, fundamentalists are decaying day by day in the country, and they are losing their support in the society.
To sum it up, it may be said that Ganajagaran Mancha has cut the root of the Islamic fundamentalist from the society through a social revolution.
A state award-winning journalist, Swadesh Roy is the executive editor of Bangla national ‘The Daily Janakantha’. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.