General Secretary of 'Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee' addressing a meeting organized by 'National Co-ordination committee' on 26 June 1999, demanding trial of the war criminals of Bangladesh Liberation War.
Who formed Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, when and why? Golam Azam has been living in Bangladesh since 1978. So why you did not raise demand for his trial in this long period? Bangladesh is an extreme poor country -- and the prime target of the country should be to achieve economic development. So why do you want to divide the nation by bringing the old issue of 1971? Eighty percent of the population in Bangladesh is Muslims. If you believe in democracy, you'll have to agree that the religion of majority should be the state religion. So why do you oppose it? Not only Jamaat-e-Islami, many Sunni Alems think that the Kadianis should be declared non-Muslim. Why do you talk in favour of the Kadianis? The Hindus of Bangladesh consider India as their own country. Whenever they get a chance, they migrate to India. Half of their family stays in Bangladesh and the other half in India. Whatever they earn in Bangladesh they never invest here. They send the money to India. So why you talk in their favour? No Muslim can tolerate any criticism of their holy book Quran and Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (SM). Now the issue of enactment of blasphemy law came to resist the critics of Quran and the Prophet. Why you are opposing it? Many people say that you are 'Indian agents'. India wants to see a weak and unstable Bangladesh. To serve the purpose, some people say, you want to destroy the stability of the country in the name of anti-Jamaat or anti-communalism movement. Do you deny it? In the name of opposing fundamentalism you are criticizing Islamic leaders like Khatib of Baitul Mukarram Mosque Maulana Ubaidul Haq, Shaikhil Hadith Maulana Azizul Haq and Maulana Delwar Hossain Saidee – is it not strengthening the hands of the enemies of Islam? Fundamentalist is he who believes in fundamental principles of Islam. So aren't you opposing Islam while opposing fundamentalism? Awami League government in 1973 acquitted the killers and collaborators of 1971 through general amnesty. Did you raise the issue of trial of the killers and collaborators of 1971 by forming Nirmul Committee in 1992 at the provocation of Awami League only to embarrass the BNP government? In the face of your movement the then BNP government arrested Golam Azam but they were compelled to release him with due honor after the High Court awarded him citizenship. Yet you are still demanding trial of Golam Azam - isn't it contempt to our judicial system? You are demanding hanging of Golam Azam. Is it logical to demand anybody's hanging before holding his trial? Once Awami League and some left leaning parties were with you lending their total support. But now we see that no political parties are showing interest in getting involved in your movement. Do you think that you should continue the movement under the present situation? Jamaat-e-Islami takes part in every general election and secures a number of parliamentary seats. If you believe in democracy, why you demand ban on their politics? Would you continue your movement forever, if the government never imposes ban on the politics of Jamaat-Shibir and hold trial of war criminals? What is the difference between the Jatiya Samannoy Committee (National Co-ordination Committee) and Nirmul Committee? The movement against fundamentalism was so strong during Jahanara Imam's time, but it's spirit lessened after her death. Does not it mean the general mass is less interested in such movement? Do you believe that without taking to office, it would be possible to realise your demands through the AL, BNP or Jatiya Party governments? You have started movement for trial of Golam Azam. Then you have brought out many lists of war criminals. Is it not realistic to give a push for movement symbolising Golam other than publishing the list when the single demand of trial of Golam is not met? Are the freedom fighters so timid that they only listen to statements of war criminals like Golam Azam? Is there nobody to kill Golam and take the reprisal for killing of 3 million innocent Bengalis in 1971? You have been alleging that Pakistan and some Middle Easter countries have been providing financial and armed support to Jamaat-e-Islami, on the other hand you have neither financial or financial backing. How could you resist a fundamentalist force like Jamaat-e-Islami? Well wishers of Nirmul Committee were optimistic a bit that the war criminals would be tried and the spirit of liberation war would be implimented with the assumption to office of Awami League in 1996. But that government did not have single initiative even it stayed a long time in office. What's the Nirmul committee's position? The Nirmul Committee has no constitution. How a remote unit would resolve organisational problems if rise? There are many freedom fighters active in politics and belong to the Jatiya Party and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), why they don't support the Nirmul Committee movement? It seems that the Awami League assumed to power as a result of Jahanara Imam's movement. And it has been observed that Nirmul Committee has taken some programmes in favour of the AL government. Dose not it hamper the neutral position of the NC? The Nirmul Committee has similarity with the programmes of the left leaning parties ideally. But they are not hardly interested in the NC's programmes. How the NC look at this issue? What's the source of income of the NC since the organisation needs huge money to run its activities?
Have you any more question?
In the year 1992 civil society of Bangladesh began an unprecedented movement under the leadership of Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam. Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee (Committee for Resisting Killers and Collaborators of Bangladesh Liberation War) was formed in demand for trial of the war criminals and ban on communal and fundamentalist politics in the country.
Jahanara Imam passed away on June 26, 1994 but her followers continue the Movement. We are going ahead towards the desired goal despite attacks and obstructions. All the ideals, aims and objectives of the liberation war were reflected in the constitution of 1972, where four principles of the Newly born republic – ‘democracy’, ‘Bengalee nationalism’, ‘secularism’ and ‘Socialism’ -- were clearly depicted. The constitution also put a ban on Religion-based politics. Because the Pakistani rulers unleashed torture and Repression on the Bengalee nation with the excuse of protecting Islam after Pakistan was born in 1947 on the basis on two-nation theory. They gagged the voice of Bengalees and tried to destroy their thousand year old culture and language. The military junta of General Yahia killed 3 million Bengalees and inhumanely tortured more than quarter million women during the war of liberation. The Pakistani rulers always conducted propaganda to prove the oneness of Islam and Pakistan. To protect that artificial state, the rulers continued repression on their people, created hostile situation and sometimes engaged in war with neighboring country failing to remove crisis and reduce the problems of the people.
In recent times we observed that the extreme communal and fundamentalist group who were the main collaborators of the Pakistani military junta during 1971 became active again. As per a blueprint of Pakistan, they started imparting arms training to Harkatul Jihad and Taliban activists with the target to kill intellectuals, cultural activists and progressive political leaders and workers. They are also sending the trained Talibans to India, Middle East and Central Asia to carry out militant and fundamentalist activities and taking part in war. The fundamentalists of Bangladesh declared in public meeting that they would oust the government through a 'Talibani' revolution and make Bangladesh an Afghanistan. We are unfortunate that the government did not take any effective action against this evil forces, rather comprised with them on some issues. When Awami League was in power; they were vocal for trial of war criminals. They gave a commitment that after going to power they would hold trial of the war criminals. But unfortunately after going to power they forgot the pledge. The leftist parties who believe in the spirit of liberation war were active enough in the movement against killers and collaborators of 1971 when Jahanara Imam was alive. Now they are busy in anti-government movement, ignoring the activities of the fundamentalist and communal forces, which are destroying the spirit of liberation war. When we oppose fundamentalism, the fundamentalists say that we are opposing religion, opposing Islam. But in fact we are respectful to all religions including Islam. We respect those who perform religion in true sense. We oppose those who use religion as a political weapon. We hate those who want to legalize massacre and mass rape in the name of Islam. The fundamentalist and communal forces are always active in orchestrating propaganda against us. Sometimes general people are misled with this propaganda.
Yet, the movement of Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee is on. While consolidating organizational structure of the movement and spreading it to grassroots level our young leaders and workers face a volley of questions. It is essential to answer these questions.
General secretary of Nirmul Committee Kazi Mukul briefly answered these questions in this booklet. Besides, appendix of this booklet contains a brief account of our activities after the fifth national convention.
I hope young leaders and workers of Nirmul Committee will go through this booklet with due importance and continue to make valuable contributions in achieving success of the ovement.
Central Executive Committee
Some Q/A about Nirmul Committee
Question_1: Who formed Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, when and why?
Answer: On 19th January 1992, country's 101 leading artistes, litterateurs, intellectuals, writers, journalists, freedom fighters, student leaders and eminent citizens constituted Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee with Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam as its convenor. It was formed to protest the formal declaration of Pakistani citizen Golam Azam, the killer of '71, as Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh. The Nirmul Committee declared that if the government did not hold trail of war criminal Golam Azam, the committee would hold his trial in a Peoples Court on March 26, 1992. About the aims and objective of the committee, the 101 eminent citizens said - We the undersigned hereby declare that if Pakistani citizen Golam Azam who is residing in Bangladesh illegally is not deported immediately, he will be tried in public by a Peoples Court comprising eminent citizens and jurists, at Sohrawardi Udyan on 26th March, marking the 21st anniversary of independence. A Peoples Court will be the appropriate place of holding the trial of a hated person like Golam Azam as his war crimes hurt the mass people. We'll also hold trial of other killers and collaborators of '71 in the same Peoples Court in phases. At the same time we are demanding that all political parties run by religion-vendors, including Jamaat-e-Islami which is still hatching conspiracy against the country's independence and sovereignty, must be banned immediately. In no country in the world the war criminals and branded killers have political rights. Search is still on for the collaborators of Nazi Bahini of Hitler, even they do not have right to vote. We are going to launch the second phase of liberation war with the objective of eliminating the killers of '71. We think we'll not be able to raise our heads as a dignified nation as long as the enemies of independence freely roam on the soil of our country. All our development activities will also fail if they exist. So our movement for eliminating enemies of independence will be on coarse.
Question_2: Golam Azam has been living in Bangladesh since 1978. So why you did not raise demand for his trial in this long period?
Answer: In the eye of Ekatturer Ghatal Dalal Nirmul Committee, Golam Azam is a symbolic name. We consider 'Golam Azam' as the worst symbol of war criminals, killers, collaborators and those who opposed our independence. It is true that Golam Azam has been living in Bangladesh since 1978, but it is not factual that there was no movement against Golam Azam gong. In 1972, the families of martyrs launched a movement demanding trial of the war criminals. They placed the demand to the then government. Muktijoddha Sangsad also demanded trial of Golam Azam in 1981. But the movement of Nirmul Committee is the most effective campaign and there was no such big movement earlier.
When Jamaat leaders claimed publicly in 1981 that their stand was right during liberation war, country's freedom fighters and intellectuals protested it in strong terms and carried out movement by calling hartal. Military autocrat Ershad's announcement to make Islam 'state religion' encouraged the religion-vendor communal forces. In spite of this, the intellectuals and conscious citizens of the country carried out movement in 1988-89 to resist Golam Azam and his accomplices. But the movement could not be expanded due to lack of support from democratic political parties, their unconsciousness and wrong evaluation about the movement and their acceptance of Jamaat as friendly force in the anti-autocratic movement. When Pakistani citizen Golam Azam came out in public after staying behind the screen from 1978 to '91 the country's conscious citizens could not remain silent. Political parties also realized the need for organizationally resisting the communal and fundamentalist forces. Golam Azam regain his citizenship of Bangladesh on 23rd June, 1994 after a legal battle, until which he was a citizen of Pakistan. Nirmul Committee is demanding his trial mainly for war crimes. The committee thinks that time is not a factor for holding trial of war criminals. After 50 years of the Second World War, trial of war criminals was held in many countries. In our country, those who embraced martyrdom in the war of liberation war, their children and successors have now grown up and become adult. Now they renewed the demand for trial of the war criminals. It will continue until the holding of trial of the killers of their parents.
Question_3: Bangladesh is an extreme poor country -- and the prime target of the country should be to achieve economic development. So why do you want to divide the nation by bringing the old issue of 1971?
Answer: Implementation of the spirit of liberation war is closely linked with the building of a happy, prosperous, secular, exploitation-free and democratic Bangladesh. The 1971 war of liberation united the whole nation with the urge to build an independent, sovereign, exploitation-free, secular, democratic and welfare oriented state. In 1971, the entire Bangalee nation, except a handful number of leaders, workers and supporters of fundamentalist parties like Jamaat-e-Islami, Muslim League and Nejam-e-Islami, was united. But later, lack of such unity encouraged Jamaat and its accomplices, killers and collaborators, and war criminals to rise again. 1971 would never be an old or dead issue for Bangalee nation. Bangladesh can not be imagined with 1971. Jamaat and like-minded parties want to make the nation forgotten about the war of liberation so that Bangladesh could again be pushed backed to the Pakistani setup and getup. They say that Bangladesh will have to be built with the spirit of 1947, not of 1971, although Bangladesh emerged as an independent country in 1971 by eliminating the spirit of 1947 forever. We will never be able to build a happy, prosperous and real democratic Bangladesh unless and until we are able to resist the anti-liberation war activities of Jamaat and fundamentalist groups. Jamaatis do not believe in democracy as their founding leader Moududi termed democracy a 'Kufri' notion. Jamaatis do not believe in women rights. They think women's participation in political and economic activities is 'najaez'. Once they assume state power, women would not be able to take part in nation building activities side by side with men. They will be confined at home. Jamaatis considers religious minorities as second class citizens. They want that the state would be ruled by a particular religion and everybody will have to accept whatever explanations they will give about the same religion. It was proved in mediaeval era in Europe that religion-based states could not bring welfare of the people. Iran and Iraq are both Islamic countries and they have broken their economic backbone by engaging in war on religion. Pakistan is another Islamic country where terrorism, clash and conflicts in the name of religion are regular feature. Islamic extremist Talibans are now ruling Afghanistan. This country is also being ravaged and ruined by civil war. Those who want that state will be ruled by religion norms, those who do not believe in the sovereign power of people, are dividing the nation by giving their own explanations on religion. If they are not eliminated forever, our democracy would not be safe and economic development would not be possible.
Question_4: Eighty percent of the population in Bangladesh is Muslims. If you believe in democracy, you'll have to agree that the religion of majority should be the state religion. So why do you oppose it?
Answer: Religion should not be a property of any state or be kept within any geographical boundary. Religions are spread worldwide. When religion becomes a property of a state, it is used as political weapon. If we look at the history of civilization, we see -- whenever religion is used as political weapon, it creates chaos and conflicts in every sphere of society. Forget the medieval era, which is a glaring example, and observe the current situation in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, or even Pakistan. Do you find any Friday in Pakistan without armed clashes and killings centering mosques? Everybody knows three Islamic groups through their infighting and conflicts virtually destroyed Afghanistan. Eighty percent people of this country is Muslim and their religion Islam is split into 72 ferka throughout the Islamic world. Don't you see that fundamentalist, communal Jamaat-Shibir clique are constantly threatening and attacking Ahmadia Muslims? The long war between Iran and Iraq is actually a Shiite-Sunni war. This is the point you should look into. We are not against religion. But we believe that whenever religion is used as political weapon, there must be clashes and conflicts. Look at the West. This countries have established discipline and ensured stability by freeing their politics of religion and keeping religion within the individual level. If anybody claims himself a democrat, he must be secular - and there is no alternative to this.
Question_5: Not only Jamaat-e-Islami, many Sunni Alems think that the Kadianis should be declared non-Muslim. Why do you talk in favour of the Kadianis?
Answer: Firstly -- this is not true that Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee only talk in favour of Kadianis. Those who carry out such propaganda are either ignorant or have evil motives -- or they are in clique with the fundamentalist Jamaat-Shibir circle. In fact, Nirmul Committee opposes every act of repression, terrorism and conflicts in the name of religion. We'll have to realize the nature of one community's attack on another. There are 72 tarika in Islam such as Shiite, Sunni, Ahmadia, Bahai, Bora etc.. No true Muslim has the authority to give a decision on which tarika is right, because there is no specific explanation about this matter in Quran or Hadith. Even Hazrat Muhammad (SM) did not give any decision in this regard. Neither a Sunni Alem nor the state has the right to give a decision on this debated matter. Moreover, it is crystal clear that Jamaat-Shibir's demand for declaring Kadianis non-Muslim is part of their evil tactics. We'll realize their actual motive if we analyze the incidents of 1992 and observe the current political situation in the country. In 1992, when the anti-Jamaat movement got a momentum under the strong leadership of Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam, the Jamaat, finding no alternative, went on rampage and started launching attacks on Kadianis with the help of other fundamentalist groups. They attacked a number of Kadiani mosques and burned down many several hundred years old Quran Sharifs. In fact, they did it with the motive to divert the public hatred and resentment against them. In recent times, the resentment among general public against the Jamaat-Shibir, war criminals and religion-vendors grew again. And it has panicked the religion-vendors. To divert people's attention from the ongoing anti-Jamaat sentiment they are now creating issues like Murtad, Blasphemy, Kadiani etc.. However, no true Alem or patriot should be misled by the propaganda of Jamaatis. We think Nirmul Committee is playing the role of true patriot in this issue. So if any Sunni Alem wants to declare Kadianis non-Muslim, we must say that he is also a religion-vendor or an accomplice of Jamaat-Shibir clique.
Question_6: The Hindus of Bangladesh consider India as their own country. Whenever they get a chance, they migrate to India. Half of their family stays in Bangladesh and the other half in India. Whatever they earn in Bangladesh they never invest here. They send the money to India. So why you talk in their favour?
Answer: Who say that the Hindus of Bangladesh are agents of India are those who branded the freedom fighters in 1971 as 'agents of India' or 'miscreants', and those who believed in Pakistani ideology and collaborated with the Pakistani killers. People from all religions -Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians - took part in the country's liberation war. If the Hindus considered India their homeland, they would not sacrifice their lives for the independence of Bangladesh. They do not migrate to India willingly or without any reason - they are forced to leave the country. Nobody wants to embrace a life of refugee. Secularism was eliminated from our constitution and Islam was declared state religion that made the Hindus, Buddhists and Christians second-class citizens. They are deprived of their due rights to job, trade and business, education and all other educational and economic fields. Their property are being snatched through Vested Property Act. During the communal riot in 1992, many Hindus women were tortured while many houses and temples were destroyed. These incidents forced the Hindus to leave the country. Some of them send their children to India, or to Europe/America, those who could afford, due to safety reason. Money laundering is nothing new in Bangladesh. Who does not know that the rich Muslim businessmen, civil and military high officials, political leaders are engaged in sending money abroad. Any dishonest or corrupt person - Muslim or non-Muslim -- can do it. We don't see them as Hindus or Muslim - we consider them as human beings. Our first and foremost identity is we are human being -then we are Bangalees. There are Muslism, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, believers and non-believers among us. We are against all types of division and conflicts in the name of religion. If anybody is subjected to torture, harassment or deprivation only for being non-Muslim, we must protest it and stand in favour of them. It is the obligation of any conscious people. We want that the state should be a secular one to eliminate clash, conflict, repression and deprivation in the name of religion.
Question_7: No Muslim can tolerate any criticism of their holy book Quran and Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (SM). Now the issue of enactment of blasphemy law came to resist the critics of Quran and the Prophet. Why you are opposing it?
Answer: Not only the Muslims - believer of any religion do not want to see any criticism against their religious beliefs. Our constitution contains the provision to provide punishment for hurting any religious sentiments. So there is no need to enact a blasphemy law specially for Islam – and Islam itself does not support it. Such law was enacted in Europe in Mediaeval era for the critics of Christianity. Islam does not allow worldly punishment for the critics of Prophet (SM), other Nabis or the Quran. Sura Nisa (Ayat-140) says-whenever you find that any message of Allah is ignored and disgraced (by anyone), you give up their company until they refrain from it and come to other issue, Otherwise, you'll be considered among them. Allah will certainly send those to hell - who are hypocrite and who reject the truth. Allah reserved the supreme authority to send anyone to hell, he does not give the power to human beings. Many people criticized the Prophet (SM) during his life - but he or his Khalifas did not award anyone with capital punishment. Even Prophet (SM) took part in the janaza of Abdullah bin Ubaibin Sulul who was the leader of his critics. The Prophet also forgave the Jews woman who wanted to kill him with poison. In fact, Islam is the religion of peace, but the Jamaatis turned this religion of peace into a religion of vengeance, killers and rapists. Before enactment of blasphemy law, the Jamaatis killed lakhs of innocent Bangalees or provoked to kill them in 1971 in the name of Islam. They handed over thousands of Bangalee women to Pakistani occupation forces terming them as 'Maal-e-Ganimat' and raped them. But they were defeated in the war. Now they are demanding blasphemy law in take revenge of that defeat. If this law is enacted, they will get the license to kill members of other religious communities. Everybody knows what kind of torture came down on the Christian community of Pakistan after the enactment of blasphemy law. Real Islam never permits torture, repression and conflicts in the name of religion, what the Jamaatis are always doing in Bangladesh.
Question_8: Many people say that you are 'Indian agents'. India wants to see a weak and unstable Bangladesh. To serve the purpose, some people say, you want to destroy the stability of the country in the name of anti-Jamaat or anti-communalism movement. Do you deny it?
Answer: First you'll have to realize who are branding us as "Indian agents". In 1948, when the first phase of the language movement began, the then government and their collaborators identified those who were taking part in the movement as "agents of Hindus", "communist" and "slaves of India". Whenever the people of Bangladesh raised the demand for democracy, the rulers of Pakistan termed them as "Indian agents" or "enemies of Islam". During the 1971 war of liberation the desperate Pakistani rulers and their local collaborators also branded us as "Indian agents". In spite of all this propaganda, the people of the country supported us. In fact, all Pakistanis and their local agents consider every Bangalee as "Indian agent". This is nothing new. Who are now identifying us as Indian agents? And why they are saying like that? This is only because they are afraid. The entire anti-liberation forces are now panicked seeing the intensified and extensive movement against Jamaat-Shibir, fundamentalism and communalism, which was initiated in 1992 under the bold leadership of Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam. They have become desperate failing to implement the blueprint to make Bangladesh another Pakistan with the patronage of different anti-liberation political parties. It's an old strategy of the Jamaatis to face adverse situation. But the Bangalees never believed them in the past and will never believe in future.
We took part in the liberation war for building a secular, democratic and exploitation-free Bangladesh and to raise our heads before the world arena\ as Bangalees. But unfortunately the anti-liberation, communal and fundamentalist forces are now rehabilitated in every sphere of national life due to the failure of all governments and political parties since our independence. With the patronage from outside the country, they are still hatching conspiracy against the existence of Bangladesh. We can not expect stability without resisting them and holding their trial. It is not our concern what India or any other country wants. If we are able to unite the whole nation with the spirit of liberation war, it will be impossible for India or any other superpower of the world to weaken our position or destroy our stability.
Question_9: In the name of opposing fundamentalism you are criticizing Islamic leaders like Khatib of Baitul Mukarram Mosque Maulana Ubaidul Haq, Shaikhil Hadith Maulana Azizul Haq and Maulana Delwar Hossain Saidee – is it not strengthening the hands of the enemies of Islam?
Answer: We need not to criticize the Khatib of Baitul Mukarram Mosque or Shaikhul Hadith, if they are not engaged in politics in the name of religion. Khatib Maulana Ubaidul Haq was once known as an anti-Jamaat alem. But now he is campaigning for the Jamaati politics from their political podium. This has certainly damaged the dignity of the Khatib of the national mosque. On the other hand, Maulana Azizul Huq provoked the Muslims in attacking the Hindus in 1992 in excuse of the demolition of Babri Mosque in India. Asking the Muslims to take revenge, he said, "We'll have to pour blood, not water, at the root of the tree named Islam." The dire consequence of his provocation for attacking on the minority and destroying their temples is unknown to us. We know how Maulana Delwar Hossain Saidee killed freedom fighters and innocent Bangalees, how he tortured women, and how he looted their property in 1971. The report of National Peoples Inquiry Commission has many evidences of his activities. If we consider these war criminals as promoters of Islam, it will be a disgrace for Islam itself. In fact, these people are humiliating Islam everyday through their imaginary explanations on Islam to provoke religious-minded but less conscious people towards vengeance, killings and repression. If we fail to resist them, the anti-Islam forces could easily conduct propaganda that Islam means massacre, women repression or torture on innocent members of other religious communities. By unveiling the masks of the Jamaati Maulanas and their followers, we'll be able to make the common people conscious and protect Islam from all sorts of false accusations.
Question_10: Fundamentalist is he who believes in fundamental principles of Islam. So aren't you opposing Islam while opposing fundamentalism?
Answer: "Fundamentalism" is a political terminology. The people who believe in fundamental principles of a religion are not called fundamentalists. Fundamentalists are those - who want to use religion as political weapon to capture power, who wants to eliminate other religions to prove the supremacy of their own religion and who commit murders, torture and destruction in the name of protecting religion. There are fundamentalists in every religious community. We see the rampage of Muslim fundamentalists in countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Algeria, Iran. At the same time we see similar activities of Hindu fundamentalists in India, Christian fundamentalists in Europe and America and Jews fundamentalists in Israel.
When we talk about fundamentalism we mean fundamentalists of all religions. We oppose political use of religion and the chaos, conflicts, terrorism and destruction in the name of religion. As the fundamentalists of Bangladesh are using Islam as their weapon, the people must resist them in order to protect Islam from their abuse. During the Pakistan regime, whenever the Bangaless raised their voice to protect their rights, the military junta and their local agents, fundamentalists and communal forces, conducted propaganda against the people terming them "enemies of Islam". We are the victims of similar propaganda. Those who are carrying out the propaganda that we are opposing Islam while opposing fundamentalism, are the accomplices of Jamaat-Shibir and the real communal force. They want to make Bangladesh another Pakistan. It is the responsibility of every democracy believer people to resist this force.
Question_11: Awami League government in 1973 acquitted the killers and collaborators of 1971 through general amnesty. Did you raise the issue of trial of the killers and collaborators of 1971 by forming Nirmul Committee in 1992 at the provocation of Awami League only to embarrass the BNP government?
Answer: It is not true that the demand for trial of the killers and collaborators of 1971 came at the provocation of Awami League. General Ziaur Rahman, founder of BNP, after coming to power brought amendment to the constitution and gave Jamaat-e-Islami and other fundamentalist and communal parties and war criminals the right to do politics. He gave permission to Pakistan citizen, war criminal Golam Azam to come to Bangladesh. A massive movement was conducted at that time in protest of this decision. During 1980-81, Muktijoddha Sangsad started a movement demanding trial of the killer Golam Azam and ban on Jamaat-Shibir gong. The movement could not be continued further due to compromising attitude of political leadership. During 1988-89, country's intellectuals and freedom fighters took to the streets. Although enthusiasm was found among general people, the movement could not be spread due to lack of cooperation and foresight of the political parties. It is clear that the war criminals and anti-liberation forces are now allowed to take part in politics with the direct patronage from BNP. With the cooperation from other like minded political parties this forces are now trying to achieve acceptance of the common people. After BNP formed government through 1991 general elections, Jamaat-e-Islami declared Pakistani citizen Golam Azam as their Ameer, violating the constitution. It was the most daring act of Jamaat. It is the duty of government to protect the sanctity of constitution and the then BNP government failed to discharge this responsibility. Seeing this, the common people of the country could not remain silent. They were compelled to take the responsibility on their own shoulders. We think that Jamaat dared to declare Golam Azam as its Ameer violating constitution at the consent of the then BNP government. So this responsibility will have to be taken by BNP. And the allegation of Awami League's provocation is totally out of context. We led a movement for trial of war criminals during BNP regime and continue it during Awami League rule. It will continue until holding of trial of the war criminals.
It is true that Awami League government declared general amnesty in 1973. After independence, a total of 37,000 collaborators were detained and after the announcement of general amnesty, 26,000 of them were released. The rest 11,000 were still in jail. Those who were charged for serious war crimes like killing, rape, arson and looting, were kept out of the general amnesty's purview. After coming to power Ziaur Rahman scrapped the related law paving the way of release of the 11,000 war criminals. Even those convicted earlier were also released on appeal. In spite of this, we think Awami League government made a mistake by announcing general amnesty. Because, the 26,000 collaborators released under general amnesty included many notorious war criminals and veteran collaborators. Due to faulty charge-sheets, they could not be tried and punished properly.
Question_12: In the face of your movement the then BNP government arrested Golam Azam but they were compelled to release him with due honor after the High Court awarded him citizenship. Yet you are still demanding trial of Golam Azam - isn't it contempt to our judicial system?
Answer: The High Court gave him citizenship on June 23, 1994 but he had been declared Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh on December 28, 1991 when he was not a legal citizen of the country. In this respect he clearly violated the constitution. Facing a vigorous mass movement the BNP regime arrested Golam Azam only to protect him from the anger of the people - there was no relation with the arrest and our demand for his trial. We demanded his trail for his war crimes, for his violation of the constitution and working against the country's independence and sovereignty by spreading communalism in the name of religion. It is not our main concern whether he is a valid citizen or not. Although the High Court gave him citizenship the government is yet to take any legal action against him or start his trial as a war criminal. Our movement is for his war crimes - so there is no question of ignoring the High Court order or the judicial system. The trial of war criminals is not only a demand for the families of 30 lakh martyrs families, but also the 12 crore Bangalees who believe in the spirit of liberation war.
Question_13: You are demanding hanging of Golam Azam. Is it logical to demand anybody's hanging before holding his trial?
Answer: It is true that no law-court in our country held formal trial of Golam Azam or other war criminals and no government has taken any acceptable step towards their trial. Seeing the failure of the governments, the people of Bangladesh held a mock trial of Golam Azam in a Peoples Court in order to respond to the historical cause. We think the people are the highest court as per democratic norms. During the war of liberation Golam Azam and his accomplices committed heinous crimes like massacre, looting, arson, destruction, women repression and killing of intellectuals --- all are crimes against humanity. After liberation they worked as the spies of enemies and hatched conspiracy against the country's independence and sovereignty with the motive to restore East Pakistan. As per any law of the world they should be awarded with capital punishment for this heinous offence. After holding their trial in the Peoples Court, the demand was placed to the government for executing the verdict. Lakhs of people attended the trial in the Peoples Court and raised the demand for hanging the war criminals. The government must meet this logical demand of the people.
Question_14: Once Awami League and some left leaning parties were with you lending their total support. But now we see that no political parties are showing interest in getting involved in your movement. Do you think that you should continue the movement under the present situation?
Answer: When we started the movement demanding trial of the war criminals including Golam Azam and ban on communal politics of fascist Jamaat-Shibir clique, it created a massive awareness and encouragement among the people. Responding to the historical need, all pro-liberation political parties, student bodies, professional organisations and cultural forums and people from all walks of life irrespective of their party affiliation expressed their solidarity with our movement. The movement was so extensive that all pro-liberation parties postponed their own political programmes to take part in our movement and make the trial of Golam Azam in the Peoples Court a success. It was a rare event in our political arena. Unfortunate, at the death of our founder leader Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam our movement suffered a big blow. On the other hand, difference of opinions grew among the political parties involved in the movement on various issues. Specially when a pro-liberation party went to power through 1996 election, other pro-liberation parties became the opposition. It created a distance between Awami League and the other pro-liberation parties. As a result, the involvement of these political parties in our movement reduced to a great extent. All pro-liberation political parties have included in their party manifesto the demands for which we are carrying our movement. So we still think these parties as supporting force to our movement - and there is no doubt about it. As the political parties are busy with their own programmes, we'll have to become more active to continue our movement. Because it is a struggle for our existence - it is a struggle for establishing the ideals of liberation war. We are pledge-bound to carry forward the movement until achievement of final victory.
Question_15: Jamaat-e-Islami takes part in every general election and secures a number of parliamentary seats. If you believe in democracy, why you demand ban on their politics?
Answer: Crime is crime. One can not rectify his crimes by winning any election. The demand for trial of the crime continues to prevail for years after years. The criminals can not be spared unless he is punished. It is true that Jamaat-e-Islami wins a number of seats in parliamentary election. But we'll have to realize in what condition they win elections. They were able to win people's support and acceptance in some areas of the country during the 21-year period since 1975 as a result of direct patronage from government parties. Besides, wrong judgement about them by some pro-liberation parties and in some cases their sympathetic attitude or underestimation towards the anti-liberation forces also strengthened them. On the other hand, a major portion of the voters were born after the war of liberation and this generation does not know about the heinous role of Jamaat leaders and their party's activities during the 1971 war. Some people voted for Jamaat after being misled by the propaganda of the anti-liberation forces while some were influenced by money. It does not prove popularity of Jamaat as a political party. The political ideology of Jamaat is a fascist one - there is no difference with the ideology of Hitler. In the name of protecting Islam, they unleash terrorism, kill people, cut off their tendons, torture women, create conflicts among people, take stand against democratic norms and term democracy as a 'Kufri' ideology. So we'll have to ban this fascist, fundamentalist forces for the sake of protecting democracy. People have started knowing their real character through our movement and that's why Jamaat suffered a debacle in the municipal election in '93, mayoral election of '94 and general election in '96.
Question_16: Would you continue your movement forever, if the government never imposes ban on the politics of Jamaat-Shibir and hold trial of war criminals?
Answer: We are carrying out our movement in demand for trial of all war criminals and ban on the politics of all anti-liberation forces includin Jamaat-Shibir. It is true but unfortunate that some pro-liberation political parties are now using religion in their political purposes, even some leftist parties and individuals are also doing it. The movement we started is a very tough one and we'll have to face many hurdles in achieving success. For the sake of protecting independence, for the cause of democracy and for the sake of people's welfare, we must cross the hurdles. Our movement will not stop after banning of the politics of Jamaat-Shibir and war criminals. We want to spread the spirit of liberation war in every sphere of society and involve all walks of people in the movement. We must continue it for eras to eras - from generation to generation.
Question_17: What is the difference between the Jatiya Samannoy Committee (National Co-ordination Committee) and Nirmul Committee?
Answer: There is no difference between us and the Samannoy Committee in respect of principles or programmes. Both of the Samannoy Committee and we are carrying out the movement with the same target. The only difference is - the Samannoy Committee is an all-party alliance and Nirmul Committee is a non-party, neutral organisation. Political leaders may be in the leadership of Jatiya Samannoy Committee but Nirmul Committee is led by non-party leaders.
It will be clear if you look at the process of formation of the two committees. On January 19, 1992, Nirmul Committee was formed as a non-party organisation with country's leading intellectuals, artistes, litterateurs, professionals, freedom fighters and student leaders, under the leadership of Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam. Later, the Jatiya Samannoy Committee was formed to involve all pro-liberation political parties in the movement of Nirmul Committee. The Muktijuddher Chetona Bastabayan O Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Jatiya Samannoy Committee comprises 72 organisations, including all pro-liberation political parties, social and cultural organisations, professionals bodies, student, women and youth organisations and freedom fighters organisations. In fact the Samannoy Committee is an alliance of various political and social organisations, including the Nirmul Committee. The activities of Samannoy Committee sometimes reflect the views of concerned political parties but Nirmul Committee does not represent any political viewpoint - its activities do not depend on the wills of political parties. However, Nirmul Committee plays key role in implementing the programmes of Samannoy Committee. Not only Samannoy Committee, whoever fight against communalism and fundamentalism, Nirmul Committee will extend all out support and cooperation to them.
Question_18: The movement against fundamentalism was so strong during Jahanara Imam's time, but it's spirit lessened after her death. Does not it mean the general mass is less interested in such movement?
Answer: In fact the death of Jahanara Imam left our movement weaken than that of her time and we miss her strong and unopposed leadership. There are many other reasons that weakened the movement. Although the movement has been spread over political, social and cultural arena, the trial of the war criminals could not be done. At the same time, it was not possible to impose a ban on the fundamentalist and fanatic politics of Jamaat-e-Islami. We have to fight fundamentalism and communalism simultaneously in political, social and cultural arena. Without gaining political support and active participation of political activists this movement might not be taken at its peak. Jahanara Imam had tagged 13 political parties, including the Awami League, for this movement against fundamentalism. These parties had extended support under the banner of '… National Co-ordination Committee.'
But, after her death, the political parties had started movement in and outside the parliament demanding a general election under a caretaker administration. This movement brought differences between the then main opposition AL and the other left leaning parties. The difference widened with the AL assumed to power through the 1996 general election. As a result their participation in the mainstream movement of the National Co-ordination Committee lessened tremendously. But, it definitely does not mean that the people don't want trial of the war criminals. We observed while forming units of Nirmul Committee at various levels in the capital city and elsewhere in the country that the people are still in favour of this movement.
The question of our existence as an independent nation depends upon the success of the movement. As a result of our campaign against the fundamentalists brought the Jamaat-e-Islami's parliamentary seats down to 3 from 18 in the 1996 general election. The conscious people prompted by the spirit of Liberation war are still candid in the movement as they were during the verdict of the People's Court that was held for the war criminals in 1992. Had the political parties were united then it would have been easy to yield result of the movement. Although some of the political leaders are not so serious, the common activists, students and young people are interested in dragging the movement up to the end.
Answer: When we formed the Nirmul Committee, we have announced that this was a non-party platform for the country's conscious section and the organisation never engages it for power struggle. Our leader Jahanara Imam repeatedly had said "whoever might be in the power, but we would not leave the streets until our demand is met". Our demands would not be realised if we organise sporadic rallies and processions in Dhaka. Major portion of general mass should be involved with our movement. Logic of this movement should be spread among the young population who are under 30 so that they can exercise their right to franchise to any party that is committed to establish the spirit of liberation war.
No government would meet our demand unless we could spread the movement down to grassroots. To impose a ban on fundamentalism i.e. politics of Jamaat-e-Islami, and repeal the 5th and 8th amendments of the Constitution the nation needs a party in the parliament with two third majorities. That's why the young voters should be motivated. We want a government free form the cluster of the Jamaat-Shibir and Razakar, war criminals and fundamentalist politicians. History provides with many examples that no government can survive ignoring the public demand. Our prime task is to involve huge people in the ongoing movement so that whoever might be in power be compelled to meet our demands.
Question_20: You have started movement for trial of Golam Azam. Then you have brought out many lists of war criminals. Is it not realistic to give a push for movement symbolising Golam other than publishing the list when the single demand of trial of Golam is not met?
Answer: The Nirmul body in its declaration categorically had announced-- after Golam Azam we would find out the other war criminals and place them for trial by phases. It was not a movement to demand trial of Golam Azam only. For strategic reasons different demands precedes different times. The People's Inquiry Commission was established to find out misdeeds of the war criminals. It would be difficult to get all the accounts of misdeeds of collaborators of the Pakistani occupation forces, Razakars, Albadars, war criminals and various fundamentalist groups. But Golam as a chief of the party his misdeeds were reported in the national media. And that's why the accounts of other wrongdoing like killing, looting, rape and other crimes against humanity by other collaborators should be find out from the grass root levels through investigation.
Since there has been an absent of pro-liberation forces in power for long after the independence, many information have been depleted. And it would be more difficult to collect information about the collaborators if it is not now. It would not be a farsighted to launch movement only taking Golam Azam into the cognisance; he might die of heart attack someday. Then would we stop our movement? Would rest of the war criminals be gone scoot free? No, our target is not only to ensure trial of the war criminals but also to bring to an end to the fundamentalist politics in order to establish a secular democratic society.
Question_21: Are the freedom fighters so timid that they only listen to statements of war criminals like Golam Azam? Is there nobody to kill Golam and take the reprisal for killing of 3 million innocent Bengalis in 1971?
Answer: It is true that Golam Azam has been protested and being hetred by many places whereever he went for deliberations. People rejected him. Because of our movement they have come to know what role had he played during the war of liberation and to what extent he had committed crimes. We don't believe in terrorism. It is not possible to kill someones politics by killing the person. Our main target is to uproot the fundamentalist fanatic politics of people like Golam Azam, so that there could have no disorder, mass killing, women represson and looting of valuables in the name of religion. For a reprisal, we have to overthrow the politics of these elements, it would not be worth to kill Golam Azam for taking reprisal of 3 million Bengali killings. And build Bangladesh based on the sprit of war of liberation.
Question_22: You have been alleging that Pakistan and some Middle Easter countries have been providing financial and armed support to Jamaat-e-Islami, on the other hand you have neither financial or financial backing. How could you resist a fundamentalist force like Jamaat-e-Islami?
Answer: It it known to all that Jamaat-e-Islami have been taking millions of taka from many fundamentalists countries around the world. And with this support this organisation have been unleashing its facsists programme in Bangladesh. On the other hand it is very true that we don't have such support. But, we have one valuable thing that is peoples' support. People want to see trial of the war criminals. Jamaat-Shibir's politics is based on religion, which most people oppose to. The liberation war was the result of peoples' no to religion-based politics, and those elements wanted to protect Pakistan were defeated.
In 1971 the common Bengali people defeated the Pakistani elite occupation forces. We had only the peoples' force to ensure their defeat. People never liked religion-based politics in Bangladesh and in future this sentiment will continue. Every citizen believes in the spirit of liberation war will be with us and they would unite again to ensure overthrow the bad elements.
Question_23: Well wishers of Nirmul Committee were optimistic a bit that the war criminals would be tried and the spirit of liberation war would be implimented with the assumption to office of Awami League in 1996. But that government did not have single initiative even it stayed a long time in office. What's the Nirmul committee's position?
Answer: It was expected from all quarters that after assumption to office Awami League would initiate trial of the war criminals. Also the fundamentalism and communalism would come to an end. But, unfortunately, the government is yet to take any concrete step although the newspapers reported quoting the government sources that it was going to launch initiatives in this regard.
There is no alternative but to unite all the pro-liberation political forces to make the movement that Jahanara Imam had launched to protect sovereignty and spread the spirit of liberation war a success. Before the starting of this movement, rift in the pro-liberation forces made room for uprising of the religious fundamentalists in Bangladesh. But we saw how the fundamentalist forces trim themselves while the movement was on its peak. With the death of Jahanara Imam, we witnessed rift among those political forces, some of them lost interest on it. "Politics for power"--- was empathised. It was seen that pro-liberation forces including Awami League have not taking any programme for this important issue. They were failed to overcome their party viewpoint. And taking advantage of this situation, the anti-liberation forces started becoming stronger and hitting the pro-liberation forces.
On the other hand, number of anti-liberation persons joined the ruling Awami League before it came to power that caused frustration among the party activists at the root levels. For the interest of power the ruling party did not take any action against the fundamentalist forces, rather it compromised to some extent. The main cause was identified the average vote the AL obtained. In the last election the anti-AL rightists, fanatics and religious fundamentalists parties have bagged more than 60 per cent votes. But the AL is the party, which led the liberation war and most of the people had directly or indirectly extended support to this party.
This government has implements some steps in favour of the spirit of liberation war. And until then, no political party could attain the state power and run the country since independence. The pro-liberation parties are stuck up with such limitations till date. And we have been taking out initiative keeping in mind these limitations. People would like to get rid of the fundamentalist forces once we can spread over our organisational activities and unite the people against those evil elements.
We need now to strengthen organisational skills and go up to the grass root levels to create ground for mass movement. If it is possible, then the government, whoever might be in the office, must try the war criminals and establish a secular democratic country on the spirit of 1972 constitution.
Answer: Our organisation is not a usual one. Nirmul Committee was formed at a historic moment to protect the achievements of the great liberation war. We have been working to achieve certain goal. Someone believes in the spirit of liberation war can work whatever system he follow. We are simply co-ordinating their activities and taking new actions to give more dynamism. Founder of this organisation Jahanara Imam intervened when a proposal was given for its constitution during its formative period. She compared this movement as stream or a running train where old passengers step down and new passengers get in some stations, and even the driver could be changed someday. "It would not be wise to frame a continuos movement into a constitutional framework," she said.
It is true that to continue the movement, we need organisation, its structure and leadership. After the death of Jahanara Imam, we have been organising biennial conferences at district and Thana levels and announced programmes after reviewing the political scenario. And we chose new leadership while need arose. A new organisational framework was formulated in its 5th national conference. Noted artists, novelists, intellectuals and poets like Shamsur Rahman were incorporated in the central committee. The units of the Nirmul Committee are accountable to the central committee. If any problem arises, the unit can directly communicate the central committee so that it can resolve through consultation. If something important happens, then the CC circulates its decision and instructs the committees concerned what to be done and what not to be.
Nirmul Committee is completely neutral (free from influence of any political party) social organisation. Anyone who believes the objectives of our organisation can join. Only the committee has special direction for them those who are member of political parties that they should not try to make it a political platform and not use it as their own political purpose.
We want every unit of this organisation grow self-reliant, choose leadership that it can come to the central committee if needed. The central committee has chalked out some programmes that were proposed by the grass root committees. We don't want to control the district and Thana committees by means of a constitution, we want to strengthen their independent initiatives. But, if we find somebody doing wrong for the organisation, then the central committee has the authority to take action against him for the sake of greater interests. If the centre feels embarrass on any issue, then it can refer the issue to the advisory council for action. For example, the advisory council took action against some people for their doings against the interest of the organisation.
We have been following this procedure to run the organisation for last eight years. Apart from this, if the Nirmul Committee members believe it would be difficult to run the organisation without constitution, then we will think.
Answer: As it is true that there are freedom fighters in the BNP and JP, it would also be acknowledged that as a result of political degradation a number of freedom fighters directly or indirectly involve in the politics of anti-liberation Jamaat-shibir. We don't undermine their role in 1971 war. But, if we consider their present political position, then it would be clear what the activists of pro-liberation sentiment think about them.
It would not be just to evaluate all the freedoms fighters in the present perspective as their role was in the 1971. Only those will be honoured as freedom fighters who will hold the spirit of liberation war at every step of life and if needed ready to sacrifice their lives, to protect Bangladesh from the clutches of anti-liberation forces. The present political perspective have made the whole thing complicated. Freedom fighters in the four-party alliance comprising BNP, JP, Jamaat and Islami Okkiya Jote have made their position clear. Whatever the question is, they have made it very clear through making the alliance. We have fought the war for the betterment of the people and established a secular state having democracy, socialism and Bengali nationalism and to get rid of the communal concept of 'two-nation theory' based on religion that created Pakistan.
Both BNP and JP do not have any belief in the spirit of Bangladesh Liberation War. Their political belief and activities proved although they believe in independent geographical boundary, their target is to establish Pakistani ideology. Only a few days ago, the nation witnessed leaders of BNP and JP participated an iftar-party hosted by Golam Azam. They have prayed that the Bangladesh's real ideology was of '47. No freedom fighter can believe that it was the right approach. It is unjust and shameful act for a freedom fighter to disown the sprit of liberation war.
Question_26: It seems that the Awami League assumed to power as a result of Jahanara Imam's movement. And it has been observed that Nirmul Committee has taken some programmes in favour of the AL government. Dose not it hamper the neutral position of the NC?
Answer: Like the other progressive parties, Awami League has been taking part in the Nirmul Committee's programme since Jahanara Imam launched movement against fundamentalism. The party has provided with highest support in implementing those programmes. Until now, this party holds most number of people having spirit of the liberation war. Most of the people who support the Nirmul Committee's programme are supporters of the AL in terms when they exercise their right to franchise. But whenever they work for the NC, never think that Nirmul committee is an organisation of the AL. They love this organisation for its determination to implement the spirit of the War of Liberation.
On the other hand we observed that the AL did not oppose our programmes if it could not attend all those programmes. But the BNP while in power had filed cases against our leaders and activists and repressed them in many ways. They don't spare us to attack if not in the power. During the formative stage, we've decided that the NC would provide assistance them who would work aiming at a ban on the fundamentalist politics and implement the spirit of liberation war. The AL had initiated several steps to impliment the spirit of liberation after assuming to office. The AL's steps have irked the fundamentalist block and similarly they have announced action programmed against the AL government. And at the same time we were compelled to come up with programmes to resist the fanatics.
We had to take to the street when these fanatics group announced that they would destroy the 'Shikha Chirantan', the eternal flame in memory of the liberation war heroes, at Sohrawrardi Uddayan. The AL had set up the eternal flame. We also announced counter programme against their programmes denouncing the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Treaty to bring to an end to the decades of insurgency in the hills. We have taken those programmes to uphold the spirit of the liberation war without giving preference to any particular party. It is notable that other pro-liberation forces had also announced programmes on the same issues. It may seem the programme were similar with the other political organisations. And it all had been done for the sake of the spirit of liberation war. And that never hamper the neutrality of the organisation. We will continue our works in favour of the spirit of liberation war and it would be a wrong assumption to mix up the similar programmes of the other organisations and think the NC a supporter of certain political parties. This can also be resulted from ignorance. And certain quarter can do it from ill intention. But we are strong-minded on our principle and objectives.
Answer: It is not the left leaning parties, but all the secular organisations believing in the sprit of liberation war have ideological likeness with the NC's activities and programmes. But, they must be evocative with the four basic principles of the '72 Constitution. It would seem to be a tell tale if somebody says that he believes in the sprit of liberation war but not in the four-principle. General Zia and General Ershad had wanted to make Bangladesh a Pakistan amending these principles. Now, although the AL is in the state power, it could not attain that much strength to amend the constitution. Many of the MPs, ministers and policy makers of this government understood the need of going back to the '72 constitution. It is the outcome of our movement.
Nirmul Committee opts to get support from all the progressive forces and eager for their participation in the ongoing movement against fanaticism. In this perspective, left leaning parties can play a vital role. But, it hardly seen at the policy levels. Many of the left leaders are directly and indirectly kept them engaged with the NC activities. Less numbers are there who don't involve them in this movement. We believe that the NC would be able to prove its neutral position in the days to come, and the ambiguity in this regard be depleted soon.
Question_28: What's the source of income of the NC since the organisation needs huge money to run its activities?
Answer: Monthly monetary contribution of members and the personal donation is the prime source of income of the organisation. Apart from these, it is difficult to run the big conference or annual general meetings of the organisation, from this income. Then question may arise how it is being managed. Yes, at that stage we depend upon the patrons and big organisations those who support the NC activities and want a secular Bangladesh to see. We do write them requesting for fund sometimes. It is true, as soon as the movement is spread across the country, financial problems are intensifying. Due to financial crisis, publication of our monthly bulletin is suspended now. We have to take assistance from the Proshika to run our library programme. We do get supports from our overseas branches, which is not sufficient for us.
Nevertheless, we are trying to overcome the crisis. We have already asked our overseas units to provide with financial support to run the activities regularly. We appeal to the people believe in the spirit of liberation war but cannot participate directly in our movement fund the organisation with a minimum amount of money, and then the financial problem would over. We have decided to decentralise the fund collection instead of requesting a handful if patrons so that it should not have to depend on certain persons.
Ga-16 Mohakhali, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh. Tel: 00880-2-8828703. Fax: 00880-2-8828688.