With today's arrest of Amar Desh's editor and past BNP energy adviser Mahmudur Rahman, and the sealing of its press, the dissenting voice of 'Islamic forces' has been muzzled. I remember how Amar Desh broke the TribunalGate story in December that sent the War Crimes Tribunal into a headspin and magically began the corrosion of 42 years of powerful guilt tripping and rumour mongery that has made a self-mutilating laughing stock of the country.
That said, I don't think he is the Mahdi or the Sonar Bangla Bullet. I pray he is returned safely to his family ASAP (just like everyone else who is unjustly confined) and see this arrest as just one part of the actions of a despicable, dissent-crushing and murderous government. I just wanted to take the moment to ponder beyond dinosaurs, clones and religious tribalisers.
The more I think of the political autisms of Shahbag and and LongMarch the more I feel that we need to reconnect, critically, with the politics of Maulana Bhashani, the 80 day president Khondhokar Moshtaque Ahmed, and the erudition of Kamal Hossain. [The Kissinger Cables hyperlinked provide a one-click time machine to them]
It is sad that the country is probably not even hungry for a creative generation of Islamic thinkers, justice and serenity makers. The tail end batsmen can only last for so long, especially now that they have acquired a habit for self harm.
- A public sphere more inclusive of Islamic and other non secular contribution and social imagination.
- Hefazat-un-Nisa, a radical Islamist Begumhood dedicated to ensuring dignity and a living wage for garments workers, male and female and the vibrancy of the sector.
- The country's apparently Islamic types inspired by the work, talent and martyrdom of Shaheed-e-Kormi Aminul Islam .
- Political formations and actions that rupture the firewalls between rightist-Islamist and leftist-Atheist.
- A Jamat happy to admit mistakes and nuance and Islamic alternatives.
- A left that is co-operative with political Islam.
- Greater dialogical relations between Islamic, social and physical sciences and scholars.
- A vibrant, Islamically moved creative class providing social yeast, not decoration or nostalgia.
- A world-class weekly publication to carry the conversation and raise the tone.
- That the judiciary had integrity.
- That talents would be nurtured and given scope, not hamstrung, embittered and cleft asunder.
- In the coming years there are fewer blockheads in every camp.
- A new political grammar to supercede hartals, encampments, marches and naff renditions of whiteous indignation.
- Ecological politics, not confrontational politics.
- Bangladesh as an ummahtic destination for more than the Tabligh, Tawfique Chowdhury and Zakir Naik.
- Real, confident and credible engagement in the Asian regional scene.