Society should move forward through cultural practice

Cultural practice is an integral part of a progressive society, This little girl came to the book fair clad in a saree and a tiara on her head. The photo was taken at the Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela on 13 February 2018.Quamrul Hassan

Human survival, social consciousness, beliefs, thoughts, values, etc. are reflected in overall life consciousness in the culture. It is through the culture that individuals relate themselves to all other human beings. Thus, the thought of the individual becomes the thought of the whole. In forming a nation, that acts as a regulator. Culture teaches not only to live but to live beautifully.

The word 'progress' means to move forward in knowledge or action or to grasp the present. Those who are able to do this properly are called 'progressive'. Progressivity is a matter of human perspective. Progressives devote their lives to removing the fault of society. Progressive people do creative work themselves, encouraging others. Being progressive is revolutionizing one's consciousness. If we understand progressivism as unrelated to social revolution, we will repeatedly look for progressivism in the wrong places. If we understand social revolution properly, we will be able to understand the difference between progressive and reactionary. The progress of society towards a qualitative, new, and higher stage of development is achieved by progressive forces from the old social system, the transition to a new and progressive social system.

We want to understand our cultural position from the review of the journey of crossing 52 years in independent Bangladesh where we are. The culture of Bangladesh is evolving with its own form. Trusting in the evolution of culture is providing nourishment and encouragement to the entire Bengali culture.

The main goal of the awakening and struggle of Bengali ethnicity was to search for Bengali's own world and establish a state of harmony by creating harmony between ethnicity and religious identity. As an independent state, we did not get the opportunity to create a development path. Within three and a half years, after the brutal assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and by changing the four national ideologies from the constitution and polity, the country has been led on a different path. At the crossroads of religion, once again the state attempts to destroy social status and dominate the communal thinking of the two-nation theory.

The economic trend of globalization is influencing culture in many ways. Technology has added more complexity there. In the digital age, modern communication technologies have brought about unprecedented changes in the production, reproduction and human-to-human connection of culture. We are floating in this change, almost drowning in happiness. We cannot play a special role in establishing the supremacy of people and culture over technology. We are in a state of great fear and great potential. To bring meaningful change there, we want to develop and develop human resources. We want the touch of culture in education and knowledge. Technology will be the vehicle of culture. Its elements must be nationality and individuality, which will simultaneously combine local, and regional, nationalism with the future-oriented sense of nationalism and internationalism of the world. We are looking forward to this future development with the hope that Bangladesh will develop and be creative, which will integrate economic growth and cultural development.

Even in adverse times, the victors of the liberation war have managed this struggle in Bengali society and culture in various ways. We see its various manifestations in the creation of Bengali culture. To judge the changing culture of Bangladesh, old ideas, communal differences and hatred still want to mislead the nation in various ways.

The spread and diversity of culture carries the seeds of awakening and creativity. Branches of culture are expanding, where the Bengali struggle and liberation spirit are gaining new dimensions. A separate genre has developed in the literature of Bangladesh as the literature of the liberation war, which can be found in very few countries that fought for freedom. The fact that this trend is prevalent in the new generation also gives us hope, but there is much more to be done by the state and the government in this regard. Culture creates an atmosphere of harmony and goodwill in society, which is an essential condition for the development and growth of the country. With conflict against harmony, hate against love, and imposed monochromatic society against diversity, Bangladesh is in turmoil. The march of culture will continue beyond all obstacles.

In order to live beautifully, not only for yourself but for the entire society, you have to properly understand all the obstacles. And to do that, it is necessary to instill a kind of good feeling in oneself. This feeling does not arise without the influence of culture. Culture transcends communalism and makes people's lives more beautiful, seamless, sophisticated, and socially conscious. For this reason, human culture is always developing, creative and benevolent. Culture emerged in human society as the lifeblood of the struggle for survival. For this reason, culture is not only a matter of entertainment or entertainment, but its main role is to help people's life struggle.

A healthy culture can give people a new direction to overcome social crises and all obstacles on the way forward. Because it captures people's emotions, it inspires people's protest, rebellion, and struggle in crisis through various means and becomes an important tool for people to change society. A healthy culture is one that resists all inconsistencies. The historical responsibility of culture is to unite with the struggle to build a healthy, harmonious, and progressive society. Those who work in various cultural mediums have no way of escaping this reality. It is a moral responsibility for writers, artists, and literary and cultural people to stand against all social disharmony and stand for overall progress. Every society needs an ongoing cultural movement to maintain a healthy course of progress.

The important contribution of cultural trends in motivating freedom-seeking people, strengthening their morale and fighting against the enemy is undeniable

Whenever a transition period appeared in the life of a Bengali, he has chosen various fields of culture as a means of protest, struggle and movement. After the Sepoy revolution of 1857, the sense of homeland that started to awaken in Bengal was expressed through various patriotic songs. Protesting mass culture has provided strength in every Bengali movement and struggle. Even when the people of this country have taken an active role in the language movement, mass movement, or our liberation war, we have seen the creative use of songs, poems, plays, cartoons or caricatures etc. Even after the development of Bangladesh as an independent country, various fields of culture have played their own role in various movements and struggles by containing the protests and aspirations of the people.

Organized political forces or organizations play a key role in the movement-struggle for social change. Through its activities, cultural organizations can play the role of collaborators in the struggle for social change as independent forces. The effects of disunity and weakness of potential political forces naturally affect cultural movements as well. We have seen cultural activists playing a major role in the conscious cultural movement that started in pre-partition India.

The cultural platform played a huge role in our liberation war at the birth of the country. The important contribution of cultural trends in motivating freedom-seeking people, strengthening their morale and fighting against the enemy is undeniable. We all know more or less about the role of the independent Bengali radio station. Many have inspired people in favour of the liberation war by singing together. Music was organized at the opening or closing of the political events of any party. In schools and colleges, students and teachers come together to tell stories, stage plays, perform music programs, debate competitions etc. are very effective as co-education.

It seems that society is slowly getting weaker in the grip of various fears. As a result, due to some kind of fear or apprehension, it is not possible to enjoy the entertainment festival as often as before. We even see the urge to complete many national-level festivals in the evening.

The development of culture is not a difficult matter. However, more attention should be paid to raising the new generation including children and teenagers to be cultured and conscious of the liberation war. In case of any kind of socio-cultural event, the cooperation of the common people of the area is available.

There is no substitute for sports and cultural entertainment for a healthy, normal, beautiful social life. Just as it is possible to create a good citizen through healthy cultural practices in society, it is also possible to eliminate prejudice and communal violence. As healthy art, literature, culture and political practices decrease in society, the life of the progressive people starts to be more obstructed, they start facing dangers, the instability in the society starts increasing, the youth society starts to decline, and above all the society loses its livability and becomes futile. The darkness of this futility creates endless possibilities for reactionary communal politics.

It is necessary to prepare society now to smooth the way forward in the social situation we are going through, to sustain the development and progress of the country and to continue this continuity and make Bangladesh stand tall in the ranks of the developed world in 2041. There is no alternative to building a progressive society across the country to achieve the government's development goals, mission and vision.

* Hiren Pandit is a columnist and a researcher