By Jahangir Alam Akash, The internal politics of Bangladesh have been polluted. Once upon a time, politics was connected with good things like service and benefits for the people. But now, the situation is that no one can work with politics without money. Politics have become criminalized in Bangladesh.
For around 20 years, I have been writing against corruption, Islamic militancy, religious minority oppression, state torture and the abuse of power in my home country of Bangladesh. I have worked for The Daily Sangbad – the oldest Bengali national newspaper -, Dainik Bangla, Ajker Kagoj, Banglar Bani, as well as the New Nation, the Morning Sun, the News Day, Ekushey Television, CSB News, the Associated Press of Bangladesh, The Editor.Net and the Bengali language service of Deutsche Welle (DW), dainik Patrika, dainik Uttar Bangla, dainik Teesta, etc.
I also worked with human rights organizations, such as the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT), the Task Force against Torture and the Bangladesh Institute for Human Rights (BIHR). And I was the executive editor of the monthly publication Manabadhiker Anusandhani. At present, I am the editor and publisher for the online news portal Human Rights Today.Info, which promotes press freedom, human rights and minority rights in Bangladesh.
For a decade, I have been conducting investigative journalism on the issues of Islamic militancy, extrajudicial killings, women’s and children’s rights, oppression of minorities and indigenous peoples, and corruption in Bangladesh. I am working for peace, democracy and the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples, as well as for human rights.
For simply doing my professional duty, my whole family and I have paid a high price financially, mentally, physically, socially and politically. After the last general election, we heard that my father-in-law, Tajul Islam Mohammad Faruque, a former Member of Parliament, lost his nomination for the MP election from the Bangladesh Awami League. It was because I was campaigning against extrajudicial state killings that have been conducted by the elite RAB force.
This is despite the fact that he has been working with the Bangladesh Awami League over the last 42 years. He is currently also the president of the Bangladesh Awami League for the Rajshahi district. Mr. Tajul Islam M. Faruque and Fazle Hossen Badsha organized a movement against militancy in Rajshahi. Not only that, but, at first, Mr. Faruque protested against minority repression as a political leader in Rajshahi under the rule of the BNP-Jamaat regime.
We also heard that Mr. Faruque lost his nomination due to lack of money, my professional activities and the hostility of AHM Khairuzzaman Liton, the present mayor of Rajshahi. There is a rumor that the nominated candidate for the Bangladesh Awami League gave a huge amount of money to the party fund for the Rajshahi-5 seat (Puthia-Durgapur), which is the seat that Mr. Faruque desired a nomination for. Grassroots leaders were also in favor of the nomination going to Mr. Faruque. This is the culture of politics in Bangladesh.