Baul songs bear no relation to arrest of singer: PM


SANGSAD BHABAN, Jan 22, 2020 (BSS) – Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina today said songs of the Bauls bear no relation to the arrest of a Baul singer.

“If the persons who sing (Baul song) are involved in any crime, then the law will take its own course… There is no relation of songs with it,” she said while replying to a supplementary question raised by Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) lawmaker Hasanul Haque Inu in the House.

The prime minister’s comment came when the JSD lawmaker raised the supplementary on the arrest of baul singer Shariat Sarkar, who was accused of hurting the religious sentiment.

Sheikh Hasina said “Baul Song” has been included as a world heritage due to initiatives of the Awami League government.

“I would like to tell the honourable lawmaker that there is no fault in Baul Song,” she said.

“Will the lawmaker give such a guarantee that all who sing Baul songs are above crimes. Don’t they commit any offence?” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the person who was arrested was certainly involved in any crime or any offence was staged.

Sheikh Hasina said: “We’ll have to remain careful so that they don’t do such work and also make them aware in this connection.”

The Prime Minister said the military rulers grabbed power by violating constitution after the assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975.

“Coups took place one after another at that time and in fact there was no democratic trend there,” she said.

“Whenever the military dictators grab power they first announce in radio or television that I became the president (of the country) from today,” she said.

The premier added: “Becoming the president they first start cleanliness drive and work of the “sweepers” first. I’ve always seen it.”

Sheikh Hasina said in her life she witnessed the rules of four military dictators — Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, General Zia and General Ershad — who first cleaned roads and walls.

“Among them, somebody first attended the office by bicycle saying that he is maintaining austerity. Later it was seen that he moved by the most expensive car,” she said.

The Leader of the House said some of the dictators wore t-shirt. “But it was seen later that suits and shiphon saree came from Paris and they roamed by wearing brand Ray Ban sunglasses which were most expensive and costly at that time. The military dictators do such dramas,” she said.

“Not only cutting hair, they also did many such works … we’ve seen many works in our life … they do it to strengthen the foundation of the power and make them acceptable to the people,” she said.

“But their such initiatives don’t last long … Those go on for not more than six months and then, their face changes,” she said.

The Leader of the House said: “We’ll see if anybody commits work like cutting hair (of the Baul singers) and we’ll take action against those involved in the crime.”

She asserted that cutting hair of anybody or making obstruction to singing unnecessarily is not acceptable at all.

Sheikh Hasina said the Awami League government developed the place of the Baul singers in Kushtia to save the heritage of Baul Song “though we faced obstruction at the beginning to do this work.”

Earlier replying to a starred question from ruling party MP AKM Rahmatullah, the prime minister said Bangladesh has been elected vice-president of the UNESCO Executive Council unanimously in the group-4 (Asia and the Pacific region) of six electoral groups.

She said six UNESCO member states among the 58 were elected vice-presidents from the six electoral groups in the UN body’s 208th Executive Council meeting held on November 28 last.

Apart from Bangladesh, she said, Switzerland, Russia, St. Lucia, Ethiopia and Egypt were elected vice-presidents and former foreign minister of Equatorial Guinea Agapito Mba Mokuy was made chairperson of the UNESCO Executive Board for 2019-2021 term.

The Leader of the House said education is the main key to fulfilling the basic needs of the people and taking the country towards prosperity and the contributions of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to building a smooth education system is endless.