Bangladesh: Salma Sobhan Memorial Lecture

المصدر: 
South Asia Citizen's Wire
The Salma Sobhan Memorial Lecture was delivered at the National Museum's auditorium as part of the 20th founding anniversary celebration of Ain O Salish Kendra, a legal rights organisation. Salma Sobhan was one of the nine founders of the Kendra.
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has publicly deplored the worldwide use of religion in politics, saying that such a trend has been vitiating the political and intellectual domains as well as obstructing citizens in general from enjoying human rights.
'The world has been made poisonous,' he told a function in Dhaka on Monday, expressing his despair at 'ferocious religious politics' leading to battles, alarming categorisation in British society on the basis of religious identity and flawed intellectuals 'joining hands with low politics'.

The economist also told journalists that he was concerned at the religious extremism in the form of Hindutva or Muslim fundamentalism that has been destroying the secular feelings of many people and creating intolerance in society.

Sen made the observations while delivering the Salma Sobhan Memorial Lecture at the National Museum's auditorium as part of the 20th founding anniversary celebration of Ain O Salish Kendra, a legal rights organisation. Salma Sobhan was one of the nine founders of the Kendra.

Another Nobel laureate, Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, underlined the need for making out-of-court arbitration popular through campaigns to give hundreds of thousands of people relief from lawsuits and harassment by police.

The first thing that the police do is to arrest the poor whenever there is a crisis somewhere. We have to ensure the human rights of the poor,' said the Grameen Bank's founder at the function, which was moderated by the Kendra's chairperson, Fazle Hasan Abed, who is the chairman of BRAC.

George Soros, an international financier and philanthropist, praised the role of the Bangladeshi civil society in establishing the rights of the people. The Kendra's executive director and former adviser to the caretaker government, Sultana Kamal, thanked the distinguished guests for their participation.

Amartya Sen paid rich tributes to Salma Sobhan, terming her a protagonist of the women's movement, and praised her continuous effort to establish human rights.

He also emphasised the need for women to struggle themselves to shape their fate rather than depending on others to give them the rights that they deserve. He lauded the role of Bangladeshi non-government organisations in the effort to empower women.

Khawaza Main Uddin, New Age
27 December 2006