Economist owe an apology to both Bangladesh and India

Kh.A.Saleque.

Kh.A.Saleque.

The honesty and integrity of the British media has come under serious scrutiny in the recent past. Australian Media Tycoon Rupert Murdoch has been compelled to close down his “News of the World” when charged for its unholy methods of tarnishing the image of leading personalities and smear nations. Rupert Murdoch had to appear before a parliamentary probe committee and regret for the scam. Almost at the same time Another British media “The Economist” has published has carried a highly controversial report questioning India- Bangladesh relation, the emergence of Bangladesh, the genocide by Pakistan occupation army in 1971and the trial process of the identified War Criminals of 1971.

The report without any credible evidence has brought out an allegation that Indian Government sponsored the Awami League with money and advice to win the 2008 elections. Congress is in Indian state power, and there is a historic link between the Congrees and Awami League based on good wish or even blessings as both champion democracy. But how can a leading international media mention that Indian Government provided monetary support to Awami League? Do they have any credible evidence? Neutral observers and world media unanimously acclaimed the free, fair and transparent election of 2008 . Even no major objection was raised by any of the opponents. But how after two and half years later “The Ecomonist” could bring up such a serious allegation? This report has definitely undermined and in fact embarrassed both India and Bangladesh. The countries have every right to question validity and authenticity of the report. This is more pertinent at this moment since two friendly SAARC neighbors after years of mistrust and disbelief have started positive actions to resolved several outstanding issues – water sharing , enclave exchange, joint actions against terrorists, boundary disputes resolution, regional connectivity , trade rationalization . Some issues were fundamentally agreed during Bangladesh PMs Visit to India and most of the others are at advanced stage for meeting of minds of the highest level at the upcoming summit of two PMs in Dhaka in September 2011.

In Bangladesh there is a group of people who in everything smells some Indian fish .This group though do not hesitate to use Indian Garments, go for shopping to India or get medical treatment to India when required. They do not object to use dirty polluting Indian coal but they raise hue and cry when Government takes imitative to explore own sweet coal or explore for petroleum in the offshore. This group sure will be encouraged by such yellow journalism of “The Economist.
Economist report questioned visit of Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi’s visit to Dhaka in a satirical manner. Sonia was in Dhaka on invitation of PM Hasina to attend an international seminar on Autistics Children and to receive the highest civilian award [Posthumous] on behalf of Late Indira Gandhi for her motherly contribution during the liberation war. There cannot be any question if the chief of the two ruling political parties share ideas and opinions on the regional politics and government affairs anytime anywhere.

The report also questioned the crackdown of militant groups and terrorists by Bangladesh Government. The section of the report may be quoted here:

Ever since 2008, when the Awami League, helped by bags of Indian cash and advice, triumphed in general elections in Bangladesh, relations with India have blossomed. To Indian delight, Bangladesh has cracked down on extremists with ties to Pakistan or India’s home-grown terrorist group, the Indian Mujahideen, as well as on vociferous Islamist (and anti-Indian) politicians in the country. India feels that bit safer.

We will be extremely pleased if Economist can provide the credible evidence of the bag of cash that it is alleging to have been provided by Indian Government . If not Economist owe an apology to both India and Bangladesh.

From 2002 – 2006 Bangladesh became safe haven of terrorists. Finance Minister SAMS Kibria, popular MP Ahsanullah Master was killed by grenade attacks. Attacks were carried out against British High Commissioner in Bangladesh, Mayor of Sylhet, and MP Suranjit Sen Gupta. Finally terrorist under state sponsorship killed several Awami Leaguers including wife of Bangladesh President in a carnage and mayhem in front of Awami League Central office at the heart of the capital city. The terrorists became so organized that they could carry out simultaneous grenade explosion in 64 places of the country at the same time. People were killed at court buildings, cinema hall. It was alleged that some country’s intelligence agency unfriendly to both Bangladeshi progressive force and India setting up safe training shelter within Bangladesh trained terrorists and provided deadly weapons to carry out subversive activities within Bangladesh and India. A huge arm haul was confiscated at CUFL Jetty of Chittagong which was allegedly transited through Bangladesh for a separatist group of India. Present government very courageously took appropriate actions against the group. Government has also initiated actions to authentically probe all acts of terrorism of the past. Instead of admiring governments efforts Economist report has unfortunately criticized the admirable Bangladesh action.

The saddest part of the report is that it questioned the Bangladeshi initiative of conducting trials of identified war criminals. There can be any or many difference of opinion about the process of conducting the trials. But it is a long term legitimate demand of the Bangladeshis to try and punish the collaborators of Pakistan Army in carrying out genocide, rape, looting and arsening in 1971. Economist has unfortunately advocated for the alleged criminals under custody. The intent and purpose of the report is well understood.

The report also questioned about various outstanding bilateral issues resolution process. It has questioned regional connectivity. We cannot deny our geographical reality. We are surrounded by India from 2.75 sides. Any regional connectivity will benefit all nations. If India can connect its major regions with neglected Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura through it how it harms Bangladesh? Why we are apprehensive that India will transport Army or Military gazettes through the corridor? This connectivity is for trade and commerce only. However, we are not fully aware about the details of the regional connectivity. It will not be wise to talk about it at this stage.

In conclusion we like to request the editor of “The Economist “ to clarify the issues raised in the report and address the Bangladesh response .If such kind of reports are regulary published who knows some day it may have to embrace the same fate as Rupert Murdoch’s “ The News of the World”.


19 Responses to “Economist owe an apology to both Bangladesh and India”

  1. Saumen Sengupta

    It’s strange that The Economists had decided to serve yellow journalism instead of facts. I think the onus is on both governments to ask for evidence behind their report. Alternatively, the general public, the friends of the two countries all over the world, should bring a suit against this news-corporation for maligning the relationship between the two friendly countries. AL party didn’t need any external monetary help to oust the incumbent in the last general election, the BNP lost support of the people while it was in office.

  2. Haider

    apology for what ??? saying the truth ???
    you might want to live in autocracy and dictatorship, but we don’t,
    in 71 people died for the liberation of this country, for freedom and dignity, not for your Queen Hasina

  3. Ziaur Rahman

    Very nicely written article. The western media has lost its credibility long time back. For money they can do anything. These media tycoons act as clandestine tools for covert operations abroad preparing the ground through sham journalism and slanderous reports. The Economist had very cosy relations with most of the killers of Bangabandhu and published interviews trying to justify their genocide.

    I expect the Indian government to file a lawsuit against the Economist. Bangladesh has already blasted this trash magazine. If Wikipedia and Rupert Murdoch could be taken to task for defaming and harming the reputation of individuals there is no reason why the Economist cannot be sued for billions of dollars for its attempt to poison Bangladesh-India relations.

  4. Naxo

    Guys not only in THE ECONOMIST but also the same issues have been published in Bangladeshi local news paper.As a Bangladeshi we have no idea what are the agreements have been signed between two countries.
    So al atlast we come to know the real fact from THE ECONOMIST what’s going on in Bangladesh and the relationship with India. I would like to thank THE ECONOMIST for the real report which was published. We know our present Bangladeshi government(AL) will never disclose the agreements between Indian and Bangladesh. We had an agreement on Ganga Barage. Based on that we don’t receive water properly. We have issue 3 bigha-Koridor/Berubari which is still pending? Keeping all the unsolve issues alive our non sense government again signed agreement with India? Why?????????

  5. Naxo

    As a test case Bangladesh government could ask India for the transit to go to Nepal and Bhutan from Bangladesh. We need to see whether India will allow their land to go to Nepal and Bhutam from Bangladesh.
    I am pretty much sure no way India will give the transit to Bangladesh.

  6. Rajib Ahammad

    Thank you Mr. editor of “The Eonomist” for giving the true poicture of Bangladesh. this AL government has no other country but india to make relation with. By doing these nasty relation Bangladesh is becoming just a state of india. The economic growth rate of BD is hopeful. in order to merse this growing economy of BD , india is trying to make a balance of their economy of poor states. which could give the a big profit and average of their economic rate will go higher. That indian intension. Al government wants india to stay in power at any cost. destructive……..obviously it is alarming destruction of Bangladesh’s nationality as well as economy. thaks to “The economist” once again.

  7. Khondkar A saleque

    Bangladesh is having transit facilities for trading with Nepal . Bangladeshi Fertilizer and other commodities are going to Nepal through Railway directly. Likwise Nepalese commodities are coming through Banglabandh.Trade link with Bhutan through Indian territory is also established. We know there are several issues with India and this government is sincerely trying to resolve these. In this age of digitization can one country survive keeping its doors and windows shut to neighbours? For its geographical reality Bangladesh must do everything possible to establish good friendly neighbourly relation with India and others. If as Bangladeshis we have self pride we must unanimously strongly protest the ill motivated propaganda type report of The Economist. Bangladeshi villagers and farmers are much happier now than before.Only the blood sucker urban people are having problems. Why some readers even do not even protest the deliberate ploy of The Economist to question our great liberation war and trial of war criminals?

  8. Maksud

    The article written by Mr. Kh.A.Saleque is a tit for tat to Economist. Excellent! Congrats to Mr. Kh.A.Saleque.

  9. Qazi Umar

    The British have divided South Asia into three nations.
    It is telling, that they succeeded because of our own weaknesses.
    Our own lack of unity and shallow pride in our regional identity.
    THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THE ECONOMIST HAS FLUNG MUD ON US ALL.
    Yet, we never once opposed the drivel it writes about Bangladesh.
    Or India … and sometimes even Pakistan. Why do we keep quiet?
    Only Allah knows better. For once, we Desis should call this bluff.
    The UK is a BANKRUPT economy. But why are we surprised?
    Ill gotten wealth never lasts more than a couple generations.
    Shame on The Economist.

  10. Kollol

    I no longer purchase any of these news magazines. They are too expensive and their reporting is full of lies. South Asian journalism is perhaps better than these firingees! The firingees infused the seeds of Hindu-Muslim animosity to exploit the situation. I am sure India will again be united as one and as powerful as the German economy in Europe.

  11. Shafiqur Rahman Anu

    Thanks Sufi vai for this nice, rational and logical article.
    Keep it up.

    Best regards from

    Anu,
    Oman

  12. Indian

    I am an Indian. And, I find it appalling THE ECONOMIST will publish trash. Do they really think that pumping money will alter election results in Bangladesh. Finally, a Bangladeshi who will vote will vote for whom he wants, on the issues of his choice. Election is something you cant win by cash.

    To me there is a lobby who is working overboard to thwart any good moves btw India and Bangladesh.

    Regarding transit, there is already transit btw Bangladesh and Bhutan/Nepal through India. If Bangladesh wants more, i do not see why India should not provide. And, the best way to beat these vested interests is to ensure that all information is made as transparent as possible to the Bangladeshi people.

    And, before someone makes wild accusations, please pause and think for a moment. Water treaty has held together, border issues are being worked on. What do these people who just blame have to offer? It is very easy to blame, but very difficult to make things work.

    These vested interests have to be defeated. Ultimately, India and Bangladesh will occupy the top positions in the world, only if they work constructively on their own terms to improve their economy; not of the basis of fighting and hatred as these vested interests want.

  13. Tahseen Zakaria

    People who have just commented that the Economist article was actually true- I earnestly want them to ask the same question similar to what the article writer Mr. Saleque has asked- ‘where are the facts or proves’? I don’t think by asking the integrety of Economist Mr. Saleque is acting obnoxiously. There are indeed some people who always feel this Indian fetish whenever Awamai League comes into power. Same way can’t we say when BNP is in power, Bangladesh only tries to link ties with Pakistan?? I think all of us should be rationale and rely on facts instead of assumption/emotion. Not a single time has Economist been able to provide any prove for their previous controversial articles as well. Both the Government should take very firm steps against this yellow journalism.

  14. Sheikh Zia

    I agree The Economist owe us a serious explanation. Few observations I have :

    1. No reaction from India yet. What does it mean ?

    2. Disappointing to note that Awami League ( UK Chapter) hasn’t reacted like the parent party back in Bangladesh. I expected AL(UK Chapter) to sue Economist ! For that matter Abdul Gaffar Chow is relatively quiet on it too. Imagine something like this written by a Bangladeshi media ! All including AGC would be chasing the culprit.. mamla, hamla, remand jail…what not ? It’s pathetic that our government is not suing “Economist”. In this instance Government can be accused of adopting a double standard.

  15. MOLLA A. LATIF

    Meticulously gone through the article and the comments there off. Hence if we ask the auther, Why does he think that The Economist did not write a true story and it awes an apology to both Bangladesh and India? We may find his out-and-out answer in his article itself, Where are proofs for publishing such a malevolently alleged report in The honour and manner proud English News Paper? At the same time his answer to the question obstinately poses the same and counter question to those who wrote here that The Economist has published a true story. If now we say to those people who think that The Economist has really manufactured a fabricated true story for them by the help of sacks of money and advices offered freely by them then what is their reply? Definitely they will ask for the proofs to us and obviously we will have no credible proofs for it except their evil proclivity to support the devils maligning the honour and dignity of their own motherland and its Govt. And we think many of the comment writers here are very much correct when they say, The Economist must have received huge amount of money and advices from the killers of the father of the Nation and their beneficiaries. Siphoned out huge amount of money by the Hawa Bhabon stalwarts living in London and elsewhere overseas might have made their black money white using it to tarnish the image of the country and the Govt. Bangladesh has protested the publication of the report but India din not do it is a question of some one. May be he is right to some extent but he should feel it that if a lion runs behind a fly for causing itch on its back then it is shame for the lion. Most probably Ghaffar Chowdhury either did not like to read it or if has read it did not like to react to it being trifling for him. The second comment writer, did not understand the motive of the article and its author and he has just speeled out the overflow of accumulated emotions of losing the elction by his Netri, losing the house of the Cantonment illegally occupied for decades, punishment awarded to her son Koko, cases of huge corruption agaist her son Tareque and recently case of corrution against herself for embezzling the pittance of the orphans. May be the author of the article has mentioned in this article about the trial of the war criminals also a reason for his irritation. Otherwise where does he find a dictatorship in the country and how can he say Sheikh Hasina is a queen compared to his Netri? Sheikh Hasina does not live a concealed life in a fort with liquors porn magazines in the bed room. She leads a simple life and does not take beauticians while on tours. And to protest his sentimental comment we like to ask him, is their any reference of Sheikh Hasina or Khaleda Zia in the entire aricle of Kh. Saleque written above? We feel the author is a superb patriot and he vented out his love for his motherland and hatred to The Economist protesting the malicious report written being bribed agaist his country. We do not find any lucid reasons to slap the author and hug The Economist which has ensnared two countries in a heinous allegation getting money in lieu from the enemies of Bangladesh. We cannot but salute the author for the article and his love for the motherland and we have no words to slate those who want to embrace The Economist which hast tramped our pride the indepent Bangladesh///.

  16. Goni Miah

    How people oriented the current PM is can easily be seen in her moves since she took over. She immediately decided to shift to Gonobhaban from the posh and exclusive Minto/Hare road residence. Soon after she moved to the official residence of the PM the roads around the complex have been repaired and cleaned. Nearby Agargaon, Mohammadpur and Mirpur have become much safer with frequent police patrols and the Crescent lake and Parliament premises are bustling with life. People now come there at dawn and dusk for jogging and recreation feeling safe in the neighborhood of the PM.

    What the common people of a traffic jammed city expect from the PM is that she will put to public use the old Tejgaon airport and open the major roads through cantonment for public and private transport immediately. The armed forces must not grab public property at will to make us suffer more.

    The Japanese financed Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) monorail system must traverse through the old civil aviation airport and the cantonment area. For public’s ease of travel if required the air force be moved out of old Tejgaon airport and relocated to an old airport anywhere in Bangladesh.

  17. Rajib

    We need to Investigate how many Millions of £ Bribe Money has been given to the Editor of the economist from The opposition party of Bangladesh To attack personally sheikh Hasina and charging an allegation that Indian Government sponsored the Awami League with money and advice to win the 2008 elections
    Shame On The Economist ,Expecting the economist should be o Sued very Soon

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