Away from Home
The Human Rights Today report: The editor of “THE HUMAN RIGHTS TODAY”, journalist Jahangir Alam Akash have written two new books in English. The books are “Struggle for Peace” and “Away from Home”. In the Independence Day of Bangladesh 26 March, 2010 these books have published from Adarsha publication of Bangladesh. We would like to share about the books of Akash. The subject of these books are press freedom, minority oppression, politics, extra judicial killings, Islamic militancy, extra judicial killings, torture and the human rights in Bangladesh. Now the books are available in Germany. If anyone would like to buy then please contact with the Author (email@example.com).
“AWAY FROM HOME”
Flairs: The thought for the society haunts him always. He sees man above religion and colour. In favour of the people, truth, and justice and with the professional mentality for social welfare, he has grown up. Akash is a professional and non-communal Journalist with a mind of free thoughts. To clean the society garbage and darkness, he himself was compelled to get out of the country. Though in exile, he thinks and feels for his country all the moments. This Journalist, in each article of this book, ‘Away from Home’, has told us about a ‘Golden Bangladesh’ where the communal harmony would be a bright example of fraternity.
Preface: The reasons of coming out of the motherland may be manifold but the pain is the same. An immigrant, a student, a businessman or a tourist leaves his country. Except the first, others go back. Which might be the cause to be fugitive, the life abroad is definitely a melancholy. After the initial surprises and curiosities are gone the motherland appears from behind. The pain begins.
In my over 33 years of living abroad, I came across to hundreds of my countrymen in Germany. With few exceptions, all of them were frustrated young from 80’s and between 20 to 30 years. The main driving force behind their crossing the Pacific Ocean to find an opportunity to earn money in the first world.
After the liberation of Bangladesh, the young generation from teenagers, found the mother country in total political turmoil and chaos. There were no perspective and hope. The country was instable and famine was knocking at the door.
After I entered into the then West Germany in 1978, the number of Bengalis were not even 2-3 hundred but within next 4-5 years it grew 10 times! It was a 100 meters’ Sprint, distance small but the runner must hurry as fast as he can! We sought here political Asylum and after having the so-called ‚temporary-stay’, searched out a job, either as dishwasher or lo-level labours in factories or cleaners. Next 3/4 years, earning money as much as possible and then the inevitable rejection of the case. Now either going back to the country or finding out a new country to earn again! Many have crossed Atlantic for USA-Canada. Most of them were scattered in different neighboring countries in Europe. The ages and faces were different but desire was the same. At any cost to stay and as much as possible to earn.
Three decades have gone by. Now I find here almost no contemporary of mine. In the meantime, hundreds from my known circle have left Germany, either for another country or have gone back to Bangladesh. About 3/4 thousands are here with normal stay-permits, citizenships with family. We have now here 3rd generation of the immigrants.
Were they all Asylum-seekers like me? No there are some exceptions. One of them is Jahangi Alam Akash, a journalist of Bangladesh. He is here since last year. He is living in Hamburg with a scholarship of Hamburg Foundation. The foundation has arranged his one year stay in Germany as a relaxation and cure from the persecutions, tortures, imprisonments in Bangladesh during BNP-Jammat Government and Interim Government (2001-2008). His profession was his enemy. What he has done, why he has risked his life in Bangladesh, the readers will be aware of it after they have read this book. Akash is now out of the country, return to motherland is most uncertain. He is trying to find out a permanent shelter in Europe with his wife and about 3-years son.
Akash is no economic refugee like hundreds of us but he is homeless now. His works for human rights and investigating journalism all sorts of lawlessness in our country have driven him out of the country and he is now looking for a second homeland. I wish he finds it soon.
To my dear Bangladesh
My Bengal of gold, I love
For ever your skies, your air set
My heart in tune
As if it were a flute
Short Biography of the Author
For the last two decades Jahangir Alam Akash has been writing intensively and courageously on the matters of Islamic Militancy, murders extra judiciary, state-persecution, tortures on religious minority and indigenous people, corruption, political terror, the women-mishandlings and last not the least for the common and helpless people who suffer without rights and justice. As a School boy he has entered the domain of journalism due to his conscious realisations of the superstitions of the society, corruption, injustice, lawlessness and affliction of strong over weak. His mission is to attract the attention of social and governmental machineries for the healing of these humiliations. Taking enormous risks for his own life he is advancing onwards with the strong belief to establish democracy, peace, human-rights, equality, and fraternity and for a secular society. Akash is strong in mind for an independent people’s media: Owing to this he has become victim of harassments and tortures many times by the state, Islamic militarism, independence-opposing circle, opportunist political groups and corrupt-gangs. Attempts were made to stop him through cases, physical attacks and Threats. On professional causes, with fictitious political and exasperated charges he was imprisoned two times so far. But he could not be tamed. He is writing till now as before.
He was born in far north nof Bangladesh where Himalaya begins. His birth place is village: Shatkhamar, under Balarampur Union of Atoari Upozila within Panchagharh District. His parents are father, Safiuddin Ahmed and mother, late Sahida Khatun.
They are 5 brothers and 3 sisters. His number is 7. Journalism is his profession and addiction! He has passed the Bachelor of Arts (B.A. honours) and Master of Arts (M.A.) in Philosophy from Rajshahi University. From the same University he obtained the degree of post-graduation in civic-journalism. He worked for the Foreign Service German Radio (Deutsche Welle, as a freelancer) in Bengali section, in CSB, the first 24 hours TV-Channel of Bangladesh. He took also the special trainings on TV and Radio and Newspaper-journalism from the Bangladresh Centre for Development Journalism Communication (BCDJC). His many works on Human rights were much praised. He attended various workshops of Asian Human Rights Commission, ‘Odhikar’ (Rights), Bangladesh Manabodhikar Bastabayan Shangstha (Bangladesh Human Rights Materialisation Organisation) and Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma-victims like different Human rights groups.
Presently he is editing the Web blog news portal ‘The Human rights Today’ in Online.This absolutely deals in Human rights. The spectral of his works: Dainik Sangbad, Dainik Bangla, Dainik Banglar Bani, Dainik Ajker Kagoj (4 Bengali dailies in Bangladesh), Radio German Deutsche Welle, The new Nation, The Newsday, The Morning Sun (3 English dailies in Bangladesh), Ekushey TV, CSB News (2 TV-Channels). He was also attached with Associated Press of Bangladesh, the Editor online Newspaper, Daily Testa, Daily Uttar Bangla (Daily Newspapers) and many other News media’s.
From 2004 to 2008, he worked as Free-lance journalist of German Radio Deutsche Welle from the Rajshahi Area of Bangladesh. He was the first journalist who first covered the activities of Islamic Militants and ‚murders without trials’ in Bangladesh and drew the attentions of national and international media. On these grounds he became the target of State and Militancy.
He got the ‚International Human rights-day prize of 2008’ sponsored by the the private organisation, Christian Development Alternative as a recognition of his courageous journalism and his special contributions towards the human rights. His research against the Islamic-Militants and fearless journalism, he got the ‘Nongor Shahitya Puroshkar (Anchor-Literary Award)’ in 2005. Besides, the European branch of Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Unity Committee has given him the 2010 Human rights award as recognition to his investigating journalism on the minority-oppression in Bangladesh. His Bengali books are: ‘Andhokare 15 Ghanta (15 hours in total darkness)’, ‘Bichar Bohirbhuto Hattyakando ebong Pritihingsha (Extra judicial killings and revenge)’, ‘Jongi Godfather o Annanya Prooshongo, (Militant Godfathers and other Issues)’, ‘Udichi Theke Pilkhana (From Udichi to Pilkhana)’. During the past interim-Government of Bangladesh an unusual Rule of Emergency went on. He became then a combined victim of the Rapid Action Battelion (RAB), Army and a vicious politically influential circle. He was arrested unlawfully and put to inhuman tortures.
In the Rajshahi Central Jail he passed 28 dark-days. After release, facing incessant threats to his life, he was forced to leave the country. As a politically oppressed journalist, he is now living in Hamburg through a scholarship of ‘Hamburg Foundation’ with his family.
He was a member of Rajshahi University Press Club, the elected General Secretary of Rajshahi Journalist Union and also an executive member of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ)’ Association, the highest organ of Journalists. Apart from this, he was the Publicity Secretary of Rajshahi District Udichi, the forerunner cultural Association of Bangladesh. He has travelled to Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, India and Hong Kong.
Gratitude: State, political influential criminals-clique, Militants and side by side many national-international gangs were active with conspiracies against me. My moving struggles for the people, truth, justice and human rights were always opposed. I have passed a terrible and unbearable time facing an all-devouring intrigue. I have come back from the door of the sure death. A Bangladesh-opposing foreign spy and his partner through a joint plot, by giving wrong information, have spoiled my image in Deutsche Welle (Radio German). But no conspiracy could take me, also not in future, I hope. I did never compromise with any evil force on the questions of peace, democracy, people and human rights.
In bad days, only the real friends come to help. Fake-friends go away. During those intolerable black days, I had the rare opportunity to see from very near the in and out of many Human rights-personalities in Bangladesh, Advocates, Journalists and political leaders. The so-called human beings of the civil-society having no similarity of talks and acts, I have seen them, I have known them. I could gather many experiences, discover dualities of some persons. They are very much respected in the society. I have also seen many hearty-persons.
I specially thank Mr. A. B. M. Musa, the pioneer Journalist of Bangladesh who has helped, advised and always treated me with affections, Mr. (late) Bazlur Rahman, Editor, Daily Sangbad, Mr. Hasan Azizul Huq, prominent writer and Rtd. Professor, Rajshahi University, Mr. Sanat Kumar Saha, Tagore-expert and economist, Mr. Arun Kumar Basak, Professor-emeritus, Mr. A. A. M. S. Arefin Siddiqui, Vice Chancellor, Dhaka University, Advocate Sultana Kamal, Professor Anwar Hossen, Mr. Malay Bhowmic, Chairman Music and Dramatic Department, Rajshahi University, Mr. Iqbal Sobhan Choudhury, Editor Bangladesh Observer, Mr. Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, Executive Editor, Daily Sangbad, Mr. Sohel Ahmed, Teacher Jahangirnagar University, Mr. Nazrul Islam, Proprietor Matiarmanush, Mahbubur Rahman, Proprietor Adarsha, Myriam Alexowitz (German Author), Fernando Buttice, Supriyo Banerjee (Journalist), Mahabubur Rahman Shipon, Mohammad Zahid Hossain, Shahidul Islam Shahid and Abdullah al-Harun.
I also remember Amnesty International, Asian Human Rights Commission, Reporters without borders (RSF), Committee to protect Journalists (CPJ), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Global Human Rights Defence, International Press Institute (IPI), OMCT, BRCT, BFUJ, Rajshahi Press Club, Hamburg Foundation, Germany etc.
In my bad times, many were by my side. I remember them with gratitude. I express my special thanks to Wlliam Gomes, Executive Director, and Christian Development Alternative. He applied to the President of Bangladesh to kindly withdraw the political harassments-cases against me. I quote few lines from his application. The particulars of the cases and the related events have already been told in this book in various occasions. He began with, I, the undersigned, Executive Director of Human rights Organisation, Christian Development Alternative (CDA) …
As victim of the brutal state persecutions, a famous patriot Journalist and Human rights-worker, Jahangir Alam Akash has been burning with the fire of revenge … This courageous and an investigating reporter Akash possess free-thinking and conscious…. In the meantime, he has written three books on the extra-judiciary murders of RAB, tortures and Militancy. …
The last line- I think above two forged cases against Mr. Akash has been lodged taking the opportunities of the Emergency and on political motives. I request you to withdraw the above mentioned cases and to render Mr. Akash the chances to work on his profession normally and freely as an honest, responsible and popular journalist. But the harassing political motivated cases against me have not yet been withdrawn.
Appendix: The comments of intellectuals about the author and his book: The progressive journalist dear Akash has done much to unveil the truth. In all his writings the vehement courage has been well exposed. Through the black ink of his pen the he has built up a talking-document of the anarchism and terror. I hope, this book will inspire the people of the new generation and of all ages to build Golden Bangladesh on the conscious of secular and the war of independence.
Professor Dr. A. M. A. S. Arefin Siddique
Vice Chancellor, Dhaka University
If anybody anyhow anytime can be old and aged, he needs not to explain anything in Bangladesh. Huge piles of corruptions by malicious criminals never face trial or punishment. Specially in our country, rulers in power whom we because of our bad habits call the ‚Government’, and render them the total sovereignty of the country and when as part of that government, on is spontaneous shelter and indulgence, innocent peoples are killed, terrorised and oppressed by the miscreants, we have nothing to do! When these happen, no opposition occurs! If they can be ex, they are saved forever! From 2004 – 2005 the terrible and cruel militarism which grew in Bangladesh and as a result thousands of innocents lost their lives. There was a flood of plunder, robbery, rapes etc. like crimes was day to day affairs. All the 150 Million people of Bangladesh were victims of state-terror through the support of the government. This government is now ex! They can now stand before the people again far away from their sins. What justice shows now? That the justice itself covers all the misdeeds of them washes away their misuse of powers as rulers and the responsibilities of their partners in power. The reports of the bitter but facts of that period which Jahangir Alam has written, beyond doubt, that would render the sufferers like us much pain and affliction. But what else after?
Hasan Azizul Huq
Renowned writer Professor (Rtd), Department of Philosophy
Truth is coming out. Darkness is vanishing. Brave Akash is doing this noble work. He is not alone. Courage moves from one to another. Point becomes big circle. We are all in this procession of the brave people.
Professor Dr. M. Anowar Hossain.Ex General Secretary,
Dhaka University Teachers’ Association
Lesson to won the darkness
(To Jahangir Alam Akash)
Strength of arm
Foolish is coward
Shock of Electricity
Is it a hindrance for a long walk?
Search of manliness through hitting
What a hero!
Sight is obstructed with black
Can it snatch away the creation of light?
Court and Jail
No response is also there
Or the initiation by pushing into black hole?
There is the inspiration of wining the darkness.
November 15, 2007
Actor, Dramatist, Columnist
NB. During the interim Government controlled by the Army in Bangladesh, Mr. Malay Bhowmic, Teacher of Rajshahi University was arrested by RAB and became the victim of barbarian torture. An opposition of the system, this prominent playwright wrote this poem with dedication to Journalist Akash while he was imprisoned in Rajshahi Central Jail. At the same time, author of this book, Akash was also in the same Jail!
A letter written to an intimate person—
February 24, 2010
Please take my good wishes and respect. Hope you are well. I am very much depressed now. I don’t know how more hits and shocks, I am to face in the struggle for my existence? From my School days, the blows have began, which has not yet been ended in 36 years of my age! I am afraid, till death, I am to walk on the same road! Sometimes, I am very much angry with myself. I feel to make my life apart from my body. But I can’t, my life appears before me. For this life, my intimate love is very great, like an ocean. Now it is grown many times more. My knowledge is from the books on journalism and my ideal is from the family-society. How I could mix the both in my life? This united stream does not want to flow down. Why always this ideal-tide flows upstream course? I don’t know. Conspiracy-falsehood and envy: What are the uses of these? My position to myself is very clean-transparent. Why they can’t see it? I have saved some from my scholarship-money here. But I am spending all only after the thoughts for my country. My dear ones, oppressed-persecuted religious-indigenous minority-friends of my country, how are you? At the same time, why I feel to cry again and again for the afflicted colleague and friend?
Last of all, the question was raised on my name; I am spoiling the image of my country with defamatory preaching against my country! It is a very dangerous allegation. If I tell the truth or describe an incident, does it unchaste the image? They want to turn the country into a hell, do they increase the image? On the internationally famous scientist, Arun Basak and his family, (they render) metal tortures. (I hear) the wailing-grief of Gopal Ram, the poor and helpless and the victim of oppressions from all sides. Not even in one decade, no justice for the murder of indigenous-Christian leader Alfred Soren and have the family of Doshorath Kabiraj been shattered? Not in 6 years, the corpses of young Shushanto and Shufol are not found! How Militancy is destroying the solidarity of the state and society? I have reported and I am writing on these.
I have told and I shall tell, please don’t kill a man extra judiciary. If he is a terrorist-convicted or criminal! Make the way of rule of law, good administration and the culture of democracy wide. Then you are not to murder anybody. The only way to suppress murder-terror-crime is the founding of rule of law. Remove disparity, poverty, unemployment and injustice from the society. You will see, progress has come back to the society. You have also told while you were outside the power that extra judiciary killings must be ended.
When I was in the country, the blame of ‘a big convicted-terrorist extorter’ was given to me. What an unbearable life I had? Due to their intrigues, tortures and endless threats, I was compelled to leave the country. Has exile-life happiness? It was the question of survival! But how I am tolerating the sufferings of the the loneliness of this life abroad, insult and shame? For the country, for the countrymen, comrades-friends and relatives, is not my mind anxious? But now is the murmur, I am doing bad-preaching on my country! I am spoiling the image of the country! Am I?
The same complain was raised against humanist Shahriar Kabir during the reign of terror of BNP-Jamaat. Then the government and its supporters have said the same. Even today ruling-class is changed and the mentality of their supporters. Only the hands of the power are changed.
Please tell me, after leaving the country, shall I live like a lifeless?
Seeking your love, Akash
From the book “Away from Home”.