Call to stop decay as Bangladesh celebrates Bangla New Year
14 April 2016, Nirapad News: A year ago on this day, sexual harassments of women marred the Bangla New Year celebrations. With the killings of children throughout the year and signs of cracks in family bond as the backdrop, this year’s celebrations are marked by the call for prevention of social decays.
The organisers of the key programmes have themed their functions on these decays with extremists raising their faces amidst murders in attacks on writers, publishers, foreigners, dissidents.
Along with these, when restrictions are imposed on Pahela Baishakh celebrations for security following last year’s sexual harassments, many are questioning the steps taken by the authorities.
On another note, the celebrations to welcome the New Year have come as a call for resistance to some people as the country-wide protests over the murder of Comilla college student Sohagi Jahan Tonu is on.
These are all for Bangladesh to look back at the outgoing year 1422 as it gets ready to welcome the New Year of 1423 with the sun rising for Thursday.
Mother-child relationships and uprising against social decay- these are the themes of this year’s ‘Mangal Shobhajatra’, the key procession of the celebrations carrying statues and other traditional props.
The Fine Arts Faculty, widely known as ‘Charukola’ prepares all the props. These themes were selected taking into consideration several incidents of last year — a surge of child torture and murders, deteriorated mother-child relationships and the ‘audacity’ of religious fanaticism, said the organisers.
Faculty Dean Prof Nisar Hossain told bdnews24.com, “We organise the procession every year for wishing the nation well (on the first day of the Bangla year). This year, we picked the theme (to be against) social decay.”
“Now we see mothers are killing children while children are killing their mothers. Those who use religion for commercial gains are also active,” Prof Hossain said.
“We want to free ourselves from these things and travel towards the light,” he added.
Dhaka University’s Vice-Chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique is scheduled to inaugurate the procession at 9am in front of Charukola’s main entrance.
The procession will follow a Chhayanaut function at Ramna’s Batamul which begins at sunrise.
Security will be tight at Ramna in light of the bombing at the programme 15 years ago. CCTV cameras have also been installed.
Besides the police and other law-enforcing agencies, Dhaka University has called in 400 BNCC cadets and rover scouts to avoid untoward incidents on the campus.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police have urged to close the open-air programmes at 5pm. No restriction on indoor programmes has been imposed.
Vuvuzela flutes and facemasks have been banned in processions. Hand-held masks will be allowed.
President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have greeted the people on the occasion.
The president, in his message, said the appeal of Pahela Baishakh is everlasting and universal to the Bengalees.
It inspires all to advance towards progress leaving behind the past, he added.
The prime minister said fairs and other celebrations take place across the country marking the Pahela Baishakh, which contribute to the economy along with recreations.
“Bangla New Year sharpens our spirit and the feeling of nationality,” she added.
Mughal Emperor Akbar had introduced the Bengali calendar 500 years ago to facilitate tax collection in the then ‘Subah Bangla’, much of which is now in Bangladesh.
Over the course of time, that has become an integral part of Bengali culture as the Bangla New Year