One more astonishing commentary

The one-sided and unfair reporting of the Bangladesh scenario in the Indian media has found mention here (in this column) earlier; a magazine like Tehelka is also no exception though it usually tries to bring the ground reality to the limelight. Now a more astonishing and more distressing commentary by a very renowned and globally acclaimed commentator has come to the fore, on the same subject and in the same tone. This commentator is our Kuldip Nayar, who is the senior most journalist after Sardar Khushwant Singh. Having seen the headline of his article in some daily newspapers on 20 March, it was hoped that the writer would have done justice to the topic and suggested to the Bangladesh administration not to dig up the old issue; that he would have advised the new generation to forget the bitterness of 1971 and direct all the energies to the progress and development of the country; that he would have condemned the excesses and persecution perpetrated by the government of that country on Jamaat-e-Islami, severely criticized the methodology and decisions of the international tribunal, and would have asked Sheikh Hasina as to why it did not occur to her to initiate cases of war crimes when she had come to power earlier and why it has occurred to her now. Now what has happened there that she is targeting Jamaat people there, sidelining all the State affairs?

And this is the same Nayar sahib
But there was nothing of the sort in the commentary of Mr. Nayar; not even a bit of objectivity. It was on the same line that the Indian media has adopted on the issue: “The sense of Joi Bangla is returning home… a country which had lost its ethos is returning to the right path… the spirit of Bangladesh has enlivened in the people of Bangladesh… they want death sentence for the perpetrators of war crimes and ban on the Jamat-e-Islami… this spirit of the youth is necessary for the development of Bangladesh…. The situation is not easy when money is pouring into the coffers of the Jamat.” It is interesting to note that this is the same Mr. Nayar who has been active for a long time for the betterment of Indo-Pak relations. He keeps on advising both the countries to forget the bitterness of 1947 and establish cordial relations afresh; there is no gain in keeping the bitterness of Partition intact. But he is very much happy at the return of the 1971 bitterness in Bangladesh and at the “awareness” of sense of revenge in the youth there, is encouraging it and deems it necessary for the development of Bangladesh.

Had he been aware…
It was, and is even today, my opinion that Mr. Kuldip Nayar is a well-aware journalist; that he keeps deep insight into the events and developments and comments thereon objectively. But not a single quality of his could be seen in his commentary on the Bangladesh scenario. As for the Jamaat there, he has given the impression of total ignorance about it. Had he been aware of it, he would have written: “As a patriotic unit the Jamaat had been against the division of Pakistan; its men might have taken part in the armed struggle but the charges of killing innocents, attacking non-Muslims, excesses against women, looting properties and indulging in destructive activities levelled against them are wrong and baseless….” Perhaps Mr. Nayar would have also written: “During the 1971 war there was widespread propaganda against the Jamaat besides the Pakistani army; they had been character-assassinated; baseless news and information were being spread. These news and reports were released with the dateline of “Mujeeb Nagar” and this “Mujeeb Nagar” was situated in a hotel of Calcutta (now Kolkata)….” But I don’t know whether Mr. Nayar is really unaware (of these facts) or is practising feigned ignorance as a policy of expediency. However I respect Mr. Nayar very much but this commentary of his did not behove his status and position. Even now, it is my pleasant view that he could not get the time to understand the present ground realities in Bangladesh. 

28/03/13 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf

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