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Storm of protests

Against disgrace to Independence by Prothom Alo

Published : 31 Mar 2023 11:14 PM

Various social, cultural, political and professional organisations as well as  freedom fighters, cultural leaders and activists  continued their protests against the bad journalism by the daily Prothom Alo and its report disgracing the great War of Liberation and the independence of Bangladesh.

As part of the protests, those organisations and people on Friday held rallies, formed human chains and issued statement in capital Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.

They also condemned the ill motivated attempt of Prothom Alo and demanded exemplary punishment to the editor of Prothom Alo, its reporter and also who support them.

Different professional bodies protested and condemned the falsehood and conspiracy of Prothom Alo to underestimate the Independence Day.

Editors Guild, Bangladesh

Editors Guild, Bangladesh extremely condemned the bad journalism of daily Prothom Alo.

In a statement signed by Mozammel Babu, the President of the Editors Guild, on Friday said, a controversial report of Prothom Alo published on March 26, the great Independence Day, was degratory to the great liberation of Bangladesh.

The press release also said that the report published by the Prothom Alo was a part of its continuous attempts of implementing an agenda in the name of journalism. 

"Dissemination of fake news is not journalism. It is bad journalism. Editors Guild, Bangladesh strongly condemns it", the press release reads.

"The press release also mentioned that no one is above the law", the Editors Guild, Bangladesh said.

It however said, "If anyone is aggrieved by a report published in any of the mainstream media, we recommend for seeking opinion of the National Press Council before filing a case."

Bangladesh Editors’ Forum

Bangladesh Editors’ Forum in a press statement protested and condemned the baseless and motivated news of Prothom Alo. 

Chief adviser of the platform Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, its convener Rafiqul Islam Ratan and member secretary Faroque Ahmed Talukder made raised their voices on behalf of the organisation in a joint statement. 

In the statement, they said that the role of an independent media is essential for democracy. “However, we believe that publishing false, baseless and purposeful news in the name of freedom of media and expression is contrary to the principles of independent journalism and is against objective journalism,” they said. 

“We strongly condemn and protest the way the daily Prothom Alo has tried to tarnish the image of the state and the nation by publishing false, baseless and purposeful news,” they said in the statement. 

They also said that the newspaper has the right to publish any news, but if that news is false and purposeful, it is definitely contrary to the principles of journalism. There may be a specific case in this regard. However, picking up of a journalist by the law enforcement agencies at night is also not supported, they added.  

The Bangladesh Editors’ Forum called upon all to refrain from trying to tarnish the image of the state and the nation by publishing such false news in the future.

Dhaka University Teachers’ Association

Meanwhile, Dhaka University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) in a separate statement also criticised daily Prothom Alo for its fabricated news published on March 26. The DUTA termed the news as ill-motivated and part of a conspiracy against the state.

DUTA president Prof. Dr. Md. Nizamul Haque Bhuiyan and general secretary Prof. Dr. Zeenat Huda issued the statement on behalf of the DUTA. 

The statement says, “It is unethical in journalism to publish children’s statement or picture without their parent’s concern. Prothom Alo intentionally violated the journalism ethics.” 

Besides, Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote and Bangladesh Swadhinata Parishad jointly formed a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club in the city protesting Prothom Alo’s falsehood and yellow journalism.

Participants of the human chain said none will be spared if he or she takes position against the independence of the country.

“If anyone attacks the spirit of the independence, we will not stay home,” Rafiqul Alam, a noted singer who is also a vice president of Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote; said while speaking at the event. 

Cultural leaders, who took part in the human chain, called upon the government to take necessary action against the editor of Prothom Alo for publishing such fabricated news.

 Of them, Monoranjon Ghoshal said the anti-liberation forces are now hatching conspiracy against the country. “So, we have to keep unity under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he added.

“We will remain alert against the conspiracy of the anti-liberation forces,” said Prof. Dr. Arup Ratan Chowdhury.

Jubo Mohila League also staged demonstration in front of Russell Square at Dhanmondi in the capital, protesting the falsehood and conspiracy of the daily Prothom Alo.

Awami League office secretary Biplab Barua, central committee members Tarana Halim and Mohammad A Arafat, Jubo Mohila League president Daisy Sarwar and its general secretary Sharmin Sultana Lily, among others, spoke at the meeting.

On the other hand, Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif at a function in Kushtia said if anyone hits the country’s independence, it will be the government’s responsibility to take proper measures to this end.

 He said that it is the responsibility of the government to take legal action against those involved in such incidents. “If anyone gets hurt after taking legal action, then they are also the part of this conspiracy,” he added.