Published: Sunday, December 15, 2013

Politics of killing must stop

Monir burned and blackened, sits dazed on the road as his father wails. The Daily Star printed this partly pixelated picture a day after the 14-year-old suffered severe burns on November 4 when pro-hartal pickets set fire to his father's lorry. The boy died on November 7.  File Photo: Abu Bakar Siddique

Monir burned and blackened, sits dazed on the road as his father wails. The Daily Star printed this partly pixelated picture a day after the 14-year-old suffered severe burns on November 4 when pro-hartal pickets set fire to his father’s lorry. The boy died on November 7. File Photo: Abu Bakar Siddique

Today we publish a special section comprising of a few news reports and two editorial pages depicting and commenting on the public sufferings caused by the current wave of destructive politics. An appalling number of people have died, and damage to property and business has reached enormous proportions.
Yet the politics of conflagration, which compelled this writer to ask “Are our leaders at war with its citizens?” continues unabated. In these pages, we publish some very graphic pictures of those who have been deliberately set on fire by activists of the opposition and injured during hartals and other incidents of mass violence. We request parental guidance in allowing these pictures to be seen by children.
Bangladesh has witnessed many tumultuous political events, but never anything remotely similar in terms of violence directed at the common people as it is seeing now. Hurling petrol bombs into a running bus full of passengers, throwing gun powder at people sleeping inside covered vans and setting them alight, overturning CNGs and then dousing the drivers with petrol and setting them on fire, stabbing, assaulting with iron rods or knives, etc., cannot but constitute deliberate attempts to kill in the name of political agitation. This our people had never seen before.
The shattering blow to our productive capacities, incapacitating our RMG sector through hartals, the significant loss of our international markets and pushing back below the poverty line those who had managed to cross it — all of these constitute activities that are hurting the common people and cannot be a part of democratic politics.
In the name of opposition politics, the activists of the Jamaat and Shibir are carrying out these killings and destruction which we as a nation can no longer accept. The BNP must also accept responsibility for these despicable actions as the Jamaat is its political ally and also because we have heard no strong condemnation of these activities by the BNP.  There is also a responsibility of the ruling party and the government in so far as they have never seriously tried to engage the opposition in a dialogue or try for a peaceful end to this violence.
Through this special publication we want to raise awareness among the public about the state of our politics and urge our leaders, again and again, to stop this violence and sick politics.

  • MH Khan

    When any Government fails to run the country responsibly and diplomatically it resigns. When any Government fails to ensure safely of the people and their properties it resigns. That is the norm in civilized countries. It is not that the incumbent Government was not given enough time to play it’s cards. We patiently waited and suffered losses. It is a general notion that that politicians and elected representatives and better in handling tricky situations. But they drastically failed to prove that. Both the AL and BNP failed in discharging and delivering their responsibilities. Is it not the time to think of other options to stop the downhill slide and pull the nation out from self destruction?

  • nds

    It means killings be continued till Hasina resigns and as she is definitely not going to do that at Anam’s bidding killing process be further intensified . Amazing argument indeed.

  • disqus_5GDZBhMeEs

    seriously, all leaders should be held accountable. They should all be tried and dispatched quickly so capable people can start thinking about the present and the future of the country and allow the people to rise to the true potential of this nation. Can we not get together and sue them at the international court. I remember reading a report in the daily star recently that govt and opposition leaders can be responsible for political violence and their actions can be internationally tried. We should get this going now.

  • hasina hater

    Are you serious, this doesnt even scratch the surface of what the AL did 5 years ago. Some should go and set that Hasina on fire for me, i’d pay to see that.

  • ibrahimsyed

    The closest thing I’ve ever seen to optimism with regards to Bangladesh’s government, was during the caretaker regime in the late 2000s. The governance of Fakhruddin Ahmed offered the greatest hope of resolving the continuous cycle of corruption, greed and violence that ruined Bangladesh since the inception of democracy after Ershad. The elites, demanded a return to the Hasina-Khaleda catfight, and all the misery and violence that came with it. That’s when I gave up on Bangladesh. A people who give up a path that offers hope and justice, and instead favors the route that has already demonstrated how apathetic it is to the good of the people, is beyond saving.

    And as an opponent to that hope we had, and a supporter to the farce of a democracy that has plagued Bangladesh for over 2 decades now, Mr. Anam really is in no place to complain about the politics we have now. Violence was the means of enforcing hartals and “non-cooperation” for Hasina and Khaleda alike from the beginning. The use of fear to intimidate common people into abiding by their respective hartals when their party was out of power. You knew that when you demanded the return to their rule.
    Don’t expect things to change for the better. Thanks to the demands of our elites, we’ve solidified the future of BD’s politics for the foreseeable future. Happy victory day.