Published: Friday, April 5, 2013

Editorial

Hefajat-e-Islam long march

Peace must be maintained at all costs

We must record our serious concern at the increasing level of confrontational politics on newer, and even, avoidable issues. Religious divide is fissiparous. If not attended by rational and balanced actions, it is bound to be unending and might result in the distortion of socio-political order, if not a complete breakdown.
While no one questions the right of expressions of a citizen, which is constitutionally guaranteed, that right does not give anyone a free rein to hurt the religious sentiments of others. And this unwritten caveat must be recognised by everyone who is engaged in discourses on various issues, which particularly include religion. Admittedly, some bloggers had hurt the sentiments of many people by their purported remarks on Islam and the Prophet (PBUH). But it is quite possible that some of the comments on the blogs may have been planted to sow discord among various sections of the society
The proposed long march of Hefajat-e-Islam on 6 April is upon us. And we are hoping that it passes off peacefully. It is demanding the arrest of those bloggers who have, allegedly, demeaned Islam and the Prophet (PBUH), in their blogs, and further calling for enactment of a blasphemy law and capital punishment for ‘atheists and bloggers” among their 13 demands.
From all indications it seems we are in for a spate of hartals from today. The Ghatok Dalal Nirmul Committee, and several other socio-cultural organisations have called for a 24-hour hartal from 6 PM today, to protest Hefajat-e-Islam’s long march, which in turn has already declared their intention to call for indefinite hartal should their programme be thwarted by any quarter.
The government had engaged Hefajat-e-Islam in discussion and has apparently conceded to their demand of arresting the bloggers; and some of them have been arrested by the police already. But, apparently, it has not been successful in persuading the Islamist group to call off its programme.
The long march has the potential of descending into disorder unless controlled properly by the organisers as well as the law enforcing agencies. And one cannot put it past the capability of the trouble mongers and instigators to exploit a gathering of people to create disorder and chaos. And this everyone must guard against.

  • Expatriate

    DS has only one obligation: telling the truth to the best of its knowledge. And it has been authentic, to the point and strives to be as balanced and neutral as possible. It MUST not cave in to pressure of the fundamentalists who want to take back this rising nation to stone ages. DS has had a open mind, aspire to be better, NOT CLOSED.

  • Zman7

    The point is clear that a citizen’s right of expression does not give anyone unrestricted freedom to hurt the religious sentiments of others. But by the same token, everyone, particularly those whose sentiments were hurt, must control their sentiments; and the right of expression of sentiments does not give anyone a free rein (for example) to derail a railway or commit other form of sabotage, create anarchy and to bring death or destruction in the society. It must be underscored that the security of the nation or the security of people of the country as a whole is often greater than any such sentiments.