Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Photo Meditation of the Month (March, 2011): GRIEF

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Cyclone-victims of Urir Char, taking shelter in the nearby
Sandwip Island in the Bay of Bengal, grieving over their
near and dear ones lost in the deadly cyclone

Photo (Sandwip Island, Bangladesh: May, 1985) © Jerome D'Costa

Grief

Grief comes in one's life on the loss of near or dear one. It's an integral part of one's life. Grief, in the form of crying, confusion or disbelief on what actually happened, takes over the life for a time.


A grieving person may feel helpless seeing no hope for the future as the woman in the above photo. She lost her husband and children in the deadly cyclone in the last week of May of 1985. Shortly after midnight, four to five metre high waves, accompanied by strong winds, swept over the low-lying Urir Char island. Fortunately, this woman, like some other people, could save herself by clinging on to a branch of a tree and floating in the bay. She has no earning member left. This lonely and helpless situation is the hardest burden to bear.

Neighbours' help is most essential for a grieving person. As neighbours, we need to be empathetic in our words, gestures and actions. We need to provide company, sharing and hope to such a person. Our effort will gradually help the affected person get over the feeling of emptiness, loneliness and hopelessness. The person then will be able to be a part of the rhythm of normal life and move forward with confidence and hope.



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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Poem of the Month (March, 2011): IF WE HAD CAMERAS

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A camera
Doodle (Toronto: March 29, 2011) © Jerome D'Costa

If We Had Cameras

We wouldn't need to write millions and millions of words
Whether 1971 crackdown on the East Pakistanis
Were a genocide or crimes against humanity
If we had cameras as we have now.

Presently our people have both film and digital cameras --
Kodak, Canon, Pentax, Fuji, Olympus, Sony, and Nikon,
Cameras galore thanks to increase in income,
Free-trade imports, students and migrant workers abroad.

1971 was the time when cameras weren't easy to find
Cameras were a luxury, a dearth possession in East Pakistan,
Due to its prices, non-import, and mass poverty of the people
Resulting in limited documentation of the profoundly important event.

If we had enough cameras we wouldn't need
To convince the international community
To see and understand the depth of the seriousness
Of the widespread atrocities of the West Pakistani soldiers and their local comrades.

We wouldn't need to convince
The international jury to convict
The criminals against humanity,
The un-Islamic activities of the self-avowed guardians of Islam.

In addition, we wouldn't need to prove
The communal hatred and brutal vengeance
Against the Hindu population of East Pakistan
And also rape of women of any religion and ethnic community.

Yet, whatever photos and written documents
Still available from local and foreign sources
Are enough to convict the perpetrators of the blood-thirsty genocide
That calls for the justice and "vengeance from heaven."



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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Some Photos on the Bangladesh War of Independence of 1971

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West Pakistani soldiers did not spare even unarmed
rickshaw-pullers in Dhaka city on the first day (March 25, 1971)
of their 9-month genocidal crackdown on the
East Pakistanis (Bangladeshis)

Photo courtesy: Press Information Dept. (PID), Govt. of Bangladesh (1972)

There's a saying, "A picture speaks a thousand words." The power of a picture, image or photo is unfathomable, when it deals with an event that's the turning point in history. The photos on the Bangladesh Liberation War, also known as Bangladesh War of Independence, are all the more essential now to understand the severity of the 1971 genocidal war against unarmed civilians of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Photos are also needed to document the history of this event.

You may browse the following websites and blogs to view photos that give a real picture of the genocide of 1971. These photos are a testament to the atrocities and injustices against fellow men, lust for remaining in power, and the selfish short-sightedness of the Pakistani ruling elite (politicians and army brasses) of the day. These also prove the failure of the international community to intervene and stop the genocide in the name of the "non-interference in the internal affairs" of Pakistan.



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Monday, March 28, 2011

Some Videos on the Bangladesh War of Independence of 1971

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Here are some videos on the Bangladesh Liberation War, also called Bangladesh War of Independence. These will give you an idea of the nine-month of hell the East Pakistanis (Bangladeshis) passed through under the West Pakistani genocidal regime that unleashed foolhardy and brutal force to cow down these people.
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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Some Books on the Bangladesh War of Independence of 1971

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Muktijuddhe Amra: Christander Obodan
-- a 1995 book in Bengali speaks of the contributions
of Christians in the Bangladesh War of Independence


So far many books have been written and many documents have been prepared on the Bangladesh Liberation War, also called Bangladesh War of Independence. To get a complete picture of this deadly war, we need to read books by different writers who have seen the war from different perspectives.

A partial list of books are mentioned below for our readers.

  • Bangladesh: Contemporary Events and Documents (Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs, External Publicity Division, 1971)
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The Quotation of the Week (March 27 - April 2, 2011)

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Light sources at night in Toronto
Photo (Toronto: Oct. 31, 2010) © Jerome D'Costa


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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Today Is the 4oth Independence Day of Bangladesh

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Bangladesh muktijuddhas (freedom fighters) raising a flag
in honour of newly-independent Bangladesh

Painting (Toronto: March 10, 2011) © Joachim Romeo D'Costa

Today Gonoprojatontri Bangladesh (the People's Republic of Bangladesh) observes its 4oth independence day. In the early morning of March 26, 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the independence of Bangladesh before his arrest by the West Pakistani soldiers who had already started crackdown on the East Pakistanis (people of Bangladesh) before midnight of March 25. The birth pang of Bangladesh was in the form of the Bangladesh War of Independence that lasted for nine months. During this time, West Pakistani soldiers and their local collaborators killed three million East Pakistanis, raped three hundred thousand girls and women and made 10 million people leave their homes and take refuge in neighbouring India. Bangladesh muktijuddhas, trained by India, were engaged in guerrilla warfare with the West Pakistani soldiers and ultimately with the assistance of the Indian army liberated the country. On December 16, 1971, Bangladesh emerged as the newly independent nation.

The Real Independence Is Proven in Actions, Not in Words

A lot of water has passed through the rivers of Bangladesh, a lot of events took place in the country -- some are totally condemnable, some tolerable, others laudatory. In its 40 years of life, Bangladesh is now passing through its middle age. It's time to deeply reflect on the achievements and failures of this country that had gained its independence after profound sacrifices and pains of its entire population in 1971.

Being Bangladeshis, we must reflect on the following and prove the real independence in actions and not in words alone.

  • Are the fruits of independence being enjoyed by all Bangladeshis irrespective of religion, ethnicity and socio-economic-political status in the society?
  • How much freedom (personal freedom, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of the media including the press, freedom from encroachment of others, freedom from poverty) is being enjoyed by the people of Bangladesh?
  • How much discrimination is being faced by religious and ethnic minority groups in the country? What is really being done to reduce this discrimination?
  • Aren't indiscriminate and unnecessary hartals (general strikes), picketing and vandalism an encroachment on the rights and livelihood of other people?
  • Independence is supposed to provide opportunities to formation of political leadership in the country. In reality, same old leadership is holding on to the power in rotation depriving the formation, mentoring and maturity of new leadership. This huge gap is dangerous for the country.
  • How much has been done to look after the real muktijuddhas (freedom fighters) and birongonas (girls and women who had been raped during the Bangladesh War of Independence)?
  • Do our people know the real causes of and events that led to the Bangladesh War of Independence? Are our school, college and university textbooks portraying the true history of Bangladesh?
  • Forty years have already passed, but how much has been achieved in giving exemplary punishment to the war criminals who were engaged in crimes against humanity in 1971?
Flowery words by politicians will not suffice, but real actions will make Bangladesh truly independent. Otherwise, this country will remain fettered by half-truths and lies, injustices and hypocrisies with no real freedom in sight.


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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Painting: City Girl


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A city girl
Painting (Dhaka: April 26, 1968) © Jerome D'Costa



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Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Quotation of the Week (March 20, 2011)

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_An icon of boy Jesus Christ with his mother Mary
and step-father Joseph inside St. Lawrence
the Martyr Church, Scarborough

Photo (Toronto: Dec. 26, 2010 ) © Jerome D'Costa


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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Sign of the Time

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A sign in a fast-food restaurant in Toronto
Photo (November 13, 2010) © Jerome D'Costa

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan Reels from the Devastating Earthquake and Tsunami

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Map courtesy: www.greewichmeantime.com/

The unprecedented earthquake of 9.0 magnitude, followed by deadlier tsunami (high tidal wave), devastated the northeast coastal areas of Japan on Friday, March 11. The prefactures (governor-run districts) of Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima were hit most severely. The death toll so far is more than 3,500, which ultimately may exceed 10,000, reports the Reuters.

Although many houses and buildings initially withstood the impact of the earthquake, the resultant tsunami later washed away and levelled the whole area that looked like the 1945-atom bomb devastated Hiroshima.

Japan, although a developed nation, is prone to natural disasters like Bangladesh.

The Giver Is Now a Receiver

Japan, which is one of the largest givers (donors) in case of natural disasters in other countries of the world, has now turned into a receiver itself. Emergency aid teams and rescuers from various developed countries rushed in to help out in this emergency. The USA is especially keen in providing assistance regarding the damaged nuclear reactors that are posing a great danger and safety risk to life and health of millions.

Videos of the Japan Disaster

The videos on the recent disaster in Japan is a graphic testament to the devastation caused by both the earthquake and the tsunami. These images touch every heart and make everyone pause for a while to contemplate on the frailty of man and material facing natural disasters.


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Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Quotation of the Week (March 13, 2011)

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The play of snow on some potted plants
Photo (Toronto: Dec. 15, 2010) © Jerome D'Costa



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Friday, March 11, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bangladesh Government Attempt to Ban Fatwa Condemned by Islamic Parties

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The Bangla (Bengali) writing on top says: Murtad'der faashi cchai
(we demand the hanging of the Muslim apostates);
the writing on the body says: fatwa'baaz (indiscriminate
issuer of religious edicts).

Doodle (Dhaka: July 20, 1994) © Jerome D'Costa

When this doodle was drawn, tensions were going on between two groups of people in Bangladesh -- liberal politicians and intellectuals in one side, and Islamic fundamentalist politicians and religious leaders on the other. The second group was issuing fatwas indiscriminately (Islamic religious edicts) on different issues, actions and certain persons. Present events and news prove that the tension is still strong.

Bangladesh Attempt on Prohibition of Fatwas Condemned

Mufti Fazlul Huq Amini, the Chairman of Islami Oikkya Jote, warned that "the country will be on fire" if fatwa (Islamic religious ruling) is banned in Bangladesh, reports the Bangla Kagoj weekly of March 1, 2011 of Toronto.

In a recent seminar on "Fatwa: The Present Perspective," organized by Islami Ain Bastobayon Committee (commitee for Islamic laws), Mufti Amini said, no court has the right to give verdict on the Qur'an and Hadis. No verdict can be given on the rules and laws provided by the Qur'an and Hadis. To do anything against fatwa is doing it against Allah (God). If the fatwa is prohibited, hundreds of thousands of alims (or ulemas or Muslim scholars) will protest in the streets.

Mufti Amini criticized Bangladesh's Chief Justice, Education Minister, Finance Minister, Law Minister, Member of the Parliament Rashed Khan Menon, and Professor Kabir Chowdhury of the University of Dhaka and said that these persons were all self-declared atheists.

He further said, the present Education Minister's new education policy is an obnoxious anti-Islamic policy. It this policy is realized, Islam will vanish from Bangladesh. [Muslim] students will also become murtads (religious apostates).

He also said, fatwa was there in the past, fatwa is there now, and it will be there in future.
The amir of Dhaka city, Maulana Abul Kashem, presided over the seminar. Other speakers were the Secretary of Oikkya Jote Maulana Adbul Latif Nezami, Professor Maulana Abdul Karim, Maulana Fazlul Karim Kashemi, Mufti Abul Kashem, Mufti Mojibur Rahman and others.

What is Fatwa? Who Can Issue Fatwa?


Fatwa is an Islamic religious ruling or legal opinion given by a knowledgeable and recognized mufti (Muslim scholar who interpretes the shari'a or Islamic law). Muslims are not bound to follow it. The criteria of the Quranic fatwa are not as easy as they seem to be. How many qualified and recognized muftis are there in Bangladesh, especially in village situation, to issue fatwa legally?

Unfortunately, in Bangladesh, especially in villages where most of the people are illiterate and semi-literate, fatwa is taken as a binding on people. The fatwa issuers also takes advantage of this mind-set. Although, many of them, not suitably equipped to issue fatwa, do so indiscriminately on any matter or person. In most cases, fatwas are used as a weapon to take revenge on or to punish someone for self-serving reasons. Many of the local religious persons who issue fatwas, do so under pressure from influential persons or for their self-serving reasons. Issuance of fatwa indiscrimately is forbidden in Islam.

The State of Fatwa in Bangladesh

The following headlines give a picture of the situation of fatwa in Bangladesh, where it is being used mostly against women.

Today is the International Women's Day when the whole world is celebrating women's achievements and progress regarding their freedom, self-determination and rights as human beings. Unfortunately, in Bangladesh, some people are trying their best to fetter their women further in the name of religion. If half the population (women) is deprived of their legitimate rights and participation in the society, how can that country see the light of progress and prosperity?



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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Libya: It Takes Only One Person to Make or Break a Nation

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Colonel Gaddafi is in denial of the
popular uprising against him

Cartoon (Toronto: March 5, 2011) © Joachim Romeo D'Costa

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi (also written as Qaddafi) has totally misread the wishes of his people. Like old-time rulers he thought that by intimidation and direct attack he would be able to contain the uprising of the people, who by this time, is more informed and educated than before. Like other autocratic dictators, he still feels indispensable for Libya.

A 26-year Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who had ousted the Libyan King Idris in 1969, was hailed as a hero at the time. Once in power, for the last 42 years, he has been running the state as if it is his baaper shompotti (in Bengali, one’s own father’s property where the inheritor is not accountable to anyone).

Colonel Gaddafi is now breaking his own country going against the wishes of his citizens. The popular demand, that started in mid-February, 2011, was asking him first to release a human rights worker and, when denied, the demand came to oust the autocratic dictator himself and establish democracy within the country.There are varied reasons why the Libyans are fed up with his authoritarian rule.

Young people used the Internet social network sites, especially Facebook and Twitter, to call for a nation-wide demonstration against the regime. Instead, Gaddafi vowed to stick to his power and position and unleashed an unprecedented widespread reign of terror by ordering plane-bombing on demonstrators and shooting anyone on sight in the streets. He also ordered arrests of people from streets, homes, offices and, even from hospitals, and shooting them outright.

The international community condemned his actions and demanded his resignation. Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly migrant workers from all over the world, got stranded within the country desperately trying to get out safe. Some big powers have sent warships near Libya for humanitarian work and, if necessary, for forcing no-fly zones in Libya so that Libya’s airforce may not use planes to bomb its own people.

Colonel Gaddafi, with regular supply of oil money, felt so comfortable and powerful that once he was involved in exporting terrorism in other countries by funding different terrorist groups. After facing trade blockade and other restrictions from the West, he, only a few years ago, renounced terrorism and started to have renewed relation with the western powers.

The Background of Libya

The Berber ethnic groups (the ancient Romans used to call them 'Barbarians') were the original inhabitants of the area now called Libya. In the 7th century B.C., the Phoenicians, from the present-day Lebanon, came and colonized the eastern area of Libya. Their settlement was called Cyrenaica. Then the Greeks came and settled in western area, called Tripolitania, which was later, for some time, under the Carthaginian rule. The Romans made Tripolitania as part of their empire from 46 B.C. to 436 A.D. Cyrenaica went under the Romans in the 1st century B.C. The Arabs conquered it in 642 A.D. In the 16th century, both Cyrenaica and Tripoitania nominally were part of the Turkish Ottoman (Osman) empire.

The remaining history of Libya is also a colourful one. Most of the time, Libya was under some foreign powers.

Colonel Gaddafi in the Eyes of World Cartoonists

Because of his autocratic rule and delusional eccentricities, Colonel Gaddafi was a good fodder for cartoonists around the world. His behaviour in face of the recent events in Libya made the cartoonists gleefully creative! Some of these samples are shown below:


Courtesy: www.politicalcartoons.com/

Courtesy: The Toronto Star

Courtesy: National Post, Toronto

Courtesy: www.cartoonistsatish.blogspot.com/



Courtesy: www.allvoices.com/

Courtesy: www.cartoonmovement.com/



Courtesy: www.guardian.co.uk/

Courtesy: The Globe and Mail, Toronto


Courtesy: The Ottawa Citizen

Courtesy: www.politicalcartoons.com/

Courtesy: www.toonpool.com/

Courtesy: www.politicalcartoons.com/

Courtesy: www.omaha.com/

Courtesy: The Independent, U.K.

Courtesy: www.cartoonmovement.com/




Courtesy: twittermail.com/


Gaddafi in the Eyes of the Arab Cartoonists

Let's see how Arab cartoonists see events in Libya and Colonel Gaddafi.

Here are more of what the Arab Press say about Gaddafi and present Libyan events. Bookmark and Share

The Quotation of the Week (March 6, 2011)

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Doodle: Tik-tiki (house lizard)


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Called tik-tiki in Bangla (Bengali), these house lizards
are common in Bangladesh. They have been
such named because of their call "tik-tik-tik".


Doodle (Dhaka: May 21, 1994) © Jerome D'Costa



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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Colloquialisms in Bangladesh Weave A Beautiful Tapestry

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(In the above image) this colloquialism, prevalent in the north
of Dhaka city, says: "Emra dia naa gia hemra dia jaao"
(Instead of going this way, go by the other way)


This colloquialism, prevalent in the south of the Dhaka city,
says: "Noor parbar noisos ke?" (Why are you running?)

Layout and design of the two images (Toronto: Feb. 28, 2011) © Jerome D'Costa


The examples in the above images are rustic colloquialisms prevalent in two areas of Bangladesh, which has a myriad of colloquialisms. Each district or region has its own peculiar conversational Bangla (Bengali). Some are understandable, others are not. Some sound foreign to others as these are coloured by Arabic accents influenced by Arabic-speaking sufis (mystics) and traders who came to those areas hundreds of years ago.

Colloquialism is a conversational or spoken language that is typical of a particular area. It varies from one locality to the other even though they speak the same main language. The British, Americans and Australians speak the same language -- that is, English -- but there’s a vast difference in their accents, pronunciations, and usages and meanings of words. Siminarly, in Bangladesh, we have Dhakaia (of Dhaka), Chittagainga (of Chittagong), Syleitta (of Sylhet), Noakhailla (of Noakhali), Dinajpuira (of Dinajpur), Kushtia (of Kushtia), Borishailla (of Barisal), and Faridpuira (of Faridpur) bhasha (colloquial languages). Colloquialisms are not acceptable in formal or written communication.

In Bangla (Bengali), we have a saying, “Ek desher buli, aarek desher gaali” (one locality’s lingo is another locality’s cursing). One such example will suffice: In a rural area, south of Dhaka city, they use the word ‘aara’ for a small and shallow pond. The same word, in the north of Dhaka, means certain male private parts!

In the mid-sixties, I had come across a Bengali dictionary by famous linguist Dr. Mohamamad Shahidullah. Its name was Bangla Ancholik Bhashar Ovidhan (Bangla dictionary of regional colloquialisms). Dr. Shahidullah used a story in formal written Bengali first, then he showed, by examples, how the same story is told in different district colloquialisms. It was a fascinating reading indeed.

The diversity in colloquialism gives the language an interesting colour and beauty. That’s how a language is enriched. None should be ashamed of his or her own colloquialism in comparison to any other's but should feel proud of his or her own heritage.




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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Shahbaz Bhatti Assassinated, Pakistani Christians Lose One ot Their Heroes

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Clement Shahbaz Bhatti,
Pakistan federal Minister for Minority Affairs

Photo courtesy: www.dawn.com/

Pakistan's blasphemy laws, that inspire direct or indirect killing of a person, has claimed yet another important personality on Wednesday, March 2, in Islamabad, the country's capital.

Clement Shahbaz Bhatti, the federal Minister for Minority Affairs, was gunned down by three assassins when his vehicle was coming out of his house on way to his office. He died before arriving at the hospital and his driver was also seriously wounded.

According to news agency report, the Pakistani Talibans (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan) claimed responsibility for this minister's killing, terming him a "blasphemer." The attackers also left leaflets at the scene of attack saying: "This is the punishment of this cursed man."

The Pakistani Talibans have been calling for Mr. Bhatti's death because of his vocalness and attempts for amending the infamous blasphemy laws of Pakistan. The Talibans, on January 4, 2011, similarly gunned down Punjab's Governor Salman Taseer, a Muslim and a top-ranking member of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP). Mr. Taseer publicly criticized the blasphemy laws and was working actively with Clement Shahbaz Bhatti and others for amendment of these laws so that no one could misuse them in future.

Condemnation of the Assassination

Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Prime Minister of Pakistan, condemned the senseless killing of his minister.

The international community, including their leaders, condemned this attack and asked for justice against this crime.

The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, termed the attack "an unspeakable act of violence." He also said: "It shows how right the pope is in his persistent remarks concerning violence against Christians and against religious freedom in general." He said Bhatti's killing should make "everyone aware of the urgent importance of defending both religious freedom and Christians who are subject to violence and persecution."

Pakistani Catholic Bishops' Conference, under the Presidentship of Lahore Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha, in a statement urged the government to "go beyond the rhetoric of 'minorities enjoying all the rights in the country' and take practical steps to curb extremism in Pakistan."

The Bishops also said: "If the country becomes a killing field of the democratic and liberal individuals who exercise their freedom of conscience and expression, it would embolden the criminals trying to take charge of the country."

Bhatti: A Bold Minority Rights Activist

A long-time activist for minority human rights, Clement Shahbaz Bhatti, a Roman Catholic and a member of the Pakistan People's Party, was appointed Pakistan's federal Minister of Minority Affairs in 2008.

Mr. Bhatti founded All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) in 1985 for seeking equal rights for the minorities. This organization's first campaign was against the blasphemy laws that came into being in 1986. Since then he has been relentless in speaking against and calling for the repeal of the blasphemy laws.

Shahbaz Bhatti was well aware of the threat to his life, yet he boldly wanted to face it for the justice to the minority communities, especially Christians, who are under constant threat and persecution in Pakistan due to the blasphemy laws.

On February 7, 2011, in an event in Ottawa, Canada, Mr. Bhatti said: "I follow the principles of my conscience, and I am ready to die and sacrifice my life for the principles I believe."

Mr. Bhatti Is a Martyr for Human Rights

It is no doubt that Clement Shahbaz Bhatti gave his life as a martyr for the great cause of securing human rights for all minority people in Pakistan. In memory of this hero, a monument should be erected in Pakistan. This monument will act as an inspiration for all minority groups.


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Ekushey February and Some Thoughts on the Suppression of Bangla (Bengali) Language in East Pakistan

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The Ahsan Manzil (also called Nawab Bari -- Nawab's palace)
at Sadarghat, Dhaka, as seen (in the middle) from a boat
on the flooded Buriganga River

Photo (Dhaka: July, 1995) © Jerome D'Costa


The Nawbabs or Nawabs, originally hailing from Kashmir of North India as Khwajas, were rich merchants who later acquired zamindaris (feudal estates) from the British on auctions and became influential in Dhaka. They were given the title of Nawbab or Nawab, similar to that of the British peerage, by the British who were pleased by their full support during the deadly days of the Shipahi Bidhroho (rebellion of the Indian soldiers). The Britishers named this rebellion "Sepoy Mutiny" that happened all-over India.

The Nawbabs were Farsi (Persian) and Urdu speaking elites who did not mingle with the ordinary Bangali (Bengali) population. During the Pakistan period (1947-1971) in East Pakistan, they gave support to the ruling elites of the West Pakistan who were also facile in Farsi and Urdu languages.

Khwaja Nazimuddin (1894-1964) was an influential politician of the Pakistan Muslim League party. He was the Chief Minister of East Pakistan when the question of having only the Urdu as the state language of Pakistan was raised in the Pakistan Constituent Assembly in Karachi. Khwaja Nazimuddin was very vocal in his opposition to the counter-proposal of East Pakistani member of the parliament Dhirendranath Datta to have also Bangla (Bengali) along with Urdu as the two state languages of Pakistan.

The West Pakistani ruling elite and their supporters in East Pakistan wanted to stifle the thinking of the East Pakistanis by suppressing Bangla (Bengali) -- their mother language. This new imperialism of the West Pakistanis gave rise to the language movement among the Bangalis of East Pakistan. The Bangla (Bengali) language movement against their efforts resulted in the indignation that ultimately in 1971 led to the independence of Bangladesh.


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Tuesday, March 1, 2011