THIS is apropos Bangladesh press counsellor’s letter in which he has strongly criticised Dawn’s July 6 editorial which lambasted Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for ‘transforming quickly from hero to strongman’.
The hard reality is that after becoming the ruler of the country he did become undemocratic and ruthless. All Bengali armed forces officers who were repatriated from Pakistan were sent home and air force officers were gunned down in their quarters.
It was done on the instigation of the liberator of Bangladesh. Those unfortunate officers had earned the sobriquet of ‘Pakistani-trained officers’.
The counsellor evinced that today “Bangladesh is again a liberal and progressive democracy where people of all faiths, cast and creed enjoy equal rights and where opposition is vocal, civil society is vibrant, judiciary is independent, civilian rule is supreme and media is free.”
If this is so, why has Khaleda Zia been languishing in jail for the last one decade? She is critically ill but personal vendetta diminishes all feelings of humanity. Dozens of octogenarians have been hanged on trumped-up charges not in the distant past.
A million Biharis live in ghettoes and shacks. They have been effectively segregated, marginalised and Jim Crow law enforced on them. There are a million rickshaw pullers in a state whose government boasts of equality and freedom.
They die young in droves owing to tuberculosis.
We respect the father of nations of all the countries, but if historically some of them were influenced by Marxism, Leninism and fascism, there is no harm in mentioning it.
Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2019