A vested interest group created an issue where there was none, recently defacing a sculpture of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman which was being erected. It is neither the first human sculpture nor the first one of Bangabandhu in the country; therefore the sudden attack on it came as a huge shock to all and sundry.
But the political statements and counter-statements that followed the sculpture defacing incident seem to be rapidly spiralling into a totally uncalled for face-off situation between the pro- and anti-sculpture groups. Obviously many vested interest quarters are waiting to take advantage of such emotionally charged situations. We hope that our gullible people will not fall into the confrontational trap or compromise our national stability and equilibrium.Interestingly, the recent ‘to be or not to be’ ruckus over sculptures have brought into focus the various sculptures related to the history, culture and heritage of Bangladesh spread all over the country. The lacklustre condition of some of our famous monuments has become the subject of media reports. The sculptures we proudly hold as part of our valiant history and rich heritage are left totally uncared for.
The emotion charged words pouring from some people in favour of protecting our treasured sculptures sound like empty vessels only, when it is evident that they cannot even spend a few hours a week to maintain the historical sculptures and their surrounding areas. Rhetoric has been the ploy for long, but we must not fall into the traps they set with their wordplay.
Most of the sculptures in Dhaka are connected to our rich cultural and historical past which makes us proud as a nation. At a time when our country is moving ahead despite a global pandemic, a non-issue is being created by some to damage our image in the world. We may recall the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas and guard against all such regressive forces.
The first step would be to educate the people as to the difference between idols and sculptures. Also the value of national culture, heritage and history must be inculcated in the children of today, so that they may hold their heads high in front of the world of tomorrow.