Wednesday, April 1, 2009


The prime minister again defends her record on the ground that, had the army been sent in, there would have been "civil war".

Suppose that's true – the cure would then have been worse than the disease. Let us concede Hasina her point. Then the question arises: could not the whole diabolical episode have been prevented?

For as Colonel Kamruzzaman (who is suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder) relates (and Hasina never refutes) the PM had been apprised long before any violence began – by the BDR chief himself. She said help was on its way – if help had arrived in the next thirty minutes, none of the murders and rapes would have occurred.

Why didn't she send assistance?

In these recordings, we have the testimony of Dr. Kabir, who was saved because he was on leave but nonetheless inside the compound with his family. The jawans came for his family, and called them "sons and daughters of whores" repeatedly.

Later, when the families had been gathered together, Dr. Karim says, the jawans came to the women and said, "The Punjabis impregnated you with Punjabi babies, we will impregnate you with BDR babies." At this point, the file breaks off...leaving the horror of the next moments unsaid yet described in detail.

Sahara Khatun, the home minister, did not even bother to inquire about the families, but left with a few arms.

Hasina delivers a sob story about how her family had been killed in 1975 (what relevance that has here escapes me); and she adds that the killers were rewarded for their deed; indeed, I was fifteen at the time, and I remember the nationwide jubilation at the murder of the Mujib family. These are facts.

She complains that she and her sister were not allowed into the country for six years – because, no doubt, she was deemed a menace to the nation, which she has indeed proven to be (the army didn't lock her up, with the other banshee, for two years for traffic violation).

This time, the nation was not delighted – only Awami Leaguers are delighted. They cannot forget that the army had held their "beloved leader" in jail for the past two years.

This sort of personality cult, so redolent of North Korea, passes for democracy in Bangladesh.

Indeed, it is absurd to expect Sheikh Hasina to handle a situation like that – or even to value human life – when young student politicians belonging to her party are dropping like flies, and she – just doesn't care. Yesterday, a student politician was thrown off the second floor of a building, and he died a painful death. With so much murder in the ranks of the ruling party, why should it spare a thought for human life or dignity?

"Hasina, in fact, has been the biggest disappointment for even AL supporters. Throughout her term she showed incredible tolerance to her party-men, who virtually unleashed a reign of terror all over the country. She did not ask any of her cabinet members to resign even after knowing about their criminal activities. The student wing of AL the Chhatra League carried on the legacy of their predecessors, the Chhatra Dal, with equal zeal, occupying the university halls, controlling tenders and spreading crime across the country. One group became famous for their serial rape spree in Jahangirnagar University where a Chhatra League (interestingly former Chhatra Dal) leader celebrated his 100th rape on campus. Again Hasina remained silent." (As usual, the Daily Star is wrong: Hasina never ever disappointed her supporters: no matter what the crime, she receives blind support from her devotees: like a queen, she is never wrong.In the 2001 election, despite a horrendous spate of violent crime like the one described above, her party still won 40% of the vote, and would have won if the election had not been rigged.)

How can a sane nation expect that a psychopath would try and save officers and their families? Only a person who has an atom of respect for human life would begin to make an attempt to bring succour to the distressed. I am amazed that the nation can even believe that this woman tried to save her, lives are as drops of water. This alone answers the query raised above: why didn't she send assistance right away?

As for the nation itself, this is not the first time such heinous acts have been perpetrated since 1990– we have forgotten the rapes at Jahangirnagar University, the rape and suicide of Mahima, the rape and death of Tahura Begum, the decapitated bodies, the disarticulated remains....This time, the unspeakable has occurred in one place over a compressed period of time.

We lost our humanity a long time ago. Al-Ghazali would have blamed us for our rebellion in 1990, for, defending autocracy wholeheartedly, he said, "Sixty years of tyranny are better than an hour of civil strife".

These new audio files shed further light on evil - if that's possible

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