We shall see, when the crowns shall be toppled, when the palaces will be demolished

E-Bangladesh

E-Bangladesh

E-Bangladesh is a News/Headlines service and a group blog aimed at bringing the news and analysis from Bangladesh to its readers.

[Photo/Banglar Chokh: Selim Reza Newton, Moloy Bhoumik, Dulal Chandra Biswas, Abdullah Al Mamun.]

[Tasneem Khalil, Sweden.]

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.

— Henry David Thoreau

In Bangladesh, mouths are not moving these days, it seems. Well, there are exceptions: tongues busy licking military boots stained with blood, tongues moving fast singing hymns for monsters in khaki. For the rest, 160 million men and women, putting a plaster over the lips is the fashion statement of the day, silence has become the best policy. Smartest policy, some say.

It all started on January 11, one eventful evening that saw messiahs coming out of the cantonments, trucks after trucks, clad in olive, armed to their teeth. Bangladesh saw the birth of a new religion: “reform,” with a stylish birthday: “1/11,” with a ear-splitting mantra: “keep your mouths shut,” and one supreme law: “who dares, pays.” Barracks became prayer-halls and “Emergency Power Rules,” the holy book.

Yet, they dared and now have to pay the price. Four professors of Rajshahi University have been sentenced with two years of rigorous imprisonment for bringing out a silent procession on the campus on August 21 violating the “Emergency Power Rules.” Silence, in this case, apparently proved lethal to the military-led interim government.

The Daily Star, one of the leading pro-government newspapers in Dhaka, has published an account of the verdict. Slightly off topic but may prove interesting to readers: two editorials in the newspaper Wednesday are “Upbeat on revenue collection” and “Recovering siphoned off money.”

A speedy trial court of Rajshahi yesterday sentenced four Rajshahi University (RU) teachers to two years’ rigorous imprisonment for violating Emergency Power Rules (EPR) 2007 by bringing out a silent procession on the campus on August 21. The court also fined the teachers — Moloy Bhoumik of management department, Dulal Chandra Biswas, Sayed Selim Reza Newton and Abdullah Al Mamun of mass communication department — Tk 1,000 each, in default of which they will have to suffer one month more in jail. Two other accused in the case — former RU vice chancellor Prof M Saidur Rahman Khan and syndicate member and convener of RU Progressive Teachers’ Society Prof M Abdus Sobhan — were acquitted. Both the teachers were released from Rajshahi Central Jail at 1:30 pm following the verdict. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ruhul Amin, who was the judge of the speedy trial court, pronounced the verdict at 11:35 am in a packed courtroom.

Judge Ruhul Amin said the accused had three charges for EPR violation against them — taking leave en masse on July 26 to protest Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina’s arrest, bringing out a silent procession on the campus on August 21, and holding a secret meeting to instigate violence the next day. The judge said photos published in a Bangla daily prove that the accused four teachers were involved in the silent procession on August 21. “As there was a state of emergency in the country, bringing out of the procession violated [the EPR] rules,” he said.

He added that the prosecution could not prove the charges of observing a strike in the name of leave en masse and holding a secret meeting to instigate students to attack law enforcers. “There is no law against taking leave en masse and there was no evidence that these teachers took such leave… The photos of the secret meeting was taken from behind. The investigation officer could not identify anyone except Prof M Abdus Sobhan in the photo, nor could he say what was told in the meeting,” the judge said.

On August 21 this year, a few RU teachers brought out a silent procession on the campus, protesting the previous day’s police attack on Dhaka University students. RU students called a strike the next day. A rickshaw puller was killed on that day, around 200 including police and journalists were injured, vehicles were torched and properties including the vice chancellor’s residence were damaged during day long clashes between the police and students on and around the RU campus. The student demonstrations also demanded withdrawal of the state of emergency and removal of the police from the campus.

On August 23 night, members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested Prof Saidur Rahman and Prof Abdus Sobhan, and Moloy Bhowmik the next day. The then officer-in-charge of Motihar Police Station Khondoker Ferdous Ahmed filed the case against the three teachers on August 26. The teachers were placed on remand and taken to the Joint Interrogation Cell in the capital on August 28. The charge sheet of the case, including the names of Dulal Biswas, Selim Reza Newton and Abdullah Al Mamun, was submitted on September 1. The three teachers surrendered before the court four days later.

[Emphasis added.]

Meanwhile, another newspaper, New Age has presented us with the latest gem from the chief clown in General Moeen U Ahmed’s facade cabinet, Mainul Hosein: “In building a just and orderly society, law and its application are more important than anything else. A just society is built by just laws enforced justly.” Alright, Hiru, coming to you later.

A few clicks away from this blog, Rumi Ahmed has posted a translated letter from one of the sentenced professors:

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E-Bangladesh is a News/Headlines service and a group blog aimed at bringing the news and analysis from Bangladesh to its readers.


18 Responses to “We shall see, when the crowns shall be toppled, when the palaces will be demolished”

  1. Some guy in a trench-coat

    I, as a spineless, lifeless, pawn of the govt (current, previous, future, abs-middle), would say this “Give me a proper alternative then”. Alternatives that wouldn’t include any of a following:

    1) A democratic govt ruled by the likes of Sheikh Hasina and “YOU KNOWN WHO” -Zia

    2) A democratic govt ruled by left liberals and their “Sawtali Bidroher Upokotha” idolisms.

    3) A democratic govt ruled by communist agendas, elitist reforms and so called “Obtuse Display of Culture”.

    4) A religiously motivated govt with treasonous motifs, derogatory concepts on women, education, science and lifestyle in general.

    5) Finally, a tyrannical/shadow-tyrannical, military junta with lavish ball room parties, financial agendas and mass scale nepotism.

    Oops..looks like I ran out of options. No matter, it doesn’t look too good does it? What is the alternative? The lower class/lower middle class~ middle class people have never found any ground under the rule of ” jatir konna/sadhinotar goshika/langol bahi rongpurian/daridhari mollah/roktakto biplober soinik(s)/udichi mohapurush/jolpai-boys”. Looks like we need someone enigmatic, “Md Yunus”..you wish pigs would fly, ha ha. Adolf Hitler is perhaps a better option, not a possible one, but a better one (unless anyone knowns of any formulae to raise the dead) . Lets face it, we don’t have the pure blood-pure race confusion. So that oppressive part of national policies are instantly ruled out.

    I for one, welcome any civilian loony enough to rule Bangladesh with a Hitleresque iron grip, those who have been in power untill Nov 26th, 2007 (including part of the CTG) need some serious spanking.

  2. Russell

    How amazing! War criminals, drug dealers, dacoits, muggers are all roaming around and teachers are behind bars! What is the future of this nation? Will the new generation ever want to become university teachers? I don’t think so.

  3. Iftheker Mohammad

    I vow, they are not alone. Nothing can happen before or after “time.” It is not so far to rise the sun of truth.

  4. Tokai

    Where are our civil society leaders and our so called NRB civil society wannabees?

    Where are the likes of Dr. Kamal Hossain who get froth all over their mouth talking about democracy?

    I don’t see our “freedom of expression” believer Mahfuz Anam or his daddy Dr. Yunus?

    Next time any civil society types come to preach their BULLSHIT, remind me to slap them!

  5. Akash

    What a shameful day for the nation! And while we sit here with our middle-class complacency listening to Mainul-Moeen-Mahfuz spewing out crap about democracy, cleansing and new order.

  6. Faham Abdus

    It’s a splendid piece. But I thought you were the guys who invited these clowns (Delhi Star guys) — if I am not mistaken.

  7. Sanjida Rahman

    I feel shame when I see people roam around without fear! (Corrupt and pretender, so called Democrat). We only see, can do nothing…

  8. Golapi Begum

    It’s shame that teachers are being paraded as criminals by a brutal military backed puppet government. What are our lawyers doing? One can well imagine how degraded our judges are.

    The judges have served illegitimate juntas, have given them legitimacy, have granted citizenship to the worst war criminal in history, have been behind raping of the constitution through amendments and on and on….

    The lawyers have failed to serve as the nation’s moral conscience since Bangladesh’s birth in 1971.

  9. Badal khan

    Its realy shameful for all Bangladeshis that all the mads named Moeen, Mynol, Masud, Motin, Motiur rahman, Mahfuz, Mas-ud, Mannan, Mahbub, and some Major ranked officers created the stupid story of bangladesh history.
    Under the name of corruption they have arrested many political leaders and bussiness man. whil they never touch most famouse criminal of Bangladesh history Amir hossain Amu, Abdur Razzak, Tofayel Ahmed, Mannan Buiyah, Sadek Hossain Khoka, Major kamrul, and Motiur Rahman of Prothom alo,

    The reason all the people are cought by the polise are also available with Mynul hossain such as never dicleared his assets, murder case against him , illigaly having MP kota luxury cars, More than one units of Rajuk land under his name, illigal alcohol at his home, keeping illigal Deer at his recreation park, and ETC. Why not JIS go and get Mynol and find the facts. Are this people are blinds or politically motivated? How about general Moeen’ loan from Trust bank ? Where is the socalled DUDOk?????? Are they sleeping or scared of arms. Do they have guts to act to find the fact and bring every body under the rule of law??? But they have put our respected teachers behind the bar . what a stupid drama howlong we have to watch it??????? Shame Shame Shame.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!….

  10. Salam Dhaka

    Moinul Hosein, honorable CTG adviser, now blocks a sedition case against Jamaat leaders. The civilian, sushil CTG has definitely signed on to a pretty massive right-wing agenda.

  11. Akash

    It should be obvious to any thinking person that the whole nation is now being held and kept hostage under the sweet call for democracy, law and order, and cleansing, but the more implicit and devious tactics of coercion, fear and brute force.

  12. Jagoruk Manush

    The verdict against teachers primarily implies the degree of independence our judiciary has been granted under the boots of the generals. This verdict further dictates, from now on in Bangladesh, knowledge must bow to the muscle, narcissism will rule civility. And the verdict is the final manifesto that Bangladesh was created by the generals and for the generals and under God, the generals are the sovereign and invincible, beyond the reach of any earthly law and their wishes are the legal bindings on all the citizens of Bangladesh.

  13. Jagroto Jonota

    We are passing through one of the worst periods in history. Bangladesh too is navigating through troubled waters similar to what Pakistan had experienced over the last eight years fully backed by 15 billion dollars pumped into the ISI-led Pakistani Army by the Bush administration. We already have seen brutal scenes of teachers treated debasely by the secret DGFI wing of the Bangladesh army reminiscent of the lawyers ruthlessly beaten up by the ISI agents in Pakistan.

    Bush days are numbered! Gladly, he will not have another eight years to screw up democracy here by prolonging the US backed military-led illegitimate junta and sow the seeds of Talibanism in Bangladesh to push US interests in the region at the risk of drawing Sino-Indian-Russian involvement in geopolitical adventurism.

  14. Iconus Clustus

    This post is primarily a response to the first person writing a comment on this thread “Some guy in a trench-coat”… He reminded me of a great singer… Dylan’s boss… and a person who single-handedly changed the fold lore of America… (Do you all know him? Guesses?)

    In any case, even though this guy reminded me of the singer, I must say I didn’t find his post palatable in any shape or form… He one by one ruled out every “democratic” option mentioning all the political personalities and ideologies that he doesn’t like! Bravo! I wondered why didn’t simply mention that he was against democracy! Well, then again, he did say that he would rather have a Hitleresque iron grip and spank the people who preceded this ruler! In other words, he is for the current regime. And the option, to him, seems logical! It is the echo of the sentiment I have heard from people that “Bangalir lathi chara kono goti nai!”

    On the same stroke, this sort of sentiment and the person writing the post, is anti-himself (supposing he is a Bangali) and an expression of a frustrated grihabondhi psuedo-intellectual, who has a serious lack of trust in everything, including himself.

    It is not about specific people or persons… no Dr. Yunus, Dr. Kamal, or the likes of these people can and will do anything good for the country… it is not part of their abilities… their expertise lies elsewhere… be it micro-credit bebsha or legal bebsha… when we are talking about a country, we need people to be able to at least of the line who would think of systems before they think of persons/individuals.

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