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A Must Read Column

September 4, 2012

August has a reputation for being a dark month in the history of Bangladesh. Why not? Father of the nation was assassinated in this month. In 2004 in this month, a grenade attack was launched against Awami League senior leaders. Veteran party leader Ivy Rahman, wife of present president Zillur Rahman, died and few others were severely wounded, but luckily, most of the top brass narrowly survived the attack.

None could imagine this would happen in Bangladesh. This attack manifests petty village politics, where violence is a common feature, at the national stage.

This was also the month when at one fell swoop the Islamists simultaneously set off a wave of bomb attacks at different parts of Bangladesh and sent the shock wave across the country that they have significant presence in this country.

Luckily, this August passed without trouble. On August 15, I made a visit to the mausoleum of the Father of the Nation Banga Bandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The mausoleum, a simple structure of adoration without embellishments but splendid, is located in Tungipara, on the outskirts of Goplaganj. There I found the demigod lying next to the tombs of his parents. Unlike the hustle and bustle of Dhaka, the surrounding ambiance is calm and tranquil.

When he was alive, thousands of people gathered at his meeting to hear few words from this outstanding orator. After his death, he still attracts people, not enticed by cash or a packet of biriani, around his grave. This is the power of Mujib!

The assassins of august 15 completed their task by killing the Mujibnagar Quartet, who headed the government during the liberation war, behind the bars of Dhaka Central Jail in their last killing spree. Soon the country slipped into a spell of coups and counter-coups. A military regime led by Lt. Gen. Ziaur Rahman, a former intelligence officer of Pak army, took over power. Till to date, November 7 is being observed by BNP, a party formed by Gen Zia, and like-minded parties as ‘Sipahi-Janata Biplob Dibosh’, soldier-people uprising day.

Prominent historian Muntasir Mamun in his recent column titled Al Badr 1971, which is currently being published by Daily Janakantha, unveiled that November 7 also marked the founding of a notorious criminal organization, also responsible for war crimes in 1971, named Al Badr. Most of the recruits of this militia organization came from the university educated section of the student wing of Jamaat-i-Islami, Islami Chatra Sangha, predecessor of Islami Chatra Shibir (ICS). His recent column is based on the book Al Badr, written by Selim Mansur Khaled and published by Tulaba, publication wing of Jamiat-e-tulaba Pakistan, the party that represents Jamaat-i-Islami in Pakistan.

This column is a must read for academics, researchers and for people interested in Bangladesh’s history and in modus operandi of terror organization.

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