Memories Of Underdevelopment – Grand Alliance And The Third Force In Power Politics
By Faruk Wasif, translated by Emon Sarwar for Alal ODulal
Friedrich Engels in his 1887 essay, “The Role of Force in History”, (1) discussed the role of coercion in the history. Paris commune was an ideal model where peoples’ force overthrew the ‘System’. On the other hand, Prussia of Bismarck or Napoleon’s France is the classical examples of hegemonic force. Continue reading
By Shafiqur Rahman for AlaloDulal
The boy Monir died at last after three days of indescribable pain from burning of 95% of his body. The whole country silently prayed that Monir die sooner than later, prayed so that the merciful god takes Monir in his peaceful embrace and deliver him from the hell on earth called Bangladesh. We have seen the pictures. Monir sitting on the ground with his whole body blackened with third degree burn. Monir’s father carrying the charred but still living body of his beloved son. No words can convey the thoughts and emotions that go through a sentiment human when watching these images. Continue reading
The Red Line and Failure of Intellectuals
By ShafiqurRahman for Alalodulal
[In a democracy, public Intellectual have a duty to protest and indict when power centers in the state and government cross the red line. In Bangladesh, most of the intellectuals have failed time and time again to perform that sacred duty. By their failure, not only the intellectuals have become progressively irrelevant but they also have facilitated our slide down to illiberal state]
An election is approaching. Government is set make the playing field as uneven as possible. Opposition needs a major street victory to change the game. Jamaat is flexing its muscle. Secular-liberal-progressives are worried about what might happen if Awami League loses to the BNP-Jamaat alliance. The establishment — local bureaucracy-army-civi society-corporates and the international murubbis — are worried about stability. There is much violence in the street. No, I am not talking about today’s Bangladesh. Though this describes Bangladesh of March 2013 pretty well, I am actually talking about late October of 2006.
Amnesty International came out with its annual report on Bangladesh on 23 May. State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku was unhappy with the report because he thought it exaggerated the problems in Bangladesh. I felt similarly, but because the report did not go far enough in reporting the scale of human rights abuses in Bangladesh. Especially if the victims involved the BNP or other right wing parties.
And how and why it did not go far enough is an interesting story in itself.
The report highlights the usual suspects. The sub-headings are:
- Extrajudicial executions
- Violence against women
- International justice
- Indigenous Peoples’ rights
- Torture and other ill-treatment
- Death penalty
The lacuna in the list is obvious to anyone who keeps on top of Bangladeshi news. There is no mention of the enforced disappearances, especially of opposition activists and politicians, that have become more prevalent under the current Awami League government. Why is this? Some answers below.