July 18, 2007

Syed Badrul Ahsan Loses It In the Wake of Mrs. Hasina's Arrest

This is getting embarrassingly easy. In his latest pronouncements from the Heights of Editorial Eloquence, Mr. Ahsan has sacrificed truth, perspective and unbiased judgement on the Altar of Hyperobolic Partisanship.

Of the many people he compares Sheikh Hasina to, let me pick out three:

1) Aug San Suu Kyi, two simple points:

Non-violence. Compared with this, this and this.

Real fearlessness. After all, it was Suu Kyi who said:

"It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it."

Hasina participated in elections under Ershad. Does that show fearlessness, if a Moudud or a Mushahid's collusion with autocratic regimes show cowardice? But Mr. Ahsan no doubt suffers from selective amnesia. I urge you all not to show him this particular blog that is so critical of him since that might result in the worst form of cognitive dissonance possible.

2) Nelson Mandela. Excuse me while I take a laughing fit break.

3) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Astounding.

On what grounds?

Because she had ALL her people's welfare at heart? (Whatever his mistakes with the CHT, Sheikh Shaheb never made minority religious groups uncomfortable.)

Because she was such a democrat whose credentials never shone brighter than when he said: "Jodi keu najjyo kotha boley, amra shonkhaye beshi thaakleo, shei najjyo kotha meney nebo?"

Because she never came to understandings with people who had opposed Bangladesh's independence?

Give me ONE meaningful criteria, Mr. Ahsan, by which Sheikh Hasina's career is fit to be compared to that of Sheikh Mujib's. Just ONE meaningful criteria.

From the moment I heard about the crying lawyer, I knew that a large emotional shock had befallen Awami League supporters everywhere. This is entirely understandable and my sympathies are with them. Over the last 20 or so years, these political parties have increasingly come to resemble personality cults, with rituals that are better suited for American Guru Culture than the political culture of Mujib and Tajuddin. Hasina = Awami League is embedded within their psychology, so needless to say this has come as a shock to many. The same happened for BNP supporters when Tareq Zia was taken in, and might become even more acute if Mrs. Zia is arrested.

So out of sympathy let me advise Mr. Ahsan to stop making a fool of himself. If he does want to see Mrs. Hasina out, he should support the legal battle instead of making ludicrous comparisons between the Awami League "Guru" and other more notable figures that do not stand up to the cold light of logic, but make sense only in the minds of the "shishyas".

(Readers may notice that I've put in a new label, "Badruliana" to collect all my "Syed Badrul Ahsan" stories. To prevent any confusion, let me say that I have nothing against the man personally, but love using him as an example of "blind followers"/"partisan"/"biased" types. Why him in particular? Maybe because I admire his writing skills, which are immaculate, and wish that his pen could be put to the service of the nation rather than to a political party. Alas, the pen is only as strong as the brain behind it, and the brain is devoted only for one party. Other than that I really have no reason to use him as an example. "Badruliana" may as well be called "AL fallacy", but it just sounds funnier. No personal insult is intended.)

13 comments:

fugstar said...

badruliana, a play on ballerina?

or an imaginary landscape painted by the individual?

or a shelf of his stuff?

ever thought that you might actually want to be the guy? :-P

J @ ShadaKalo said...

For some strange reason, some people can not participate in politics without making it look like religious worship. How many of you remember Mr. Anwar Zahid saying he will sweep the streets if Ershad asked him to?

The flip side is of course demonizing political opponents.

Just be thankful Mr. SBA did not equate Hasina to Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Madam Teresa and Sirajuddoula. Oops..perhaps I should not give him any ideas.

asif said...

fugstar,

It's actually a plant naming convention http://www.gardenterms.com/iana.htm The suffix "-iana" denotes this thick foliage of my critical appreciation has been dedicated to Mr. Ahsan.

Nope, I would hope to be never so blind about any one thing in my life that I do not see other possibilities. In this, Mr. Ahsan is not alone and is used an an example in my writings.

J,

Mr. Ahsan's implicit comparison between Mandela and Mrs. Hasina was enough for me! The day he pulls that stunt, I will petition for the Daily Star to edit his stuff more strongly (yes, I'm a softy at heart and would not like to have him fired.)

Anthony said...

Mr Zahid has a great record of praising 'glorious saviours'. Mr Zahid called the 1965 Indo-Pak War (http://amar-akbar-anthony.blogspot.com/2005/10/james-bond-and-1965-india-pakistan-war.html) as Pakistan's Great Patriotic War (what the Bolsheviks called World War II), and compared Ayub Khan to a combination of Lenin, Stalin and Mao - the comparisons were meant to be complements.

I'm waiting for Mr Zahid to praise our new national saviour. I'm also waiting for Mr Moudud to be released from prison so that he can assist the new saviour in the transition to democracy.

asif said...

Anthony,

I'm kind of lost as to who Zahid is.

asif said...

Also, if Moudud gets out one more time, I will burn my passport and post pictures of it on this blog! Taking it too far?:)

Anthony said...

Anwar Zahid began his political career as a contemporary of Rashed Khan Menon and Matia Chowdhury. He belonged to the pro-China faction of the underground Communist Party. Somewhere along the way, he came to employed by the Pak intelligence.

I've already mentioned that he called the 1965 War Pakistan's equivalent to the fight against fascismm and how complemented Ayub by comparing him with Lenin-Stalin-Mao combined. He also denounced Mujib as a CIA stooge.

During the Liberation War, he supplied the Pak Army with 'provisions'. Although stories vary on what these provisions were, they definitely included vegetable, and quite possible comfort women and information. According to Bichitra's late Shahadat Chowdhury, it might be on the information provided by him that Rumi, Jahanara Imam's son, and his friends were captured.

In the 1970s, Mr Zahid laid low, before resurfacing under Ershad as an 'honest politician'. As Ershad's minister, he said that he'd sweep the streets if his leader asked him to.

Shadakalo, as bad as Ahsan is, he is nowhere near Zahid.

asif said...

Ahhh, somehow I'd forgotten that bit of J's comment! Sweep the roads if asked.... where do these people get their sense of self-respect?

rumi said...

Anthony, you missed the main provision anwar Jahid supplied to PAk junta. That was Chicken, hence he was called Murgi Jahid during the 80s.
Apparently Ershad remembered Jahid's street sweeping loyalty. Lately when Jahid is quite sick, Ershad was the only politician who visited him.

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I think it iwas very brave from Hasina to decide to participate in the elections in spite of the lack of support he had at the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Can I give you hug... Coz u r my angel... Badruliana!!!