Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen has said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s ideas of secularism were still relevant and most nations should follow his ideals to build an egalitarian society.
The subcontinent, including India, is going through a challenge of ideological confusion. Now, we have reason to turn to Bangabandhu’s secular ideas for guidance. All the countries need Bangabandhu’s ideas he said.
Professor Sen said this while speaking at the Bangabandhu Birth Centenary Talk on “Bangabandhu and Visions of Bangladesh” organized by the Bangladesh High Commission in UK and the South Asia Centre of the London School of Economics (LSE) at the second instalment of the “Bangabandhu Lecture Series,” on 27 January (Wednesday).
Profesor sen also said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib saw secularism in the light of freedom, he always discouraged the political use of religion, he always believed in the freedom of religion.
“Bangladesh had its ups and down when it comes to secularism but Bangabandhu was seeking a secular democracy when the constitution was written in 1972,” he added.
Secularism is a not a new concept in this part of the world, he said while referring to Mughal emperor Akbar. Akbar concluded that there should not be any ban on religion chosen freely the people he said.
Political use of religion favors one religion over another which often leads to violence. Bangabandhu’s idea of not using religion for political purpose has extensive application even today since it is important for the world, not just for Bengal, he said.
Eminent economist Professor Rehman Sobhan, Chairperson of the Center for Policy Dialogue, Professor Al Noor Vimani, Director of the South Asia Center of the London School of Economics, and Sayeda Muna Tasneem, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to the United Kingdom, took part in the discussion.