People’s Shahbag, not of Partisans

রাতঃস্মরণীয়'s picture
Submitted by rataswaraniya [Guest] on Thu, 14/02/2013 - 2:38am

An expatriate colleague was enthusiastically asking about Shahbag movement at the lunch table today in Kathmandu. Apparently, the rest folks at the table queued their curiosity about the happenings in Bangladesh. It was of extreme surprise to the Nepalese folks to learn about the Projonmo Chattar and its genesis. And it's yet hard to believe to many of them that this movement is people lead. I proudly pronounced- people of Bangladesh shows the state is of the people.

My shallow understanding reveals that the politics in Bangladesh is more polls based than people centric. In the course of time, politics has been populated and grabbed by the non-political careerists like retired bureaucrats and military officials, entrepreneurial monsters, teachers, and a couple of others non-political professionals. It’s, on the other hand, a shame that the career politicians having glorious history of activism have been competing with the newly sprouted so called politicians to secure their seats. Having said that, the politicians are expected to steer the country towards a prosperous next but their roles yet remain questioned.

Let me back to the Shahbag- power of the mass. It’s unprecedented since after the 71 although the anti-dictator movement of 90 deserves recognition but was entirely party lead transformation process from the autocracy to democracy. That was indeed a desired demonstration of leadership by the political leaders. But that’s not the case always and here the mass defeats the partisan politics.

The International Criminal Court’s verdict of lifelong imprisonment to Kader Mollah is indeed the origin of this people’s movement. It was unenvied- no doubt, as the killer of 344 lives and a number of other severe crimes should have been given verdict with the highest amount of punishment applicable by the laws of the country which was eventually the death penalty. The mass is the descendants of the three millions martyrs and three hundred thousand oppressed women. Hence, it’s obvious that the verdict would be unacceptable given the scale of crime while certain allegations have been proven in the trial. Apparently, it’s a spontaneous rejection of verdict by the mass and it has now forced the government to think again of the procedure of ICC specially the appeal process and its scope.

Since the beginning of the movement at Shahbag, politicians have become pro-active as per their characteristic to capitalise this movement for their own credibility. Parties came up with their own propositions. The BNP dreamed that this movement is the beginning of ouster of the present government while the Awami League intended to post themselves at the leadership role to this movement. Although, it’s worth mentioning that there were too much inconsistencies amongst the statements delivered by the different leaders of the parties. Most interestingly, some of the ruling alliance leaders commended the ICC for the verdict with affirmation to the independence of the ICC; but some of their mates united themselves with the voice of mass. Likewise, at the beginning although most of the opposition leaders managed to hold their tongues in this issue but a few like M.K. Anwar, et al jumped with a will to defend the culprits and a demand to abolish the ICC.

Since the beginning, a decision was strictly maintained not to let the movement be political emollient. A number of legislators-leaders came at Shahbag and attempted to talk to the mass and lately to unite, but ended up to worthless rigor. In some cases, mass chased them out of the spot, threw water bottles, and exhausted their anger loudly. Some veteran fellows came to extinguish off the mass anger but their efforts put more fuel onto their grievance.

So, who’s to lead- people or the politicians? Or what are the distinctions between leadership of them two? What I understand is the politicians deal with their partisan agenda. Their manifesto says a lot about the public welfare but at the end a very little is performed. The entire politics spins into a corrupt circle made by the people de-centric politicians. It has been seldom that one party recgnises some good things done by others, which is also a shame of our politics. So, it appears very difficult for the politicians to come out of their partisan interests.

But when the people move, as we saw it at Shahbag, they really don’t care about who is who and who’s from where unless anyone is with a camouflage from the rivals, i.e. anti-independence block. All the religious beliefs, political believe, social and economic status, age- all have been amalgamated at Shahbag. Here is the power of people over the politicians. People have demonstrated the victory of cognition, passion, intent, and on top of everything- love to the nation.

Now if I am asked- ain’t the politicians part of mass? I can explain my realisation in a way that the politicians are more obliged to their partisan interest than the national. But the mass have their only obligation to the nation. Here is the difference, I believe.


অতিথি লেখক's picture

Political Movements in Bangladesh have always been initiated and led by the students. The Language Movement of 1952, Mass Movement of 1969, Liberation War of 1971, Mass Movement of 1990 against Military Dictatorship, and so on, are the examples. The students, the youth are ever accepted patriot in the society. They are the ever accepted democratic, humanitarian, sincere, devoted, committed, well educated and non-greedy force. Their initiated movements in the past took shape of popular movement and achieved the successes.
The current movement has created space for the people of all levels to raise their voice - voice/demands for highest punishment of the Rajakar (War Criminals of 71), ban Jamaat-E-Islam party as they are already found guilty as organiser of War Crimes, and nationalise all the finance and profit making institutions of 'Jamaat', because they fund political violence and terrorism in Bangladesh.
The current movement, led by the Torun Projonmo (Young Generation), is accepted by the whole nation as the spirit of 71. The Mass People believe that this movement is constructed in the vision of Liberation War. The nation want to see the Rajakars - War Criminals - are hanged. The nation want to be sure that the three Million Shahid of Liberation War are happy in the heaven, the War Victim Mother & Sisters are happy to see that the Rajakars are punished, the families of Intellectual Martyrs are relieved that the AlBadr are punished, the War Children are happy that the War Criminals are hanged, the 115 Million Bangali are happy to make their nation, their beloved Bangladesh free from Rajakar.
The reality is that the students, the youth have always fought for 'freedom' - in 1952, 1969, 1971, 1990; the current movement is embedded in the philosophical, political, social, economic framework of Freedom; this movement is rooted in the spirit of 71. Hence, this movement is the of the whole Bangali nation. We must win this war like 71. Tarunner Joy Hobei Hobe. Joy Bangla.

Dr. Hamidul Huq

রাতঃস্মরণীয়'s picture

Thanks Dr Huq for your valuable comments. You have very rightly highlighted the contribution of the students and the mass over the curves of history.

The youth must WIN!!! চলুক

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