Erasing 25th february and Transcom ( Bangladesh) Limited’s new brand : Manzur

Have you seen todays ( February 25 2014) issue of Prothom Alo? If not let’s see it here –

Prothom Alo 25 february

Do you see where BDR Massacre is in the first page? Helpful Hint: You may need a magnifying glass.

Now let’s see with Prothom Alo’s first page on 15th August.
I am not comparing 15th August with 25th February. I am just trying to see how this newspapers commemorates a national day of mourning –

Prothom Alo 15 August

Or, if 15th August is a matter of different league – lets see how this newspaper treats 14th December- another day of gruesome killings of professionals –

Prothom Alo 14 December

A picture is worth a thousand words. Let the readers make their own conclusions. Looking at this discriminatory news treatment, if a reader concludes that — Prothom-Alo, in collaboration with the Government, is actively trying to erase 25th February from our memory, no one can find any wrong in their assertion.

But this is the same outlet which is at the front line of force-feeding the nation with the memories of 1971 and justice of the killers of 1971. And when comes BDR massacre of 25th February, their double standard is unbelievable.


You will see suddenly both these Transcom limited owned newspapers’ front pages get filled with news items trying to glorify sacked Major General Abul Manzur and cries for justice for Manzur. It is very puzzling to see that suddenly these two media are making so much effort to glorify Manzur. What is the agenda? A friends tells me, very succinctly, “…All this smokes and mirrors about trying to prove manzur’s innocence, but no mention of the fact that manzur made a radio speech where he took responsibility for the ‘revolution’ that brought down the ‘tyrant’ and ‘un-islamic’ zia.  It’s like trying to say “faruq-rashid didn’t kill mujib, it was all a conspiracy by someone else”.

And here is another double standard – while 5 year old killing of nearly 50 army officers  get 1 column inch news treatment, killing of one army officer 39 years ago gets half front page treatment for four days in a row.

And while prothom-Alo and spurned leftist polpot revolutionary Lawrence Lifschultz are so vocal about killing of Manzur and justice for Manzur, they are equally silent about the killing of another more decorated war hero, Maj general Khaled Mosharraf. Mindblowing hypocrisy of Transcom’s Media business – but why?

General Ershad: The Brutal Dictator or The Saviour of Democracy?

Noor Hossain:

It is ironic that I’m writing this piece on our Victory Day that marked the end of our quest for freedom in 1971 . This is the day we’ve achieved territorial freedom.  The history says, we have achieved our political freedom in 1990 when the autocratic regime of Ershad had fallen against years of mass movement.   After the fall of Ershad, we have achieved  freedom for democracy– the freedom of politics in Bangladesh.

Perhaps my narrative would hurt the memories of Noor Hossain or Dr. Milon, two iconic martyrs who were fallen in our struggle to democracy and freedom during the autocratic regime of Ershad.

However, the responsibility of insult, if any to the fallen martyrs, requires to be taken by Awami League, who in the name of democracy and freedom, confiscated freedom and democracy in Bangladesh, step by step, day by day, by force and by bullets –all in the name of freedom and democracy.

Ershad was brutal too. He ruled Bangladesh for about nine years. He curtailed freedom of media, picked up people, played with parliament and so forth. However, no body had seen Ershad or law enforcers were firing indiscriminately to the citizens of Bangladesh, months after months, with little care.

Indeed, Ershad did not declare war against the people of Bangladesh to save his regime. Not to the extent we’re seeing it today. This year, hundreds have been dead in political violence and more are to be dead as Awami League decided to crack down on the opponents with the help of law-enforcing agencies. They’re to launch the attack from December 17, according to reports by newspapers.

Yes you read it right, Awami League decided to crack down opponents. I suggest you to read that  Awami League would shoot down opponents with the help of law-enforcers in this case.

Imagine the picture, a group of civilians are going to kill civilians from opposition with support from state institutions of law enforcing agencies by subverting judicial procedures. It seems, we are in the dress rehearsal session for Afghanistan or Iraq in Bangladesh, where mercenaries are to join hands with militaries to counter oppositions. After all Chatroleagues are mercenaries, they are paid to avail socio-political privileges, in exchange of their dirty work to protect a monarchy or that type!

This means the judicial institution of the state is compromised. It has been done long ago but it is official now. Interestingly, extra-judicial killings of opponents by Awami League who are using state institutions to support its dirty agenda, is not without support from our public intellectuals as Facebook celebrity Zia Hassan or Prothom-Alo editorial member Sohrab Hosain, who publicly urged in separate forms, to support, ‘State Institution’ that  in reality  is compromised by a political party or ‘  Rab and Police to encounter opposition’ against the backdrop of mayhem and chaos, deliberately created by the ruling party to deviate public attention from election issue.

In this state when intellectuals are at their lowest ebb of morality and ethics and the government had pushed the country on the verge of a civil war with its agenda to go ahead with an  one sided election, surprisingly a man stood up in favour of political freedom and democracy–it was Generel Ershad.

As a repercussion of his decision,  Ershad was arrested for not supporting a sham election. He even divorced his wife in accusation of betraying for striking a dirty deal with the current government to support an one-sided election, at least publicly. Skeptics argue that Ershad is staging a soap opera to divert attention.

After 23 years of the fall of his tyrannical regime, it remains to be seen though how Ershad is to be evaluated in course of history.  Will we see him as a former autocrat who stood up against a present autocrat to save democracy in 2013?

Nevertheless, we need to agree that  Ershad is the rock n roll star of Bangladesh politics. Cause no body in the history of Bangladesh politics could rock and roll with the beat of political doldrums and sustain the way Ershad did.