It is undeniable the Pohela Boishakh is an integral part of our culture and heritage.
The day is celebrated by one and all as people from all walks of life come together on the joyous occasion of the Bengali New Year.
Pohela Boishakh bears testament to Bangladesh’s history of diversity and inclusiveness, and makes it a celebration that truly brings together the people of this country in unity and harmony.
But recent events in our country show that there are those who would like to have this great tradition tarnished.
The recent rise in militancy in the nation has worried many, and has presented itself as a point of contention among the people of this nation.
These forces take peace-loving religions, religions which have co-existed for centuries in these lands that are now Bangladesh, and use them in an attempt to separate us, and create conflict amongst the people of this country.
They would like nothing more than for us to forget the various cultures which have contributed to the birth of this nation, and which continue to contribute to its impressive growth.
Organisations such as Jamaat and Hefazat would have us believe that the Mongol Shobhajatra is wrong, but these groups do not represent the culture of Bangladesh.
Let’s celebrate the Bengali New Year in remembrance of our roots, and with the confidence that Bangladesh will not bow down to the forces of extremism.
This is an opportunity for us to show the entire world, and ourselves, that we are one people, united by one shared history, and one shared belief of hope, love, and peace.