There is no fault in Baul songs and law has no relation to songs, she says
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday categorically said Baul singer Shariat Sarkar of Tangail was arrested either because of his involvement in a crime or he was arrested as a crime was committed.
She made the remarks while responding to a supplementary question from Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal leader Hasanul Huq Inu during the prime minister’s question-answer session in parliament, reports UNB.
She said there was no fault in Baul songs. “The law will take its own course if anyone who sings Baul songs or any individual gets involved in any crime. It has no relation with the songs.”
She wanted to know from Inu whether Baul singers are above the law or whether they never committed any crime.
Hasina, also the Leader of the House, advised Baul singers not to do anything that put Baul songs, which takes a place in the world heritage, under question. “They mustn’t do such activities. We’ve to remain aware about it. They also have to remain cautious.”
Inu, the Kushtia 2 MP, also mentioned about the assault on Baul singer Shamsel Haque Chisti, better known as Chisti Baul, in Brahmanbaria in 2018 over a song he performed at the Development Fair.
In this regard, the Prime Minister said if anyone commits any crime, the authorities will surely take punitive actions against them. “Cutting off hair or creating obstacles to performing songs for no reason is not acceptable at all.”
Police arrested Shariat Sarkar on January 11 in a case filed under the Digital Security Act against him for allegedly making comments that hurt Muslims religious sentiment.
During a concert in Dhamrai, Dhaka on December 24 last year, he allegedly criticised religious Muslim clerics who oppose singing and had offered to give money to anyone who can prove that music is forbidden under Islamic scripture.
Mohammad Faridul Islam filed the case against Shariat at Mirzapur police station in Tangail on January 9. Later, a local court sent Shariat into three-day remand following his arrest.
Responding to a question from ruling party MP Mahfuzur Rahman, the prime minister on Wednesday also said that the Awami League government is committed to establishing the rule of law.
“The government has taken programs to establish the rule of law through appropriate reforms of the laws and their execution for providing security to people’s lives and property,” she said.
Hasina said the government’s main aim is to ensure the rule of law, basic rights and justice by establishing an exploitation-free just society. “We’re working tirelessly to establish an independent, neutral and modern judiciary.”
She said the Awami League government had been able to make people understand that all citizens are equal in the eyes of the law and no criminal will be able get away after committing any crime.