Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Quad scripsi, scripsi

Dear Dipen,

I understand how you feel (and I'm sorry about that), but your comments are way off the mark. (And frankly I don't see why you should take up with me what I wrote about your parents. That strikes me as distinctly odd.)

That Debesh Uncle was not a formal member of the Awami League, we all know: but he was definitely associated with the party. After all, Chitra Auntie (to her credit), was not a career politician: she wasn't elected, she was selected. One of my points was that this is how politics works in Bangladesh : behind the scenes! One doesn't have to become a member explicitly.

Secondly, please read my language carefully: I said "she [Auntie] was to be" MP – that means after 1994, when the Chatra league student-thug came to extort money from my father; she "was to be" MP. I did NOT say she was MP before or after. ["was to be" = "was going to be"]

I have shown considerable restraint in what I wrote about everyone. There's a lot of dirty laundry that I did not air about all the people mentioned in the article. I hope you will appreciate that: not what I wrote, but what I did not write.

The strange thing about your e-mail is that you did not find appalling the fact that a young boy was used as an extortionist (and thousands like him) by the party where Auntie was MP – and that he's rotting in jail. After all, a person is judged by the company they keep – to keep company with the League is...well, words fail me here.

It's curious that nobody finds that appalling. After all, that poor bugger is no relation of mine.
It is needless to add that these are my last words on the subject. Quad scripsi, scripsi.

With immense regret,


--- Dipen Bhattacharya wrote:

> On browsing through the internet, I came across an
> article of yours where you write:
> http://www.opednews.com/maxwrite/print_friendly.php?p=genera_iftekhar_070811_a_family_affair.htm
> "My parents were close to two members of the Awami
> League, Justice (retired) Debesh ýBhattacharya and
> his wife, Chitra Bhattacharya, who was to be MP
> after the next election ýthat would bring the AL to
> power (these threats were, incredibly enough, being
> made ýwhen the AL was the opposition! This was a
> foretaste of what would happen when the ýAL would
> come to power). ý
> It was only later that I had enough leisure to
> ponder the fact that these two people – the ýretired
> judge who had sat on the highest court of the land,
> and his distinguished wife – ýwere allied to a party
> that drew its funds with the agency of
> students-turned-thugs: and ýthis was no secret.
> Everybody knew that the parties employed the
> services of musclemen ýý– more like muscleboys – to
> extort money. But what were an alleged gentleman and
> lady ýdoing with these people? "ý
> What’s striking about these two paragraphs is first,
> that they expound inaccuracies. My father was never
> a member of the Awami League and was never
> associated with it and you may want to look up his
> historic judgments on civil rights during the early
> years of Awami League rule. My mother was a member
> of Awami League only during her tenure in the
> parliament (not before or after).
> Second, the level of insensitivity that you have
> shown in writing about my parents is simply
> incomprehensible. “An alleged gentleman and lady?”
> You have no idea what my parents had to sacrifice to
> stay in erstwhile Pakistan and later in Bangladesh.
> But more than that, you have taken the memory of
> these two families’ friendship and turned it into a
> spectacle that ultimately could only make life
> difficult for my mother and maybe to a certain
> degree your parents. This is especially appalling
> because my parents had no bearing on the case that
> you mention. Why bring up their names on the
> Internet? This is simply indecent.
> Dipen

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