“How do we characterize or categorize the people of Shahbag? Who are the people of Shahbag? … What is the class character of this group, what excites or drives this group? Who they were during different periods of our history- how they were represented during different historical milestone of Bangladesh.”

© Arif Hafiz

© Arif Hafiz

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During the first week of Shahbag Square Movement, when the momentum and public passion for the movement was at its peak, the biggest opposition political party BNP’s discomfort with the movement was very clear.
BNP-Meeting20120826221928
BNP’s reaction was initial rejection and dismissal to a very uncomfortable embracing of Shahbag one week into its movement. However BNP was happy to get out of the painful embrace in the earliest opportunity. This opportunity came with the discovery of atheist blogs reportedly of slain blogger thaba baba. Very quickly getting rid of any lost love; BNP started denouncing Shahbag as an anti-Islamic movement.

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ArifHafiz_10

© Arif Hafiz

25_Paltan+Clash_220213

© BdNews24.com

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tank-man
While describing Shahbag Square movement, frequent references are being made to Tahrir Square, the site of recent anti -autocratic movement in Egypt. However, although there are more similarities, Shahbag has not yet been discussed in reference to the famous Tiananmen Square movement of 1989 in China. The reason of missing Tiananmen reference may be two pronged. One, in ultra-short memory span of the minds of the analysts of Shahbag Square movement, an event of 1989 is not much distinct now. (more…)

Sakti Saha, the son of a 1971 martyr, gave witness in the trial of Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mojaheed yesterday. By all accounts, it was a heartbreaking moment, as Saha broke down while describing his father’s death. Several newspapers headlined and highlighted this incident.

But what got lost was what Saha did not say. And the fact that is not noticed today will make any teeth-gnashing and sloganeering the day Mojaheed’s sentence comes out quite moot.

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1983 14 february photo

1983. February 14. Shahbag moar, Dhaka.
Students of Dhaka University gathered for a large scale protest. Their demands were 1. Postpone anti people education policy, 2. Free all jailed students and 3. Restore democracy.

Police opened indiscriminate fire at the protesters. Five students – Zafar, Dipali Saha, Jainal, Mozammel and Ayub – were killed instantly in police firing.
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The opposition leader and former Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Mrs. Khaleda Zia published an op-ed in the Washington Times. It is titled, The thankless role in saving democracy in Bangladesh – Corruption and stealing threaten a once-vibrant nation

Once a reader reads this piece, it leaves no scope of confusion in his/her mind that Mrs. Zia is appealing the USA to pressurize current Bangladesh rulers into becoming more democratic.

Without spending much time in introduction she jumps into a disguised complain by stating that USA is sitting idle while Bangladesh plunges into an autocracy and is shifting it’s economic alliance away from USA to China, India and Russia.
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An interesting news came out of Afghanistan today. A senior judge was covertly tape recorded while asking for bribe and proposing to marry a woman whose divorce case he was handling. The fallout of the news — whole world in focused on the judge, starting from Afghan president to the Anti corruption guru– every one promised to take action. And no one questioned how illegal it was to secretly tape record a senior sitting judge while he talks about his case. (more…)

When I was a student in Bangladesh, my world was my campus, my TSC, evening tea stall adda, night-time hostel adda. I used to see the world around be by collective actions emotions among this surrounding. And in between the campus days, it was our rock er adda, evening cha-dalpuri adda, post dinner household family adda. These were the tools for to understand the vibe of the people around. (more…)

Source: Al Jazeera

Source: Al Jazeera

I have already been recommended to read at least three blogs about the recent hacked Skype conversations between International Crimes Tribunal Chairman Justice Nizamul Hoque and a Belgium based Bangladeshi expatriate lawyer Ahmed Ziauddin. All three have the same content, same tone, same desperation. Damage control. Attempts to make people believe that the Skype discussion between the judge and the expatriate lawyer is nothing unusual, in good faith and is perfectly valid.

The folks who wrote those blogs or who shared/ recommended those blogs definitely has one thing to share. They all want the defendants to be executed by hanging. For them the guilt of defendants are foregone conclusion, the trial is just a formality to showcase to the west and it is unimaginable for them that the defendants can be found Not guilty.

But my take on the leaked material, which I heard in youtube and read in Bangla Daily Amar desh is very different from the above spins.

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“Those who want to “help” (!) the country, they have some small addiction to hunting. To sate their hunger, it is the Bishyajits who have to be the hunted deer.”

Ruling Awami League party activists chop an innocent man to death. They suspected that he was an opposition activist supporting the nationwide blockade. Recently, Home Minister has urged party activists to take over law enforcement and resist opposition activities.

BCL Hartal

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December 5 — does it sound any significant? Is it a special day? Ask 10,000 people in the streets of Dhaka — I bet you will hardly find one who will be able to recall any event to make December 5 special in the history of Bangladesh. Bangladesh has a very vibrant TV channel culture– all owned by private businesses. Those TV’s will make a mountain out of a molehill on every single significant and insignificant occasion. Yet they will not speak a line to remind the country of an event that took place on December 5.
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Source: bdnews24.com

Source: bdnews24.com

The second term Sheikh Hasina Government has taken the country to a low of unbelievable proportion. Injustice, anarchy, suppression, hypocrisy — all have attained a level beyond the most skeptic’s wildest nightmarish imagination. Be it judiciary, be it defense forces, be it police forces, be it medical profession — all the government jobs are grabbed by political cadres and goons of the ruling party.

Let’s talk about assistant judge Javed Imam. This man was caught with a huge supply of illicit drugs when he was transporting those from a border district to capital city Dhaka. Definitely he and his handlers thought his position of a judge will ensure his protection and immunity from police checks. (more…)

Source: bdnews24.com

Source: bdnews24.com

The second term Sheikh Hasina Government has taken the country to a low of unbelievable proportion. Injustice, anarchy, suppression, hypocrisy — all have attained a level beyond the most skeptic’s wildest nightmarish imagination. Be it judiciary, be it defense forces, be it police forces, be it medical profession — all the government jobs are grabbed by political cadres and goons of the ruling party.

Let’s talk about assistant judge Javed Imam. This man was caught with a huge supply of illicit drugs when he was transporting those from a border district to capital city Dhaka. Definitely he and his handlers thought his position of a judge will ensure his protection and immunity from police checks. (more…)

On the 37th occasion of murder of the four National leaders, M. Sanjeeb Hossain has an op-ed in bdnews24. Who is M. Sanjeeb Hossain? Mr. Hossain’s bio is here. It should be further mentioned that he is the son of Prof. Anwar Hossain of Dhaka University, and thus, nephew of the late hero and Sector Commander Col. Abu Taher.

First, what is the point of this op-ed? From the concluding paragraph:

The more this unity is strengthened, the greater the chances that Bangladesh will move ahead in a positive direction. The Awami League must learn from it’s mistakes from the era of 1972-’75 just as the ‘left’ should comprehend how its immediate shift to an oppositional position after Liberation was a premature step. We need to know our true foes – the defeated anti-liberation forces of 1971, which are still lurking around waiting for an opportunity to strike back. Also, we need to identify our true friends. We can not afford to distance ourselves from each other like we did in 1972 and in the years that followed. The unity of democratic and progressive forces infused with muktijuddher chetona was successful in 1971 and there is no doubt it shall be successful again if it takes lessons from the errors of the past.

So, in his own words, he is concerned about strengthening the alliance between JSD (the party championed by his uncle that he will head one day). That part is perfectly understandable; it is by dint of this alliance that JSD now has Members of Parliament and even, miracle of miracles, cabinet ministers. The second part is more subtle, and thus, interesting. “We need to identify our true friends”- so, to warn Caesar of enemies lurking both externally and internally, so to speak.

I very much enjoyed reading this op-ed. Because of his personal background and family history, Mr. Hossain is more pro-Awami League than actual Awami League leaders. Yet, because of the admittedly complex agenda he inherits, he cannot write the usual anti-Zia diatribe portraying Bangladesh between 1972 and 1975 as the land of milk and honey that all went horribly wrong on August 1975. He does the best with the hand he is dealt.

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Source: bdnews24

Let me start by asking you all a question. You may have a very strong religious affiliation; your faith may be impeccable. Or you may be deeply indoctrinated with a political ideology. Passion runs deep in your vain in favor of your faith or ideology. But does this passion permit you to break the basic law of humanity, i.e. kill innocent people? And if you do any such act out of this strong political of religious conviction, can you get away saying that it’s not my fault, some religious or political leader used my passion to make me commit such crime?

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This a 14 year old girl from one of the most socially backward, deprived and uncivilized areas of the World — Swat Valley pakistan.

Her name is Malala Yousufzai. Although she is only a 14 year old 8th grader, she definitely is not like any other 14 year old in the world.

She is an embodiment of passion, bravado, activism. She is the example what ‘standing up for right’ means in real life.
She probably is the youngest and most inspirational politicians in Asia, if not in the World. Just search her name in Youtube. You will see hundreds of TV interviews of Malala — some 30 minute, some hour long. You will see her fiery stump speeches.
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Muhammad Yunus in front of a capacity crowd of young people on a Saturday evening in Central Park, New York.

“Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus addressed the audience of young people of the Global Poverty Project concert. Artists Neil Young, Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, John Legend and many others performed at the event to raise awareness about global poverty”

 

 

A cartoon in the Daily Star During Awami league regime.

The cartoon is nice. That is not the point. The point is that if any such cartoon was drawn by the Daily Star and it’s sister concern daily Prothom Alo’s Shishir Bhattacharya on similar issue during BNP government time, among the three bad guys looting the money, you would have seen a Tarique rahman look alike, a Jamaat look alike and Safari clad man with a dark glass and a briefcase. But in this cartoon the absence of a Mujib coat is very obvious.

Another cartoon at Daily Prothom Alo, done by leading cartoonist Shishir Bhattacharya. In this cartoon too, conspicuously absent is a Mujib coat figure. This trend raises serious questions about  the social responsibility of our cartoonists.

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