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Emancipation Movement from The Roots of Bangladesh - DEMAND YOUR FREEDOM OR BE DAMNED

Dear Friends and Comrades,

As you are all aware, Bangladesh is going through troubled times. Our politicians have historically let us down and we see no hope in the horizon of anything of substance changing our plight – unless we the Artist, Musicians, Painters, Sculptors and other branches of the Fine Arts take up a principled position to take on the issue head on. It is time that we demand our freedom - or be damned. A Flag, a Map is what we have inherited in 37 years of our existence – that came about after a nine months long genocidal, War of Liberation in 1971, by the sacrifice of millions of our brothers being martyred, countless of our mothers and sisters being raped, and scores orphaned – yet our cherished desire of emancipating ourselves from mental slavery, continues to elude us to this day.

More troubling is the rise of religious intolerance that now appears to threaten our very limited liberal space and challenges the Socio-Cultural-Spiritual fabric as a nation, which has largely been secular and tolerant to all shades of opinion and views in the centuries gone by. The events of 15th October 2008 have left us stunned and within a very short time Artists, Musicians, Painters, Sculptors among others, got together to form the “Sachetan Shilpi Samaj” or “The Society of Conscious Artist” at the Charukola Institute (Department of Fine Arts) inside the Dhaka University Campus. By 18th of October 2008 the rag-tag army was ready to commence their peaceful offensive against religious intolerance and in three non-stop days of Protest Concerts we were able to mobilize over 30,000 people to take an active stance to issues that has hurt us deeply – specially in the desecration and depraved insults caused to the living spirit of Fakir Lalon Shah (sHAJI) – the patron saint of our pacifist, humanist fraternity – the bAULS of Bangladesh.

bAUL Music as we are all aware is one among ninety “Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” as per the UNESCO declaration of November 2005. http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?pg=00107

Our goal is to take this Emancipation Movement on to a National level. We have already activated Phase 2 of our struggle, with a concert planned at the Rabindra Sarovar Amphitheatre in Dhanmondi, Dhaka on Saturday, the 15th November 2008.

We have been networking all across Bangladesh so that we can organize Musical and Artistic Concerts in a bid to rightfully claim back the space that is now being threatened by religious extremist.

Obviously a movement such as ours needs sustenance and support and so far we have used our own resources to keep going. We have received support from all that attended our concerts with money being dropped into ‘gumchas’ that went around and we are touched by the generosity and overwhelming love that came with it.

Nonetheless costs are prohibitive, from Sound Systems, Transportation, and Logistics to preparing for the next course of action. While we have received massive discounts from many companies, and artists and musicians have not only performed free, but also volunteered their precious time:

TIME has now come to seek your support to raise funds. Beginning Saturday the 15th of November 2008, we will be starting to sell S H I K O R Cause Pins and Tee Shits with all proceeds going directly to fund the movement of the “Sachetan Shilpi Samaj” or “The Society of Conscious Artist".

It is totally a Non-Profit venture and we hope you will find them attractive enough to buy one for yourself and your friends. Accounts will be available online for your perusal.

Please do help us and let us have some creative feedbacks from you as well. If the opportunities arrive we can easily go global in our merchandising.

1. Stainless Steel Pin – with Ektaar Logo – Taka 25.00 each

2. S H I K O R – Tee Shirts with Ektaar Logo (Black on White and very Limited edition White o Navy Blue) – Taka 75.00 each.