Cultural activists want govt to lift restriction on Baishakh events

13 Apr,2016


Dhaka, BdChronicle:

Cultural personalities and noted women leaders want the government to lift its restriction on Pahela Baishakh celebrations as such step will only encourage extremists and troublemakers to carry out their evil deeds to scare the society, reports UNB.

They said imposing such a restriction is tantamount to denial to government’s constitutional duty of ensuring all-out security for people.

Nari Nirapotta Jote, a platform of the country’s women leaders, said the government has supported the ‘culture of intimidation’ by snatching all the citizens’ rights to celebrate the Pahela Baishakh after 5pm fearing some criminals.

On April 3, the Home Ministry at a meeting with the law enforcement agencies imposed the restrictions to avert any unpleasant incident during the celebrations.

As per the DMP directives, nobody can enter Ramna Park and Suhrawardy Udyan after 4pm on Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla New Year, while visitors will have to leave the two venues by 5pm.

Besides, there is a ban on wearing masks during ‘Mongol Shovajatra’, carrying matches, lighters, handbags and vuvuzelas.

Contacted, noted cultural personality Nasiruddin Yusouf Bachchu said it is an imprudent decision of the government. “We strongly denounce it and urge the government to withdraw the ban.”

Mentioning that the government’s step is encouraging for criminals, he said, “We urge the government to resist militants, extremists and troublemakers, and not those who celebrate the Pahela Baishakh.”

Another noted cultural personality Ramendu Majumdar said a delegation of Sammilita Sangskritik Jote on Sunday met Inspector General of Police (IGP) AKM Shahidul Hoque and requested him to withdraw the restrictions. But, the IGP declined to lift the restrictions, saying the decision was taken by the Home Ministry.

But, the IGP verbally permitted that the Pahela Baishakh celebrations in open spaces can continue till sunset and there will no bar to indoor programmes after evening, Ramendu Majumdar said.

Khairul Anam Shakil, general secretary of leading cultural organisation Chhayanaut, however, said though the government’s restrictions on Pahela Baishak celebrations created resentment among the common people, the decision should be accepted for the sake of greater interest.  

Jahidul Haque, a final year student of the Department of Sculpture at Dhaka University’s Faculty of Fine Art, said fixing any timeframe for the Bangla New Year celebrations is nothing but to cut off the head to get rid of headache.

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