Sunday, June 22, 2003

Shetubondhon - Who will moderate the moderators?

dear Moderators:

My attention has been drawn to the sentence below, and in all fairness, I guess this censure has been singled out as a conseqeunce to my re-axe to Mr. Ezajur Rahman on my piece, 'Legitmizing Illegitmacy : The Save ETV Petition'.

Readers of Shetubondhon who had seen my first post, will have noticed that nothing in the content was 'rhetorical' enough to receive the kind of response that came out of Mr. Ezajur Rahman. There were implied threats and hints of a 'thundering response' (in other forums "thundering FIGHTs") which was totally uncalled for. His comments are all more vulnerable to misunderstanding because Mr. Rahman is a family member of the ETV CEO, and others might think that there is a 'family business' to protect and Shetubondhon was among the forums being used toward that end.

It would have been nice and 'fair' to see a similar 'cautionary warning' preceding Mr. Ezajur Rahman's article - but unfortunately that was not the case. If there was anybody to be blamed for this rhetorical outburst it was Mr. Rahman and not me.

This reveals a chink in Shetubondhon's Moderating Policy, which unfortunately I do not agree with and needs improvement. I for one believe in the philosophy of using rhetorics against rhetorics, threats against threats, and civility with civility. This might not be acceptable to all - but again this is reasonable defense - and every human being has a right to exercise the same.

Therefore the sentence that 'We release this message in fairness to the author due to some of the messages released earlier' - is one I find extremely patronizing. It confirms my original contention that Shetubondhon 'releases' some message without proper moderation and subjects yet others with 'cautionary notes' - some kind of soccer yellow card, without caring for a person's integrity, and the esteem with which other members might be evaluating
others on the forum.

Any patronizing approach would be detrimental to free speech and expression, and one that allows a leeway to some, and restricts others opinion. I don't think 'bridges' can be built with faulty contractors or implements!

I hope that this message would be circulated amongst fellow Shetubondhon subscribers, for those header comments from the Moderation Desk compromised my talents and ethics as an avid debater. I have complied with all previous request of Shetubondhon and allowed moderation - but this time around, I guess I am not keen on being construction material for another bridge.

I wish to thank members of Shetubondhon for all their support and understanding over the year - and that I have profited through all the pleasant/unpleasant exchanges. I apologise to anybody in the forum that might have found my pieces or debates not to their liking or discernible taste.

I hope that this message would be duly taken into consideration by Shetubondhon Moderation.

Friday, June 20, 2003

EShomabesh: Of 'Liberal and Secular' fatwaism! : An open letter to Jamal Hasan

In response to:

Subject: My thoughts I need to share with you once again: a letter to Lopa Tasneem

Those planes that bombed our villages and towns were made in America, those guns and bullets that killed our people were made in America - the Americans trained the commanders and soldiers of the Pakistan Army who raped our sisters and mothers. Close to the last days of the war the American fleet was in the Bay of Bengal to take sides with the Jamaatis. Thirty-one God forsaken years later- who the hell are you trying to bluff?

Dear Mr.Hasan,

Thank you very much for your 'educative' and 'informed' letter to Lopa Tasneem which you felt 'important' enough to share with others on this forum.

I have a few questions which I hope you will 'honor' with answers - but going by past experience you are not one that is always 'too keen' on answering straight questions. Why - we will never know - but this 'great document' that you have shared with Lopa illustrates that your allegiance is to India, your mind gullible to feeds from its intelligence agency RAW, and evidently you have been offered a mandate to keep all the positive possibilities of Bangladesh sorely divided.

You wrote:

A member of this forum wrote from Dallas about his experience in a social gathering. He wrote a so-called BNP supporter was commenting that audacious remark that Indian intelligence RAW was responsible for killing Bengali intellectuals in 1971. I am not surprised at the revisionist approach of history. This is the Jamaati philosophy, which is engulfing much of our native land. Unfortunately, a sizable percentage of BNP's rank and file are either propagating or buying this concocted history. Ultimately Jamaat-i-Islami is becoming the final winner

My response:

Assuming what you 'believe' i.e. absolving the involvement of the RAW in the Intellectual Killings in 1971 upholding its 'innocence' with the well-worn confidence that you display, and if what Jamaat has to say is 'propaganda' and or 'concocted' - WHAT - may we know Mr.Hasan is the REAL TRUTH? How can you be so DEAD SURE? What are the evidence's you have to suggest that what you are saying is also not propaganda or concocted?

While you are 'not surprised at the revisionist approach of history' - I am constrained to have to point out that you are naïve enough to change the goal post as and when it suits your purpose - when you know only too well that 'goals' may be scored by both sides during a game.

History has time and again proved: it is FAIR to Winner's - but unless we know 'real history' we will only be condemned to repeat the same mistakes and fall into the trap of the same LIES. History in other words will not spare any of us.

If Jamaat, which as far as I am concerned is also a RAW backed and Jewish financed, hate group masquerading as a political party and certainly no representative or 'official agent' for Islam in Bangladesh, is 'winning' or have become 'final winners' (I refute both terms) - the responsibility or part thereof lie with shady elements such as you who have blinded yourself to delusions and results in the kind of infantile diatribes of the like you share with Lopa and the rest of us.

The bottom line is, those that speak against the Jamaat are closet Jamaati's and become flip side perpetrators of hate because as I have consistently argued many times in the past with you and others - Jamaat wants PUBLICITY, become the 'eye of a storm' and even negative publicity is publicity for them - and all you guys are doing is giving it to them in heaps while harboring romantic notions of e-revolutionary wannabes - as if doing all of us in Bangladesh a great favor when we never asked for one in the first place!

One classic example is Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee (GHADANIC) who did a yeomen's service in propagating Jamaat and bringing them to political limelight at a time when the party were marginalized in the public's collective memory. A case in point: the Jamaat Chief Gholam Azam while speaking for the first time to the BBC in September 16th 1995 said 'I am grateful to the GHADANIC, the publicity they gave me - I could not have afforded with crores of takas'.

So, why do you land into these traps?

Because you do not have the brains to match the arguments of the Jamaat, word for word, argument for argument, with convincing and credible evidence, without losing your composure, without indulging in profanities when you get yourself ensnared in a losing streak - and that's all because in your love for that very obscure term 'secularism': mouthing which you thinks makes you 'very fashionable and acceptable' to the Jewish lobby you hob nob with - you are left with no option but peddle the prescription provided by the Brahminist RAW which you must replicate in ditto.

You have therefore time and again been demolished - because you have jumped in without having done your homework - while the Jamaatis have been honing their homework for the many years they were in political oblivion waiting for just the opportune moment - which is now.

Net result, in your so-called hatred for Jamaat and love for 'secularism' you have completely alienated yourself from the aspirations of the people - a people who have for more than a thousand years lived with no discomfort with their Islamic identity - and ones, that they were proud of then, as they are proud of Now.

It therefore comes, as no surprise that the only positive thing Hasina Binte Mujib ever said in her years in power to her party men was to 'attend the mosque regularly'.


Purely because the alienation was complete as she knew all to well that this constant ill aimed bombardment on Jamaat by the Awami 'intellectual elite' more than hurting them increased their 'acceptability' while at the vote banks the Awami League was being construed as a party of Hindu loving Muslim haters.

Also it may be pertinent to point out here that Hasina Binte Mujib allowed the Jamaatis to hold their first 'hartal' in Independent Bangladesh in 1997 when the slogans of "Amra shobai Taliban Bangla hobay Afghan" (we are all Talibans and Bangladesh will become Afghanistan) was heard.

'Intellectual elites' such as you of course went on a 'tactical hibernation' then - that is another story for another day, but clearly nobody accused you of being a Jamaati then - and at the time the Talibs were not the U.S's or the world's pet peeve?

That is the very sad state of affairs of remnants of our 'Mukti Joddha boro bhais' from your generation who have badly derailed the nation and whom we simply loath as things stand today.

You only won a mere skirmish in 1971 dear brother, NOT the WAR - and the WAR goes on because a new generation in Bangladesh whom you despise and harbor ill-conceived notion is AWARE and INFORMED. A generation that will never give up the fight - a generation that hotly disagrees with you, views you with suspicion because you have failed them and have clearly NO RESPECT for them. RESPECT is a two-way traffic.

They will definitely take the WAR forward - whether you like it or not on tactics, terms and ideology that they themselves will evolve. A very Bangladesh solution to a Bangladesh problem - knowing all to well that SOLUTIONS lie within PROBLEMS itself. No off takes or partakes from foreign unsolicited sources or agencies.

You wrote:
In 1971, global Wahhabite Islam led by Saudi Arabia was very much against the secession of East Pakistan. Most of the Arab countries were forthcoming in supporting Pakistani regime. While globally this Islamic fundamentalism's diabolic game was going on, the saddest situation was Bengali Islamic sector's total support for the marauding Pakistani army. You may ask your older relatives about the role of most of Islamic clergies in the Pak army occupied Bangladesh.
My response:

Here you are trying to be a patronizing 'big brother' to Lopa, but you are doing so in such blatant disregard for history - when again you want no 'revisionism'!

Splendid Mr.Hasan - but how about putting your hands in your heart and informing Lopa (assuming that she does not know this) that it was also the American's that gave solid backing to the Pakistan Army to rape our sisters, kill our brothers in the genocide of 1971?

Those planes that bombed our villages and towns were made in America, those guns and bullets that killed our people were made in America - the Americans trained the commanders and soldiers of the Pakistan Army who raped our sisters and mothers. Close to the last days of the war the American fleet was in the Bay of Bengal to take sides with the Jamaatis. Thirty-one God forsaken years later- who the hell are you trying to bluff?

I however see a reason why you want to absolve the Americans as well. Had fate today turned the US into a kind of pariah state (in the event Soviets won the Cold War) such as Pakistan, we know only too well how your letters, 'scribing' and comprehension's would have read today - you would have probably lived in Moscow!

Why do you have to be so 'intellectually dishonest'? Is your residence in the States and your job with the Voice Of America THAT IMPORTANT - that you have to be so shamelessly unpatriotic - to deliberately HIDE behind this thick curtain of LIES?

You wrote:

I can bet they may not find any Maulana or Imam who was in favor of division of Islamic Pakistan. In essence, the emergence of Bangladesh in the eye of devotees of Islam was an anti-Islamic act.
You cannot substantiate this LIE as well as you evidently did not participate in the war. If you did - answer this question - Who were the ones that performed the funeral rites of our slain freedom fighters? Hindus purohits, Christians priests or Buddhist monks - or will you stand by the HRCBM propaganda that it was only the Hindu's that fought and died in our Liberation War?

There is simply no way to suggest that the Liberation War in 1971 was fought in rejection of Islam. If it was - then we would also have to accept the Pakistani precept of an argument of the time that the emergence of Bangladesh was part of a 'Hindu plot' - made no more easier by your kinds overt love for India or anything HINDU - which you must consider 'secular', denying the 'secular' possibilities in Islam?

If you analyze the speech of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of 7th March 1971, there was no indication of 'secularism' as seem to be your oft repeated ranting from a scratched LP record on forums after e-forums. Quite on the contrary there were many Islamic interjections:

Sample # 1: Because we were born Muslim's, Yahya Khan should be reminded that Muslim's are not afraid of death.

Sample # 2: When we have shed our blood, we shall shed some more, but by the Grace of Allah we shall make this country free.

The Brahminist in Kolkata put this nonsense propaganda of 'secularism' in place and the RAW would feed it with frenzy on vulnerable people with a bad identity crisis and no sense of self respect - only to divide a nation they knew were courageous enough to decide its own destiny.

Therefore about Maulana's and Imam's not joining the Liberation War, Mr.Hasan what you say to lick the foot of your Jewish buddies in an attempt to gain a favor or two of the VOA is a load of "BHUA" (b..s..t) as far as I am concerned.

Just take a look at the footage of Muktir Gaan and find out for yourself. Also if Imam's and Maulanas whom you MUST hate in your fashionable SECULARISM did not join the Liberation War, how do you explain the existence of the Awami Ulema League? Are they 'secular' mullahs per chance?

People tend to apparently thrive in isolation - and I had thought all along that those of you who live 'sheltered' lives abroad would also thrive - instead in your warped vision of Bangladesh becoming a theocracy and your caustic hate for 'anything Muslim' what has been overlooked are Islamist who could well be our allies.

I do not know if you have any, but I certainly do have more than a dozen 'alem' friends (as much as I have friends from most political, cultural, religious and social affiliations - except the Jamaat and Jatiyo Party) and I say this with absolute TRUTHFULNESS, all of them hate and despise the Jamaat as much as any of us.

Consider the millions that think and feel just the same way we do - ones we have not reached out to, because in our delusions we believe they do not EXIST. The word 'secularism' scares them off - so we might as well be careful as how to use that word, or we stand to lose that many potential soldiers who are prepared to GO along with us?

You wrote:
When I meet my Sindhi friends in any of their congregations, I feel I am in Bangladesh in 1973. Although we were living in a very chaotic situation, most of our contemporaries were far more liberal and secular than today's generation. Mullaism was a far cry then. I remember the evening Rabindranath Thakur's "Muktodhara" was staged in Suhrawardy Udyan, Suchitra Mitra sang a couple of songs. The audience was so disciplined!
What 'mullahism' are you talking about here Mr.Hasan?

If you are going to be talking about discipline, then let me remind you that the lessons of history teaches us that disciplined forces have always overtaken disciplined forces. On the same premise please let us know the size of the 'disciplined' audience when Suchitra Mitra sang in Race Course (it was not Suhrawardy Udyan then!) in 1973?

Does it compare anywhere to the 3 million 'disciplined' plus plus people who attended the Ijtema last year? Of course that was a 'Wahabite mullah gathering' so you may reserve your comments - but I take serious exception to your rambling when you say that 'today's' generation' is not as liberal and secular than most of your contemporaries.

In your hate, all you have managed to do is isolate yourself. You have no clue as to the changing realities neither are you interested.

For instance this Friday the 17th January 2003 - I played my first concert of the year with 12 other bands at the Army Stadium in Dhaka. The daylong concert broke all records in Bangladesh's musical history. More than 25000 people paid 100 takas each to revel in the festivities which started at 2 in the afternoon and ended past 10 p.m. at night. The crowd was an interesting and motley mix of all age groups - sarees, salwar kameez, jeans and tee shirt clad men and women danced in wild abandon. The dancing and stomping of feet raised a veritable dust storm - and let me also tell you this, there were many in the audience who would fit into your standard stereotype of 'maulana' and Islamist. Bearded men and hijab and burqa clad women were also dancing!

Is the Jamaat reading this?

On the other hand we have you and your 'hog scientist' crony and dozens of his 'ohi-fied' distastefully Bengalee sounding 'ghost scibes' who will of course pooh pooh this as a show of 'Westernized decadence that Mac the jazz musician is championing' or consider this an 'alien attack on secular Bengalee culture' - but little do you realize that when you say or write those things, you sound more like the 'kut mullah' you always trying to one-up on, and who are against any form of entertainment or dancing in the first place!

The mindset you display in your unemotional sitting in front of the 'Goddess' Suchitra Mitra as she does a rendering of the 'Prophet' Tagore's unadulterated 'humdh' where you neither clap nor dance but chant 'shadhu, shadhu' and a 'kut mullah's' bleating away in a Waaz mehfil as devotees neither clap nor dance but chant 'subhan allah, subhan allah' is so identical - so typically similar!

This is not being 'liberal' or 'secular' Mr.Hasan. This is indulging in liberal and secular fatwaism PERIOD

You wrote:

An Indian friend of mine was telling me the other day, he did not know much about BJP until it came to power. I too was deeply disturbed at this backward moving political development in India. I have been in close touch with a few Indian activists in the West Coast who have been struggling to establish an egalitarian and secular India. Sandip da (a member of this forum) Prof. Shukla and a few other dedicated souls are constantly working to promote the idea of secularism in the Hindutva crony ruled India. As more and more of the expatriate Indians are becoming BJP sympathizers, Sandip da and his friends have a long task ahead. It is so frustrating that there is no such platform among expatriate Bangladeshis which would be dedicated to uphold the value of secularism.
My response:

You have got to understand the subtle yet marked difference between you and your 'Indian friends'. While they hate the BJP as much as you and me hate the Jamaat, they have not allowed that hatred to create hatred for the followers of the Hindu religion per se or for India the state. Unfortunately your blind hatred suggests that you hate all Muslims and anything and everything to do with Bangladesh since the 'chetonized' folks were ousted from power. You might learn a few things on religion and patriotism from your 'Indian friends' - some, who may be Congress supporters!

You wrote:
It is as if India is always the wrong party. How about the allegation of India, like the ISI sponsored Mullatic or ULFA camps inside Bangladesh are patronized by the Bangladesh government? If this allegation is partly true then the future of Bangladesh would be very very bleak.
My response:

No India is ALWAYS RIGHT - the problem is just like you heir 'imandaar' crony - they can never PROVE a damn thing.

No Government of Bangladesh has ever been able to find out any ULFA camps in Bangladesh because they simply do not exist - and by adding the 'mullahtic' twist to the ongoing Independence movement of Assam all you are doing is feed Lopa a very old RAW propaganda that 'Paresh Baruah the ULFA supremo once met Osama bin Laden' in Pakistan.

This in effect is an Indian effort to get the US led War on Terror's attention on Assam, when the truth is that in the last 24 years the Indian Army has perpetrated worse crimes on the Assamese people that what the Pakistanis did to us Bangladeshi's. 'The character of the enemy is the same, the difference is only in the name' Aurobindo Rajkhowa the ULFA Chairperson wrote to Hasina Binte Mujib in 1997.

If Bangladesh is a land of freedom fighters as we so often claim - then it makes good sense that we do not cast aspersions about the right of self determination of the Assamese people or for that matter ANY NATION in the world - who we MUST support as an obligation enshrined in our Constitution.

Contrary to popular misconception, the ULFA is basically a Maoist atheist organization. There have never been any seed of 'communalism' in the culture of Assam of the kind that you routinely sow Mr.Hasan - and like it or not, with so much injustice and atrocities meted out to my kin in Assam I am left with no option but to openly support the cause of the ULFA. As you well know my background (a second generation Bangladeshi of Assamese descent), my moral standings are all for the Independence struggle of Assam.

I cannot be a Razakar to my own people living in the comforts of Bangladesh. I wish the same was also the case for you and Bangladesh.

Regards and best wishes