Online Desk: Article Nineteen promotes dialogue to ensure harmony, pluralism, inclusion and tolerance among communities by reducing the effects of divisiveness, hate speech and misinformation. As part of this programme, Article Nineteen hosted a live discussion on Community Radio Padma 99.2 FM on Wednesday night.
The negotiators said that communal harmony lies in the basic foundation of Bangladesh. The youth community has to come forward to ensure that this harmony is not disturbed in any way just because of misuse of social media. Because most of the social media users are young in age. For this reason, the youth must acquire the ability to identify and prevent misinformation, fake news and rumors online.
Kajal Debnath, Member of the Presidium of Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad, Hasibur Rahman Bilu, Head of North Bengal and Senior Journalist of Independent Television, and Savitri Hembram, Vice President of Adivasi Chhatra Parishad, were present at the Radio Padma studio as discussants. Article Nineteen South Asia Program Associate Sabrina Mumtaz and Program Officer Anwar Rosen also spoke on the occasion. The program titled ‘Communal Harmony: Role of Tarun Samaj’ was hosted by Mehzabin Katha of Radio Padma.
In the discussion, Kajal Debnath said, “A small vested interest group is always active in creating walls of division between different communities. They are the real minority in Bangladesh. Many youths are unknowingly inciting communal violence by stepping into their pages on social media. Youths need to be more aware of the use of social media to counter this group.”
In the event, senior journalist Hasibur Rahman Bilu said, “Anarchy can be created very easily by keeping religion in front. So we all have to be careful before liking, sharing and commenting on anything sensational on Facebook.” He further said, “Facebook is also responsible for various incidents of communal violence. Apart from business, the Facebook authorities must also take responsibility for protecting social stability.
Savitri Hembram believes that the indigenous people of Bangladesh suffer from religious sectarianism as well as social discrimination. The young social worker said at the event, “Although cultural diversity is accepted in Bangladesh, the diversity of ethnic groups is socially degraded. Due to various reasons including marginalization, own language and physical structure, tribals are discriminated in every sphere of social life starting from educational institutions. The youth of all religions and groups should come forward to prevent this social discrimination.
Along with the speakers, the audience also joined the program through Facebook and phone and raised their questions and opinions on various issues of communal harmony, internet and social media use. The program was also broadcast live from Radio Padma’s Facebook page.