For Bangladesh

August 23, 2007
By

[Mashuqur Rahman, USA.]

Today Bangladesh’s military turned its guns and its boots against the very people who it is entrusted to protect. Today when the frustrations of the Bangladeshi people boiled over, the army responded with beatings and killings. They beat students. They beat reporters. They beat our brothers and they beat our sisters.

A government that mercilessly attacks its own people in the name of “public safety” is itself a danger to public safety. Bangladesh’s military government who came to power with a dubious mandate is fast losing any perceived legitimacy it claimed. Seven months of the suppression of fundamental rights and spiraling prices of essentials have brought misery to the people of the land. The flooding across the country added to the misery of the masses. While the military government pushed ahead with its “anti-corruption” drive and its political purges it neglected the deteriorating conditions in the country. Instead it blamed everyone from the politicians to the bankers to the NGOs for its own mismanagement of government functions. While the military government was looking for scapegoats, ordinary people — who barely get by on a good day — bore the brunt of the government’s neglect.

The military government created a climate of fear where the rule of the gun ruled the day. With freedom of expression and criticism of the government outlawed, perhaps it was inevitable that an act of humiliation by the military upon a student would be the spark that would unleash the frustrations of a nation. So what will be the punishment meted out by the military upon the Bangladeshi people? Will it be beatings? Will it be torture? Will it be murder?

What will the unelected rulers of Bangladesh do to the people? Already the Chief Advisor has pointed his finger at the “evil forces” for the unrest. The Chief Advisor needs to reassess the situation, his government is running out of scapegoats.

Today I stand with the brave people of Bangladesh. I stand against a government that would rather beat its own people then provide for their welfare. Today we must demand that this government restrain its forces from unleashing thuggery against its own people. To be silent is to be complicit.

Mashuqur Rahman [http://www.docstrangelove.com] is one of the highest read Bangladeshi-American bloggers. Critically acclaimed for his incisive analysis on Bangladesh, US foreign policy and dedicated advocacy of human rights.

[Read posts by Mashuqur Rahman]

19 Responses to For Bangladesh

  1. Subzero_Hibernations
    August 23, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    Just now news is that DU Teachers Association Secretary Anwar Hussain has been arrested.

  2. Akash
    August 23, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Say no to the army, say no to the rule of organized thuggery.

  3. Imran
    August 23, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    Even a close relative, a retired civil servant, a devout supporter of this so-called army-led CTG is now pissed off at what this government is doing to innocent people. How long can you suppress an entire population? Haven’t we learned from our past that the worst thing you do is piss off the student community.

    Well, I am hopeful that this time we will get rid of this so-called “patriotic” armed forces! When I hear that on TV, I ask myself, “What about me, and the other Bengali civilians? Aren’t we patriots? We care and love our country but it sounds like the guys in uniform are MORE patriotic than us. Hey, we ALL fought for our liberation and are still struggling for our betterment, aren’t we? WE the people are the REAL patriots. We earn our living; we just don’t sit in the cantonments and gobble up the people’s money. I think we should downsize this so-called armed forces and create one like they have in Switzerland or maybe to avoid future incursions of this armed forces into our democratic lives, convert them into something like a Vatican-like force. I believe, a shabol, a kodal, lungi, sandal and gamcha will be the proper uniform for this force. Once we achieve this goal, we will have a true armed forces because that’s when these paid-for-nothing khaki’s will understand the real meaning of patriotism.

    General Moeen and company, STOP hurting our students, STOP hurting our teachers, STOP hurting our journalists. Don’t DARE touch other civilians. Give our freedom back to us. Otherwise, Khakis beware!

  4. The Monitor
    August 24, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    People like Imran and Mashuqur are a threat to national security. We are already watching who enters our country. We have informed our counterparts in the US about Mr. Mashuqur Rahman.

  5. Monitoring the Monitor
    August 24, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Dear Admin: Please publish The Monitor’s DNS information. He is a threat to bloggers’ security.

  6. Strawberry
    August 24, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    The Monitor, I’m tracking your family in Bangladesh :-)

  7. Imran
    August 24, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    The Monitor:

    Threat to national security or Moinul Hosein’s security? Truth hurts. Isn’t that true? Our comments are like adding salt to a wound. But the TRUTH is that is THE TRUTH. You can censor the media in Bangladesh by your threats BUT we will reveal the TRUTH, which will bring the downfall of authoritarian regimes. People’s support is waning. Repression will NOT stand. Down with the army. We want democratically elected representatives. We the people want freedom from dictators! It’s just a matter of time. Threats won’t silence us from telling the truth.

  8. Shawrav
    August 24, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    Hello, Mashuqur Rahman and Imran, well written.

  9. Accio _ Freedom
    August 25, 2007 at 1:19 am

    Well its good to see that people with different perspectives are communicating with each other. But there are some “monitor” like posters who I think is always set for defocusing the whole issue with silly threats or arguments. And that reminds me when TK was arrested there was a propaganda in different blogs by these “monitor” like people that: “Say no to Army” is anti-state which was one of his forwarded group sms. Now when any sane citizen of Bangladesh will scream the same line after three months of that incident, I think “monitor” will run out of words to threat the whole nation and we will soon find them naked-bottom. So I think ” Monitor ” you can inform your counterpart in US as many times you want about as many bloggers you can think of, just remember history repeats itself. Whenever there was suppression, freedom hungry Bangladeshis fought to death.

    And on topic : Excellent piece Mash. Let’s celebrate freedom of speech then.

  10. August 25, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Hey Monitor, your “counterparts” in the US already know about me. After all, I live here and pay taxes here. I hope your “counterparts” in the US fax you a copy of the Bill of Rights. If not you can find it here. Read them carefully. After that please read the Bangladesh Constitution, especially articles 26 to 47. Also read Article 11 very carefully.

    Now, it is up to you whether you feel that you can live up to the spirit of those articles of the Bangladesh Constitution or not. But after reading those articles of the Constitution, you might want to give some thought to your understanding of “national security”.

  11. The Monitor
    August 26, 2007 at 11:14 am

    DNS? LOL.

    We can make it look as if we are posting from different locations. We can make it look as if it’s your best friends DNS. How? :)

    There is no threat in my post what so ever.

    Mashuqur Rahman, your bill of rights and our constitution does not matter in rendition to Guantanamo. You should think twice about your position. Our constitution is for law obeying people not for the enemies of our state.

  12. Amit Paul
    August 26, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Monitor, don’t live in confusion that people can’t track you. It is fact and there is no point in giving importance to a guy like you. You know what is your problem? Just correct if I am wrong. You are doing slavery of army/DGFI. Still you are scared to come with your original name. Because fanatic people like you are scared if you guys are tracked down in Europe or USA, you may get caught by police because of the relation ship with al-Qaeda or terrorist organization or you never got any platform to put your stupid words . so you need progressive sites like E-Bangladesh, Drishtipat, Salam Dhaka or Shada Kalo which has credibility.
    . I am 100% sure if you open any blog, you guys will not get even 5% hit of those blogs. So you are begging here for attention. So don’t make yourself a joker in front of people.

  13. Monitoring the Monitor
    August 26, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    What exactly is Bangladesh’s stance on Guantanamo? Did the “Monitor” just commit treason himself by going against government policy by advocating the use of Gitmo?

  14. August 26, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    I can recall, quite recently, Rumi Ahmed’s blog had a character calling his/her self “ABC” who baselessly went on to accuse certain people of dodgy-dealings. Jonogoner shotru is alive and kicking, but for how long?

  15. August 26, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    I am reminded of the following exchange from the movie “A Fish Called Wanda”:

    Wanda: To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people. I’ve known sheep who could outwit you. I’ve worn dresses with higher IQs, but you think you’re an intellectual, don’t you, ape?
    Otto: Apes don’t read philosophy.
    Wanda: Yes they do, Otto, they just don’t understand it.

    Monitor, you might want to read the Bangladesh Constitution again. Also, reread my post, especially the second paragraph.

    Monitoring the Monitor, be careful. Otherwise the Monitor will render you to Gitmo. Its sad when the Monitor has to outsource people to Gitmo – I guess all the space in the “black holes” in Bangladesh are filled up with students, teachers and journalists.

    Muhamad, ABC paid my blog a visit too and left a nice threatening message. I guess he is the blogging liaison for the merry band of torturers.

  16. Monitoring the Monitor
    August 27, 2007 at 3:22 am

    Thanks Mash, I’ll watch my back!=) Frankly, I wouldn’t be shocked to see “the Monitor” there in a few days myself.

  17. The Monitor
    September 2, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    [We tend not to publish this kind of comments clearly based on foul language and hyperboles. Also, we are not at all interested to see pro-military, anti-people propaganda in our discussion threads. However, I will let this pass for the comic value it carries -- Tasneem]

    Imran #8

    Don’t make me laugh. It is only ambition and dream of people like you. You can not bring our downfall. THE TRUTH is we put our selves in front to protect all the helpless and the weak. The truth is people like you can not handle the truth. Yes, support is waning in a blogger dream but you ask the average village man and you will get a different answer. Repression? What is that? Do you really understand it? We are the only people who can help organise for a democracy but you are not helping the situation. Are you?

    Accio #10

    There is actually nothing ‘defocusing’ about my response. In fact what is defocusing is Americans and Europeans in the so called expat blogs interfering in our affairs. If you want focus join us to fight those who want to harm us. Do you not agree? ‘say no to army’ is anti state because it is like saying no to the creation of Bangladesh. Eh ki desh premik manushir kotha?
    ‘history repeats’ is what the Hindus believe, we do not have that in our religion.

    Amit #13

    DGFI is the best thing and the only hope for the security. The army does not have any relationship with Al-Qaeeda and I wonder what lunatic said that. That kind of equation can only be the work of a Hindu. I think it is fair to say that SOME Hindus are paranoid about us becoming another Pakistan.

    Monitoring #14

    Yes, I know but it does not apply to our enemies. I will not say anything more than that.

    Muhamad #15

    I do not know any ABC. My job is to read some sites. How clever of you to call us the enemy of the people. We saved your mother and sister from being attacked by the Pakistani army.

    Mashuqur

    I have read your second paragraph. I would say that this is because of the corrupt idiot civilian government not because of us. It is easy for an American like you to insult our intelligence but it is people like us who worry about protecting your moneyed relatives in Bangladesh.

    Good to see democracy at work.

  18. Iconus Clustus
    September 2, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    A possible excellent conversation on an equally interesting topic completely destroyed by a moron… but what is more disheartening is that we, as a group, let it happen by actually falling into the trap of having a conversation with him.

    Now, let us get back to the topic and ask some fundamental questions:

    1. What purpose does the army serve?
    2. What is a cost-benefit analysis of it?
    3. What are the historical roots?
    4. Who/which group/class lets it survive and flourish?
    5. What are the national and international implications and relations of having an army?
    6. Most importantly: What should the extent of involvement… how much of the national budget be allocated for that purpose?
    7. And many others….

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