Bangladesh Tariqat Federation Party Delegation’s visit to the VIF
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VIF hosted an interaction with a three-member delegation of Bangladesh Tariqat Federation Party (BTF) and members of the Awami league led 14 party alliance. The discussions centred around the trend of a particular section of Bangladesh’s polity attempting to move the narrative further right, while the other section would not only wish to arrest that trend but also promote a secular fabric which is inclusive and representative of entire Bangladesh. The discussions that ensued at both the events indeed was a sobering experience; a poignant reminder of its political trajectory from its experiences of being East Pakistan to its birth as an independent Bangladesh and the urge to uphold the basic tenets of the Constitution that in 2010 once again restored secularism as an integral ethos.

The 1972 constitution explicitly described the Government of Bangladesh as "secular". Following the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the nature of the polity began to change. A deliberate quest began towards establishing a Bangladeshi nationalist identity which essentially meant undermining the cultural identity and propping up the Islamic religious identity. Some of the far-reaching changes taking place in Bangladesh could directly be attributed to the Islamisation process.

An interesting point was made by Al Haji Bashar Maizvandary, Chairman BTF, about the popular interpretation of being ‘moderate Islam’ which invariably lends to the fundamentalist groups being the ‘real Islamists’. In his own words, ‘we vehemently protest this violation of human rights and secularism. Our struggle for justice and right to exercise different faiths by various people of this country will continue unabated because Sufi Islam never ever permits such barbarism.’ With a spread over 83000 villages BTF hopes to counter the constant attacks on society, which was also a recurring theme at the Conference too, that is, for the needs of closer examination to promoting secularism, in consonance with ideals of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Event Date 
August 6, 2018

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