ISSN 2330-717X

Obscenity Of Personality Cult In Bangladesh – OpEd

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The title of this article derives from the similar article, amardesh.co.uk/ব্যক্তি-পূজার-অশ্লীলতা/, by Mahmudur Rahman, perhaps the boldest and most well-known critic of the fascist Hasina regime in Bangladesh. By referring to another brave and brilliant critic of the regime, internationally famous photojournalist Shahidul Alam, Mahmudur Rahman gives us a short picture of the fascist police regime’s massive and multifarious sins, which are in myriads and millions going unabated on a daily basis for years.

To enumerate some of them, they are corruption, loot, plunder, oppression, repression, suppression, subjugation, persecution, abduction, extrajudicial killing, rape, murder, election rigging, misconduct, mismanagement, maladministration, fake and false economic agenda, dented and demented development programs, deeply divisive compartmentalization of the nation into its ‘deep state’ mafia cronies and coteries, thugs and touts, devious hoodlums and hooligans, armed cadres and squads, politicization of crimes and criminalization of politics, commercialization of all moral and ethical values, and commodification of all the branches of the state apparatus (from the judiciary to the military to the police to the bureaucracy to the academia to the business community to the media). 

In reaction to the excessive and artificial fanfare of lament last August (2020), as it is the case every August under the regime, Shahidul Alam was prompted to tweet a message posing the very pertinent question as to which month should be designated for the lament of those who lost their loved and dear ones in this police and prison state of circumvent, sabotage, subversion, fear, coercion and intimidation. The Bengali version of his English tweet, to quote from Mahmudur Rahman, goes like this:  “বাংলাদেশে ক্রসফায়ারে নিহত মানুষদের প্রত্যেক বাবা-মা, পুত্র-কন্যা, ভাই-বোন, স্ত্রী, প্রেমিকা, এবং বন্ধুও শোক করে। বছরের কোন দিনটি আমরা তাদের শোকের জন্য নির্ধারিত রাখবো”? 

This is the country of a suffering people under state terrorism; this is a fascist police and prison state; this is a Hindutva-driven idol-worshipping state of gopali and gestapo police fascistically controlling everything everywhere. In this horribly crooked Hasina regime that has left the country sick, crawl, cripple, reeling, choking and suffocating, bereft of all its essential vitals, in every possible way, one thing is clear and consistent: obscenity of the personality cult of both Sheikh Hasina and her father Sheikh Mujib, who, like the Kims in the totalitarian North Korea, are/were/have been tyrannical and terrifying in their own way, worse than what the Pakistanis were in 1971 and the daughter being much worse, since 2009, than what her father was in 1972-1975. This obscenity has been on the rise since 2009 and has reached a peak this year (2020) with a state-sponsored multi-million dollar lavish and spendthrift celebration of a dead Mujib. 

All this in a country of millions stricken with poverty, malnourishment, and unemployment. Thank God, Covid-19 has taken a toll taking over to curtail the horrendous and outrageous show of what has been ridiculously and outlandishly billed as ‘Mujib Borsho’ (Year of Mujib). But the humongous amount of black money that has been allocated for the celebration theater has gone to the black pockets anyway through both the ‘bottomless’ and ‘topless’ Awami-Baksali baskets. Under the conniving, jaundiced, squint-eyed and partisan Hasina dictatorship, the flow of loot, plunder, swindle and smuggle continues at a high rate at the expense of the interest of the low income nation as a whole, especially the millions of poor folks, downtrodden, unemployed and underprivileged.                      

In the lawless, decadent, and degenerated political culture of Bangladesh under Hasina—a culture of denial, elimination, extinction, and annihilation—political parties and their leaders try to survive and cling to themselves by different means. One of them is to create, add, and bestow appositives and appellations before and after their names. One or two rightly chosen titles or nomenclatures may be fine but too many of them are simply disgusting as if everything has to be defined and identified with one leader and that leader has to be established by having him prefixed before everything with a number of honorific titles. There has been a quarter mile-long list of places and organizations and posts and positions named after Sheikh Hasina’s father Sheikh Mujib. Only some of them are furnished as follows: 

1. Bangabandhu (meaning ‘Friend of Bengal,’ not of Bangladesh though); 

2. Bangabandhu, also forced upon the people as ‘Father of the Nation’; 

3. Bangabandhu Avenue; 

4. Bangabandhu Association (পরিষদ); 

5. Bangabandhu Fishermen Association/মৎস্যজীবী পরিষদ; 

6. Bangabandhu International Convention Center; 

7. Bangabandhu National Stadium; 

8. Bangabandhu Gold Cup Football; 

9. Bangabandhu-Bangamata Gold Cup Tournament; 1

0. Bangabandhu International Volleyball Championship; 

11. Bangabandhu Tungipara Monument; 

12. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU); 

13. Bangabandhu Agricultural University; 

14. Bangabandhu Maritime University; 

15. Bangabandhu Science and Technology University, Gopalganj; 

16. Bangabandhu Communication Satellite; 

17. Bangabandhu National Agriculture Award; 

18. Bangabandhu Memorial Museum; 

19. Bangabandhu Jamuna সেতু (Bridge); 

20. Bangabandhu Cultural Alliance; 

21. Bangabandhu fortnightly Magazine; 

22. Bangabandhu Fellowship; 

23. Bangabandhu Textile Engineer’s Association; 

24. Bangabandhu Eco-Park; 

25. Bangabandhu Safari Park; 

26. Bangabandhu Graphic Novel; 

27. Bangabandhu Ulema Foundation; 

28. Bangabandhu Government College, Gopalganj; 

29. Bangabandhu Hall Debating Club; 

30. Bangabandhu Media Complex (31-storey National Press Club under planning/construction); 

31. Bangabandhu Awami Family পরিবার League; 

32. Bangabandhu High-Tech Park; 

33. Bangabandhu Kurmitola Airbase; 

34. Bangabandhu Literary Association/সাহিত্য Parishad; 

35. Bangabandhu Complex at the Naval Academy Chittagong; 

36. Bangabandhu Professor at the University of Professionals, Dhaka; 

37. Bangabandhu Chair at the Asian Institute Bangkok; 

38. Bangabandhu Asian Senior Mens’ Central Zone Volleyball Tournament; 

39. Bangabandhu Square (চত্তর) at Bangladesh Agricultural University; 

40. Bangabandhu Social Welfare Society/সমাজকল্যাণ পরিষদ; 

41. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib International Airport, to be constructed on 8000 acres of land (the largest in the country); 

42. Bangabandhu feature films, the latest to be made by Indian director Shyam Benegal; 

43. Bangabandhu 7th March Speech Building, Rokeya Hall, Dhaka University; 

44. Bangabandhu BNS Naval Base; and,

45. Bangabandhu Corner in Mirpur Cricket Stadium (seemy Bangladesh Divided: Political and Literary Reflections on a Corrupt Police and Prison State, Peter Lang, 2019,  pp. 114-116; and my Bangladesh: Political and Literary Reflections on a Divided Country, Peter Lang, 2018, pp. 354-362).

As the above indicates, it is all ‘Bangabandhu,’ nothing else. English dramatist Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, seeing the shadowy phantom of the most beautiful woman Helen (raised by the evil Mephistopheles at the end of the expiry of Faustus’s twenty-four-year contract with the devil), pays eloquent tribute to her, saying, “All is dross that is not Helena.” Similarly, to the Awami BAKSAL, all is dross and gross and hopeless and useless, of no value at all, that is not Mujib. This is demonstrated by its naming everything, in a very cheap and sickening manner, after the name of ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujib. There are over 250 organizations and entities, big and small, light and large, funny and formidable, trivial and jovial, coolie and black bird kaowa কাউয়া (crow) that are all named after ‘Banganandhu’ Mujib and his extended family members—his parents and his children—and his Awami/BAKSAL outfits (www.bd-pratidin.com/first-page/2017/03/24/217395).  

Like the excessive inflation of ‘golden’ GPAs, and balloons—toy balloons, Boishakhi balloons, birthday balloons, wedding balloons, and anniversary balloons—, widespread corruption, looting, and plunder during the Awami regime, and the relentless suppression of the opposition BNP by the (B)AL, there is an excessive inflation of naming names after only one name and one family and one party. It is as if Mujib and his Awami League alone were the only history to be obsessively celebrated and worshipped like a cult hero and a cult totem in a communal culture (for more things named after Mujb and his party and his family members, to their ‘happy’ pain or ‘bitter’ pleasure, visit: www.bd-pratidin.com/first-page/2016/03/27/134978; www.bd-pratidin.com/first-page/2017/02/15/207991;www.amadershomoy. biz/beta/2017/02/25/818616).   

One Haider Ali Chowdhury has even published a book calling Bangabandhu Mujib a (new) Caliph of Muslims and the book was launched at a ceremony attended by some of the top Awami figures(www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155212333839796&set=a.40346289795.48054.632289795&type=3&theater; www.roshikhakim.com/2016/12/20). One Awami Student League member describes Sheikh Mujib and Sheikh Hasina as if they were Muslim religious saints (Bujurgh) with ‘Rahmatullah-Alaih’ at the end of their names, although the young man claims it is not in the record of their ideal or tradition to start something with Muslim greetings of ‘Salam’ or ‘Bismillah’ (https://youtu.be/qQ2sEalFQJ4). Moreover, there are over a hundred parasitical organizations that make a lot of money just by using Mujib’s name or Awami League’s name, thereby belittling him and his party. A great national leader should not be belittled like this, Awami leader Obaidul Quader said (www.thedailystar.net/parasites-feast-on-ruling-al-49542; http://dailyasianage.com/news/3383/opportunists-belittling-mujib-floating-organizations-quader). Mujib’s younger daughter Sheikh Rehana also did not seem to like the bandwagon of using her father’s name so indiscriminately and suggested that the great name of either Sheikh Mujib or Awami League be used more selectively and judiciously. 

Professor Afsan Chowdhury suggested that, in addition to the hundreds of institutions and organizations named after Mujib, his family and the Awami League, there also be a ‘Jatri League’ and a ‘Rogi League’ (bus passenger league and hospital patient league) to reap some benefit and protection from the AL government in the face of transport workers’ or medical doctors’ strikes causing endless suffering to the ordinary commuters and patients. It seems the Awamis and Sheikh Hasina are still happy and proud to see that there are hundreds of things named and many more still to be named after them and their near and dear ones. They must be as excited as the people of the old German town of Hamelin were to see that the flute music of the colorfully dressed pied piper brought out the ‘army’ of all the rats of different colors, freeing the townsfolk from the nuisance that were the rats: 

You heard as if an army muttered; 

And the muttering grew to a grumbling; 

And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling; 

And out of the houses the rats came tumbling: 

Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats, 

Brown rats, black rats, grey rats, tawny rats, 

Grave old plodders, gay young friskers, 

Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins, 

Cocking tails and pricking whiskers, 

Families by tens and dozens, 

Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives— 

Followed the Piper for their lives.  (“The Pied Piper of Hamelin”)

Had Hasina felt embarrassed, she would have stopped this low trend of naming names after her family members and herself (such as ‘Hasina Awami League,’ ‘Awami Shavanetri League,’ ‘Awami Hybrid League’) long ago. Some small and almost unknown parties from within the AL-led alliance, to please Hasina and her (B)AL, are raising the demand that the capital Dhaka be renamed after her father as Mujibnagar (http://m.banglanews24.com/national/news/bd/560916.details). Dr Tuhin Malik said that, in its fascination to name everything after Mujib, the AL, if possible, would even like to rename the Facebook as Bangabandhu book (www.youtube.com/watch?v=09sGUwjdwkA). One would not be surprised if the country is renamed as Bangabandhu’s (Bangabandhur) Bangladesh, like the Saudis named their country as Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world to be named after a family (Saud family)—family of the founding monarch. After all, the opposition BNP is alleging that the Hasina government is bent upon establishing monarchy in Bangladesh (www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/grievances-now-forgotten-197572;http://newagebd.net/199034/al-established-monarchy-alleges-bnp/).      

Erection of Mujib’s name everywhere is nothing short of the fruition and fulfillment of the once (B)AL slogan of এক নেতা এক দেশ বঙ্গবন্ধুবাংলাদেশ (One Leader One Country Bangabandhu Bangladesh). But the strategy also seems to be in compensation, in a negative way though, for whatever deficit there is in the actual historical record of Mujib’s failures, besides his only a few successes. Despite deficiency, Mujib is what he was—a political leader of Bangladesh, among many others, but not a great continental eighth summit, to be aspired after, so to speak, by the already seven summiteer Wasifa Nazreen. To name a host of things before and after the name of Mujib—one after another—is to put on him more and more waxen wings of Icarus, to melt down in the heat of the sun or to fall off with the passage of time. Naming many things after his name would not let Mujib stay on the solid rock of a peak. 

On the other hand, whatever little—a tiny fraction of Mujib’s—was named after Ziaur Rahman, a great beacon of light and hope, was anathema to Hasina and her (B)AL and so was replaced by other names, so that all his traces and memories could completely be erased from the public domain and national front. One A N M Nurul Haque writes that “Both Bangabandhu and Ziaur Rahman are well placed in our history as national leaders. Their positions in history cannot be changed by renaming and de-naming the existing institutions and installations. Bangabandhu named the finest part of the capital as Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, the historic park of the country as Suhrawardi Uddyan and the largest avenue of the capital as Manik Mia Avenue” (“Politics of Renaming,” http://archive.thedailystar.net/ newDesign/print_news.php?nid=119375). 

Similarly, all national figures should have their due and fair share, instead of the colonial East India Company type monopoly of one name only. Even then, the Awami supporters, far away from Bangladesh, could not accept the Chicago City Council’s decision to name a local road as ‘Ziaur Rahman Way’ about a couple of years ago. They were of course finally defeated in a US court there. Fortunately, they also did not have a chance to stop the Moroccan government’s naming an avenue in French after Ziaur Rahman long ago. There are page-long titles before the names of many religious saints, royal members (Kings and Sultans) and political figures in some parts of the world like Central Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, and Africa for no good reason other than that there has been a long-standing tendency—from noble to notorious, benevolent to malevolent—to develop a personality cult by some rulers and their fanatical devotees. Cambodia’s long-ruling Hun Sen (born Hun Bunal), who, like Sheikh Hasina, brooks no political dissent, has a lengthy honorific, perhaps longer than his physical size: ‘Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen,’ loosely translated as ‘Lord prime minister and supreme, glorious, powerful military commander Hun Sen.’ 

The long honorary title of Tsar Nicholas II in the early 20th century has been mentioned above. The ancient Assyrian King Esarhaddon, father of the more famous King Ashurbanipal of the 17th century (BC), who lived at the time of the later Egyptian pharaohs, had this message carved in stone, after conquering Egypt: ‘I am a hero, I am gigantic, I am colossal, I am magnificent.’ The great 14th century Central Asian empire builder Tamerlaine (or Tamburlaine, as Christopher Marlowe called him) was also known as Amir Timur or ‘Sahib-i-Qirani,’ meaning ‘Lord of the Fortunate Conjunction of the Planets.’ The 16th century founder of the Crimean Tatar Khanate dynasty, Menli I Giray, took the imperial title ‘Sovereign of Two Continents and Khan of Khans of Two Seas.’ The “Nizams” of Hyderabad, that is, the Asaf Jah family/dynasty, who adopted the title of ‘Nizam-ul-Mulk,’ since 1724, meaning ‘Administrator/ Governor of the Realm,’ were conferred with another two titles—’His Exalted Highness’ and ‘Faithful Ally of the British Government’—by the colonial British government for their collaboration in the wars against their neighboring fellow Muslim rulers Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan of Mysore in the mid-19th century, thus becoming the only Indian prince/s to be given both these statuses. 

The Nawab Nazims of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa also enjoyed a bundle of titles at the same time. Mirza Mohammad Sirajuddowla (1733–1757), who was Nawab of Bengal and Nazim of Bihar and Orissa, had the titles of Mansur-ul-Mulk (Victory of the Country), Siraj-ud-Daulah (Light of the State), and Hybut Jang (Horror in War). His successor Mir Mohammad Jaffar Ali Khan Bahadur was also Shuja ul-Mulk (Hero of the country), Hashim ud-Daulah (Sword of the state), and Mahabat Jang (Horror in War). In their excessively boastful pride, the above mentioned went too far, to the extent of claiming to be as powerful as God/Allah the Almighty, who says, in the holy Qur’an (verse 79:24), ‘I am your Lord, Most High.’

In not so dissimilar a context the English poet Tennyson was satirically critical of the ‘pompous epithets the Oriental writers [were] accustomed to bestow on their monarchs, because he saw the futility of their pride when they were actually too weak to defend their own countries (see the note to his poem ‘The Expedition of Nadir Shah into Hindostan,’ based on William Jones’s translation of the History of Nadir Shah. The poem is a bitter indictment of Nadir Shah of Persia, the last great Muslim conqueror of India, who ravaged Delhi in 1739, leveling thousands to “the dust of the plain’ and laying waste—’a wilderness dreary and bare’—what was the “Eden” of Hindustan). This love of and for titles—deep or superficial—with the attendant slavish, sycophant, feudal and colonial mentality and the lurking hero-worship syndrome has seriously affected the area of everyday journalism too. For example, in Bangladesh, no talk shows, public meetings, or formal gathering introductions are ever complete without mentioning at least a few (redundant) titles of embellishment or other forms of elaborate epic-epithet style address connected with the family stock before every name every time it is uttered—from “Sir,” “Madam,” “মাননীয়” (Honorable), “মহামান্য” (Highly Honorable) to ‘Your Excellency’ and ‘My Lord’. It is as if nobody would know those personalities, prominent though they are, by their simple proper names if they were addressed with just one common standard title of “Mr,” “Miss,” or “Dr” only. (It is to be noted that an American President or a British Prime Minister is simply addressed as ‘Mr. President’ or ‘Mr. Prime Minister.’ Only rarely or in very formal circumstances, such a position is addressed as “Honorable Prime Minister,” “Madam Prime Minister,” “Dear Mr. President,” or “President of the United States,” with absolutely no other terms added before or after. Thanks to the amazingly versatile Asafuddowla, a former secretary to the government of Bangladesh, founding editor of The Bangladesh Today and a Nazrul-song artist (brother of the late Nazrul Geeti icon Firoza Begum), who has always expressed his objection and resentment against such agonizingly “colonial” forms of flattery, appeasement and patronization on a number of occasions on various TV channels.)  

By contrast, it is an unpardonable offence, as it were, not to use a number of honorary or earned designations and descriptive epithets related to the family dynasty every time their names are mentioned in Bangladesh. It is as if there was a shameful intention for everyone to somehow become a permanent “Former” (“সাবেক”) rather than a selfless and illustrious “current/ present” somebody, however short-lived that may be. Since one cannot be a “সাবেক” (Former) before becoming an incumbent, one has no choice but to aspire to become a “Current” first, by hook or by crook, regardless of how short or long that incumbency would last. Hundreds of politicians and other high positions, young or old, have found it an easy way to establish themselves in the permanent position of “সাবেক” (“Former”) and thereby bring themselves a certain amount of undying social aura and prestige so that their sons and daughters and grandchildren also could everlastingly feel proud to have belonged to and have descended from the family of a “সাবেক.” As a result, the children and grandchildren of a “সাবেক” so and so feel as much pride as those for whom it is now their turn to enjoy the limelight of having come from the family of a current so and so. 

In some “Royal” or authoritarian countries in Asia and Africa, the royalties and the public officials enjoy page-long titles before and after their names. While it looks funny in the free and democratic countries, it is their (royal/authoritarian) way of meaning business and getting anointed and gaining prominence, however old, epical, tribal, medieval, or colonial style it may seem to be. The government dignitaries in those royally or autocratically run countries are happy to receive such titles and, in return, remain loyal, quiet and silent, ensuring so-called “sheepish” stability and continuity. Another equivalent of this heavily alloyed governance style is the wholesale promotion of public administration officials in the government bureaucracy, as in Bangladesh, so that they remain happy and keep their mouth shut (www.daily-sun.com/post/103799/Topheavy-civil-admin).  

The country-specific royalty and the same long-lasting ruling coalition, in conjunction with each other, take the opportunity to create a privileged and foregrounded titled class that effectively helps them to hang on. The postcolonial critics favoring democratic equality and unity may find this as a legacy of colonial master-slave mentality, decadent pomp and splendor syndrome, inferiority complex, and outlandish royal trappings. Both the Western and the Eastern standard bearers of democracy, democratic openness, human rights and human dignity in the 21st century would view such practices as laughable and unacceptable, as suggested by Barack Obama’s recent comment that he was not the king or emperor of the United States to do things as freely and singly as a king or an emperor could easily do, unaccountable as the position is to the people, by the stroke of his pen. 

Another thing in point is that if the very election/s, claimed by the majority to have been fake and false, bogus and botched, boycotted and bowdlerized, a deceiving ruse or a devilish stratagem, totally unacceptable, why to prefix “মাননীয়” before the names of the persons in question? As a corollary, why to invite the corrupt and convicted, and the shameless and harmful nonsense-and-foul-talking loose talkers on TV and in meetings, in front of young students and civil society members, giving them social and political recognition and legitimacy? Isn’t it a strong antidote for them to be shunned and not to be invited in public to be in the limelight of the media? Today’s political parties in Bangladesh should not remain mired in the backward-looking “remembrance of the things past” in their meditative stream of consciousness. As it is, they are deeply engulfed in the politics of the past with no agenda for the future and for the real harmonious development of the country—economic, social, moral, and democratic, all together. They must function in an environment of democratic freedom, peace, tolerance, and equality. 

When in power, this or that party must establish the rule of law as opposed to any particular party, such as the (B)AL which, more than any other parties, nakedly politicizes and commercializes all sectors of the government with the intention of brutally suppressing, crushing, crippling, cornering, eradicating, and annihilating the opposition. There is a clear tendency on the part of the (B)AL to openly criminalize, in an unalloyed abuse of power, the state machineries and their boots and batons and bullets and barrels, which must belong to the state as a whole, to be used for the general welfare of the masses and the nation building. By all index, it seems the Awamis are the biggest abusers of democracy in their ruthless tactics to cling to power and stifle and silence the opposition views and voices. Every time (B)AL came to power, since 1972, it is believed to have far exceeded its immediate past predecessors, including the Pakistanis and then H M Ershad, in corruption, politicization, repression, suppression, suffocation, eradication and annihilation.

There are many more Bangabandhu things, in addition to the scores of others named after the ‘Sheikh’ family members (Sheikh Hasina, Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal, Sheikh Russel, etc), the trend and tradition of which are quite sickening, dispiriting, and demotivating. There is Bangamata U-19 Women’s International Gold Cup, among some other things named after Hasina’s mother. Sheikh Hasina University, Netrakona, and (the initially Obaidul Quader-proposed, but now shelved) Sheikh Hasina Padma Bridge are only two of many other things named after Hasina. People thinking that Bangladesh has become a ‘Sheikh Republic’ jokingly keep adding many more funny and satirical ‘Bangabandhu’ things about which R Chowdhury of the USA comments: “কথায় বলে, চেনা বামনের পৈতার দরকার হয় না। […] অবৈধ বামনকে বৈধতা দেবার জন্যই যতসব পৈতার ছড়াছড়ি। পৈতার ভারে বামন ঠাকুর/ঠাকুরাইন না একদিন নিশ্চিহ্ন হয়ে যায়।” 

National hero/conscience Mahmudur Rahman writes in the same article: ইরাকের সাদ্দাম হোসেনের জামানায় রসিকতা করে বলা হতো যে বাগদাদের আদমশুমারিতে যা জনসংখ্যা দেখান হতো তার অর্ধেকই নাকি ছিল নানা কিসিমের সাদ্দামের মূর্তি। আজকের বাংলাদেশ কি তার থেকে কোন অংশে ভিন্ন? দেশে শেখ মুজিবের কত হাজার অথবা লক্ষ মূর্তি এবং প্রতিকৃতি কিংবা তার নামে সড়ক, সেতু, খেলার মাঠ, স্থাপনা, সংগঠন রয়েছে তার হিসেব স্বয়ং শেখ হাসিনাও দিতে পারবেন না। কদিন আগে শুনলাম মিরপুর ক্রিকেট স্টেডিয়ামে নতুন করে মুজিব কর্নার বানানো হবে। স্টেডিয়ামটি অনেক আগেই নামকরণ হয়েছে বাংলাদেশের প্রখ্যাত রাজনৈতিক নেতা এবং অবিভক্ত বাংলার প্রথম প্রধানমন্ত্রী শেরে বাংলা ফজলুল হকের নামে। তাই স্টেডিয়ামের পুরানো নাম পাল্টানো যাচ্ছে না। অতএব, মুজিব কর্নার করা হবে যাতে সকল আন্তর্জাতিক খেলা চলাকালে টেলিভিশনে সারাটা ক্ষণ মুজিবের ছবি আর নাম দেখান যায়। আর এক জন অত্যন্ত সম্মানিত ব্যক্তির নামে প্রতিষ্ঠিত স্থাপনায় একটা কর্নার বরাদ্দের মাধ্যমে যে তাদের ‘মহান পিতা’কে প্রকৃতপক্ষে অসম্মান করা হচ্ছে এটা বোঝার মত বুদ্ধিও চাটুকারদের লোপ পেয়েছে। বাংলাদেশে মুজিবপূজাকে রীতিমতো অশ্লীলতার পর্যায়ে নিয়ে যাওয়া হয়েছে। (amardesh.co.uk/ব্যক্তি-পূজার-অশ্লীলতা)

Concerning the long list of the ‘Bangabandhus’ as mentioned above, Zoglul Husain of the UK reacts, over an email of 27 August 2018, “Dictators do that to consolidate their power. Between 16 December 1971 and 15 August 1975, the Mujib supporters used to say: এক নেতা এক দেশ, বঙ্গবন্ধু বাংলাদেশ, but after 15 August, some retorted back: এক নেতা এক দেশ, এক রাতে [regrettably, totally] শেষ. History has dealt with Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, etc. The rise of neo-fascists in the world scene today would be dealt with by history again […] There has been a revival of Mujibism since 1/11/2007 through India-BKSAL conspiracy […] History would inevitably deal with the BKSALites again. The nomenclatures, you listed, would go with the wind then.”

Moulana Delwar Hussain Saiyedee, of international repute as one of the greatest Islamic scholars of Bangladesh, rotting and languishing in jail for years now under the fascist regime, made satirically beautiful speeches, years ago, about the foolish and frivolous Awami lowering of Sheikh Mujib by indiscriminately naming everything in his name (www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW6iNB8iwjw; www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYDn_HsGoE0; www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gaUI5opV9k; www.youtube.com/watch?v=_C09CG8CbqY; and

ne-np.facebook.com/almamun1668/videos/বঙ্গবন্ধুকে-নিয়ে-চরম-হাসির-ওয়াজ-আল্লামা-সাঈদী-allama-delwar-hossain-saidi/769546273851367/).

No matter how many ordinary or special slots and titles are allotted or created in Mujib’s name or Hasina’s name, the legacy of the immortal and illustrious Ziaur Rahman, proclaimer and declarer of the independence of Bangladesh in March 1971, will no doubt last longer than Mujib’s, as the memory of their respective funeral ceremonies—one attended by millions of people and one by hardly any— suggests. Similarly, the legacy of his wife and three-time former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia also will endure longer, much longer as her phenomenally legendary popularity bears ample testimony. Both husband and wife have/had already outdone any other political leaders of Bangladesh, male or female, in their unprecedented national status and standing, popularity and patriotism, and achievement and accomplishment, as they also suffered immensely and unjustly, especially Begum Zia under the fascist Hasina. God bless them here in this world and the hereafter!    

*Q M Jalal Khan is author of Bangladesh: Political and Literary Reflections on a Divided Country (Peter Lang, 2018) and Bangladesh Divided: Political and Literary Reflections on a Corrupt Police and Prison State (Peter Lang, 2019), in addition to numerous other publications on literature and culture. After disengaging from many years of full-time teaching abroad, American-educated Dr Khan is currently on the adjunct faculty at an institution of higher learning in North America. His recent work, “Sheikh Hasina’s Brutal BNP-Phobia and Her Scandalous “Midnight” Power Grab Through Vampire Vote Dacoity and Villainous “S/Election” Rigging With an All-Time High Record of Humongous White-Collar Corruption” has appeared in Sabria Chowdhury Balland (ed), Bangladesh: A Suffering People Under State Terrorism (Peter Lang, 2020). The present article is the fourth of the eight-part series on Indian control of Bangladesh.  

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