Our Heros


When President Ziaur Rahman was killed, he was only 45. But within this short life span he contributed enormously to Bangladesh. His catalytic role in initiating the mass revolt among Bengali members of the armed-forces after the brutal military crackdown of 25th March 1971, and his contribution as a military leader of Bangladesh’s war of independence distinguishes him as one of our top national heroes. Zia’s post independence role in building modern Bangladesh brick-by-brick by revamping all sectors starting from mutiny-ridden ‘broken-chain-of-command’ military, to her global image, to initiation of open-market-economy, are enough to immortalize him.
Yet, Ziaur Rahman’s lasting legacy will be his contribution to give the people of Bangladesh an identity — ‘Bangladeshi’ — that is inclusive of all the races, ethnic groups and religions. This identity emanates from Zia’s political philosophy of Bangladeshi nationalism, which was embraced very enthusiastically by an overwhelming majority of Bangladeshis. The political philosophy of ‘Bangladeshi Nationalism’ was expressed as his forward looking, conciliatory, inclusive and tolerant modus-operandi of nation building.
In an orientation session for the newly-elected BNP members of the 2nd Parliament, Zia explained Bangladeshi nationalism the following way,

“Now the question is, what is nationalism? If we study history of the world, we will see rise of different sorts of nationalism at different times and places. In this regard, first comes ‘racial’ or ethnic identity based nationalism. Arab or German nationalisms are prime examples of this kind of nationalism. German nationalism is based on Arian race. Hitler might not have talked about German nationalism if after World War I; parts of Germany were not occupied and shared by states like Britain, France and Poland. This act prompted Hitler to promote race based German nationalism. And we all know of Arab nationalism. … The late president of Egypt, Mr. Jamal Abdul Nasser was able to give a significant shape to Arab nationalism. Arab nationalism still exists and stands tall proudly with all other races in the world.
Next comes language-based nationalism. The slogan of Bengali nationalism is built on this philosophy. And for this reason, Awami League still dreams of establishing Bengali nationalism.
And then Muslim League, IDL and the Jamaatis talk about religion based nationalism. At the beginning of this century, Jamal Uddin Afghani preached Pan Islamic nationalism; the spirit of religion-based nationalism originates from that pan-Islamism. To be frank, since inception of Pakistan, Bangladesh was exploited and ruled in the name of this religion-based nationalism. But the ‘politics of exploitation‘ in the name of Islamic Nationalism could not keep Pakistan intact. Independent-sovereign Bangladesh was born.
Politics can be based on regional identity also, thus creating a new regional nationalism. In this regard we can mention the name of EEC (European Economic Commission). EEC has her own parliament i.e. the European Parliament. Many EEC countries are not even connected via land, yet they were able to bring forth new spirit and new idea of cooperation among themselves. They are collectively trying to give themselves a distinct identity as Europeans. Broadly one can assume that they are moving towards a new nationalistic identity.
War can be the base of nationalism too. But that is not a ‘compulsory’ or essential pre-requisite of nationalism.
Bangladeshi nationalism is based on all of the above components of nationalism…. We have ethnic heritage, a rich language and religious tradition. We all live in a single important geographic location. We have the dream of building a new economic order. And the blood-drenched spirit of our war of independence motivates us all. Presence of so many nationalistic elements is unprecedented in one nation’s identity.
When people say that Bangladeshi nationalism is not embracing religion, they are wrong. Religious identity and fidelity to faith is a great and historic trait of Bangladeshi nation. It has been mentioned in the Holy Quran that ” La Iqra Fidweene“, ‘religion should not be forcefully imposed’. Hence Bangladeshi nationalism is neither religion based nor religion averse. This nationalism ensures each and everyone’s faith and religious rights. And Bangladeshi nationalism is also not a purely language based nationalism. …
The philosophy of Bangladeshi Nationalism has ‘absorption power‘ and ‘elbow room.” [Translated into English from original Bangla speech by the author.]

Zia responded to the call of Bangbandhu to take up arms and lead the fight for Bangalee nationalism. But in an independent Bangladesh, he understood the need for an inclusive nationalistic identity for people of erstwhile East Bengal / East Pakistan who are predominantly religious Muslims Bangalees but very tolerant and accommodating to the rights of non-Muslims and or non-Bangalee ethnic groups.

Even today, over 30 years after his death, changes in Bangladesh constitutional framework initiated by Zia has been the basis of governance in Bangladesh. Zia re-introduced multi party democracy and press freedom back to Bangladesh. Thanks to some activist judges and an overwhelming parliamentary majority of currently ruling Awami League, a big push is being made to remove Ziaur Rahman initiated changes in the constitution of Bangladesh. Despite all the vicious attacks on late President Ziaur Rahman from the highest levels of the government, Zia introduced constitutional changes enjoy enormous public support and it is very likely that practically most of his changes will remain in the constitution. This is the ultimate success of Ziaur Rahman’s political philosophy, Bangladeshi nationalism.

I never saw real Azam Khan in action. I listened to his songs hundreds to thousands of times, but never live in his trademark style performance. It was mid 80s when I started hitting concert venues in Dhaka and Chittagong and began following Bangla pop scene. Although his songs were the most demanded songs in all concerts, Azam Khan the person was a matter of past by that time.

Until Azam Khan was rediscovered by our content thirsty media and icon thirsty merchants a few years ago, he was a man in oblivion — lost from the music scenario. We all know of his performances in early 70s, but no one really tell us when and how Azam Khan went AWOL from Dhaka rock scene.

Thanks to corporate TV, the Azam Khan we saw was the skeleton of the Azam we knew of. This Azam Khan no longer could sing. His bohemian image with long beard and hair smoking hasish was not there anymore.

This Azam Khan was a middle aged man struggling to make ends meet in a low middle class neighborhood in Kamalapur area of Dhaka. It was a broken health lungi clad man going to local kacha bazaar with a gunny sack. It was the home his father built, single story. There was never any good furniture at home to give TV interview or pose for photojournalists . Every time any TV crew, photo journalist would go to see him, he would take them to his roof top.

Azam Khan was very unprepared to deal with sudden media attention on him. He did not have prepared fake answers to fake questions of journalists.

Journalist: ” How did you find the inspiration to compose the legendary song ” Ore Saleka Ore maleka? ”

Azam Khan: “পাড়ার বন্ধু রা ছাদের মধ্যে বইসা ফাইজলামি করতাছিলাম — এমনে এমনেই গানটা চইলা আইল আর কি…”

Journalist: ” How do you feel when people call you Guru”.

Azam Khan: “মেজাজ খারাপ হইত. এই গুরু গুরু এইটা আবার কি. আরে আজাম ভাই ক. এখন গা সইয়া গ্যাছে”

When he tried to answer the way journalists wanted, it was very clear he was out of words, he was very uncomfortable.

Journalist: “You fought our war of liberation. Now again you are also fighting another war. What and how is your new war?”

Azam Khan: ” হ যুদ্ধ — আমার এইটা হইতাছে নুতন একটা যুদ্ধ , এই যুদ্ধ টা হইতাছে গিয়ে আমার নুতন যুদ্ধ. হ এইটা আমার … এই যে বুজছেন না… এইটা আমার .. হইতাছে নুতন যুদ্ধ. এই যে সব কিছু … এইটাই নুতন যুদ্ধ”

His stage performances in recent years were more painful to watch. He lost his voice long ago. Corporate TV would make fun of him by forcing him to do dance moves those would at best be caricature of his old self of 70s. He unsuccessfully would try to go back to 1972 again. But that was never to happen.

To sell their products, big corporations needed Azam Khan craze that runs from generation to generation. They made the best merchant like use of Azam Khan’s ever green songs, ever green ever living popularity.

Our corporate culture could have support him financially. They did not have to abuse him for their commercials.

And why I blame the corporates. What the state did to him? While all the sycophants bite each other to grab swadhinota podok, Ekushey Podok, Bangla Academy podok— Azam Khan gets no national recognition in his lifetime.

Azam Khan’s songs will outlive all of our generations and next hundreds of generations to come. The legends of Azam Khan the father of Bangladesh rock scene will never die. The singer Azam Khan died many years ago, some times in late 70s. The man who was very uncomfortable carrying the body so long just gave away.

I am not too sad at the departure of the legend. I am sad at his sufferings of last decades. And I am happy that the new generations, even a 12 year old kid embraced Azam Khan song exactly the way his/ her dad- grand dad did.

Long Live Azam Khan.

“The greater number is generally composed of men of sluggish tempers, slow to act . . .  they are unwilling to take early and vigorous measures for their defense, and they are almost always caught unprepared. . . .A smaller number, more expedite, awakened, active, vigorous and courageous, make amends for what they want in weight by their superabundance of velocity.’” — Edmund Burke

May 30 will be the 30th anniversary of the death of Ziaur Rahman. In March 1971, he had been one of the many junior Bengali officers in the Pakistani Army, junior to individuals like Brigadier Majumdar and Lt. Col. M. R. Chowdhury. Four years later, in November 1975, he was the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Bangladeshi Army, held in house-arrest as jets flew over Bangabhaban and Khaled Musharraf and Abu Taher played out their deadly game of thrones. In six more years, on the eve of his death, he was the President of Bangladesh.

In contrast to the lilliputs in uniform who followed him and aspired to be him, Zia never tried to overthrow a civilian government. The political party he founded, BNP, is alive and well, itself a minor miracle. Three times, BNP has formed a government by election; three times, it has had to face a coup by some parts of the military and civilian bureaucracy aimed at ejecting it from power. It is again winning elections, even after being subjected to the most intense program of repression that we have seen in post-1990 Bangladesh.

There is no need to rush and set down Zia’s legacy in stone; generations of future Bangladeshis (Zia’s term) will get to do so themselves. Suffice to say that history is unlikely to be unkind to him. Did he leave Bangladesh a more democratic state than he found it? Did he leave Bangladesh’s economy in better shape than he found it? Did he leave Bangladesh’s military force more organized and less rebellious than he found it? If the answers to these questions are yes, then his place is already assured.

Two hundred and twenty-four years before Zia’s death, the 50,000-strong army of the Nawab of Begal was defeated by 750 soldiers of the East India Company, and the world’s richest province disappeared into a morass of darkness. In March 1971, 100,000 Pakistanis tried to repeat history. That the Pakistanis failed, and Bangladesh emerged, was due to men and women like Ziaur Rahman, who acted in those fateful hours, as he lived his life, with a superabundance of velocity.

When the lionization of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the first priority of this government, one would expect that the stock of Kader Siddiqui, one of the few men who took up arms after the 1975 massacre, would be very high. Unfortunately, Siddiqui broke with Sheikh Hasins during the last Awami Lwague government. On 1 March, 2011, our Anti-Corruption Commission filed a case against him for amassing illegal wealth. About three weeks afterwards, Kader Siddiqui responded by saying that Ziaur Rahman was indeed the person who declared Bangladesh’s independence, while Sheikh Majib was the Father of the Nation and the indisputed leader of the Liberation War. As expected, this caused a lot of consternation in pro-government circles. On the eve of our Independence Day, he responded to his critics. Some excerpts are given below; the full article is here.

On Khandakar Delwar Hossain and the Change in Our Political Climate:
দুইদিন আগেও যারা তার কত নাহক সমালোচনা করেছেন, কত অপমান অপদস্ত করেছেন তারাই যখন তার মরদেহে ফুলমালা দিলেন, শতকণ্ঠে প্রশংসা করলেন, তখন আমার অন্তর আত্মা কেঁপে কেঁপে উঠছিল। ভাবছিলাম নেতৃবৃন্দের কোন কথা সত্য? ফুলমালা দেওয়ার পর শতমুখে প্রশংসা, না মৃত্যুর আগের দিনগুলোতে হাজার কণ্ঠে নিন্দা-অযৌক্তিক সমালোচনা? তবে আমার খুবই ভালো লেগেছে মরদেহের পাশে আওয়ামী লীগ সাধারণ সম্পাদক সৈয়দ আশরাফুল ইসলামের সভ্য ভাষণ। তার বাবা সৈয়দ নজরুল ইসলামের সঙ্গে খোন্দকার দেলোয়ার রাজনীতি করেছেন। তারপরও কেন যেন দুঃখ হয়, তার জীবিতকালে চিফ হুইপ থাকতে সংসদের টাকা নিয়ে বাড়িতে বাজার করেছেন, চিকিৎসার জন্য তহবিল তছরুপ করেছেন। এসব অভিযোগ না আনলে কি হতো না? কেন জানি না আমরা রাজনীতিবিদরাই রাজনীতিবিদদের প্রধান শত্রু। তাদের বড় বেশি অপমান-অপদস্ত করি। এক আমলা আরেক আমলাকে রক্ষা করতে কত চেষ্টাই না করে। কিন্তু এক রাজনীতিবিদ আরেক রাজনীতিবিদকে সব সময় খতম করতে চায়। অনেক মিথ্যা অভিযোগে বিরোধী রাজনীতিকদের জেলে পাঠিয়ে কি হেনস্থাই না করা হয়। অথচ স্বাধীনতার পর খান এ সবুর খান যখন বঙ্গবন্ধুকে চিঠি দিয়েছিলেন ‘ভাই মজিবর, তুমি দেশ স্বাধীন করেছ, আজ তুমি প্রধানমন্ত্রী। আমরা না হয় ভুলই করেছি। তাই বুড়ো বয়সে জেলে থাকবো?’ চিঠি পাওয়ার তিন-চার দিনের মধ্যে খান এ সবুর খানকে নিঃশর্ত মুক্তি দিয়েছিলেন। শাহ আজিজুর রহমান, তিনি যখন জেলে ওবায়দুর রহমান ও আমাকে দিয়ে শাহ আজিজের বাড়ির ভাড়া পাঠাতেন। সালাউদ্দিন কাদের চৌধুরীর বাবা ফজলুল কাদের চৌধুরী যখন জেলে ছিলেন তখন তার বাড়ি থেকে খাবার পাঠাতে কোনো দিন কোনো বাধা হয়নি। আলাউদ্দিন মতিন, হক-তোয়াহা সাহেবরা যখন পালিয়ে থাকতেন তাদেরও গোপনে টাকা পাঠাতেন। ধীরে ধীরে আজ কোথায় গেল সেসব রাজনৈতিক সহমর্মিতা। খোন্দকার দেলোয়ার হোসেনের মৃত্যুর পর এত প্রশংসা যারা করলেন, তারা তার জীবিতকালে অমন সীমাহীন জঘন্য সমালোচনা না করলেই কি পারতেন না? আজ যারা গলা ফাটিয়ে কথা বলেন তারা কিন্তু ওয়ান-ইলেভেনের জরুরি অবস্থার সময় ইঁদুরের গর্তে লুকিয়ে ছিলেন। সেদিন এই খোন্দকার দেলোয়ারই একজন নির্ভীক রাজনীতিবিদের মতো সিংহের তেজে মাঠে ময়দানে ছিলেন। তার নিজের দল বিএনপিতেও তিনি কম অপমানিত-লাঞ্ছিত হননি।

On Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Ziaur Rahman:
আমি মনে করি, বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিব মানে বাংলাদেশ, বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিব মানে স্বাধীনতা। তিনি স্বাধীনতার ঘোষক নন, স্বাধীনতার জনক। এখানে দোষের কি হলো? সেদিন বঙ্গবন্ধুর পক্ষে অনেকেই স্বাধীনতার ঘোষণা দিয়েছেন। জিয়াউর রহমানও দিয়েছেন। সামরিক ব্যক্তি ছিলেন বলে জিয়াউর রহমানের কণ্ঠে স্বাধীনতার আহ্বান মানুষকে অনেক বেশি উজ্জীবিত করেছে। এটাই সত্য। আমি তো জিয়াউর রহমানকে চিনতামও না, তার ঘোষণায় যুদ্ধেও যাইনি। অনেক আগে থেকেই যুদ্ধ প্রক্রিয়ায় জড়িত ছিলাম। কিন্তু সেদিন জিয়াউর রহমানের ঘোষণায় কমবেশি আমিও উজ্জীবিত হয়েছিলাম। শুধু আমি কেন, আমাদের অনেক বড় নেতাও সে সময় খুশি হয়েছিলেন। তানাহলে কলকাতার বালিগঞ্জের স্বাধীন বাংলা বেতার কেন্দ্র থেকে কেন জিয়াউর রহমানের ঘোষণা পুরো মুক্তিযুদ্ধের সময় নিয়মিতভাবে প্রচার করা হতো। এমআর আখতার মুকুলের কণ্ঠে চরমপত্রে কাদেরিয়া বাহিনীর গাবুর মাইর আর জিয়াউর রহমানের কণ্ঠে ‘I Major Zia do hear by declare independence of Bangladesh on behalf of our great national leader Bangobandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman প্রতিদিন কেন বাজানো হতো। জিয়াউর রহমানের সেই ঘোষণা ‘our great national leader’ না বলে শুধু বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান বা বঙ্গবন্ধু বললে কিংবা শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান বললে কোনো ক্ষতি হতো না। অশুদ্ধ হতো না। কিন্তু সেদিন বঙ্গবন্ধুর উচ্চতা কতখানি ছিল তার সেদিনের সেই হাইট বুঝা যায় জিয়াউর রহমানের কণ্ঠে Our great national leader বলায়। এখানে গ্রেট না বলে শুধু ন্যাশনাল বললে বাক্যের কোনো ক্ষতি হতো না। কিন্তু সত্যিকার অর্থে সে সময় বঙ্গবন্ধু যা ছিলেন জিয়াউর রহমান তাই বলেছেন। কোনো কমবেশি করেননি। করার উপায়ও ছিল না। যারা এখনো স্বাধীনতাকে স্বীকার করতে চান না তাদের কাউকেও যদি ওই সময় বেতার কেন্দ্রে নিয়ে যাওয়া হতো তাহলে তিনিও জিয়াউর রহমানের মতো একই কথা বলতেন। একসময় নবাব সিরাজ উদদৌলা তার ভাঁড় গোলাম হোসেনকে বলেছিলেন, ‘তুমি মনে করো নবাবের বান্দা যা বুঝে আমি নবাব হয়ে তাও বুঝি না? কিন্তু কি করবো গোলাম হোসেন? কোনো উপায় নেই, উপায় নেই গোলাম হোসেন।’ সত্যিকার অর্থে আজ যে যাই বলুক, ‘৭১-এ বঙ্গবন্ধুকে ছাড়া আমাদের কারোরই কিছু বলার বা করার উপায় ছিল না।জিয়াউর রহমানের ঘোষণা কেন স্বাধীন বাংলা বেতার কেন্দ্র থেকে মুক্তিযুদ্ধের সময় প্রচার করা হতো? জিয়াউর রহমানের তো স্বাধীন বাংলা বেতার কেন্দ্রের উপর কোনো প্রভাব বা নিয়ন্ত্রণ ছিল না। বেতার কেন্দ্রটি ছিল সরকারের নিয়ন্ত্রণে। আর সেটা পরিচালনা করতেন আমাদের টাঙ্গাইলের জননেতা আব্দুল মান্নান এমএনএ। স্বাধীনতার ঘোষক নিয়ে আমি তো এত মাতামাতির কোনো কারণ দেখি না। জিয়াউর রহমানের ঘোষণার রেকর্ড সবতো আর মুছে ফেলা যায়নি, এখনো তা রয়েছে। বাজিয়ে শুনুন না। তাতেই প্রমাণ হয়ে যাবে। আমি তাকে ঘোষক বললেই জিয়াউর রহমান ঘোষক হবেন, আমি না বললে হবেন না_ তা কি করে হয়? দেশের জনকের পক্ষে বা বঙ্গবন্ধুর পক্ষে জিয়াউর রহমানের কণ্ঠে একটা ঘোষণা যে উচ্চারিত হয়েছিল যা বারবার প্রচার হয়েছে তা কালের সাক্ষী হয়ে আমিও শুনেছি। সেটা চোখ কান বন্ধ করে অস্বীকার করি কি করে? আজ কোনো স্বার্থের কারণে অস্বীকার করলে পরম প্রভু দয়ালু আল্লাহ তো আমাকে ক্ষমা করবে না

On the current government:


কেন ক্ষমা চাইতে হবে? মুক্তিযুদ্ধ করে বড় বেশি অন্যায় করে ফেলেছি? স্বাধীনতার সঙ্গে সঙ্গে জনকের পায়ের কাছে সব অস্ত্র জমা দিয়ে ভুল করেছি? বঙ্গবন্ধুর লাশ যখন ধানমন্ডি ৩২-এর বাড়ির সিঁড়িতে পড়েছিল, তখন জীবন-যৌবন বিসর্জন দিয়ে মা-বাবা, ভাই-বোনের কথা চিন্তা না করে তাদের বন্দুকের নলের মুখে ফেলে সেই হত্যার প্রতিবাদ করে ১৬ বছর নির্বাসনে থেকে এখনো বেঁচে থেকে কি খুব অপরাধ করেছি? মাফ চাইতে বলছেন। আমার নামে অভিযোগটা কি? জাতির সামনে অভিযোগ আনেন। জাতি বিচার করুক তখন দেখা যাবে কাদের মাফ চাইতে হয়। বঙ্গবন্ধুর চামড়া দিয়ে যারা ডুগডুগি বাজাতে চেয়েছে, জুতা বানাতে চেয়েছে, বঙ্গবন্ধুকে যারা ফেরাউন বলেছে, যারা খুনি মোস্তাকের মুখ্য সচিব ছিল তাদের বগলতলে নিয়ে অত বড় বড় কথা শোভা পায় না। আমি অবশ্যই বলেছি বঙ্গবন্ধু কখনো স্বাধীনতার ঘোষক নন। তার স্বাধীনতা ঘোষণা দেওয়ার কোনো প্রয়োজনই ছিল না। তার অনেক ঘোষক ছিল। আমরা থাকতে তার কি দরকার ছিল? আজ রাষ্ট্রের কর্তৃত্ব কার দ্বারা নিয়ন্ত্রিত হয়? সরকার প্রধান মাননীয় প্রধানমন্ত্রীর কর্তৃত্ব ও নেতৃত্বে রাষ্ট্রপতির নামে পরিচালিত হয়। মাননীয় প্রধানমন্ত্রীর প্রায় সব কয়টি কেবিনেট মিটিংয়ের সিদ্ধান্ত ঘোষণা দেন তার বর্তমান প্রেস সেক্রেটারি আবুল কালাম আজাদ। এটাই নিয়ম, এটাই পদ্ধতি। সেদিনও এমন নিয়ম, পদ্ধতি ছিল।

Khandaker Delwar Hossain, Secretary General of BNP, former lawyer and lecturer of Economics, veteran of of the Language Movement, the 1969 uprising, and the War of Liberation, former Member of Parliament from Manikganj, former Chief Whip of the Bangladeshi Parliament, and the recipient of the Ekushey Padak, passed away yesterday. He will be missed.

Khandakar Delwar Hossain began his political life as a founding member and leader of Manikganj district brunch of National Awami Party when it was formed by Maolana Bhashani in 1957. Even before that, his career as a grassroots leader showed promise as the 7 time elected President of Manikgankj district Lawyers Association.

Most of Delwar’s political trajectory tracks those of many other Bangladeshi politicians. Like many other disgruntled members of our Left, he joined the newly-formed BNP at its formative period. Elected five times as a Member of Parliament, he was, during 1991-1996 and then 2001-2006, the Chief Whip of the Bangladeshi Parliament. Like many other career politicians, he was facing challenge in his area from a business magnet-turned-politician, namely Harunur Rashid Khan Munnu of Munnu Ceramics. Perhaps most damningly, he didn’t sugerc-coat his words when it was his turn to speak: not to Khaleda Zia, and not to Tareque Rahman.

When forming her government in 2001, Khaleda Zia had decided not give Delwar any position at all, while Munnu would be given a cabinet position. However, at the last minute, many of his colleagues interfered on his behalf, and he was again given the consolation post of Chief Whip, while Munnu was taken in the cabinet, thought without a portflio. Delwar mostly remained out of the limelight in 2001 – 2006.

Fast-forward to September 2, 2007. Khaleda Zia had just been arrested; BNP’s number-2 person – Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, had been co-opted by the “military-backed caretaker government.” Our present Prime Minister was already in prison, while her deputy, Abdul Jalil, had been broken under torture. Minus-two was this close to succedding.

But in an act of partial redemption, after making poorer and poorer choices regarding key personnel during her entire government, Khaleda Zia chose Khandaker Delwar Hossain as BNP’s new Secretary General. Before then, he had never held any cabinet positions, or indeed any senior leadership positions in his party. BNP was in ruins, most leaders were either in arrest, in hiding, or ready to side with General Moeen. The workers were resolute but scattered. The party of Ziaur Rahman was one good push from becoming history.

That push was attempted about a month later, in October. DGFI arranged a meeting of the turncoat BNP leaders in the residence of the frail ex-Finance Minister Saifur Rahman. The plan was to get a majority of the BNP Standing Committee members to show up at Saifur’s residence, and have Saifur, then in failing health, act as a figurehead, while Major Hafiz, and ultimately Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, consolidated the rest of the party around them.

It did not work. After a brutal visit by DGFI where he was physically threatened, Delwar refused to cooperate and instead went into hiding, and then chekced into BIRDEM to avoid arrest. DGFI failed to get a majority of the Standing Committee to show up, and the moment slipped away. At this crucial point, a half-century’s worth of experience, first commenced at the feet of Moulana Bhashani, proved its worth. BNP, and Sheikh Hasina, survived to fight another day. Delwar passed the test that his far more illustrious predecessors: K M Obaidur Rahman, and Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, did not.

To his credit, Delwar did not change his plain-spoken style even after Khaleda Zia emerged from prison, clashing with her and Tareque Rahman several times, most importantly about the future direction of the party and the fate of those who deserted BNP after 1/11. It may be something of a distant memory, but BNP was seen as an obsolete relic after Awami League had come back to power with a nine-tenth majority and Vision 2021 was in vogue. In this testing time, Delwar was a steady presence, and a voice of sobriety in inner-party deliberations. At a time when many were urging the BNP Chairperson to blindly oppose any move taken by the AL government, Delwar was particularly insistent that BNP could not, in principle, oppose a trial of the war criminals of 1971. There are instances when Delwar stormed out of party high commands meetings when he was having difficulty to convince the party chairperson/ other policy makers adopt his principled stand on many issues.

If the people of Bangladesh ever decide to forgive BNP for its many derelictions and mistakes and return the party to power, many individuals will again strut to the limelight of power and pretend that they are here by birthright. However, if not for this unassuming, non-telegenic politician, the political landscape of Bangladesh would be very different today. Khandaker Delwar Hossain fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. May his soul rest in peace.

Heavyset discussions regarding some documentary against Grameen Bank galore in our media and blog scene lately. National and international media, quoting a documentary, reported that Grameen founder prof Yunus embezzled a big sum o money from NORAD, a Norweigian development organization. Capturing that report, our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina developed a diarrhea of verbal abuses aimed at prof Yunus, even the org, NORAD, whose money has been reportedly embezzled, is saying that nothing wrong was done by Grameen.

So this blog cannot keep mum on this very important issue and taking cue from all high profile media and blogs, wants to present an in depth analysis old, over-used joke.

At the gate of the hell, one observer noticed that there is a hell guard at the hell holes for every nationals. There are few guards in the hole for American hellers, some guard for the hell of the British people, similarly a lot of guards for the hell of the Indian folks. But there was no guard near the hole for the Bangladeshis. When the hell’s guard in chief was asked about it, he told, ” we do not need to put a guard at the Bangladeshi hole. If one Bangladeshi tries to get out of the hell, the other Bangladeshis jointly pull her/ him down.”

I know you could not laugh at this old over-used joke. But that is all this blog has to say about the recent Grameen issue.

This blog was posted July 2007. Sheikh Hasina was just arrested by Gen Moeen and Masud government. The arrest was very humiliating. She was pushed, shoved, forced, dragged. Her glasses were falling off. No one spoke much against it. Media, intelelctuals kept quite. Except one person, her political rival Khaleda Zia. Let look back at the statement…

The Daily Star Reports,

Setting a rare example, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday demanded immediate release of her arch political rival Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina, and regretted failure of the administration to protect her [Hasina] dignity while being taken to court.

“I am deeply disheartened to see that being a former prime minister, chief of a political party, daughter of a national leader, an aged woman as well as a distinguished citizen of the country, she [Hasina] faced a disgraceful and indecent situation on the court premises,” Khaleda said in a statement, signed by Maruf Kamal Khan, deputy press secretary to the former prime minister.

BNP leaders however said they are not aware of any such statement.

“It [indecent situation] hurt all conscious people and destroyed the image of the government both at home and abroad,” Khaleda said. The situation could have been avoided if the government would have dealt with the matter carefully and consciously, she added.

The BNP chairperson said, “I think it would be better if her [AL chief] trial is held without arresting and sending her to jail or opposing her bail prayer.”

Calling for immediate release of Sheikh Hasina, Khaleda stressed conducting the case keeping her free. It would decrease the possibility of social and political instability and confusion.

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This was written for Uttorshuri in two installments on Taher Day during  July 2006. I am re-posting this on the eve of November 7. This post is not intended to demonize veteran Freedom fighter and ambitious patriotic leader Colonel Abu Taher. No one argues that Col Taher was a patriot and he wanted to prosper Bangladesh in a way he believed to be right way.

 

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Every year late freedom fighter Colonel Taher’s death anniversary is observed with discussions about his life, his dreams, visions, achievements and his valor. Newspapers publish memoirs, detail articles and columns demanding justice for Taher Killing.

The events of this year included an additional element; speeches and interviews by American journalist Lawrence Lifschultz leading a campaign for Taher’s retrial.

Lawrence Lifschultz, in his speeches, urges the concerned authorities for ensuring a fair re-trial of

1. Jail killing of four national leaders
2. Taher death sentence
3. The freedom fighters killed during coups against Zia rule
4. General Manzur’s Killing
5. Death sentence and execution of freedom fighter officers convicted of murdering Zia.

Some of these demands are quite logical and to set the records straight, all these killings definitely need a neutral and fair reevaluation. However it is also interesting to see some deliberate omission from Lifschultz’s list.

The significant omissions are the killing of two sector commanders of our liberation war. They are major general Khaled Mosharraf and Colonel A T M Haider.

Khaled Mosharraf was arguably the most valiant of the military leaders duringmour war of independence in 1971. He almost died in the war with a bullet hittingmhis forehead. After his injury, then Captain ATM Haider took over the command ofmthe sector. He was also another valiant freedom fighter who representedmBangladesh during Pak surrender on 16th December.

More than thirty years later, our nation still doesn’t know much about their killing. It is not exactly clear how they were killed, exactly who killed these brave souls, who ordered the killing, in what situation they died, whether they were executed or they died in gunfight.

It also another big mystery why these two sector Commanders deaths are not mourned every year as it happens in case of Colonel Taher. And there is rarely a call demanding justice of these killings. Also a curiosity arises, why Lawrence Lifschultz does not mention Khaled Mosharraf and ATM Haider in his list.

We read newspaper daily. Sometimes some news makes us sad, some news makes us angry, some ews make us optimistic, some news makes us skeptical and some news makes us curious.

Here are some news from today and how my mind reacted to those news.

***********************************************************************

 

বিপুল ভট্টাচার্যের পাশে সতীর্থরা

It is a news of mixed emotion. The lively presence and powerful voice of young Bipul Bhattacharya as shown in our war documentary ” Muktir Gaan” is unforgettable. His illness is sad. But efforts by his fellow artists to stand beside him is a positive news. It gives us hope.

At the same time this news raises a question in my mind. What happened to Azam Khan. A legend in our pop culture. Father of band music in Bangladesh. An active freedom fighter. He is also sick with cancer. He also needs more money to continue his treatment. News report suggests artists donated personally. But what about a concert for Azam Khan. Where is BAMBA? A concert was orgnized in New York by BAMBA’s US counterpart. But Azam Khan denied his knowledge about that event. What is the problem? Is it Azam Khan who does not want a concert for him?

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সুজনের গোলটেবিল বৈঠকে বক্তারা

দিনবদলের সূচনাই হয়নি

Why Shujan always calls the pro 1/11 reformists as political party representatives in it’s meetings?  AL was represented by Manna while BNP was represented by Lt Gen Mahbub and Inam Ahmed Chowdhury. Does not it benefit Shujan ( and the country) if mainstream piolicy makers of each of The two party are called rather than those sidelined?

 

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Why Anwar Hossain Manju’s Ittefaq headlines yesterdays Sirajganj incidence this way? Should a newspaper headline be wrong or such one sided or provocative?

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মন্ত্রিসভা বৈঠকে প্রধানমন্ত্রীখালেদার বক্তব্য ও বিএনপির গতিবিধি নজরে রাখুন

 

Our Prime Minister has to be more charitable in her public remarks to maintain the halo around her. We know all the media men, ( Special attention to Golajm Murtaza and Sohrab Hossain of Prothom Alo in today’s Channel I tritio Matra) are trying their best to make the halo around the PM  as white and shinning as possible. But this sort of uncharitable remark by PM does not help Messers Bulbul, Khalidi, Mortaza, Anam, Motiur Rahman et el in their relentless effort to promote the PM. .

Sanaullah Babu's Murder

 

This did not end here. Tonight, PM went further. She specifically mentioned that Mr. Sanaullah was killed out of BNP’s own internal conflict. There is clear footage and photo of Nator murder  that shows Awami League activists chopping Mr Sanaullah. Mr Zakir, local Awami League leader was clearly seen walking around with a menacing looking stick ( In fade blue jeans and full sleev shirt at the center of the photo). And yet PM Hasina was trying to justify Zakir as innocent. What message she is giving to her activists?

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This news should remind BNP that from media’s and Police’s perspective, small misstep by BNP will be much high profile compared to big missteps by AL. The same day, a few other things happened.Ruling Party student wing supporters fought, injured each other in Rajshahi university, Jahangir Nagar University.  But this was a headline news in Prothom ALo followed by an editorial by no other than Motiur Rahman. Mr Rahman apparently is trying his best to please Mrs Hasina.

Although 15 people have been arrested and all those masked men were identified in this case, nothing happened so far in Natore case. The killers did not bother wearing any mask and yet no arrest was made except one eye wash arrest. PM is singing song for the main accused.

One thing I can say, PM Hasina is quickly reverting to her  original undiluted ‘kill ten for one”  self.

Always there are only a few people who would dare go against an overwhelming wave of psyche dominating public mindset and speak out the truth.

After the political upheaval of 1975, few people were there who would dare caution against national anti Mujib paranoia  and make a point that a gruesome massacre is never the right way to bring a good change.

Very recently we saw how our national psych was totally hypnotized and supported the wrongdoings of the masked military regime that forced a constitutional caretaker government out of power. The whole educated class seemed to be in an orgy to politician trashing.

And against that wave, some people, still a few, were there to ask the nation to think again, think deep.

Major General ( Retd.) Mainul Hossain Chowdhury was one such soul. He would not be the one who will fill the airwaves repeating the same hollow rhetoric that fill our stratosphere these days. Major General Chowdhury was an honest, truthful, conscientious man who would go deep into the issue to expose the inconvenient truth. And he would do so with utmost modesty. A rare gem in current standards.

 

A decorated freedom fighter, a brilliant army general, a very successful administrator and diplomat, General Chowdhury served out nation till the last days of his life.

 

Rest in peace General Chowdhury. Good Luck in heaven.

 

 

 

Justice Khairul Haque, appointed Chief Justice, after superseding two senior Appellate division judges, took oath of office today. This blog will do some public service posts in introducing the readers who Justice Khairul Haque really is, what was his political philosophy, how he felt about our national political leaders and what he he thinks our nations’ political identity must be. To avoid being unfair to him and to remain within the context, we have decided to base our analysis solely on the verdicts he wrote. This posts will not be influenced by any other writing on Justice Haque.

Most contentious of his verdicts is his verdict on fifth amendment of Bangladesh constitution. Detail discussion about 5th amendment verdict took place in this and this superb posts by tacit.

So lets quote Justice Haque and try to understand him.

“We further enquired under what provision of the Constitution Justice
Sayem and Major General Ziaur Rahman B.U., PSC., amended the Constitution of
Bangladesh, from time to time, which Charls I or even Lord General Oliver Cromwell could not do without the Parliament.”

All along the fifth amendment verdict text and his later verdict on declaration of war, Mr Justice Khairul Haque has been very unfairly harsh on founder of main opposition party ( The party that ruled Bangladesh longest since independence) late President Ziaur Rahman.  tacit discusses Justice Khairul haque’s pathological hatred of Ziaur Rahman in this illuminating post. It is very unsettling to see that nation’s chief justice refuses to accept Ziaur Rahman ( The man who and whose party generally commands support of nearly 40% of the population) as a president or a political leader of Bangladesh. Throughout the verdict, he calls late President Ziaur Rahman as Major General Ziaur rahman B.U. Psc. This was Zia’s rank as of 15th August 1975. Since then President Zia’s rank was promoted to Lt General and when he died, he died as the elected President of Bangladesh.Even in government documents included in 5th Amendment verdict, Ziaur Rahman was addressed as Lt General. But Mr Khairul Haque ignores all these and keeps him referring to as Major general Ziaur Rahman and always mentioned him as an Army commander, never as a politician, let alone national or even political leader.

“…when we specifically asked him to show us any Constitutional or legal provision in justification of the seizure of State – Power of the Republic , he ( The Attorney General) was without any answer although he mumbled from time to time about the Fourth Amendment.”

The harsh, hateful rhetoric Mr Justice Haque resorted to in his verdicts are appalling. Unlike the current day trend, when Attorney General keeps the whole Judiciary under constant suppression, this above treatment of the Attorney General took place in BNP rule. Seeing the culture of these  days, it is difficult to imagine how he could deliver such a scathing series of comments against BNP’s founder and treat the BNP’s AG so rudely under BNP rule.

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[ Today is 73rd Birth Anniversary of Late President Ziaur Rahman. When he took over the helm of Bangladesh, he was only 39 years old. This post commemorates President Zia.]

What is Ziaur Rahman’s biggest contribution to Bangladesh?

ziaurrahman

Ziaur Rahman gave our nation a clear identity. After independence, our national identity was declared as ‘Bangali’ and expectedly this created a lot of confusion. This identity ignored the non-Bangali citizens including the indigenous people of different part of Bangladesh as well as the urdu speaking citizens. Ziaur Rahman first coined the word ‘Bangladeshi’ as our national identity and successive government since then has maintained this identity. He also presented his vision of Bangladeshi nationalism and sutured together the geographic, historic, religious, cultural and political components of our nationhood. He based his politics on nationalism at a time when nationalism has not yet become a pan-global craze. In this context he can be called the father of Bangladeshi nationalism or father of our current national identity.

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Do any of you happen to know any schoolteacher, specifically a primary school teacher in Bangladesh? If you happen to meet them you will know how busy they have been lately. Teaching jobs in government schools esp. in rural schools are high-pressure jobs these days. The teachers are now constantly and meticulously supervised by donor agencies as well as the government, and in addition to teaching responsibilities they are now burdened with a plethora of housekeeping jobs including data entry, chart making, reporting etc.
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[ This is a repost from last year ]

I grew up in the residential quarters in Sher-e-bangla Nagar around the Ganavaban. We used to play in and around the unde- construction Ganavaban, the future official residence of the prime Minister of Bangladesh. Later when the building was commissioned, we were not too happy as our free playground went off limit for us. Unlike children of these days, we were hardly confined to home, rather quite independently; we used to roam around the adjacent areas with gangs of boys and chatting with the guardsman posted at different gates of ganavaban. We also learned different kind of salutes from these guardsmen and were very much eager to test our salute skill on the dignitaries going through the gates.

On one Eid day, probably that of 1974 or 1975, our chance came. Ganavaban was open to public; anybody could go and meet the prime minister. We also went in, me, Hasan and Shiblee, all of between 6 to 7 years of age and easily entered the huge hall room and walked straight where bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was standing and greeting people. We went forward and promptly resorted to our much practiced salute. I still remember the affection mixed surprise in Bangabandhu’s eyes. We hoped we could do ‘kolakuli’ like others, but we probably were too nervous and was intimidated by his tall stature, and as smart Hasan showed the way, we all bend on his foot and did “kadam buchi”. Bangabandhu promptly shouted to some of his aid to feed us with ‘shemai”.

Not too long after, Bangabandhu was killed along with all his family members. I was immensely saddened. It is more than 32 years, we lost this legendary leader. I still cherish my memory of meeting him in person. So far he is the first and last ruler of Bangladesh I ever met in person.

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There was a tree lined road between our house and ganavaban. At the end of the road, a two story red residential building was part of an army base. A high ranking army officer lived there with his three daughters. After visiting bangabandhu, our confidence was sky high. So we decided to visit his home to “salute” him. After our door bell and salute, that officer also took us in and introduced us to his wife and daughters. This man was colonel Jamil. Most of us don’t know who he is. In 1975, he was the military secretary of the President. On august 15, when Bangabandhu was under fire, his sons were already killed, he desperately called maj general Shafiullah, who declined to help citing his inability. Bangabandu then called Col Jamil, who immediately responded to call of duty and was killed in Sobhanbag area on the Mirpur road, while trying to resort command and control on the unruly soldiers.

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Maulvi Sheikh Abdul Halim was the Imam of the mosque at Tongipara at Gopalganj who was asked to burry Bangabandhu without namaj e janaja and public viewing. But he boldly declined, on the face of the scary looking blood thirsty army personnel, to burry without namaj e janaja. About public viewing, he replied, “We can. But only if you declare him a `shahid’ (martyr).”

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Our ex-prime minister used to celebrated her 62nd birthday with much grandiosity. Even last year, she, with a queen Victoria kind of attitude, received greetings and flowers at her official residence. Chhatra Dal, the student wing of Khaleda’s party also celebrated the event at Madhu’s canteen with a 62 pound cake.

This year Khaleda urged not to celebrate her birthday due to flood. I do not feel flood is the only reason. It is historical fact that anyone will lose a certain amount of reasoning once he/she enjoys absolute uncontested power. On many fronts now she is trying to correct her misdeeds and failures.

Mujib’s 3 and half year rule was marred with numerous misdeeds also. But, unlike others, he didn’t get the chance to correct himself. His last 3 and half years should not be on our way to pay him his due homage.

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.

These days, on February 14, Valentines Day is celebrated in Bangladesh with great fanfare. The students and teen/ post teen generation as well as the older ones use their energy; ingenuity in doing thing to convince their loved ones.

Exactly 25 years ago on the 14 the February, I was about to finish my high school in Dhaka. I had no clue what Valentine day was. Then during the rest of student life in colleges throughout the 80s, I still did not know or do much with Valentines Day.

However 14th February remained a special day for us, the students and young people in the 80s. When the military establishment illegally captured state power on 24th March 1982, on this day, 14 the February the following year i.e. 1983, students lodged a large scale protest against the military occupation of governance. Five students – Zafar, Dipali Saha, Jainal, Mozammel and Ayub – were killed in the police firing, leading to the formation of Chhatra Sangram Parishad (students’ action council), the first politically organised platform against the military junta. The following year, on the same day during a student procession marking the event, the military rulers ran a truck on the peaceful procession instantly crushing Selim and Delwar to death.

Over the next six years, many more lives were lost. We invoked the names of Dipali Shaha, Mozamel, Selim, Delwar millions of times. Students were followed by trade unions followed by professionals and they gloriously defied the military rule. Politicians joined hands and later the civil service stepped in. Military had no options but to surrender and retreat back to the cantonment.

With restoration of democracy, along with many other things, we also forgot those who shed their lives for the democracy. And we badly mangled up militarycracy with a person Ershad. Ten years after fall of Ershad, he came back with a significantly limited capacity of a small political party leader. This time his power was not the military establishment. Ironically the people of his region were his principle force.

It is not clear whether it was done intentionally or mistakenly; Ershad’s minimal importance in Bangladesh politics was blown out of proportion and was shown as the ultimate failure of the revolution of December 1990 and of democracy. Those cliques, who have been vocal in making the story of Ershad’s joining of different political fronts as the major blunder of Bangladesh democracy and ultimate reversal of 1990 revolution, did intentionally hide the facts that Ershad in 2007 represented regional people power, not the military establishment. And when the ideological difference is minor, changing sides is not so unusual in democracy.

Not too long after media uproar over Ershad drama, stage was set for full blown military takeover and on 1/11/2007, military establishment regained crown they lost on December 1990. In 1982, the facade was Ershad, this time it was Fakhruddin and a bunch of retired bureaucrats and technocrats.

Unlike last military establishment, this new generation of military establishment is much smarter. This time the word martial law has never been pronounced, although the country faced worst kind of steam roller since its inception. This time no single character was allowed to turn into a villain. The main facade Fakhruddin worked hard to keep showing his political and administrative impotence; once a while if some advisor got out of control they have been instantly kicked out. And unlike 1982, this new generation won’t bother shooting at students. They will rather assassinate the mind, not the body. This government has excelled in picking up top tier political leaders, businessmen, intellectuals, teachers, students, journalists—torture them to inflict the worst possible emotional trauma and physical pain.

And during this 14 th February, nobody will recall Zafar, Ayub, Selim and others. Thanks to media promotion, young people and students will wear special dresses, draw graffiti on the face and celebrate beginning of Falgun or Poush or the Valentines Day. Although certain entity in Bangladesh think themselves as the great upholders of our historical accuracy and glory, history of peoples’ war against military establishment in 80s did never gain the elite status like that of 71 or 52 history. And surely some very strong quarter do not want our young generation to know about the sacrifices of these seven or those 24 in Chittagong or Zehad or Nur Hossain or Milon or many more. And probably that’s why Channel I etc will rather observe Pohela Falgun or Valentine day than remember Shahid Selim, delwar, Dipali Shaha, Zafar, Mozammel, Ayub or Joynal.

I saw Elachi’r Ma several days ago. She was in TV news. She probably will be in late twenties or early thirties. She was wearing what all Bangladeshi poor women wear. A plain grey/green Sari with Black Par and a Nakful. She was looking exceedingly fresh, most likely she just had bath before talking to TV crew.

And the poor people of Bangladesh, My God, are very camera smart. They will talk clearly and in an articulate manner without any shyness, nervousness or hesitation.

The TV crew wanted to talk to Elachi’r Ma because only half an hour before arrival of the TV crew, Elachi’r Ma buried the decomposed body of her six year old daughter. Her daughter is one of those killed in Cyclone Sidr.
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nurhossain1.jpg 

I grew up in the back lane tin shade colony in Banagram near Narinda of old Dhaka. For me, mere going to school was a big leap, doing well or thinking of continuing beyond high school was not even in my dreams. School was no fun for me also. How would you like to be confined to a place where you are always rebuked and yelled at by your teacher for being the bad backbencher of the class? In addition, not only academically, I was also the social backbencher too. When my friends used to come to school with nice dress, nice shoes and school bag, we had to wear the same dirty shirt, pant, and sandal throughout the year and carry he books in hand. Tell me, how I can be a good student. Who will help me with homework? The 1/1/2 room shanty my auto rickshaw driver father manages to rent, does not enough space for us 5 brothers sisters. So most our day and evening are spent on the streets.
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For those who say that there is no war criminal in Bangladesh, look at this video evidence. These are the bodies of intellectuals of Bangladesh who were brutally murdered by students belonging to Jamaat e Islami. There eyes were gauged out, Heart specialist Dr Fazle Rabbi’s heart was torn out. There is overwhelming evidence that these crimes were committed by AL-Badr, an armed special interest wing of Jamaat e Islami. This newly formed paramilitary wing was headed by the then All Pakistan Islami Chhatra Shangha president Motiur Rahman Nizami.

profaftab.jpg

Professor Aftab Ahmed was an exceedingly talented political scientist and a scholar. Anybody who heard him talk extempore for hours together on any issue with his very dramatic style, can’t have any doubt about his depth.

A leading freeodm fighter, he is credited with first articulating many famous slogans like ‘Tomar Amar thikan, padma meghna Jomuna’ or even possibly ‘Joy Bangla’. After independence he became a leading intellectual dissident of Awami League government and was one of the designers of Ziaur Rahman perceived Bangladeshi nationalism. He is the author of numerous authoritative text book on Political Science and Bangladesh.

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