Naeem Mohaiemen on Thu, 17 Jul 2008 23:58:58 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Sachalatayan Blog Blocked in Bangladesh

[To see images, click on link]

Ban on Sachalayatan and govt's dalliance with Jamaat
Posted by khujeci_tomai under 1971 , Censorship , jamaat-e-islami

As of Tuesday afternoon, access to has been blocked from
Bangladesh. Right before this unofficial ban, Sachal (as the users of this
site fondly call it) bloggers vehemently protested the attack on a war
veteran by Jamaat e Islami activists at a "Liberation War" meeting. In one
such article Faruk Wasif on Sachalatayan analyzes the incident: "These
obstinate freedom fighters from the subaltern dare do what our seasonal
"Sector Commanders" or the frogs of our Syphilis Society cannot." The full
article, that may have sealed the fate of Sachal in Bangladesh, has been
translated below.

In the meantime, New Age produced another stinging rebuke to the military
controlled government forgiving special treatment to Jamat. It says, "The
offence that Nizami has been accused of having committed is indeed bailable
and thus, there is hardly any scope to misconstrue, in any way, the High
Court's decision to grant him bail. What is curious, however, is the
decision of the military-controlled government and the Anti-Corruption
Commission to not move the Appellate Division for a stay on the High Court's
order, as they have done in the case of Bangladesh Nationalist Party
chairperson Khaleda Zia and two other accused in the case. Also, Nizami is
the first among ranking politicians to be released on bail since the interim
government assumed office in January 2007, although he was the last to be
arrested on corruption charges. Overall, his release gives the lie to the
interim government's public posture on war crime and war criminals, and
lends credence to the public perception that it has all along treated Jamaat
with kid gloves, so to speak, as opposed to iron hand."

Our old freedom fighter wanders the streets
by Faruk Wasif, Sachalatayan [Translated by]

The old freedom fighter, who was attacked at a "Liberation War" meeting of
the war criminals of Jamaat e Islami, this is his photo. This is his
interview, o Daily Shamokal readers. Look closely at his face, his speech.

In the land of the 1971 liberation war, the great Sector Commanders squeal
like kittens as they demand justice. They do this only at polite tea
ceremonies at home. They cannot hold a meeting without TV cameras and
bottled mineral water. They go to the current illegal occupiers of power and
make gentle requests, "Sir, they are bad people, sir. Please give us
justice, sir." They are the gentleman war veterans who have reached sky-high
wealth. Sitting on their perch, they secretly hug the Jamaati war criminals
and the Pakistan supporting brother American power. In the midst of such a
busy schedule, they never have time to join the thousands of people who went
to the streets to block Saidi and Ghulam Azam's meetings. Instead of sending
a protest rally, they send infiltrators. Whether that does the trick or not,
the media bonanza continues, the issue stays alive, and in the afterlife
they will fill the vote box.

Read the news, look at this man's face. The man did not start shouting at
the Jamaat meeting. He felt cheated, walked out and started venting his
rage. No one called him, he was fired up on his own anger. The journalists
saw the opening and walked in, just as Jamaat workers attacked him, and the
news spread. Now we have the toasty hot news! Now all the professional
statement makers will lob their statement bombs, where else but at newspaper
offices? These people live to give statements and get on the 9'o clock news!

But go back to the interview. If you have ever spoken to one of these
poverty-broken angry frustrated freedom fighters, you will know that steady
stare, that raised finger, that caged heat, which only a true fighter still
holds on to. His body is also a document, his language is also a
certificate. We have to read all this. My reading tells me that this man
will speak again. They are all waiting for one chance, just one chance, to
start the 1971 war again. They come to raise hell, spread poison on the
happy party, explode with the lava of their hate. And us? All we can do is
write a poem. At most!

The more you travel downwards in our classist society, the more this hate
[for war criminals], this obstinate rage. And in the upper echelons, only
honey and unity. At these high altitudes, all passions have faded to grey
from the sweet nectar of creature comforts. Fire won't catch here, only
pleasures will flow. The sweet taste of money and power gives them orgasms.
And everyone knows, at the time of orgasm, you forget whether under you is
mother or grandmother, country or land, 1971 or 1982. They too have
forgotten everything. Even in 1971, they were whoring, cheating and
enjoying?on this side and that side of the border. Today they have split
into many political parties and are cooking up the same tricks of the trade.
Have you notice, in 1971 no Awami League leader died in a Thana of Mafaswal?

So it goes. So our old freedom fighter wanders the streets. He will go to
the wrong meeting, the wrong gathering, the endless newspaper offices.
Suddenly he will fly into a rage at a tea shop and start screaming. At home
his wife and children will curse him and say "What bloody independence war?
What have you given us?" He will run out of his house, again prick up his
ears: is my mother, my country calling me? His helpless wandering will be
the juicy news for the media, he will become a plaything for our complacent
Sector Commanders. He will be bought and sold by everybody. A few days
later, after the fuss dies down, the Islamists will come to his home. They
will offer him money, they will threaten to slit his throat. Even if he does
not sell out, he will be afraid for his family. He will lapse into silence.
The media and the gentlefolk will stop searching for him. They will go and
hunt another war veteran to sell. Business as usual.

But no matter how many times people try to sell them, they remain unbroken.
They will die, and in their place, from the subaltern, will wake up new
people? in Kansat, in Fulbari. The 27 corpses of Kansat, the three teenage
bodies of Fulbari, the villagers are still holding on to their martyrdom. In
the village, they call Fulbari "liberation war", they compare it to 1971. In
this way, 1971 wakes up again and again, not frozen as a dead history. The
war will not end. A new battle is ahead. Because 71 is not so cheap, so
fragile. The working class crossed the border and became refugees in 1971.
Today they roam around, inside their own country, as refugees. In 1971 there
were 10 million refugees, and today there are 60/70 million landless, living
under the poverty line. They wander around all day, ghosts among us. In
1971, that was the total population of Bangladesh! People will organize
again, along these lines of struggle. But tragically, we might fail to
recognize them. We may call them hooligans, terrorists or Maoists. Even the
dragon worshipper flees when the dragon finally arrives.

There is no space for them in our genteel liberation war narrative. And in
their authentic liberation war, there is no companion, no leader. But
because these people still survive, even the question, the possibility
remains. We were reminded of this once again by an unknown, dirt poor,
carpenter. He is so incredibly weak?no money, no party, no support, and yet
he shook us to the core of our essence. He raised all the questions we hide
from. This power, only "they" have. Because they have lost everything and
realized, I have nothing left to lose. That is why they can take risks. Even
after war criminals beat them, they shout "I will keep demanding justice."
They dare do what our seasonal "Sector Commanders" or the frogs of our
Syphilis Society cannot.< >< >< ><?>

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