Events like Pahala Baishakh, the Bangla New Year’s day, are not only created by and embodiment of our centuries old culture and heritage but also sources of inspiration against evil forces of all shades – political, social, cultural and moral. Our history is replete with many such instances. When the Pakistani rulers attacked our language and culture with the evil design of obliterating our separate national identity and strengthening oppression and exploitation over us, we went back to observing Pahela Baishakh to gain strength. When they banned Tagore songs, we gathered inspiration right from those songs to protect and advance this great literary possession of the Bengalis.
It is almost half a century since we completely broke away from our colonial past and took our destiny into our own hands. But regrettably our adversaries are quite large in number, a reality that prevents us from slackening our guard. What is even more saddening and alarming is that the anti-liberation forces are still active in undoing our achievements and dare to attack our heritage. They are trying to give the Bangla New Year celebration a religious bias with the ulterior motive of distorting its secular nature and corroding our tradition from within. It is not without reason that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had to alert the nation on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh.The theme of this year’s Mongol Shubhajatra, the grand Bangla New Year procession, was to respect fellow humans to become ideal human beings. Adoption of this particular theme means that we have forgotten our obligation to mankind as a result of the fast erosion of human values. Life and dignity of human beings are the cheapest things that are trampled every now and then for the tiniest personal interest. Man has become his own enemy. That is why ruthless activities like maiming and blood-letting, violation of women, dishonesty and corruption as well as repression over the weak and forcible occupation of others’ property are so rampant in society.
However, our rich socio-cultural heritage and tradition are still in guard against all evil forces and will enable us to come out victorious in our fight against those enemies. The ultimate victory of the good and defeat of the evil is a historical necessity.