”The case of ‘Bangladesh’ stands out as a unique case of humanity’s failure to translate its ideal of tolerance into politics of daily life”.

Who said the failed basket case nation of ‘Bangladesh’ had never achieved anything?


Bangladesh: The lost cause of forgiveness amidst death sentences

Bangladesh: The lost cause of forgiveness amidst death sentences

In time of violence and revenge can we imagine a pure forgiveness, an unconditional reconciliation, and a hospitable reception of heterogeneity as a true tribute to an exemplary life?

Musab Iqbal / India

Now when the world leaders are gathered to pay their final tribute to Nelson Mandela whose legacy is traced in his non-violent and persistent struggle for Justice and liberation, a movement for forgiveness, truth and reconciliation, we hear the news about Bangladesh getting ready to execute one of its opposition leaders for war crimes in 1971.

In time of violence and revenge can we imagine a pure forgiveness, an unconditional reconciliation, and a hospitable reception of heterogeneity as a true tribute to an exemplary life?

When a large chunk of educated and liberated people ask for abolishment of death penalty, we see a movement erupting in capital city, Dhaka asking for changing the life imprisonment into a death penalty. Some of the participants and propellant of the movement at Shahbagh believe that this is to uproot or fight the radical Islam from the society, but can it be uprooted by asking for violence – a more legitimate one?

Post war Bangladesh failed miserably to act on reconciliation; we see little or no attempt towards this direction. Even when Jamat e Islami came in power with Bangladesh Nationalist Party it pay no attention of imagining something which Mandela imagined.

Perhaps it was not easy but was it in South Africa?

Today at this very moment when am writing this, Abdul Quader Mollah is unexpected hours away from his execution, an execution order which was passed on 8th and he has 15 days time to appeal for plea, the desperate power wanted it tonight but it passed a stay order till 10.30 a.m. tomorrow as per latest report. Earlier he was sentenced to life imprisonment and the protest erupted in February, which lead to series of violence demanded death sentence for him and for other accused leaders.

This very tribunal is seen with cynicism among many, many analyst sees it as a way of finishing the opposition but beyond politics and legality lies some disturbing reality and urgent questions.

Bangladesh was part of Pakistan until 1971; the war of liberation freed it from the clutch of Pakistan with the help of Indian army, obviously. Those who were against it fought along side with army or on their own, Jamat e Islami is one of the most prominent whose military wing Al Badarand Ash Shams took part actively and there were Bangladeshi nationalist militias as well reciprocating the violence. While we see justice from a privileged and vantage point of nation state, we don’t see it in terms of suffering and loss. Mukti Bahini fought for the liberation and is accused of excesses as well but it can’t be seen in opposition to Bangladeshi nationalistic imagination, as they are foundational element of this very nation state.

Lot of Bihari (People from North Indian state of Bihar who migrated in a large number in 1947 to east Pakistan, now Bangladesh) were killed, raped, displaced from Bangladesh, the justice is a lost cause for them, perhaps. The persecution of Bihari is a well-known fact and over 1,50,000 was killed during this war of liberation. Some were blamed to be siding with Pakistani Army but most of them were killed for their ethnicity.

The violence is memory; it’s a cycle and moves on endlessly until we interrupt it with forgiveness and reconciliation. This interruption is costly not because it may ask for blood but it may ask for a large heart, a giant step towards future, a more disturbing way of looking at past, remembering memory in a forgetful way.

‘Forgiveness forgives only the unforgivable. One cannot, or should not, forgive; there is only forgiveness, if there is any, where there is the unforgivable. That is to say that forgiveness must announce itself as impossibility itself. It can only be possible in doing the impossible’ famous French philosopher Jacques Derrida reflected on forgiveness in these words. How a society shall forgive when it lives in atmosphere of violence? When Mollah denies all the charges against him does he find himself beyond the boundary of forgiveness?

If the Shahbagh movement, which started with people gathering in Shahbagh in February this year in Dhaka protesting against the leaders of Islamist party and asking for death sentences, is for eradicating radicalism then it cannot end up creating a radicalism which will then be encountered by another radicalism opening up a cycle of violence and hatred, a series of unending confrontation. The secular versus Islamic polarization will never resolve the crisis of four-decade-old nation.

When the world today speaks with reverence and hope about forgiveness will they ever consider this case to act upon.

While many leaders of Islamist party are locked up in holes and might be waiting for their turn and the streets are witnessing bloody clashes, we may wonder how hard it is to accept the difference not of language and culture, of race and color but of ideology and memory.

The case of Bangladesh stands out as a unique case of humanity’s failure to translate its ideal of tolerance into politics of daily life.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=124705

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This entry was posted in Anti-Muslim hatred, Bengali Extremism. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to ”The case of ‘Bangladesh’ stands out as a unique case of humanity’s failure to translate its ideal of tolerance into politics of daily life”.

  1. Sheikh Mujib was evil says:

    As a Bangladeshi what can I say but to apologise profusely to our Pakistani and Bihari and Jamaati brothers for all the atrocities the evil Awami league and its terrorist lackeys committed.

    Like

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