JaiJaidin’s new editor in the embodiment of the pathetic condition that is currently prevailing in Bangladesh media industry as well as the country as a whole. The founder editor of the newspaper, Shafiq Rehman has been removed without getting the chance to make the slightest noise about it. This is the same Shafiq rehman who single handedly discredited and exposed the character of ex army dictator Ershad. While other big editors of that time became big fan of Ershad’s poems, this Rehman defied Ershad, got ejected from Bangladesh, his paper banned twice and had the electric/water connection of his father’s home disconnected by government. It was the same Shafiq Rehman who was the first and most forceful critique of Magura bye-election rigging during 1st BNP govt of 91-96. The JaiJaidin cover story ‘Ma–Gura’ paved the way for Care taker govt movement and fall of first BNP govt. This same Rehman was the instrumental force in establishing Valentine’s Day tradition in Bangladesh and he energized the youth in 2001 to bring BNP back to power.
The new editor replacing Shafiq rehman, literally brought from the street (unknown song writer, film extra supplier of FDC) started writing pro-army editorials on a daily basis. The quality of those editorials are, IMHO, worse than a fifth grader’s writing. Wise men say that it is better to have intelligent enemy than a fool friend. Post Shafiq Rehman Jaijaidin has now turned itself into one such fool friend of DGFI government. One such stupidity was this JJD editorial by one Barun Shankar.
This editorial exposes the background info of the editors’ joint statement against gag on press freedom, the removal of Shafiq Rehman, the resignation of Ataus Samad from NTV, the recent series of resignation of editors like Amanullah Kabir of Amar Desh and Golam sarwar of Jugantor. It also explains why New Age management published a statement denying any pressure of removing its editor Nurul Kabir.
This editorial, in a complaining tone (Complain to army bosses), describes, verbatim, what were told in the editors meeting. It clarifies that the meeting was convened by Editor Nurul Kabir and Motiur Rahman Chowdhury. It quotes journalist Ataus Samad how DGFI officers sat on set and completely directed/ wrote script the NTV late night talk show of 1/11/08. This JJD editorial also quotes Ataus Samad/ Nurul Kabir on how JJD owner was forced by DGFI to have Shafik rehman fired and New Age management pressurized to replace Nurul Kabir by Iqbal Sohban Chowdhury.
From this editorial we also know that some electronic media directors were asked by DGFI not to show up in this meeting. Although it was two day conference, as per this JJD piece, Editors Mafuz Anam, Motiur Rahman and Rahat Khan of Ittefaq did not attend the meeting of second day.
It is not very clear how accurate the information given in this editorial, but looking at the proceeding events, the story seems true to account.
Does the word gestapo ring a bell? Have we gone back to gestapo era?