A section of the country’s hardline Islamist groups have been engaged in an anti-sculpture movement for quite sometime. They have been agitating against an official decision of erecting a new sculpture of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. According to them, sculptures are idols, which is forbidden in Islam. So, none can erect any sculpture in the Muslim majority country. Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh chief Junaid Babunagari, who happens to lead the anti-sculpture movement, has declared that all statues would be toppled ‘no matter who they represent.’ The movement leaders even dared to threaten that the sculpture of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman would be thrown into the Buriganga River. It is not unlikely that there is a political agenda behind their movement.
In such a hot atmosphere, news of partial damage of Madhu da’s sculpture by miscreants on the Dhaka University campus has stunned all freedom-loving people of the country. Madhu da was far more than a mere operator of the DU cafeteria. During the Pakistan era, student leaders and activists used to gather at his canteen to conduct mass movements. Because of his patriotism, he had to pay the price through his blood. On the fateful night of March 25, 1971, the occupation army of Pakistan killed him.By damaging Madhu da’s sculpture, it seems the trouble mongers are trying to create an unstable situation countrywide by instigating communalism. Moreover, they will try to destroy all the sculptors that are located countrywide as has been evident by the agitators’ prior announcement. So, the authorities should tackle the situation with an iron hand. They should go for tougher action against the zealots. The agitators might use the mosques and Allah-fearing people to materialise their agenda. All should remain extra-cautious against their activities. Intelligence surveillance should be strengthened and CCTV cameras should be installed on all spots where sculptors are located. Finally, media should restrain from publishing any story that can flare up communalism; otherwise, the bigots will take advantage of the situation to create unrest all over.