The land which I have never left for a single day since my birth is gradually turning into unknown territory. I feel myself a stranger here.
When I walk through the streets, some men look at me with strange gazes, despite my traditional attire. Many other girls and women also have, seemingly, landed from some foreign land or other.
Over the recent years, a change has been surging throughout our society, especially in the middle class, the lower-middle class, and the nouveau riche.
People belonging to these groups seem to be more aware of religion now than before, which is mostly apparent in their clothing, their language, and their adherence to performing religious rituals.
But this recent awareness does not seem to have been born out of spirituality, otherwise, we would not be in the crisis we find ourselves in.
The fact is, when people lack ethics, empathy, and humanity -- no matter how gentle they may appear, how docile they may be seem in how they speak, or indeed how religious they may be -- it eventually takes a toll on society.
And we are witnessing it in the world today, where, in the name of religion, all sorts of atrocities are being perpetrated -- mass killings, sex trade, destroying land et al.
Islamic fundamentalists, who are the followers of Wahhabism, want to establish their views and rules by killing and driving out people with different beliefs from “their land.”
I don’t know where they have found such examples of brutalities to establish a religious view, as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) always advised his followers to be kind and generous.
He drafted the Charter of Medina -- the very basis of a multi-religious Islamic state in Medina.
The charter is a great example of inter-faith harmony. If our prophet had supported the views of Wahhabists, who do not tolerate people of other faiths, would he have created the charter in the first place?
It’s quite clear that the monsters that are killing people out on the streets just because they believe in a different God, are doing this for some other, malicious purposes.
But what exactly are these purposes?
Claiming natural resources, conducting illegal arms trade, sex trade, and a multitude of other unscrupulous operations through which they can rule these lands.
Due to technological advancement and various communication systems, nothing can be kept a secret for too long these days.
Through social media and the internet in general, the goings-on of some remote part of the country can be known within mere minutes.
Therefore, behind any violent attack or acts of aggression, there is bound to be some kind of materialistic intent. If we look into the recent attacks on Hindus or Buddhists in our country, we find the same thing.
According to the media, the attacks on the religious minorities were pre-planned and launched by powerful locals who wanted to grab some land or wreak political vengeance on their enemy.
Powerful men and women oppress the weak and innocent, grab their land and their property -- it is a time-honoured tradition, unfortunately
The attacks in Ramu, and more recently, Brahmanbaria, were made not due to some pre-ordained battle between religions, but because of worldly possessions.
These are hardly communal fighting, because there is very little communal hatred in our country these days.
Now, if any local influential group or person wanted to grab a piece of land, they look for opportunities to incite artificial hatred and then profit from the ensuing chaos.
There are many other ways for these hyenas to have their way, but religion seems the best option to them, seeing how most people can be easily duped by it.
Powerful men and women oppress the weak and innocent, grab their land and their property-- it is a time-honoured tradition, unfortunately.
They just use the pretexts as camouflage so that the people do not become aware of their real intentions.
They fear the common people wising up, you see.
Because, they know that common people are not communal in nature. They just want to live their lives peacefully. They are too busy earning a living anyway.
They have real problems in their lives.
So all this talk of communalism and racism is the invention of a few parasites, who feed off the people’s labour.
Being born and brought up in a mostly Hindu-populated area of Dhaka, I can assert that no ordinary people discriminate among their neighbours on the basis of religion.
We have lots of friends, neighbours, and colleagues who are of different faiths or views, but it never came to our minds that they were somehow different from us because of it.
Our religious views may be different, but we all belong to this land. Our roots are here.
Monswita Bulbuli is a Sub-Editor at the Dhaka Tribune.