- Those accused of war crimes and the fallen deserve a fair tribunal process based on quality investigations of matters during and surrounding the Bangladesh War.
- There must be space for Political Islam(s) to dwell, refine and evolve in Bangladesh. This includes Jamat and it is no matter that they can be annoying.
The interelation between these two commitments is not my making. The Awami liberation warlore and the Nirmul Commission took one particular war experience, amplified it, then focussed all blame and evil on a politically sampled list of ‘collaborators’. I do not beleive that it is criminal to have been against the Bangladesh project, which was at its unfurling even less thought through than its predecessor state. It is with unethical, immoral behaviour that I have a problem.
God knew what was in people’s hearts and gave us Shahbag as a reminder.
Over the past weeks and days we have come to know ourselves and the Bangladesh nonsense engine’s true colours. From the Daily Star’s blatant disregard for truth regarding the 22nd February Jumma shootings and recent attacks on Hindu properties, to Sabir Mustafa’s partisan hackery at the BBC, AJE’s Nicolas Haque’s spinelessness, Sultana Kamal’s ironyless appeal for attention, and Shahidul Alam’s sick sweetening of Shahbag Spirit, it has been a sad to see such selective humanity and cowardice.
On an optimistic note, I have never seen so many brothers alive to the situation in desh, cognisant of the conditions that have created it, and getting busy. In testing times like these, just like in those before, our true colours emerge. Who we are, how we roll and what we bowl are embodied by our response.
This is easily said from the comparative safety of far far away from gunshots and police with shoot to kill directives.
The injustice of these tribunals is symptomatic of a wider corruption of state institutions and civil society. The government can only get away with what is has done with the support of public figures, each of whom have stood still, if not participated in the sham. In dealing with the situation at hand we must build a better social infrastructure of active, evidence-based and soulful citizenship.
Shahbag can be seen as a radicalisation of the Awami League, the secular block, but what is its significance to me/us?
I say this very deliberately so that every word will ring inside. Broad hearted ‘Islamic forces’ must renew commitments to Justice, Integrity and Dignity by working for fair trials, political space-making and political self-making.
Five areas I think we need to improve on.