In the end it’s the game of politics. It’s the blame game legacy of the two key political parties of Bangladesh- the Awami League and the BNP. The parties, the media, even the people do not care about the number of disappeared. Only the name is the countable one!
Well, do you think that the ‘disappearance’ phenomenon- of political & rights activists- marked its presence with the much talked about BNP leader Ilias Ali disappearance incident? That’s not true. If you agree to do the ‘hard work’ to Google with few appropriate key words, you will find that this is been happening for quite a few months. Really? Could that be so! Yes, in the awake of criticism by the international human rights groups’ extra-judicial killings by the ‘elite police force’ Rapid Action Battalion has sharply gone down in recent months.
And interestingly incidents of disappearance have been reported since that fall down in extra-judicial killings. The 2012 human rights report by the New York based rights group Human Rights Watch states, “Although the number of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) killings has dropped following domestic and international criticism, there was a sharp increase in enforced disappearances, leading to concerns that security agencies have replaced one form of abuse with another.” In some cases relatives of the disappeared one had spoken in press conferences. All of them claimed that plain clothe police had taken their relatives, and they did not return. In the middle of 2011 we had experienced reports of discovering ‘unknown’ peoples’ dead body from rivers in Munshiganj, later their relatives identified them. Though the law enforcers were not held responsible for those disappearances, it’s widely speculated that their enemies had ‘used’ the law enforcers to disappear them.
All the disappearance incidents had become ‘regular’ news item in Bangladeshi newspapers. Disappearance of a Bangladesh Chatra Dal local leader- the student wing of Bangladesh Nationalist Party- did not mean much for the party or media. The disappearance of an ex-Student Union leader did not turned out to be first page news for the newspapers. There was no follow up report on the disappearance and death of a garment workers’ rights activist. The garment activist’s disappearance and death managed to draw the attention of international media, as their country buy readymade clothes from Bangladesh. But all on a sudden the Ilias Ali disappearance awaked the international media. Why is it so? Because he is a ‘central leader’ of the main opposition party BNP. His disappearance causes countrywide dawn to dusk strike. A huge number of the media outlets jumps in to report on the disappearance issue, following the Ilias aftermath.
Dear reader, do I want to say that world media should not have reported on disappearance? Do I intend to make you think that we should not be concerned of such an issue? No, I just want to say, if the disappeared one was you or me, there would not be such a vibration. There would not be any strike. There would not be any report in the world. In the end it’s the game of politics. It’s the blame game legacy of the two key political parties of Bangladesh- the Awami League and the BNP. The parties, the media, even the people do not care about the number of disappeared. Only the name is the countable one!