Hindu youth lands in jail in Bangladesh for the ‘crime’ of sharing Lalon Fakir’s lyrics

    Lalon, Lalon Fakir, Bangladesh, Hindu, Mystic poet

    A Hindu goldsmith named Sanjay Rakshit (40) has been arrested and sent to prison by Bangladesh Police for quoting two lines of a song of internationally acclaimed philosopher and mystic poet Lalon Sai, who also is known as Lalon Fakir.

    According to media reports, this disturbing incident took place in Bhedarganj upazila under Shariatpur district in Bangladesh on April 28, 2024. Sanjay Rakshit posted two lines of Lalon’s song – “সুন্নত দিলে যদি হয় মুসলমান, তাহলে নারী জাতির কি হয় বিধান” (If circumcision turns a man to a Muslim, then what is the law of women). These two lines are from Lalan’s song ‘Sab Loke Koy Lalan Ki Jaat Sansare’.

    Police says, Sanjay’s posting of this post angered the locals. He was arrested from his home in Sajanpur area of ​​the upazila on Sunday afternoon. Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Bhedarganj police station, Mintu Mandal, said that a young man was arrested for ‘insulting’ the rules of Islam and hurting religious sentiment of Muslims on Facebook. He has been sent to jail through the court with a case under section 54 of the Bangladesh Penal Code. The case is still under investigation.

    According to the statement of the case, “Sanjay Raksit posted on his Facebook ID, ‘If circumcision is done you are a Muslim, what will happen to the women’s race?’ Later there was deep anger and dissatisfaction among the local devout Muslims. This may lead to attacks on Hindus by local Muslims and deterioration of law and order. Therefore, Sanjay was initially sent to Shariatpur District Jail under Section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.”

    OC Mintu Mondal said that some local people claimed that the sentiments of Muslims were hurt through the writing. They made a verbal complaint about the matter. So to avoid social chaos, Sanjay was arrested and sent to Shariatpur District Jail.

    When asked who made the complaint, the OC said without mentioning their names, some local people made this complaint.

    As the OC has admitted Sanjay Rakshit has been arrested at “verbal complaint” one may ask – what was the motive behind this arrest. Has the OC done this on purpose to tarnish image of Bangladesh globally? Is sharing Lalon’s song a crime or is Lalon Fakir an outlawed figure in Bangladesh?

    When the news of the arrest of Sanjay Rakshit came to the media, many people expressed their anger on social media. Many posted quoting those two lines from Lalan Sai’s song and wrote, “I wrote too, arrest me”.

    Authorities concerned need immediately form an inquiry committee into this matter and take stern punitive measure against the OC for such notorious attempt as from the statement of OC Mintu Mondal, it is clear that no one actually has lodged complaint against Sanjay Rakshit. Instead the OC has arrested him as per his own decision. Such actions of the police officer might have ulterior motive. He may even has done this with the agenda of destroying communal harmony in the country.

    It may be mentioned here that, Lalon, born of October 14, 1772 is also known as Lalon Shah, Lalon Fakir and Shai ji was a prominent Bengali philosopher, mystic poet and social reformer Regarded as an icon of Bengali culture, he inspired and influenced many philosophers, poets and social thinkers including Rabindranath Tagore and Allen Ginsberg. Lalon’s philosophy of humanity rejects all distinctions of caste, class, and creed and takes stand against theological conflicts and racism. It denies all worldly affairs in search of the soul and embodied the socially transformative role of sub-continental Bhakti and Sufism.


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