Some hard questions
The regular reader would know very well that my politics is not the same as Farhad Mazhar’s. But Mr Mazhar is easily the best polemicist in Bangla. And in the latest installment of his weekly column in the Daily Naya Diganta, he asks some very hard questions about the ‘questionable’ deaths we’re witnessing among the BDR men.
The full article is here. Over the fold, I have translated some of these questions. I believe those questions are shared by everyone who believes in the fundamental right to life. Here let me add a question of my own.
Let me ask, why shouldn’t we hold the Prime Minister responsible for these ‘questionable’ deaths?
Dear Prime Minister, you have come to power with unprecedented mandate in independent Bangladesh. You were faced with an unprecedented challange in late February. With the full benefit of hindsight it is easy to question your decisions on those days. Nothing is gained by taking that easy, and cheap, route and having that phoney debate about what you should have done.
But why should you not be asked about these deaths now? You promised that there wouldn’t be any extrajudicial killing under your watch. Why should you not be reminded of that promise?
Where does the buck stop?
Is Pilkhana a City of Death?
People are not likely to view the line of corpse coming out of Pilkhana as the outcome of any investigation or judicial process. Instead, people are being given the impression that these are acts of vengence or vendetta. Who are turning Pilkhana into a City of Death today? Who is planning on creating a Guantanamo in Pilkhana that is still stained by the blood of army officers?
Are these deaths designed to silence forever all witnesses?
Questions are arising that if the army is incapable of defending itself within the country, then how can it defend the citizens from external attack?
We are told that India has played such a great role in defending our border that our new BDR chief went to New Delhi to thank them. If India can defend our border then why do we need to maintain the BDR? And for the same reason, why do we need an army?
‘Peace missions’ have brought praise for the army, and its members have benefitted financially. But these have also denationalised the army. Is this army now ours? People’s?
If the corpses keep coming out of Pilkhana’s city of death, will we be able to explain patriotism to the poor whence the BDR are drawn from?