With the 'prescribed period' of fasting, as mentioned in the Holy Quran, coming to an end, the biggest festival in the Islamic calendar, the Eid-ul-Fitr has arrived with renewed meanings and reflections centring around the celebrative culmination. After abstinence, prayers and self-purification by the Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, made the holiest by the revelation of the Holy Quran, the spirituality and pristine ethos emerging out of it should guide us into the future. The spirits of fellow-feeling, brotherhood , equality and harmony are synonymous with Islam which literally means peace, peaceful co-existence and live-and- let- live etho. In a broader perspective, let every Eid fortify our collective resolve to embrace the pristine values of Islam giving no quarter to violence in any form or shape.
The month-long fasting that preceded the Eid gave the faithful a chance to exercise greater self-control, discipline, penance and to understand the pangs and pains of starvation. The latter is reflected through lack of nutritional status among a segment of people. Although poverty is markedly in decline, alleviation efforts need to be stepped up. The social security cover remains a priority concern of the government; all the needy people should be brought under the supportive wings and helped to attain vocational skills .Islam stresses self-reliance .Zakat injunctions are a call for an egalitarian distribution of wealth. Actually, distributive justice should be an area of continuing focus for the government till the country has reached a point of equanimity.
Eid-ul-Fitr celebration in Bangladesh comes with a huge bag of economic activity. Addition to the GDP increases year on year around the Eid-ul-Fitr and the month of Ramadan before it. New clothes and shoes, food items, fashion designs, children's dolls, even very expensive ornaments, furniture and other gadgets of life for those who can afford have been transacted. Countless temporary jobs are created. One of the greatest items on economic list will be the millions of people who commute on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays. We have no actual numbers, but Dhaka and all the other major cities see a drastic decrease in population as people throng railway stations, bus terminals and steamer ghats to reach their ancestral roots. As trends show, this year's journeys have been safer, smoother than last year's. Road conditions have somewhat improved, although quite a number of train-schedules were in a shambles causing great suffering to the passengers. Even ticket-sale through the internet was called into question on occasions. Lessons learnt this year should alert those in charge of all the three modes of transport for better management in the coming days.
Eid-ul-Fitr brings various communities closer, a feature that is of utmost importance these days when nerves have to be kept and attention focused for the collective good. We in Bangladesh must strive to build a society of justice, fair-play and equal dispensation to everybody. People to people contact and extended friendship on occasions like the Eid-ul-Fitr make society peaceful, barriers break down and cultures coalesce. With that in mind, we wish everybody a Happy Eid-ul-Fitr. Eid Mubarak to all.
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