Placing the Voices of Shahbag in Modern Narratives of Transnational Youth Protest – Part 2

Photograph: Kazi Sudipto/ Demotix/Corbis. Source: The Guardian, U.K.

Photograph: Kazi Sudipto/ Demotix/Corbis. Source: The Guardian, U.K.

 

If trolling through history reveals involvement of youth in political or socioeconomic upheavals, in case of Bangladesh their raison d’etre has been simple and straightforward: to bring about (political) change. Continue reading

Placing the Voices of Shahbag in Modern Narratives of Transnational Youth Protest – Part 1

Shahbagh Square, Day 2. Image: BdNews24.com

Shahbagh Square, Day 2. Image: BdNews24.com

If trolling through history reveals involvement of youth in political or socioeconomic upheavals, in case of Bangladesh their raison d’etre has been simple and straightforward: to bring about (political) change. Continue reading

My father would have been 87

Tanvir Haider Chaudhury (age 3) with his father Prof. Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury. Source: Tanvir family album, with permission.

Tanvir Haider Chaudhury (age 3) with his father Prof. Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury. Source: Tanvir family album, with permission.

My father would have been 87
by Tanvir Haider Chaudhury

It was my father’s birthday yesterday. Professor Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury would have been 87. He never got to approach that age because he was tortured and murdered at 45, the same age as I am now, by the Al-Badr militia. In 1971. Continue reading

And meanwhile, in Kolkata …

Image

Scanned copy of KALAM newspaper


For any non-Bangladeshis even remotely following politics and events in that country, it is clear that the situation on the ground is getting very bad. But not to worry. When things get too problematic, you know you can always rely on your armchair activist brothers across the border to speak up for you. Heard that before? If not from us your interfering neighbors, from your domestic dalals selling your country’s interests? Well, here’s news about an unusual show of support just a hop and a skip away from Satkhira. Continue reading

Nurul Kabir’s response to ICT: “in defence of truth and justice”

Nurul-Kabir
In 2011, David Bergman, Nurul Kabir, and Shahidullah Khan Badal of New Age faced “contempt of court” charges by the ICT for one of Bergman’s reports on ICT proceedings. Kabir represented all three plaintiffs, foregoing use of a lawyer. The ICT eventually ruled the article contemptuous but exonerated Kabir, Badal, and Bergman of any charge. Because many points made in Kabir’s lengthy representation in court are relevant to the ongoing discussions about war crimes, AlalODulal is reprinting the full text (14,000 words) of Kabir’s response.

Continue reading

From Tiananmen to Shahbag, via Tahrir


tank-man
While describing Shahbag Square movement, frequent references are being made to Tahrir Square, the site of recent anti -autocratic movement in Egypt. However, although there are more similarities, Shahbag has not yet been discussed in reference to the famous Tiananmen Square movement of 1989 in China. The reason of missing Tiananmen reference may be two pronged. One, in ultra-short memory span of the minds of the analysts of Shahbag Square movement, an event of 1989 is not much distinct now. Continue reading

WCT: a quick guide to pro and anti-camps

Just to help you follow who are for and against the trial.

Anti-trial

1. Those who are accused of war crimes.  Clearly they would be against any trial.

2. Those who don’t believe any crime took place in 1971.  So no trial is needed.

3. Those who believe all sides committed crimes in 1971, and all crimes were equivalent, so either try everyone (ie Ghulam Azam is same as Major Zia) or don’t try anyone.

4. Those who don’t have any opposition to a trial in principle, but think it can’t be done in practice, so we should move on.

5. Those who don’t have any theoretical opposition, and think it could have been done in practice, but believe AL has messed it up.

Continue reading

Demystifying the mistrial argument

In the aftermath of skypegate, the defense legal team — ie Sayedee-Ghulam Azam-Nizami et al’s lawyers — have demanded a retrial.  They argue that the current trials should be declared mistrial.  Some analysts such as Asif Nazrul publicly concur.  On the other hand, almost all self-proclaimed pro-trial people say that anyone calling for a mistrial/retrial is really a closet razakar-sympathiser.

I couldn’t think of any episode of LA Law or The Practice where this kind of thing has happened.  So I did the next best thing, and asked a JD friend of mine.  Short answer:

1. Just because the judge resigned doesn’t automatically result in mistrial.  It depends on why the judge resigns.
2. If you believe that skypegate was a gross violation of professional conduct etc, and the judge resigned because he seriously screwed up, then you shouldd also call for a mistrial/retrial.
3. But if you believe that the judge did nothing wrong (ie if you believe that it’s all explicable as innocent conversation), and resigned to defend the trial from unnecessary controversy, then there is no ground for mistrial.
The full conversation with my friend is over the fold.