Cultural terrorism is defined as the most silent perpetration against a state of life sometimes intentionally or as the course of natural inevitability.
Culture as we know is the form of life that dominates the whole system which is related to our everyday living. It also encompasses language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts of a particular group of people which substantially displays their knowledge and belief. Bangladesh prehistorically is a land of symbiosis culture and it is of course the salient feature of Indian land. It is strongly believed that Indian thoughts were diagnosed as the most conspicuous form of dialecticism that talks only cultural mix. This happens due to the synthesis of heterodoxy belief that mingles all the sections of people together to have a common geographical platform. Cristina De Rossi, British anthropologist makes a nice quotation on culture, “Culture encompasses religion, food, what we wear, how we wear it, our language, marriage, music, what we believe is right or wrong, how we sit at the table, how we greet visitors, how we behave with loved ones, and a million other things”. In spite of having a constant contiguity of different cultures there is a sense of terrorism in it. This is what I intend to demonstrate here.
Truly, culture can never be the alienated part of human activities. So, it is a global concern of present day to think about a world, how they take the challenge to keep their multicultural stature. It is very unlikely that globalisation appears to be the main opponent of multiculturalism because the aim of globalised world is to foster a single line of control to suppress others. Very pointedly, globalisation encourages competition and provokes the sense of aggression where the people are considered to be machine of cost effective management. As once it is allowed to run through nothing can be left to turn off. Obviously, this is the perplex moment in history where the whole world have been in their intractable races. Cultural terrorism is thus a form of globalisation that overlooks the cry for minors.
Here, the threat to culture or cultural terrorism comes from two different sources: the first from internal and the later from globalised aggression.
What I say internal is purely sectarian dominance against the minor believers and the triumph over weak. It mostly comes from religious impatience and economic disparity. This happens everywhere. Another is global terrorism that spreads over the whole world with its multifarious characters. Culture from one region to another splitting the continental barriers comes through the wind and it must have a problematic outflow.
It overshadows the clemency of usual life particularly the way people are supposed to make their life. It is largely economic that finally leads to cultural havoc. In Bangladesh the two factors mentioned above work together and it becomes a serious threat to our multicultural character which we bring out from thousands of years. In history, cultural dominance comes from the colonisation and economic power underpins the superstructure of a society. Thus, there is a very relationship between cultural dominance and economic vibration. To remember, mixing up a culture with another form is a common flow of life that is sometimes termed as transgression. This is of course a long and evolutionary process. But, we will embark upon here a dangerous mode of human conviction that largely influences our common belief.
Cultural security is an important pillar for every nation and in Bangladesh it perhaps signifies more. Surely, independence of Bangladesh makes all people culturally free and gives the right to the people to access the multicultural mode of human functioning. Although the slogan of our independence was Bengali nationalism but different culture within the territory had also been inculcated. As a result, Bengali nationalism in a broad sense encompasses others which didn’t unlikely corroborate the life of major believers. However, people of majority in quantity didn’t disapprove other’s culture. And, they didn’t try to deflect others from the own track. This happens for years in Bangladesh.
To remember, nothing is negative in culture. I cannot accept other’s culture because it doesn’t reflect my mind. In spite of huge gap in cultures I mustn’t call it negative because what is negative to me may obviously be positive to others. This is the relativism which preserves human heritage.
And, in recent development issue multicultural democratic function has given a considerable priority. In Bangladesh, different ethnic groups of people live with their own life and the state tries to keep their heritage intact. But, it becomes unfortunate to remember many events that tarnish the image of Bangladesh. As I have mentioned above, how this country feels to be agonised by cultural terrorism needs to explain.
As a fellow of Capstone course of National Defense College (NDC), Bangladesh, I had an opportunity to travel some areas of Chittagong Hill district last week where I was amused to interact with indigenous people and culture. We enjoyed a colourful evening at Khagrachori Zilla Parisad where large number of girls from different races performs a superb musical soiree. I extremely believe that the culture of those people is by no means unrestrained; and by any standard it is excellent as it enthralls the entire mind. Many people of the region are under the privilege that many of their rights are denied by the circumstances.
I also believe that once upon a time this colourful evening will come to an end; those people will lose their heart by aggression of globalised culture. It is evident that many languages in the world are now defunct, many cultures suffered badly. Many anthropological races take a new turn by mixing up with major trends. It is for economic power that only moves human life away.
However, it is a state responsibility to preserve multiculturalism, to protect her heritage and history. It is our great concern how we can care the most vulnerable people and the land. It is always shocking to write about their dilapidation. A country needs to secure its heritage and culture. The question comes is how can we do our culture up? It is a pertinent issue that diversity is the beauty of democratic values. It never forbids other to look forward.
The writer is Chairperson and Professor of Philosophy at Jagannath University, Dhaka, Bangladesh