DHAKA: The spokesperson of Gonojagoron Mancha Dr Imran H Sarker has termed their movement is a political one.
In an exclusive interview with banglanews, Imran made this comment on the eve of the first anniversary of the movement.
When asked whether the movement of Gonojagoron Mancha was a political, he said, “There was the influence of politics and still it is in this movement. Those who waged movement they practically did politics. Because, we had clear demands, we had ideological stand. So, this is not beyond politics. Well, may be we did not make any party politics or politics of ballot.”
Some important parts of the interview are being presented here for the readers of banglanews:
The movement of the Mancha which got momentum at the initial stage went down trend later. The participation of the masses came down sharply. What was the reason?
Imran: “The people who came here were the common citizens of the country. Probably, they came here from their personal grievances. Every body came leaving their business and jobs. But they cannot stay here for indefinite period. As a result, the participation showed down trend.”
At the initial stage of the movement, the pro-government student organization BCL participated en mass. But later they left it. What was the reason?
Imran: “Why BCL left the movement it is they who can tell it, even they did not disclose the reason of their leaving. Next, our movement was a demand to the government. It is fact that we did not wage the movement for the down fall of the government, but the government had to face embarrassing situation off and on. So it was difficult for BCL to stay with us. After March 26, when we gave ultimatum to the government for the banning of Jamaat it was difficult for BCL to be with such movement so they left. But the Mancha had to take a strong stand against the government for not banning Jamaat. Under these circumstances, the pro-government BCL could not swallow this stand.”
Mancha was the creation of the government and it was nourished by the government. Moreover, many alleged that in student life you were involved with BCL politics. What’s your position?
Imran frankly admitting told that he was involved with BCL politics and he was the publicity secretary of Rajshahi Medical College BCL unit.
He told that, “You know that in student life you must be with some student group. As I believe in progressive politics, so I was with the politics of Bangladesh Chattra League (BCL). Any way I was not a big something.”
The Mancha at different times has been waging various types of movement. Recently in their road marches to Malopara and Dinajpur they used a number of motorized vehicles costing huge sum of money. How the Mancha could afford the huge expenditure. What is their source of earnings?
In reply Imran said, “At the initial stage there was huge income at Shahbagh from people’s subscription. During our whole program that continued at a stretch we earned from the donations, helps from the individuals. Besides, at the time of any special program we take donations and subscriptions who volunteered us at Shahbagh.
“However, we did not take any help from any organization rather from individuals even we did not take help personally rather collectively following some procedures.”
“Moreover, we had not made much expenditure like other organizations. We had to pay only the bus fare for the two road marches. Many transport owners told us to pay only the fuel cost. The local people arranged the food and lodging of the Mancha. Even people supplied us the tooth brush, paste etc. We only gave the microphone cost.”
In this situation of the movement, what is the next step and plan of the Mancha?
In Reply Imran told, “We declared that our movement will continue till our six-point demands are fulfilled. We have further declared three point demands for stopping communal violence. We will continue our movement till our six points plus three point demands and also for building a secular Bangladesh removing the obstacles towards achieving our goal.”
The main demand of Mancha was the hanging of Quader Mollah which has already been executed. What is the progress of the rest five demands?
Imran: Our political culture is the hindrance on our fulfilling the six-point demands. When we placed our six-point demands the Honorable Prime Minister announced in the parliament that our demands would be fulfilled. Influential politicians also assured us. Under those assurances, we withdrew our program. But, later, these politicians started speaking in a different way making doubts in our mind. Now, we think that how much they are sincere to execute our program. Recently, the Prime Minister in abroad told that Jamaat-e-Islami is a political organization. She did not tell anything whether she would ban them or not. Failing in commitments, this political culture is a great obstacle for not implementing our demands.”
What was the success or failure of the Mancha during last one year?
Imran told: “The demands have been going on for the last 42- year but there was no consensus but we have been able to bring the whole nation to one point that is consensus.”
About failure, he said “There was propaganda against us that we could not face organizationally. As a result, people some time misunderstood us.”
It is to be mentionable here that on February 5 last year, ICT-2 gave the verdict against war criminal Abdul Quader Mollah awarding him life term imprisonment. This angered millions of freedom loving people of the country, he added.
From this anger some youths protesting it belonging to ‘Online and blogger activist network’ gathered at Shahbagh. When people came to know this through media in groups gathered heavily at Shahbagh in the capital. That non-stop program gradually took the shape of human sea. Due to this movement, the ICT law amended with the provision of the appeal by the government which was not in the law earlier. Finally, the state appealed to the higher court resulting death sentence of Quader Mollah and was executed on later.
BDST: 1605 HRS, FEB 05, 2014