Jatiya Oikya Front convener Dr Kamal Hossain on Monday said those who think of giving autocracy a permanent shape in Bangladesh are living in fool’s paradise as people will surely wake up like that of the 60s to resist it.
“Autocracy repeatedly tried to take a permanent shape in the country destroying democracy, but no one could do that. It’s a light of hope for us. As per my experience, I can give you a 100 percent guarantee that there’s no space in Bangladesh for autocracy,” he said.Dr Kamal, also the president of Gano Forum, further said, “If the autocrats think they’ll be able to hang onto power for lifelong time using guns, money and other influences, they’re living in fool’s paradise. “
He was speaking at a civic condolence meeting at the Jatiya Press Club in memory of journalist Mahfuz Ullah who died at a hospital in Thailand on April 27 last. Former adviser to a caretaker government Dr Akbar Ali Khan presided over the programme.
Mentioning that many signs of autocracy are visible in the country, Dr Kamal said only people’s unity can help overcome it.
Mahfuz Ullah always spoke the truth without any fear and took stanch in favour of fairness taking risk. “It’s still risky to speak the truth here. But there’s no reason for us to be disappointed,” Dr Kamal said.
Referring to the presence of cross-section of people and leaders of different political parties at the condolence meeting, Dr Kamal said it proves people have still attraction for unity. “Let’s get united based on fairness and the spirit of the Liberation War to take place a mass-upsurge against autocracy like that of the 60s.”
He also said those who will try to divert people from the way of freedom and Liberation War will finally become unsuccessful. “We’re in favour of path of freedom and we’ll turn victorious.”The Gano Forum president said Mahfuz Ullah tried to inspire people for bringing a social change and ensure their freedom with his fearless assertions. “He‘ll remain as a source of inspiration for us. We should continue to put in efforts to forge a greater unity and use the power of unity to materialise Mahfuz Ullah’s dream.”
Dr Akabr Ali Khan said Mahfuz Ullah made outstanding contributions to his profession, especially to environmental journalism.
“Mahfuz Ullah was also a good writer for which people will remember him for a long time. He could not complete the writing of some more books. Had he been alive, he could have given us courage and strengthened our journey towards democracy,” he observed.
Akbar Ali said Mahfuz Ullah authored the biographies of some politicians of a particular party based on research and correct information. “Those biographies were necessary from the historical point of view.”
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said Mahfuz Ullah tried to bring a social change, turn Bangladesh into a welfare state to make the country’s independence meaningful and fortify democracy by playing a strong role as a journalist.
Recalling that the journalist severely criticised BNP at a programme in presence of him, the BNP leader said Mahfuz Ullah never hesitated to speak the truth.
“At the tough time of the country, he tried to wake us up with his fearless voice and writings presenting the truth. I miss him a lot as he could inspire us not to get disappointed, but be vocal and courageous,” he observed.
Fakhrul also turned emotional recalling Mahfuz Ullah’s close relation with him.
Bangladesh Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon said Mahfuz Ullah was a brave and honest journalist who will remain alive with his many books and other works.
Menon said Mahfuz Ullah will also be remembered by people for a long time for his book titled ‘Purba Pakistan Chhatra Unioner Itihas’. “It’s his outstanding contribution to politics.”
Ex-VC of Dhaka University Prof Emajuddin Ahmed, BNP standing committee members Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, senior Awami League leader Nooh-ul-Alam Lenin, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal president ASM Abdur Rob, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, former caretaker government adviser Barrister Mainul Hosein, Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, former cabinet secretary Dr Saadat Husain, Dhaka University Professor Asif Nazrul, former Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Salehuddin Ahmed, senior journalist Reazuddin Ahmed, Daily New Age editor Nurul Kabir, Manabzamin editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury and Jatiya Press Club president Saiful Alam, among others, spoke at the programme.