Hummam Quader Chowdhury exposes the 'real face' of BNP

Published : 18 Oct 2022 03:01 AM | Updated : 18 Oct 2022 08:27 PM

Hummam Quader Chowdhury's “martyr”  tag  for convicted 1971 war criminals , mostly from the pro-Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami, has exposed the real face of the BNP, of which he is a central committee member from Chattogram.

Anti-war crimes campaigners in a recent webinar saw Hummam's threat to force Awami Leaguers to "seek apology from families" of these executed war criminals as a "brazen attempt" to justify the 1971 genocide . 

They also said Hummam's fiery recent speech at Chattogram blew the lid on the "decoupling drama" initiated by the BNP leadership in an attempt to publicly distance itself from the Jamaat to project a more 'centrist' image of the party.

As 27 eminent citizens pulled up Hummam for his 'audacity" to legitimise the 1971 genocide by describing the executed war criminals as " Shaheed" , participants at the webinar exposed the double standards of the BNP in peddling two narratives-- one for domestic audience based on its coveted nexus with Jamaat and the other for an Western audience to project a 'centrist image ' .

A few days back, Hummam,  addressing a BNP gathering livestreamed  from the party’s verified facebook page, asked “activists and leaders of Awami League to mark each of his words."

"If AL were out of power, we (BNP) would ensure none of them (party members and leaders) would be able to return to your near and loved ones”, said Hummam , reinforcing the legacy of physical elimination of political rivals practised  by his father, the notorious war criminal Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury who was hanged in 2015.

Cheered by the crowd, Hummam hinted at another apocalyptic scenario.

"We will make them (AL leaders) bound to seek for apology from families of war criminals”,  he said,  referring to the war crimes trials Awami League initiated under the Sheikh Hasina led government. 

Put on hold for over 45  years due to direct state patronage under military dictators and two five year tenure ruled by BNP’s current leadership, the war crimes trial were finally set into motion by Sheikh Hasina after her return to power in 2009. 

The trial process, deemed by experts as more fair than the Nuremburg trials, allowed the accused the right to challenge verdicts .

Addressing the webinar, Barrister Shah Ali Farhad, former special assistant to prime minister, pointed at the “wide open” double standards practised by the BNP, as it plays out the decoupling drama with iron brother Jamaat.

 Organiser  by G Live, an episode in its  signature show “My Opinion”, the webinar was also joined by a prominent online activist Omi Rahman Pial, and Sufi Faruq Ibne Abubakar, a former IT head of a multinational company who leads Gurukul Online Learning Network. 

“BNP has been peddling two narratives—one for local audience and the other for international community. This public statement from Hummam serves the first one. It is a direct threat to  all those war victim family members who appeared in the court to testify against war criminals in court,  “ Farhad said. 

“Since the beginning of the trials  in 2010, families, those , who testified before court against Hummam's father SQ chowdhury and another top Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee, have come under attack repeatedly. Now Hummam's posturing is a direct threat to security of all those witnesses," he said.

Prominent pro liberation online activist Omi Rahman pointed to how Hummam was introduced at the party's Chittagong rally. 

 “BNP leaders on the stage introduced Hummam as the son of a “martyr”, which exposes how BNP has been acting as the key force of an Islamist eco system in domestic politics”, Rahman said.

“ Even when Hummam’s father was facing trials, BNP did not find necessary to strip SQ Chowdhury of his party positions , which shows the BNP does not treat the 1971 war crimes as crimes against humanity," he said.

Hummam’s  “martyr” tag on war criminals , his  threat to force  Awami Leaguers  apologise  before families of  convicted war criminals if BNP assumed power, clearly illustrates the much coveted nexus between the BNP and  the  Jamaat. The recently staged drama over decoupling is just a drama to fool the global community," he added .

Echoing a similar view,  Sufi Faruq sought to expose the violent face of the BNP- Jamaat alliance .

Calling Jamaat as a “core force” in the alliance, Sufi said “BNP is just a political plank that broadly seeks to give legitimacy to Jamaat given the latter’s proven record of promoting Taliban-like Islamist radicalism

Faruq said the lack of legitimacy for Jamaat on global stage prompted BNP to offer a plank of legitimacy  for Jamaat. Historically, the ties between the parties have been very strong  and it seems ahead of the election this bond is growing strength by strength, he added.

Horrendous atrocities, like targeted attacks on law enforcers with sharp weapons, servering tendons of political rivals like Awami Leaguers,  indoctrination of youths to follow Taliban style rule in the country, killing of liberal writers and thinkers, confining women within four walls are usually associated with the Jamaat and their vision of a future Bangladesh.

 The party has been deregistered by the Election Commission because its political pitch contradicts the secular polity of Bangladesh. 

BNP’s founder General Ziaur Rahman and his successor General HM Ershad blew away Bangladesh's1972 secular constitutional edifice and installed  “Islam” as state religion. Both helped legitimise the pro-Pakistan Jamaat  gain legitimacy .  That continued under Begum Zia and Tarique Rahman, when the war criminals from the party made it into the cabinet. 

Netizens were also seen posting “Boycott BNP , Boycott Jamaat," and "Like Father like Son" after Hummam's controversial speech at Chattogram.

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