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01.   29 years of the constitution of Bangladesh
02.   The protection of minorities: a critical challenge for everyone
04.   The new government and 'a rights agenda' for action
05.   Meanwhile in Bangladesh...
06.   The terrorist
07.   The innocent dead in a coward's war
08.   Religion and politics : debate on khatib Ubayedul Haque ( Bangla: PDF)
09.   "Images from ground zero” and the genocide in Palestine
10.   What Israel has done
11.   Terrorism and war ( Bangla: PDF)
12.   The anniversary of the attacks has passed, but ....

13.   Operation clean heart : Bangladesh crime fight

14.   Bangladesh: impunity for the army unacceptable
15.   Bangladesh: indemnity bill - a human rights challenge for parliament
16.   Anti war slogans.
17.   What makes a war happen ( Power point presentation )
18.   War in e.kobi's diary ( Bangla PDF )
19.   It's for your own good

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  The terrorist

By: Shahidul Alam


 
 

The word "terrorist" was not in fashion in 1971. The Pakistanis called them "miscreants". They called themselves the "Mukti Bahini" (freedom fighters). The ordinary Bangladeshi also called them "Muktis", and therein lay their strength. They had limited resources, and very little training. They survived because the people risked their lives in giving them shelter, food, money, and a place to hide. They waved from the rooftops when the Mukti planes came to attack Dhaka. Trenches had been built, but they were too busy cheering to remember them, for in some ways, they too were Muktis.

Rejoicing in our independence, we quickly forgot those nine months, and treated the people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts much as the Pakistanis had treated us. The same oppression, the same genocide. The Bangladesh government called them "insurgents". They called themselves the "Shanti Bahini", (Peace Brigade), as did the other hill people. Shanti Bahini, years later, fought the Bangladeshi military junta, much as the Muktis had fought the Pakistanis, years before. Again the junta retaliated by killing the most vulnerable. It was the military that the people were terrified of. The Muktis and the Shanti Bahini were their saviours.

The main "terror" today is from the guns in the streets, the knee-capping, and the acid throwing. We call the people who do this, "shontrashis". While the Muktis did strike terror in the hearts of the Pakistani soldiers, the goal was to liberate the people. The Shanti Bahini tried to defend their people from genocide. The shontrashis use terror to subjugate people into paying protection money, to gain control, to remove competition for government contracts, and to satisfy their lust. Protected by the politicians in power, the shontrashis and the junta are the only terrorists we have known.

Terror is not about danger itself, but about the fear of danger. Does the ordinary New Yorker, wake up in the morning expecting to die? The answer is no. Does the ordinary Afghani child lie sleepless at night in fear of the bombs from the sky and the ones lurking in the ground? The answer is a sad yes.

 
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  Photo : Abir Abdullah/ Drik
( Evicted slum dweller, from high court ground)
 
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