Era of Tyranny: Instead of Combing 1971 Rubble, Focus Should be on Current Plight of Bengalis

Tue Jun 06 2023
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Naveed Miraj

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Era of Tyranny Instead of Combing 1971 Rubble Focus Should be on Current Plight of Bengalis 1

The events surrounding the 1971 war that saw the secession of East Pakistan, creating an independent state of Bangladesh, remains a very sensitive and complex issue. Of late, there have been renewed efforts by certain elements to declare those events as genocide, attributing the responsibility primarily to Pakistan. This is nothing but yet another apparent attempt to malign Pakistan and its armed forces.

The conflict undeniably was tragic that resulted in the loss of life and sufferings for many. However, it is crucial to consider the historical context and complexity surrounding those times. This was not a one-sided affair, rather a multifaceted situation involving various factions and interests. Blaming a single entity, in this case, Pakistan, oversimplifies the narrative and overlooks the dynamics and complexities of the situation.

And then also Pakistan, which has already expressed its regrets over the 1971 events back in 2002, there is no need to rekindle old wounds and animosities as this will not serve any purpose but only make the environment more tense in this already volatile region.

Instead of dwelling in the past, it will be better for the well-wishers of Bengali people to take notice of the current precarious situation in Bangladesh, where under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid, human rights violations have only become more rampant over the last many years.

It will not be wrong to declare the current dispensation in Bangladesh a fascist one which is committing all sorts of crimes including extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances to silence the opposition and dissenting voices to perpetuate their rule. Hasina Wajid has deformed and demonized herself into a brutal dictator and ruthless tyrant tearing apart the nation and all its institutions into their decomposing rags and pieces.

Era of Tyranny Instead of Combing 1971 Rubble Focus Should be on Current Plight of Bengalis 2

Whilst not forgetting the past events, Hasina-led government in Bangladesh has executed several leaders of Jamaat-e-Islamic over war crimes in connivance with the judiciary. The hangings are in sheer violation of a 1974 agreement between Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

Then, other opposition leaders are also not safe in the country. Khalid Zia, leader of the Bangladesh National Party, has over the years, only faced imprisonment on trumped-up charges. Teachers, writers, intellectuals and journalists highlighting fascism have no space but are harassed. Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an anti-terrorist force is openly used against opponents and dissenting voices.

Under Hasina’s leadership, Bangladesh has witnessed a shrinking space for freedom of expression and press freedom. The government has employed legal measures, including the controversial Digital Security Act, to suppress dissent and curtail media independence. Journalists, bloggers, and activists critical of the government have faced harassment, intimidation, and even imprisonment. Such actions undermine the principles of democracy and the right to freedom of speech, limiting the ability of citizens to voice their concerns.

In view of elections scheduled for next year, Hasina is on the rampage to tame institutions including the election commission, judiciary etc. to help her to power once again.

Those concerned about what happened with Bengalis in 1971 should rather be more worried about what is happening with the current generation of Bengalis. The UN, especially its Human Rights Council, should also take notice of the situation as Hasina should not be given a free hand to perpetrate a reign of terror for her vested political interests.


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