Shabbir Ahmed

A futile attempt to demean Bangabandhu, verdict

December 21, 2009

sabbir_ahmed3By scanning the news dailies published from Dhaka, I came to the conclusion that there is a sense of great relief in the minds of the people of Bangladesh after the delivery of the judgment on Bangabandhu murder case by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on November 19, 2009. People irrespective of their political ideology welcomed the verdict without trying to bring in the issues of governance, administration, and economic condition during the days after the independence of a war-torn country. It can be said that old habits die hard for a tiny few, who wholeheartedly support the killers/conspirators of Bangabandhu and his family members.

At different times in the past, these caviling characters tried their best to bring up issues that were not fixable so easily in a country that underwent a long nine months of destruction because of a war against the Pakistani occupation force. The difficult condition caused by the destruction and killings of the brutal Pakistani force and their pet Razakars and Al Badars are seldom highlighted by these deceptive writers, some of whom claim themselves to be researchers. A section of the censorious fault-finders has started again to pick holes in Bangabandhu’s coat even at a time when the whole nation has breathed a sigh of relief and is eagerly looking forward to hearing the news of the execution of the killers.

Unfortunately, the detractors are not allowing the people of Bangladesh to have the sense of relief that they deserve after a long wait since the trial began in 1997. The esoteric ‚Äúresearch-based‚ÄĚ essays on the issues centering the killing of Bangabandhu are intended only to misguide and create miasma among gullible segment of the civil society of Bangladesh. They used this futile and worn-out technique for a long time since August 1975. A few of them are trying again to create confusion by soft selling the killing actions of a few criminals. One of such researchers named Mr. Taj Hashmi wrote his distorted views at bdnews24.com ( http://opinion. bdnews24. com/2009/ 11/25/1975- the-crime- and-verdict- in-retrospection/) on the killings in August 1975 and the subsequent trial of the killers after long 34 years.

In his write-up, he highlighted a few of the issues: (i) declaration of one-party (BKSAL) government, (ii) events of 1975 was a mutiny or a random instance of killings by a few criminals, and (iii) establishment of rule of law as an outcome of the trial of the killers of Bangabandhu. Critics like Mr. Hashmi bank on the declaration of BKSAL frequently in their writings. They do not want to consider that the aim of BKSAL was to unite all the people of Bangladesh in one platform in a country where armed terrorists were out to establish various forms of socialism (e.g. scientific and Maoist forms). The defeated pro-Pakistani Razakars, Al-Badars and the conspirators were also active to destabilise the government and finally to undermine the independence of the newly born country. Under a desperate and critical scenario, Bangabandhu wanted to unite all including the academicians and government officials.

I read many times that Bangabandhu wanted to welcome educated people in politics for getting input from them for the development of the new-born country. It is relevant to mention that in the USA, a government employee can be a member of a political party and can take part in political activities to a great extent. As a pragmatic leader, Bangabandhu envisioned that the progress of Bangladesh lied with the contribution of all including the educated mass of the country. Unfortunately, researcher Mr. Hashmi did not want to go deep into the context and condition prevailing at the time in a war-ravaged country. It was not a mandatory but a voluntary option to join BKSAL. Even in my wild imagination, I cannot fathom out how Mr. Hashmi was humiliated and frightened on the question of joining BKSAL.

The second issue of interest for Mr. Hashmi is the one of calling the killings of August 15, 1975 a mutiny. What he is trying to achieve by bringing the issue of mutiny vs. random killing is not clear. Let‚Äôs agree, for the sake of argument, that the killing of August 1975 was a ‚ÄúSepoy (soldier) Mutiny.‚ÄĚ Was there a provision in the constitution for the soldiers to go for a mutiny if they decided at a certain point of time to do so for any reason whatsoever? In any civilised country, any such unruly acts would be treated as treason and severely dealt with. There is no room for the disciplined soldiers/officers to become unruly and kill the President, his wife, sons, daughters-in-law, and many others. It is sad that a former faculty of Dhaka University can go so low and try to portray the cowardly killings of unarmed individuals (including pregnant women and children) as a mutiny.

There is no denying that the economic condition in 1974 was precarious due to countrywide flood, oil embargo, and international/ national conspiracies against new-born Bangladesh. Despite all these, the people of Bangladesh had confidence in Bangabandhu and in his vision for the progress of Bangladesh. There was no mass demonstration to topple his government like the ones in 1969, 1990, 1996, and more recently in 2006/2007. So, the portrayal of the killings in 1975 as a mutiny is just a disinformation campaign by a few, who supported martial democracy as practiced for a long time in Pakistan. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court did not accept the arguments of the lawyers of the killers on mutiny, as echoed also in Mr. Hashmi’s write-up.

Mr. Hashmi is skeptical about the establishment of the rule of law with the final verdict from the Supreme Court on Bangabandhu murder case. I think no-one believes that the law and order will improve sharply following the execution of the killers. This trial and execution will act as a stern warning to the potential killers and their patrons about the consequence of the heinous crimes. It is my understanding that the trial of Bangabandhu murder case itself is a demonstration of the rule of law. To establish and enhance the rule of law, all the killings including the killing of Siraj Sikdar should be investigated and tried. One should not forget that Siraj Sikdar believed in, practised, trained, and provoked his followers to kill people (including police and other armed forces) by labeling them as an enemy-class for establishing socialism. No-one can deny that these were basically the acts of terrorism. In fact, those who lost their near and dear ones in the hands of Siraj Sikdar’s party cadres should come forward and seek justice. I hope Mr. Hashmi would support all the victims of the terror acts done by Siraj Sikdar’s disciples.

A group of captious intellectuals tried hard to undermine the emergence of civilian rule in Bangladesh under the leadership of Bangabandhu. The cynicism of these intellectuals caused a bit of confusion among a group of young men and women in the 70s and 80s. In all probability, these intellectuals did not like the civilian rule that was established as a consequence of the break-up of military dominant Pakistan. So, they tried to create doubt about the leadership of Bangabandhu in terms of governance, administration, and foresightedness. It is my belief that many researchers will appreciate his vision and policies at present and in years to come. Certainly, we are indebted to him as a nation for leading us out of a ‘mullah-military-based country’ called Pakistan.

The signs are clear that Bangabandhu will be portrayed quite positively for his dedication, love, and sacrifice for the people of Bangladesh. A few detractors are trying on the Internet to create some controversies with their ad hominem write-ups but without any noticeable success. Their esoteric write-ups are definitely destined to the recycle bin of history. These intellectual charlatans cannot fool all the people all the time.

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16 Responses to “ A futile attempt to demean Bangabandhu, verdict ”

  1. alarm_clock on December 28, 2009 at 10:04 am

    In this article ‚ÄúI cannot fathom out how Mr. Hashmi was humiliated and frightened on the question of joining BAKSAL‚ÄĚ is a proof of how much disconnected it was from the reality at that time. The truth is we deserve one honest article which can really dig out the reasons why majority of the people were ‚Äúhumiliated and frightened‚ÄĚ like Mr. Hashmi with BAKSAL. I would say it was a “futile” attempt to justify BAKSAL, which led to an unfortunate and unavoidably heinous consequence for which the whole nation is still bleeding.

  2. abuusa on December 26, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Those who write like you are partisan. You can’t be bias-free because you cannot be intellectually neutral when critiquing.
    I question their merit who justify BAKSAL formation by Sheikh Mujib, the leader who in his whole political life, lectured about democracy and who is also branded as the political disciple of Suhrawardy. It was the biggest blunder of Sheikh Mujib. His BAKSAL formation without referendum justified any action against Sheikh Mujib’s regime, be it mass movement or violent means like army coup.
    You said there was a sigh of relief from the whole nation. Of course, the people who you flirt with are of the same psyche and ideology. But if you claim that the whole nation has the same reaction of relief, I’m sure you are lying. Look at the names of people who shared their ideas with your write-up. A good portion of the people differ with your views. And if you extrapolate a representative percentage of the nation’s population then you can get an idea of how many people don’t endorse your views.
    Especially, justifying BAKSAL is just moronic. Those who still see BAKSAL positively, are totally out of touch with the people. I believe, if 33% people would have supported BAKSAL now, then Sheikh Hasina wouldn’t have skipped 4th amendment of the constitution [BAKSAL] and spoken about reverting back to the 1972 constitution.

  3. Muazzam on December 24, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Media and BAL propagate the idea in our people, that Tarique has plundered millions and millions of taka from our country through corruption. General M U Ahmed’s installed caretaker government also tried to brand Tarique as a corrupt person. We general folk more or less believe this propaganda and were wondering if the Ahmed government will find all of the corruption done by Tarique through transparency and the legal process. Slowly but surely, the true face of the Ahmed government is being exposed and that ugly face is full of vengeance, personal vendetta, grudge, revenge and most of all mean mindedness. Tarique was taken on remand many times and was brutally tortured without any legal process. They were not able to show us any of his bank accounts, which showed unusual transactions. They were not able to show us his land or property inside the country or abroad. I am convinced right now the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Tarique Zia‚Äôs corruption are very similar propaganda from very different people.

  4. Iftekhar on December 23, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Killing of head of state in recent times is not uncommon in the world. It happened in unstable third world countries to very stable developed countries. But what is very uncommon in modern times is killing of family members of a head of state including minor children and pregnent women and self proclaimed killers were allowed to roam freely.
    Situation in Bangladesh was not good during 1972-75 period for understandable reasons. But one can not hide the truth under myth, because many of us was alive that time.
    I do not understand how a person can justify indiscriminate killing of women and children in the name of mutiny, revolt or what ever it is. I do not know any country of the world in its constitution allow such killings. Can we consider such a person civilised and educated in to day’s stnadard? I do not think so.

  5. Naufal Zamir on December 23, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Mr Ahmed declared his position at the outset by drawing conclusions like – “there is a sense of great relief in the minds of the people” & “People irrespective of their political ideology welcomed the verdict”.

    Firstly, these conclusions could only be drawn by someone who is politically motivated. Conditions of mass people are getting worse on a daily basis for decades [regardless of political parties] and it is interesting that they had the time or stomach to have the “great relief”. It pre-supposes that people generally were stressed for last 34 years on this issue or that they are now better off in some way as a result of this ‘great’ decision! It is mindboggling when he goes one step ahead in claiming ‘people irrespective of political ideology’ accepted the decision. Without making any more fuss, let us just say the first response from ’shottovashi’ and this one clearly negates such idea. The birth of multi party political system started its process from Sheikh Mujib’s death. May be the author drawn his conclusion from selective clowns who taken the chance to appear on TV in order to please the government. Did not consider BNP’s silence and views from Islamic political or Islamist perspectives.

    One of the endemic problems is that we fail to recognise that this nation is not owned by anyone or in other words not slave to any particular political thought or opinion. We always see the politicians use the term ‘people’ or ‘jonogon’ to suggest or impose their version of event. Mr Ahmed is no different. He makes general remarks and lays down one side of the story claiming that to be not only the dominant view but the only view and more over the only TRUTH. That is when journalism gets colourful.

    Strings of worthless claims or general statements would not make something right or wrong. Being objective is not difficult, but impossible when one wears goggles which portray the world in only one way. Repeating one version of events over and over may work short term but it will not stand up to the test of time.

    When the global recession has made core of capitalism crumble and extra liberal western lifestyle has made humans bankrupt of values, it is time to think out of the box and start weighing all different ideologies back to the table to have a fresh debate on – Socialism / capitalism / Islam.

    Rather than banning non violent Islamic political parties e.g. Hizb -ut- Tahrir, let us have intellectual debates and policy discussions.

    As an individual we do not need to sell our heads to anyone. Let us learn to understand everyone’s perspective. None can force us to agree with their views. No reason to get cold feet to start ‚ÄėTHINKING‚Äô and do less slogans. ‚ÄėOPEN THINKING‚Äô needs to be open in reality and not restricted to one singe view and consider everyone else as ‘osprishsho’. However, if the bottom line is to accept that we are better off dominated by foreign forces and foreign thoughts then there is nothing to be bothered about this article. Life should be as is, the zenith of dominance is ongoing, enjoy the ride.

  6. Jacinto NC on December 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Dear Falsevasi:

    You may not like some leaders it does not mean that your leftist knowledge can help a nation. Try to write something by which present generation can find way to real democracy. Don’t be afraid. Don’t hide yourself, instead be a thought-provoking person.

    • shottovashi on December 26, 2009 at 5:15 pm

      Dear Jacinto – Thank you for the remark. I am not sure whether this is your real name. My having leftist knowledge does not imply that I am a leftist. ‘I know the Bible’ does not mean that I am a Christian. Like you, I would like to see real democracy in our country. Unfortunately, there is no short cut for this. Democracy needs to be inculcated and practised. Ex-US president once said, “If you believe democracy is not anarchy, you should visit Bangladesh.” A renowned journalist, Fareed Zakaria, said that for a country to progress and to appreciate democratic value, it ought to undergo a lengthy pre-requisite disciplinary period, be it honest dictatorship (like Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore), or a communist rule (like Mao Tse Tung of China). It may sound a bit odd and ironic that I did not like BAKSAL but am promoting the idea of Mao’s disciplinary period here. The answer is “honesty” in whatever form it is. We were all along lacking in it. Without honesty, the term democracy will remain an illusion for ever and Carter will always be right.

  7. M Naufal Zamir on December 22, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Mr Ahmed declared his position at the outset by drawing conclusions like – “there is a sense of great relief in the minds of the people” & “People irrespective of their political ideology welcomed the verdict”.

    Firstly, these conclusions could only be drawn by someone who is politically motivated. Conditions of mass people are getting worse on a daily basis for decades [regardless of political parties] and it is interesting that they had the time or stomach to have the “great relief”. It pre-supposes that people generally were stressed for last 34 years on this issue or that they are now better off in some way as a result of this ‘great’ decision! It is mindboggling when he goes one step ahead in claiming ‘people irrespective of political ideology’ accepted the decision. Without making any more fuss, let us just say the first response from ’shottovashi’ and this one clearly negates such idea. The birth of multi party political system started its process from Sheikh Mujib’s death. May be the author drawn his conclusion from selective clowns who taken the chance to appear on TV in order to please the government. Did not consider BNP’s silence and views from Islamic political or Islamist perspectives.

    One of the endemic problems is that we fail to recognise that this nation is not owned by anyone or in other words not slave to any particular political thought or opinion. We always see the politicians use the term ‘people’ or ‘jonogon’ to suggest or impose their version of event. Mr Ahmed is no different. He makes general remarks and lays down one side of the story claiming that to be not only the dominant view but the only view and more over the only TRUTH. That is when journalism gets colourful.

    Strings of worthless claims or general statements would not make something right or wrong. Being objective is not difficult, but impossible when one wears goggles which portray the world in only one way. Repeating one version of events over and over may work short term but it will not stand up to the test of time.

    When the global recession has made core of capitalism crumble and extra liberal western lifestyle has made humans bankrupt of values, it is time to think out of the box and start weighing all different ideologies back to the table to have a fresh debate on – Socialism / capitalism / Islam.

    Rather than banning non violent Islamic political parties e.g. Hizb -ut- Tahrir, let us have intellectual debates and policy discussions.

    As an individual we do not need to sell our heads to anyone. Let us learn to understand everyone’s perspective. None can force us to agree with their views. No reason to get cold feet to start ‚ÄėTHINKING‚Äô and do less slogans. ‚ÄėOPEN THINKING‚Äô needs to be open in reality and not restricted to one singe view and consider everyone else as ‘osprishsho’. However, if the bottom line is to accept that we are better off dominated by foreign forces and foreign thoughts then there is nothing to be bothered about this article. Life should be as is, the zenith of dominance is ongoing, enjoy the ride. Others, got lot of thinking to do.

  8. shottovashi on December 21, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    The writer acknowledged in his own writing that he is not an intellectual and hence criticised the researchers and intellectuals. To him there is no difference among Stalin’s, Mao’s and American official’s party politics (America has one party!!!). Since the writer dares to be a BKSAL promoter, he should have identified himself first whether he is still serving as a member of the same BKSAL or not or whether he has been paid any ransom for such an article. It is true that there was no mass movement to topple the Mujib govt. But then there was no counter mass movement either to seek the revenge of his painful death or restore the same govt. This simply proves the point that Mujib’s popularity was close to zero then. People were simply inert. Rather there were some reports of sweet being distributed on the street. One thing we always lack in is the admission of our own guilt and self criticism, which actually could have made us great. This failure of our leadership should show us the path to correct ourselves. Instead, if we glorify the failed leadership and still promote the communist style one party BKSAL, we would be heading towards the stone age. If Shiraj Sikder was guilty of having a private army, Sheikh Mujib is guilty of the same degree of having a Rakhhi Bahini, a private army!! Rakhhis also killed and raped many innocents and the worst is that it was under the blessing of the state’s leadership. And at the end, Shiraj was killed unlawfully under the custody. Who is more guilty between the two killers? It doesn’t need an intellectual to give a verdict on this. The question is are we honest to ourselves?

    • Mahmoodul Haque Sayed on December 22, 2009 at 5:00 pm

      It would seems that Sattovasi is not telling the truth as he is hiding his own name. He is feared and scattered with his various opinion. Simply he is trying to become another psedu-intellectual under the canopy of BNP.

      • shottovashi on December 26, 2009 at 4:51 pm

        Dear Mr M Haque – I respect your remark. I am not involved in any politics at all. Nevertheless, as an observer, I thought Zia was an honest and ruthless ruler (you may not agree with my perception) and so was President Sattar. But then Zia’s good work is judged today in light of the corruption scandal of his family. I simply would like to see a jihad against corruption. For using the word jihad, don’t brand me an Islamist. You can call it crusade, if you feel the word is more befitting. A country, where democracy means anarchy, I thought it was only prudent to use a pseudonym.

    • b hussein on December 23, 2009 at 11:44 am

      Justice for Siraj

      • Anwar A. Khan on December 27, 2009 at 12:43 pm

        Justice is also needed for those and their family members who were brutally murdered by Siraj Sikder and his gangsters. We know how he and his cohorts tried to destabilise a newly born country.

  9. Mahmoodul Haque Sayed on December 21, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    The Writer of this article is absolutely right when he says old habit cannot be forgotten. Now Bangladesh have more pseudo-intellectuals, those who talks only for their own interest, NOT for country or its people.

    In short, BNP is the civilian canopy for wrong-doers, pleople of Bangladesh should note it carefully.

    • Jacinto N C on December 21, 2009 at 6:42 pm

      I am neither a Bengali nor a Bangladeshi but strongly beleive that BNP and ZIA family have destroyed Bangladesh, and that is why MHS is right to say “BNP is the canopy of wrong-doers. If Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were born in Chittagong, Noakhali or in North Bengal, he could not become Bangabandhu or father of the Bengali nation.

      ZIA and his family not only destroyed Bangladesh but also grabbed the 50% wealth of Bengal. Never allowed to grow moderate leaders in that land, who will be able to take the leadership of future Bangladesh. The present generation should NOT walk under the canopy of BNP but should find out new road of democracy.

      • Javed Rahman on December 23, 2009 at 3:50 pm

        I have a small question. We have been listening to the endless story of corruption by Tareque Rahman for more than five years now. A section of media has taken this as their only mission in life. Now two successive governments (the caretaker and Awami League) for the last three years have somewhat failed in proving a single case against him, even after using the entire state machineries and getting support from some western governments. Do we have to trust that section of the media on a perpetual basis or may we now give Tareque a benefit of doubt?

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