TRYING TO INCITE VIOLENCE?
The latest comment on the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made by BNP leader Tarique Rahman is not totally unexpected, but I wish he had not done so, for good reasons.
If I am correct, he said anybody who went against the ruling Awami League was labeled a Razakar, and thus Bangabandhu – oops, sorry, in his words “Sheikh Mujib” – too was a Razakar as he had disbanded the AL to form BKSAL in 1974.
First, the young BNP leader should know the basics of history before commenting on them. BKSAL was created by bringing together all political views, and not by disbanding any party, in a bid to unite the new fledgling country called Bangladesh.
Quarters vested, both national and international, especially pro-Pakistani elements, were trying to destroy our hard-earned independence and revert us back to some kind of Pakistani supremacy, if not a return to East Pakistan.
A retired pro-Pakistan army officer I knew at that time had rejoiced Bangabandhu’s assassination and Ziaur Rahman’s assumption of power, saying: “We will now have a confederation with Pakistan.” He was dismissed by Bangabandhu for collaborating with the Pakistani army. That dream, however, never materialised.
Secondly, Tarique Rahman’s assassinated father, the late President Ziaur Rahman, made friends with anti-Bangladesh elements such as Shah Azizur Rahman, and had allowed Ghulam Azam to enter Bangladesh.
Then came Begum Khaleda Zia, who gave Ghulam Azam Bangladeshi nationality and made two war criminals full cabinet ministers. They are often referred to with words so unkind you’d be hard-pressed to understand, but it is natural.
The Daily Star’s magazine reported in its December 19 issue that after Bangabandhu’s assassination in 1975, all records of the music and the instruments that were used during production at the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra had arbitrarily disappeared. “Those who carried out the coup in 1975 tried their best to demolish all the inheritance of war …” said renowned composer Sujeya Siam.
President Ziaur Rahman, instead of correcting it, continued to tag along with our anti-independence enemies, which was not expected, as he was a valiant freedom fighter. Thus, he still faces such criticism from the ruling AL.
But, as I have written before, disrespecting a man like Bangabandhu, or for that matter any elderly person, is not the teaching the two of us received when we grew up together in Dhaka Cantonment. I never made comments as a journalist on Begum Khaleda Zia.
What I write, I write like an elder brother, and it is up to Tarique to either accept it or reject it. He can make himself the example of a different kind of political game. Respecting great men brings good, not bad.
Thirdly, Tarique Rahman’s utterances remind me of a school friend who loved to tease others and enjoyed infuriating his targets. I think it is best to ignore him. Here, I want to tell my fellow journalists that they should be judgmental in picking news items, and must understand when they are being used for political ends. I think the BNP is very good at using the media, with many of their useless briefs with no substance.
Tarique too, I believe, wants to remain in the limelight through his unwelcome comments, and is using the media to serve his purpose.
Last, but not the least, is that if Tarique’s comments are tantamount to inciting violence, it is breaking the British law for asylum-seekers, or, for that matter, someone who is staying in Britain for medical or other such reasons.
As I write this, his comments are threatening widespread violence in Gazipur over a rally of his party. How the British government looks at the situation is an important factor.
DECEMBER 26, 2014