Image: Mass Rising(Gonojagoron) at Shahbag, Dhaka.
Today is 5th February. The entire country roared because Kader Mollah wasn’t given a death penalty. Mass rising (Gonojagoron) started; “Projonmo chatter” was created. Hundreds of thousand people joined that Gonojagoron. Everyone had one demand, death penalty for all war criminals including Kader Mollah, as well as banning the politics of Jamat-Shibir and boycotting them politically and socially. Protest ran for days, for months demanding death penalty of Kader Mollah. Govt. amended the law. Then after completion of the legal procedure, Kader Mollah was executed on the last December 12. Gonojagoron was successful, govt. kept their promise by completing the first step of the war criminal trials.
Jamat-Shibir has been conspiring from the beginning of the Gonojagoron. They propagated it as atheists’ movement, former opposition party BNP gave moral support to the activities of Jamat. International conspiracy against death penalty was there too. Including all these the path of this movement wasn’t smooth at all. We lost our brother blogger Rajib, hundreds of people died in the atrocities conducted by Jamat-Shibir. Communal attack was conducted on Hindu community after Saydee’s verdict. Awami League personnel were slaughtered and burned in the daylight by Jamat-Shibir cadres at Fatikchhari.
Trying the war criminals is the wholehearted demand of each people conscious with the liberation war of the country. With this demand a group of self-seeking people made a Mocho (stage) in the name of business. They became leaders over night. Their pockets were then filled with money, many emigrants; many corporate institutes started donating only for the sake of protecting the consciousness of the liberation war. The leaders were becoming greedy, new opportunities were inviting them. After amending the law, there was no reason for continuing the movement, despite that the movement was lengthened. A monster named Hefazot (a fundamentalist group) upsurged and they stood against the govt., the govt. without which the war criminal trial isn’t possible. Eventually, Awami League lost the City Corporation Election, which alarmed that the days of Awami League is over, war criminals are coming into power; the war criminal trial will go to hell now. The Moncho businesspeople didn’t stop there; they started to confuse people saying that this govt. will never finish the trial, so they have to continue their Moncho. They were able to make people realize that this govt. has made entente; they are tempting people toward voting in the name of trials, this govt. is actually the protector of war criminals! Behind this propaganda there were some rotten communists, ex-shibirs, ex-chhatradol (BNP).
The demand for trying the war criminals didn’t arise suddenly in the 5th February. It is a longstanding demand. On February 5th it was the second time that people with this demand came down on the streets. The first time they came in the 1992 under the leadership of Jahanara Imam. The mass rising of the February 5th was logical because it gave a message to the govt. that there shouldn’t be any negligence from their part, and also to Jamat-Shibir that no matter how much they conspire, people of Bangladesh won’t compromise even a little in the war criminal trial. But for the conspiracies some self-seeking people and rotten communists some hypocrites and characterless leaders made business with this mass rising, they attempted to convert this mass rising into an anti-govt. movement. They tried very carefully to minus Bangabandhu for several excuses.
Govt. kept their commitment after all these. Govt. showed their sincerity in trying the war criminals. Govt. has fought the actual fight. Because, from the beginning of the tribunal govt. had to face all local and foreign conspiracies alone. The boy or the girl who shouted on the street saying “fashi chai (hang them)” will never know what govt. has went through. He/she only knows that they want “fashi (death penalty)”, but they don’t know how it will happen. But govt. has brought the final victory and they will, overcoming all the conspiracies while looking at those boys’ and girls’ faces. To these boys and girls govt. might just be a political party, it might just be a body of entente to them, but govt. knows itself, so it doesn’t demand any credit, rather govt. remains silent when those people ask for credits who shouted slogans on the streets. In trying war criminals govt. isn’t less sincere than anyone who shouts slogans on the streets. But govt. can’t give slogans even if they wish to do so. That’s why tolerating all the criticisms govt. works behind the screen. Govt. can’t give answers to all the questions even if they wish, many people from civil society comments on this silence of govt. some dream of building new political parties.
Trying the war criminals is our longstanding wholehearted demand. The success of the February 5th is that on this day the mass rising gathered all the people who want this trial together in one platform. Gathering everyone in one platform wouldn’t be possible without mass rising (gonojagoron). Without this gonojagoron Jamat-Shibir would never know how much they are hated by the people of this country. Without this gonojagoron no one would know the sacrifices of thousand young men and women fighting virtually with keyboards year after year against Jamat-Shibir online. Without this gonojagoron people would never know that the consciousness of the liberation war will never be destroyed, no matter how much they say atheists, no matter how much conspiracies are done, no matter how much they do business by building Moncho (stage), the consciousness was here, it has now and it will be here always.
After the verdict was announced on the February 5th, many people told me about entente, even many field personnel of Awami League told that to me. But I had faith on Sheikh Hasina from the beginning. So I didn’t listen to them. I joined the mass rising (gonojagoron), broke my vocal cord by shouting slogans wishing quick amendment of the law. Tolerated all the hate speeches against Awami League before the amendment of the laws but couldn’t tolerate the formula of erasing the name of Bangabandhu, protested against the removal of “Joy Bangabandhu” slogan. These are history now. I don’t hear anything from those Awami Leaguers similar to the civil society today. After the execution of Kader Mollah everyone is silent.
I demand death penalty for all war criminals. I want them to hang and hang and hang, without hanging there is no verdict. I have respect for the laws, trust on the tribunal and faith on Sheikh Hasina. Therefore, I don’t see any new mass rising (gonojagoron) in the upcoming days. Just make Sheikh Hasina’s hand stronger. Justice will occur. War criminals will be tried on the land of Bangladesh.
Arup Ratan: Regular blogger at Amarblog.com and an on-line activist graduated from Shahjalal University of Science and Technlogy, Sylhet.