Shahriar Kabir

Bangladeshi journalist, filmmaker and human rights activist

Shahriar Kabir (born 20 November 1950) is a Bangladeshi journalist, filmmaker, human rights activist, and author of more than 70 books focusing on human rights, communism, fundamentalism, history, and the Bangladesh war of independence. He was awarded the Bangla Academy Literary Award in 1995.

Quotes edit

  • Bangladesh had emerged as a secular state on the grave of Pakistani religious ideals [but] pro-Pakistanis captured power after the 1975 assassination of Bangladesh's founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman [and inserted] discriminatory clause(s) between Muslim and non-Muslim [that were not included] in the original constitution of Bangladesh. ...After the assassination of Bangabandhu, two military rulers. General Ziaur Rahman and General H.M. Ershad removed the roots of the country's secular, non-communal and humane ideals. They changed the constitution to serve a vested quarter and thus eliminated the clause of equal rights for the Hindus, Christians and Buddhists along with Indigenous ethnic communities like Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Maug, Hajong, etc. In the original constitution, which was written in 1972, Article 12 in Part II enshrined 'secularism and freedom of Religion' in the section called Fundamental Principle of State Policy. General Ziaur Rahman's military government totally erased this part of the constitution and that was how the religious and ethnic minority groups became second- class citizens to suffer state discrimination.’
    • Shahriar Kabir quoted in Y Rosser, Indoctrinating Minds: Politics of Education in Bangladesh. 2004 page 69ff Kabir, Shahriar. “Human Rights in Bangladesh : Focus on Communal Persecution”, Conference on Human Rights in Bangladesh, held on 17 August 2002, at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada
  • The fierce persecution against the religious minorities that started soon after the October, 2001, general elections still continues even after the lapse of one year. The main opposition Awami League and a large section of Bangladesh's civil society have opined that the election was 'unacceptable' to them as the voting was influenced in many ways, including intimidation of opposition supporters and religious minorities. ....The issue of communal torture has many dimensions in Bangladesh. If we take the recent incidents of communal atrocities in Bangladesh and link them only to elections or politics then it will not be fair or accurate. We need to know the historical, political, geographical, economical, cultural and psychological aspects of communal problems of Bangladesh to understand it in its entirety.
    • Shahriar Kabir quoted in Y Rosser, Indoctrinating Minds: Politics of Education in Bangladesh. 2004 page 122

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