March 2008


Hero of 1971 war, General Jacob just visited Bangladesh. He was leading an entourage of several Indian senior military leaders of 1971. They attended our Independence Day parade and visited liberation war museum and other points of interest.

General Jacob’s played one of the most crucial roles in the six day india Pakistan war of 1971 that ensued at the climax of our independence struggle.  For that reason he always held a very high place in my heart. But the very considerate and careful remarks this 90 year old gentleman made during his conversations with some journalists in Dhaka has elevated his stature 100 fold in my mind. His statement that ‘it was mostly the freedom fighters and the East Bengal regiment soldiers who made Bangladesh independent’; is very generous, considerate and important.

In my opinion; the branding India enjoys these days, that India is a tolerant, secular, pluralistic society; is the contribution of General Jacobs generation. General Jacob, himself a minority Jew, was an embodiment of the religious harmony and inclusiveness of Indian society. His heart was in right place when in 1971 he fought his way to Dhaka to help a nation gain freedom from repression.

But unfortunately the spirit of the nonagenarian or octogenarian generation is rapidly fading from the horizon of Indian society. India is now more of a self centered generation which relishes nationalistic pride in Virendra Shehwag’s triple century cricket batting, a generation of Hironmoy Karlekar who makes a career out of Bangladesh bashing, or a generation of trigger happy BSF soldiers shooting Bangladeshis on a daily basis. This is the generation where more youngsters hate Mahatma Gandhi than revere him. This is a generation to whom it is must to hate pakistan, it is a norm to ignore Bangladesh or Sri Lanka and Bhutan, Sikim, Nepal are the countries to make fun of.

It is extremely important that not only Bangladesh, but also India herself honor General Jacob and his generation by embracing the spirit of a tolerant, inclusive and pluralistic society again.

Long live General Jacob. Your war is not over yet.

Lead news of different print media in Dhaka today was that of the ten years imprisonment of businessman Giausuddin Mamun. Like previous cases of conviction, todays news item also did not include the detail of the charges or judicial analysis of the judgement. The Daily Star reporting of today was typical such effort. Naturally it gave this news the top news treatment. Except stating  that the judge “…delivered the verdict just in a minute saying the allegations brought against Mamun and his wife have been proved”, the reporting did not bother to even mention the accusitions that culminated in this sentence. And typical of Daily Star-Prothom ALo, another reporting, full of unsubstatiated rhetorics  already published in DS several times, accompanied this report.

 This is really a sorry state of affair and condemnable journalistic ethics. Newspapers are having a field day on their innovative news creation, the judges are not bothering to explain the justification of their sentence, after closed door proceedings, the accused are being thrown in a jail cell for 10, 20, 30 years. Everything is going on smoothly except for the fact that their is a total denial of the right of the accused to defend themselves or make their case in front of the nation.

 

I recently got hold of the following document that was presented to defend former state minister Mr. Iqbal Hasan Mahmood, who was arrested along with his wife, student son and teenage daughter. I am publishing it here for my readers. This document was specifically prepared for  Mr. Mahmood. But certain facts mentioned here will shed light on several much talked about allegations against many politicians of previous government.

  

The Case of Iqbal Hassan Mahmood

View from a different perspective

The Difference

The media in the country is currently full of stories of corruption by politicians of every hue. The latter are being accused and found guilty of misuse of official position for personal gain, bribery, extortion, misappropriation of public funds in development projects, abuse of relief materials, being a habitual bank defaulter and becoming immensely rich through illegal means during the last five years.

However, the case of Iqbal Hassan Mahmood, former Minister of State in charge of the Power Division of GOB is different in more than one ways. Thus:

(more…)

On March 25th, Ain Salish Kendra (ASK) released the 2007 Annual Human Rights Report. In the Chapter on CHT Paharis and Flatland Adivasis, following 7 topics were covered. On March 27th, the CTG announced a removal of the ban on mobile phones (item # 4).

1.Death in Custody: Eco-Park activist Cholesh Richil
2.Racial Profiling: Army Operations, Ranglai Mro, DANIDA kidnapping
3.Right to Property: Bengali settlers and land grabbing
4.Right to Information: Continuing ban on mobile phones, limited reporting on CHT
5.1997 Peace Accord: Continuing Non-implementation
6.Legal Challenge to Peace Accord
7.Voter List implementation in violation of Peace Accord (more…)

স্বাধীনতার ঘোষক নিয়ে তো ঝগড়া ঝাটি কম হয় নি। আবার আর একটা ঝগড়া শুরু করার সামান্যতম আগ্রহ আমার নেই। তা সত্বেও সাহস করে কিছু বলতে চাই এই  স্বাধীনতা দিবসের প্রাক্কালে।

  

  

প্রথমত  স্বাধীনতার ঘোষনা নিয়ে বি এন পি র কর্মকান্ড আমার কাছে সবসময়ই অপরিপক্ক ও রাজনৈতিক প্রজ্ঞা বিবর্জিত মনে হয়েছে। বি এন পি র ভাষ্যে মনে হয়, বলা নেই কওয়া নেই জিয়াউর রহমান সাহেব হঠাত করে স্বাধীনতার ঘোষনা দিয়ে দিলেন আর বাংলাদেশ স্বাধীন হয়ে গেল। বি এন পি যেভাবে ৭১ পুর্ববর্তি ইতিহাস এবং বঙ্গবন্ধু র নেতৃত্ব কে ইতিহাস থেকে বাদ দিয়ে দিতে চেয়েছে, সেভাবেই তারা আমাদের সশস্ত্র স্বাধীনতা সংগ্রামে মুক্তিযুদ্ধের এক নেতৃস্থানীয় সেনানী হিসাবে জিয়াউর রহমানের অবদান এবং তাঁর ২৭ শে মার্চের ঘোষনার যথার্থ  মুল্যায়ন করতে সম্পুর্ন ব্যর্থ হয়েছে।

  

  তবে প্রথমেই বলে নেই যে আমাদের স্বাধীকার আন্দোলনের প্রধান নেতা বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান। এদেশের স্রষ্টা হিশেবে একজনের নাম বলতে হলে বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান এর নাম ই বলতে হবে। 

  

    

 তারপর বলি, আমাদের স্বাধীনতা অর্জনের পিছনে এক টা গুরুত্বপূর্ন গোষ্ঠীর অবদান আমরা কখনই যথার্থ ভাবে মূল্যায়ন করতে পারি নি। তা হল আমাদের নিয়মিত সশস্ত্র বাহিনীর অবদান।

  

    

 পৃথিবীর ইতিহাসে মাত্র নয় মাসে সশস্ত্র স্বাধীনতা সংগ্রাম সফল হবার আর কোন নজির নেই। ন মাস কেন ন বছরেও সশস্ত্র সংগ্রাম করে স্বাধীন হতে পেরেছে, এমন জাতিও সহজে খুজে পাওয়া যাবে না।  

  

    

কিভাবে আমরা স্বাধীন হলাম ন মাসে? ভৌগলিক অবস্থান একটা factor ছিল সন্দেহ নেই। ভারতের প্রকাশ্য মুক্তহস্ত সহযোগীতা ও আরেক টা প্রধান কারন। তবে এ সবগুলোর জন্যেই পাকিস্তান সেনাবাহিনী প্রস্তুত ছিল। পাকিস্তান সেনাবাহিনী তৈরী ছিল দীর্ঘ একটা গেরিলা যুদ্ধ পরিচালনা করার জন্য, in the worst case scenerio ওরা আর একটা কাশ্মীরের জন্য  মনে মনে প্রস্তুত হচ্ছিল। পাকিস্তান সেনাবাহিনীর নিরপেহ্ম বিশ্লেষন গুলো পরে দেখুন। একটা ঘটনার জন্য ওরা একেবারে প্রস্তুত ছিল না তা হল নিয়মিত সেনা বাহিনীর বাঙ্গালী ইউনিট গুলোর গন বিদ্রোহ। ওরা এটা ভাবতেই পারে নি যে সামরিক বাহিনীর ইউনিট গুলো এতটা সুশৃংখল  ভাবে বেসামরিক নেতৃত্বের অধীনে একতাবদ্ধ হতে পারবে। এটা সত্যি যে , সেনাবাহিনীর জাতি ভিত্তিক ট্রুপ গুলোর শতভাগেরই বিদ্রোহীদের সাথে যোগ দেয়া একটা অভূতপূর্ব ঘটনা। মানব জাতির  বিচ্ছিন্নতাবাদের ইতিহাসে এধরনের ঘটনা তেমন আর ঘটে নি।

  

    

আর এই বিশাল ঘটনা জন্য বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান এর পরে যার অবদান অনস্বীকার্য তিনি হচ্ছেন জিয়াউর রহমান। সক্রিয় দায়িত্বে থাকা একজন সিনিয়র অফিসারের বিভিন্ন ইষ্ট বেঙ্গল রেজিমেন্টএর সৈন্য নিয়ে বিদ্রোহ, পশ্চিম পাকিস্তানি অফিসার কে বন্দী করা এক্ টা প্রচন্ড উদ্দীপনামূলক ঘটনা ছিল বাংগালী সকল সেনা সদস্যের জন্য। জিয়াউর রহমানের রেডিও ঘোষনা বারুদে স্ফূলিঙ্গের মত কাজ করে সারা দেশের সশস্ত্র বাহিনীর সদস্যদের মধ্যে। একে একে বিদ্রোহ করতে থাকে বাংগালী সব গুলো ইউনিট। ভারতের আতিথেয়তায় শুরু হয়ে নিয়মিত এক সশস্ত্র যুদ্ধ ও মুক্তিযোদ্ধা প্রশিক্ষন। উলটা পালটা হয়ে যায় পশ্চিমাদের সব হিসেব নিকেশ।

  

  

আর একটা কথা। এটা সত্যি স্বাধীনতার  ঘোষনা বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান দিয়ে গিয়েছেন দফায় দফায়। সাত ই মার্চ ছিল একটি পদক্ষেপ। বঙ্গবন্ধুর সাত ই মার্চ ভাষন যেমন বাংগালীর মনে আবেগ জুগিয়েছে মুক্তিযুদ্ধের নয় মাস, তেমন ই সামরিক বাহিনীর একজন সিনিয়র বাংগালী অফিসার জিয়াউর রহমান এর আনুষ্ঠানিক যুদ্ধের ঘোষনা অবরুদ্ধ বাংগালীকে সাহস জুগিয়েছে সেই নয় টি মাস। সব বাঙ্গালীর কাছেই, মুক্তাঞ্চল বলুন আর অবরুদ্ধ বাংলাদেশ বলুন,  সর্বত্রই জিয়াউর রহমান সাহেবের এই ঘোষনাটার মূল্য ছিল অপরিসীম। একজন সেক্টর কমান্ডার এবং জেড ফোর্সের অধিনায়ক ছাড়াও এই একটি ঘোষনার  কারনেও জিয়াউর রহমানের নাম আমাদের মুক্তিযুদ্ধের ইতিহাসের সাথে অবিচ্ছেদ্য ভাবে জড়িয়ে থাকবে।

  

      

বাংলাদেশ এমন মানুষের সখ্যা কম নয় যারা মুক্তিযুদ্ধের চেতনা বিকাশ এবং এর সঠিক ইতিহাস প্রকাশের বিরামহীন সৈনিক। অধ্যাপক মুহাম্মাদ জাফর ইকবাল এদের একজন। গত ষোলই ডিসেম্বার দৈনিক প্রথম আলোতে এক টি কলামে তিনি তৃপ্তির ঢেকুর তুলেছেন অবশেষে স্কুলের পাঠ্য বই এ স্বাধীনতার সঠিক ইতিহাস প্রকাশিত হতে যাচ্ছে ভেবে। ১/১১ এর পট পরিবর্তনের পর নুতন সরকার এসে অনেক কিছুই করে নি, আবার অনেক কিছুই করেছেও। এক টা হচ্ছে স্কুলের পাঠ্য বই এ বাংলাদেশের ইতিহাস পরিবর্তন করা। এই পরিবর্তনের পর জিয়াউর রহমান সাহেব হয়ে গিয়েছেন স্বাধীনতার ঘোষনার পাঠক।

  

    

 আর যে কারনেই হোক জিয়াউর রহমান সাহেব অনুষ্ঠান ঘোষকের চাকুরীর জন্য চট্টগ্রাম কালুরঘাট বেতার কেন্দ্র  দখল করেন নি। জিয়াউর রহমান সাহেব যা বলেছিলেন, তা উনি না বলে একজন অনুষ্ঠান ঘোষক বললে এর কোন মূল্য থাকতো না।  

রেডিও টিভি তে কোন কিছু পাঠ করেন একজন অনুষ্ঠান ঘোষক। প্রধান মন্ত্রী, রাষ্ট্রপতি অথবা চীফ এডভাইজার যখন রেডিও টিভি তে কোন কিছু পড়েন, তা হচ্ছে তাদের ঘোষনা অথবা বক্তৃতা। এটাকে কেউ ভাষন পাঠ অথবা অর্থমন্ত্রীর বাজেট পাঠ বলে না। তবে যে তরুন অথবা তরুনী এই অনুষ্ঠানের ঘোষনা দেন তিনি হচ্ছেন অনুষ্ঠান ঘোষক অথবা ঘোষনা পাঠক। মূল বিষয় হচ্ছে যে জিয়াউর রহমান সাহেব তো কারো দারা আদিষ্ট হয়ে অথবা কোন উর্ধতনের নির্দেশে অন্য কারো লিখা বিবৃতি পাঠ করেন নি।    

    

 ওইদিন জিয়াউর রহমান সাহেব স্বতপ্রনোদিত হয়ে একটি গুরুত্বপূর্ন ঘোষনা দিয়েছিলেন। ওটা স্বাধীনতার ঘোষনা আমি এটা বলব না। কিন্তু এটা আমাদের স্বাধীনতার ইতিহাসে একটি অত্যন্ত গুরুত্বপূর্ন ঘোষনা, হয়তো এটা আমাদের মুক্তিযুদ্ধের আনুষ্ঠানিক সামরিক ঘোষনা।

  

  জাফর ঈকবাল স্যার রা মুক্তিযুদ্ধের সঠিক ইতিহাসের কথা বলেন। কিন্তু জিয়াউর রহমানকে একজন সাধারন রেডিও ঘোষকের পর্যায়ে নামিয়ে এনে ইতিহাস লিখার চেষ্টা দেখে ওনাদের আসল উদ্দেশ্য সম্বন্ধে আমরা বিভ্রান্ত হই।

Youtube Video Courtesy Mash.

The above is a proof of the massacre committed on the night of 25th March, 1971. These are war crimes.

An overwhelming majority of the war crimes committed in Bangladesh between 25th March and 16th December was committed by the members of Pakistan armed forces. Later in the war, in some cases, especially in the killing of the intellectuals, locals were intricately involved in the planning and execution along with the Pakistan army.

The locals involved in those gruesome crimes were members of Shanti Committee ( Peace Committee), Razakars, Al Badr, Al Shams.

Any war crime trial should include, at least a symbolic indictment of the following military leadership of then East Pakistan along with their local collaborators belonging to those above mentioned groups.

Lt. General Yahya Khan

Lt General Tikka Khan

Lt. General A.A.K Niazi

Major General Rao Farman Ali

Major General Khadim Hossain Raja

Major General Miththa

Major General Hamid

Major General Qamar ali Mirza

Major general Harrison

Maj. Gen. Shaukat Riza

Maj. Gen. Nazar Hussain Shah

Maj. Gen. Rahim Khan

Maj. Gen. Jamshed

Brig. Jahanzab Arbab

Brig. Iqbal Shafi

Brig. Abdullah Khan Malik

Brig. S.M. Durrani

Col Saadullah

Lt. Col Fatami

Lt Col Abdul Aziz Sheikh

And all other officers working with or under them in eastern command of Pakistan armed forces.

Let the process start. Begin by gathering data on which military unit committed what crime and which one of the officers were in charge of that unit.

Then try to identify individual officers with documented evidence of ordering those massacres.

At least a symbolic trial would put the world focus on these crimes.

Nation under a State of Emergency (SOE).

An election of the supreme governing body of the business community (FBCCI) takes place among great fanfare. Two main groups contest the election. One is lead by Vegetable oil tycoon Rouf Chowdhury and the other one is garments businessman Anisul Haq. One is “pro government” and the other is “More pro-Government”. Senior government officials as well as election commissioners visit the polling and pose for the camera in a smiling face.

Same week. Same country. Same city.

Another professional body election is scheduled to take place. This time it is the leading lawyers’ organization, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA). Government sends decree ordering SCBA to postpone the election. The reason? It is unlawful and breach of SOE regulations to hold any election under SOE.
Some unruly lawyers protest and vow to hold the election as scheduled defying the order of the civilian faced military government.
The military government cracks down. Alas! Not in Pakistani style. But in typical Dhakai DGFI style. The current SCBA president ( Who already is in DGFI payroll), two government reps including Attorney general and law advisor, and one of the two leading contenders, the pro AL lawyer’s presidential candidate ( and not so surprisingly missing the Pro BNP candidate) meet with the head of DGFI in the Gulshan office of DGFI. At the end of the meeting, several meek faces come out of the DGFI building and declare victory but also announce that the election is postponed until end of April. While general lawyers belonging to both the contesting group take these meek faces to serious task, the current SCBA president, Barrister Amirul Islam declares that lawyer’s association has nothing to do with national politics and its goal is only to focus on ensuring the well being of members of this profession.

This twin act election drama may shed light to an event of near future. The December 2008 national election. By the above standard, in that election

1. Only friends can do elections. Those who are not that friendly, will not be allowed to do election.
2. if some politician wants to do any ‘ketchal’ ( Insubordination) with all powerful DGFI, very quickly they will be seen coming out a Gulshan residence in a meek face and become the most faithful servant of DGFI.

And the ultimate moral of the story is that it is the military intelligence (DGFI) which is running the country, the catfish faced Fakhruddin is only a trumpeter.

Proloy to keyamot On his day of taking office, a garlanded Chief Justice went very political. He declared that the political governments have caused a storm (‘proloy’) in the supreme judiciary of Bangladesh. People thought that he meant he would devote his tenure to correct the flaws caused by that storm. Lo and behold, people were fooled. Looks like the CJ has turned Bangladesh Supreme Court into the most politically motivated and activist partisan high judiciary in the history of Bangladesh. CJ Ruhul Amin has turned the ‘Proloy ‘ into ‘keyamot’ (hell). Today, in one stroke of a pen, CJ and his yes men’s’ voided at least 200 high court rulings on the ground that they were seriously flawed. I am not at all sure, I hope future will tell us who is actually seriously flawed, is it the high court or it is Mr. Ruhul Amin and his gang.   

To go or not to goIt looks like a remote past in a different galaxy. Sheikh Hasina was not being allowed back home. Even her air ticket was not issued as her flight was warned to be barred from landing in Bangladesh. Now government is not allowing Sheikh Hasina to travel abroad for medical treatment. Two weeks ago, government almost carried Jalil over their shoulder to allow him to travel to Singapore. Looks like our government’s standard is not same for Sheikh Hasina and Mr. Jalil. 

 It is very true tyat at some point, Sheikh Hasina’s talkative nature was her weakness and asset of her opponents. But at this very time this regime is dead scared of Sheikh Hasina’s tongue. They have partially prevented her from speaking out by jailing her. Now as soon as she leave the country, whatever precondition-parole government imposes on her, Sheikh Hasina will be a public relation nightmare for this government.

Is the battle lost Is the battle over BNP over? May be, if Khondokar Delwar does not break his silence or plan to return soon. Mr. Delwar was under tremendous pressure and his son’s (Now under government custody) life was under serious threat. Mr. Delwar was holding the fort quite bravely. But there always is a limit after that anybody will budge. I hope my fears prove to be wrong and Mr. Delwar would speak up and return home very quickly. Looks like Mr. Hafiz is enjoying free ride in absence of Khondokar Delwar. Aunt SAM met him and he is seen representing BNP in different seminars. Unfortunately this man and his cohorts can’t go out in the street for fear of being beaten by the activist of the party they claim to be leaders of.  

The Australian Sermon The Australian high commissioner to Bangladesh has joined the chorus of the devils. He argued that an election is possible under a state of emergency. Look whose talking! I thought a labor government has taken over in Australia and Australian foreign policy on Bangladesh will be a bit different from Bush-Howard doctrine.

It’s all depressing all over. The air is filled with a thick stench of treachery.  

The interim government has just announced the National Women Development Policy 2008 and intends to enact the necessary laws to ensure the women’s equal rights to property. This is a continuation of previous two development policies designed for ensuring gender equality. Keeping up with the previous two policy announcements of 1997 and 2002, this new set of policy announcement will definitely continue our nations journey towards gender equality. The authorities responsible for drafting this policy did a very commendable job, they deserve to be congratulated.

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However as expected, a small but very powerful quarted did not waste any time to start their Jihand against this move. These are the religio-political outfits of Bangladesh. Daily Sangram and Daily Inqilab are sworn enemy to each other. While Sangram is Jamaat’s mouth piece, ex hard core rightist daily Inqilab, under Moulanan Mannan’s shrewd son, Bahauddin, recently became the staunchest supporter of center left political party Awami League. But they all joined their voices together against women’s equal rights of property. This, this, this and this are some examples. It is being reported that some obscurantist organisations have come together under the banner of ‘Islami Uttaradhikar Ain Shanrakkhan Andolan’ to protest and resist the government’s attempts to promote gender equality. A few hundred obscurantists on Friday staged demonstrations in front of the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque to condemn what it termed the ‘western idea of gender equality.’ The organisations that joined the protest rally include the Islami Shashantantra Andolan, Hizbut Tahrir Bangladesh, Islami Chatra Andolan and Khelafat Majlish. The activists have also warned the government of ‘dire consequences’, if it proceeds with its plans.

These proponents of stone age completely failed to understand the basic premises of religion Islam. 1500 years ago when prophet and Quran clearly articulated  the issues of womens’ rights of decision making, respect and property, women had no place in Europe, the then hub of civilization. Prophet Muhammad’s direction of property rights for women was an outrageous, unprecedented and huge forward looking step. The main teaching of Quran here is not exactly what portion of wealth one gets, the teaching here is gender equality. We need to keep up that revolution of Muhammad(PBUH)  and fulfill our commitment of gender equalty. Prophet started the reolution, we must keep it going.

And this is an issue we really NEED to fight and win. I know this issue is not as politically profitable venture as war crime issue is, but our secular progressive world must engage and fight the fight. This is one fight we can not afford to loose. If the stone age proponents win this round, they will sure come after other privileges of 21st century life we are used to.

This amazing song was written by Rudro Mohammad Shahidullah and probably sang by Andrew Kishore. Abdul Mannan Rana also sings this. The man who played the role in a famous Bangla movie is Salman Shah. Both Rudro and Salman Shah left the world very prematurely.

Some personal anecdots,

As I did not watch much TV before 15 august 75 or do not recall due to age, I first saw the video footage of this speech in a Bangla movie in theater ( Anondo) either in late seventies or early 80s. I am trying hard but can’t recall the name of the movie. The most interesting part was that, the moment this clip would come up in the movie, a big portion of the theater would stand up in wild clap. And I am talking about a time when Mujib-AL-Baksal was nations favourite whipping boy.

During the whole period ( 75 onwards) I grew into adulthood from boyhood, Mujib was officially banned from official electronic media BTV and Radio. In radio-TV I first heard his name in 1979. Late President Ziaur Rahman was giving the opening speech at the newly formed national assembly. He paid tribute to late Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sher-e-Bangla, H. S. Shuhrawardi and Maolanan Bhashani. When Mujib finally could return to BTV (1996), I have already left Bangladesh.

And here is the discussion from two years ago.

I still do not understand the reason behind the intense media mania on Abdul Jalil. Mr Jalil was an important factor as GS and spokesperson of his party. But his shameful surrender of ideal and political stand only after one day of jail sentence is adequate to make him irrelevant in politics.  But the sudden media hype over Mr Jalil’s recent ‘life threatening’ illness and emergency Singapore trip is very disgusting. Even after Mr Jalil left for Singapore, media keeps on pushing their pathetic reporting. Todays newspaper headlines were ‘Jalil wakes up from anethesia after two hours’, ‘Jalil talks’, ‘Jalil’s wife calls their sons’, ‘ Jalil’s surgery successful’, blah blah blah….

Most shameful of all is that there was no pressing emergency to send Jalil to Singapore. Medical journalism is terrible in Bangladesh. Whatever I could decipher is that Mr Jalil has kidney dysfunction. There are 20 million people in Bangladesh with Kidney disease, and between 20-50 thousand people develop kidney failure each year. Mr Jalil was also developing kidney failure. Kidney failure is a slow process.  His options were to either start dialysis once there is total shutdown  and I am pretty sure, by looking at his photos, he is not there yet (This may be months to a year from now) . Any sane approach was to be prepared for dialysis by preparing a vascular access in his arm through which dialysis may be started quickly once there is complete shutdown.  Singapore physicians are doing exactly that. The surgery they are talking about in newspapers was this access procedure.  And to be fair to Bangladeshi physicians, this procedure can be performed in Bangladesh. It is a very simple procedure and there are many physicians in Bangladesh who do it on a daily basis.  And there are many people in Bangladesh who are continuing their job or running businesses while attending three times a week dialysis.  The other option was kidney transplant. This is another stupid reporting. First, Mr Jalil is not even on dialysis, that means his kidneys are still functional.  Transplant could be considered once a patient is on dialysis for a considerable length of time.  And preparation for transplant may take years. First thing, one has to manage a good kidney. This is something you can not find in a medicine store in Singapore. Somebody has to donate it. I doubt Mr Jalil’s family members will donate their kidney. That means he has to buy a kidney. That further means that some poor soul in Bangladesh will have to sell his kidney. And even one simply can’t buy a kidney from just anybody. There has to be different kind of immune matching including blood group, HLA etc.

So all the media stuff about Jalil’s life was at stake and he had no option but to go to Singapore for emergency kidney transplant were all BS.

Jalil’s case is an example. After closely following all the events in Bangladesh, I can categorically say that I have not yet come across any single illness of any high profile political prisoner in Bangladesh who genuinely needs treatment abroad.

This government must release all the political prisoners. They must be released without any condition. No release should be under disguise and condition of parole for foreign treatment. There should be a limit to deception.

And this blog post is not even discussing a more fundamental question of the moral right of our political/ administrative leaders foreign trips for every minor medical care while the rest of the country has to depend on local services for the same treatments.

This country was born with an ocean full of blood and now this country is being built, brick by brick, at the cost of an ocean full of tear.

Then (During 80s military rule), we had one senior journalist turned street sweeper: Anwar Zahid. Now we have at least three, Mahfuz Anam, Motiur Rahmna and Naimul Islam Khan. 

Then (during 80s) we had one national clown AKA domesticated opposition leader: ASM Abdur Rab. Now we have at least a dozen. They include Dr Kamal Hossain, Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, Tofael Ahmed, Amir Hossain Amu, Saifur Rahman, Abdur Razzak, Hasanul Haq Inu etc.  

Then the areas sorrounding Dhaka University and Shaheed miner were forbidden zones for ruling and military establishment.  The memory of Ershad’s half naked PM was very fresh. Now, when the military chief goes to Ekushey BioMela, Dhaka University Students wait in line to buy his autographed book.

Then we had strong voices of dissent in Shafik Rehman, Naimul Islam Khan, Minar Mahmud, Mojammel Babu. Now we have Nurul kabir, Farhad Mozhar, Shameran Abed.  

Then we had a poet General’s poetry getting undue prominent coverage in west Bengal’s Ananda Bazaar potrika. Now we have another Shantiniketoni General getting unusually big horses from his taller counter part.  

Then all the good government business deals used to go to all those who had a bracketed “retd” thing.  Now all the good government business deals are going to all those who has a bracketed “retd” thing. 

Then Jamaat was doing politics, unhindered. Now, Jamaat is doing politics, unhindered.

There were at least 3 interesting news in yesterday’s press. Looks like nobody is at all bothered about these new developments. TV chattering class is busy competing to be more pro-government, Op-eds are quite toothless and blogospehere is veeeeeery quiet and content.

News 1.

One high court senior judge resigned of unclear reason and the president accepted the resignation in lightning fast speed. News have been out there for quite a while that some judges will get tea invitation at Bangabhaban and will be forced to resign. It is very possible that Justice Badrul Haq has been forced to resign. What was his fault, weakness or crime? We don’t know.

The problem is in this part. If there is any allegation against any judge, let’s look for the remedy in a proper way. Let’s call supreme judicial council and maintain some transparency in such proceedings of extreme national importance. How would I know that government forced him to resign because he refused to be influenced by the government in his judgments?

It is clear the government is at its wit’s end in legal handling of the cases it is using to keep political leaders behind the bar. One of the government major weapons is the anti corruption Commission (ACC).  Ironically ACC has so far lost all the cases in the high court division of Supreme Court.

Is government trying to seal the fate of Bangladesh by re-forming this top judiciary with some friendly and obedient judges? 

News 2.

UNDP country representative in Bangladesh, Ms. Hua Du, hosted a grand gala party yesterday to celebrate 50% completion of voter list. UNDP or other international and foreign bodies may support the election commission with logistics etc. But who they are to celebrate 50% completion of the voter list while there are rising concern in the country about different voter list and demarcation procedures? And how do they know that the list is 50% completed? That will only be known once the listing would be completed. Lately the UN and different international bodies are involved in mindless and reckless meddling in solely internal matters of Bangladesh politics. The biggest example is the bizarre UN letter dated 1/11/07 which was issued by UN country representative of Bangladesh.  It contained grave warning to Bangladesh armed forces that they would be disbanded from all the UN peacekeeping jobs if Bangladesh armed forces support Bangladesh government in holding 22nd January election!!! It was later learnt that the letter was written at the request of Army chief general Moeen U Ahmed so that he could show the letter to convince  the GOCs and other senior military leadership in supporting his 1/11 coup.  The Army chief was, however, very careful not to mention that the country which has all along been the top contributor to UN peacekeeping forces is none other than military ruled Pakistan. And nobody cared to confront the UN station chief with the fact that it is UN which needs Bangladeshi soldiers more than Bangladesh needs some UN peacekeeping jobs.

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Photo: JaiJaiDin

Very naturally, among the celebrities present in the 50% completion gala dinner was no other than General Moeen U Ahmed, his top three commanders, ATM Shamsul Huda, Shakhawat Hossain and Suhul Hossain. 

News 3

While the news of Mr Jalil’s departure to Singapore, (through a cordoned off airport) was overblown in the media, almost hidden was the news of recent refusal of the authorities to have Sheikh Hasina see her physicians. And missing in the news was authority’s refusal to let Khaleda Zia choose her physician.

I do not understand why Mr. Jalil’s Singapore trip is such big a deal, why media and government is so crazy about it. And why there were thousands of police guarding ZIA when Jalil was flying off. And I still do not have an explanation, several months ago while still imprisoned, how could Jalil give interview to NTV in front of DIG prison or why government will computer compose his political letter and send it to the chief advisor and his wife in a lightning speed? 

And while all these take place, blogosphere remains muted, op-eds keep on gloating how this government has done the greatest ever thing by separating the judiciary and the newly prominent political leaders keep on idolizing General Moeen U Ahmed.

Among all the content voices, at least Frahad Mozhar reminds us what Gen Osmani said about Ershad when Ershad was poking nose in daily country affairs and re-affirming that he had no intention to join politics. This is what Gen Osamni said,

Should any serving officer or servicemen feel he has the acumen or experience or ability to give the country a lead or improve the quality of the country’s government, his correct course is to retire or take release (if on short term engagement) or resign and join politics to serve the country, setting a correct example and not set a bad example by trying to indulge in politics in uniform. – General (Retired) MAG Osmany, Weekly ‘Holiday’ (January 3 and 10 1982)

Ok, the attack is on again.

The generals leading this latest version of BNP hijack attempt are

 1. DGFI Brigediers.

2. Mannan Bhuiyan ( behind the scene)

3. Saifur-Hafiz.

4. Brig Hannan Shah.

5. Goyeshwar Roy/ Nazrul Khan/Shahjahan

The vital moves made so far

1. Delwar, Rizvi,  80’s student leaders including Kh Babul, Asaduzzaman etc are under a a virtual seige.

2. The highcourt case dealing with this issue is being delayed ( By a so called free judiciary) so that DGFI/Govt gets enough time to execute the hijack plan.

3. Election commission is also in a waiting mode to let the hijack be completed first.

4. There has been a gag on the lawyers/ family visiting Khaleda Zia and the media from speaking about Khaleda’s illness that may require hospital visit.

5. Delaying Khaleda case ( By independent judiciary!!!) to prevent her from speaking in public before BNP take over is completed.

6. Releasing of Brig Gen Hannan Shah ( again, by indepedent judiciary !!!. Did any other senior politician else get bail so far in post 1/11 Bangladesh? )

7. Case against Saifur- Manan to keep them committed to their treachery.

The Goal,

1. Ensure a BNP that will be friendly to General Moeen U Ahmed before emergency is lifted and election schedule is announced.  Awami League is already under control of a friendly leadership.

2.  Ensure a predicted election result and a government that will uphold the spirit of 1/11 revolution.

3.  Save the ass of General Moeen and his Brigedier troop.

The Problem,

1. The BNP support base and the grass root.

2. The still untamed AL intelligentsia.

3. Khondokar Delwar Hossain.

4. Chances of a strong BNP performance if they are allowed to participate in Dec 2008 election.

The sign

One day before the previous coup attempt, Election Commissioner Suhul Hossain declared that the letter would go to the person who will be secretary two days later.  One day later DGFI designed a coup to appoint a new BNP secretary. ECs participation in the DGFI hatched conspiracy got exposed.

Just yesterday Maj Hafiz made another similar off guard remark. He predicted that He and Saifur would go with Delwar to the meeing with EC. This statement probably explains what is being planned. Delwar etc may be forced into a “unification” before the dialogue.

The Fear

Can delwar keep holding the fort under the immense pressure he, few of his colleague and his family is facing minute in minute out.  My confidence is also eroding.

Footnote,

In 1975, military killed Bangabandhu and broke in room by room, searched all members of his family including all his sons, daughter in laws, extended family members, killed them execution style. Still it required only four years for a full resurgence of Awami League. It may be easy for the army to design and form a party but hijacking a party against the will of the support base is never possible.

Update 1:

The mouthpiece of DGFI has published the framework of BNP hijack.

Here it is.