Dhaka, Sunday, 16 June 2019
Bangla Insider

Is Sheikh Hasina cruel to Khaleda?

Syed Borhan Kabir
Published on : 13 February 2018, 10:00 PM
Is Sheikh Hasina cruel to Khaleda?

Begum Zia has been sentenced to jail. She is passing painful days in the prison. 73-year old and two-time prime minister is passing her days in solitary confinement. Many people think that the government is showing a ‘cruel’ attitude towards her. Some people also say, “The prime minister herself is a woman. And she is known to be highly kind to the poor and the helpless. After the Rohingya issue, the world has seen her humanity and benevolence that reached a new height. She has been acclaimed as the ‘Mother of Humanity’ worldwide. Many are wondering that how come such a kind person becomes ‘cruel’ to Begun Zia. Many are saying, “This does not go with the character of Sheikh Hasina. She (Begum Zia) could have also been kept with house arrest. Or else she could have also been confined in a rented house.”

For those who possess a similar thought I would like to pay attention to the book ‘Bangabandhuke Ghire Kichu Smriti’ written by late Dr. Wazed Miah. From the book we see that after the Liberation War, then the deputy chief of army staff Ziaur Rahman (Zia) came to meet the Father of the Nation. He (Zia) told to Bangabandhu that he is not being able to maintain a good relationship with Begum Zia. Bangabandhu shouted at him after hearing that and invited Ziaur Rahman and his wife to his (Bangabandhu’s) house. The Father of the Nation bought three sarees on that occasion. One was given to Putul (the nickname of Begum Khaleda Zia), the other two were for Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana. Bangabandhu addressed Begum Zia as her second daughter and ordered them to live happily in peace. Whom the Father of the Nation considered as his own child came to be known as one of the key planners of his own killing (in 1975). He did not take action against the killers despite knowing about the August 15 coup plan. Instead he helped them in their work to make the coup happen.

Ziaur Rahman was killed in a coup in a few days after Sheikh Hasina returned to the country with the leadership of Awami League. Ershad came to power. Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League led a protest against illegal, non-democratic, military rule. Begum Zia also took the leadership of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) following a series of events. Thereafter, the fight against autocracy commenced. Both leaders led the movement. Sheikh Hasina knew that Begum Zia`s husband is the murderer of her father, yet Sheikh Hasina held a meeting with Khaleda Zia for the sake of democracy, in the interest of the people`s rights. Even Sheikh Hasina held a meeting with Begum Zia acknowledging the fraud in the 1991 election just for the sake of parliamentary democracy.

But after coming to power in 1991 Begum Zia followed her husband’s path. She promoted the self-declared killers of the Father of the Nation with diplomatic jobs. She refused to remove the notorious indemnity ordinance, which blocked the punishment of the self-proclaimed murderers of the Father of the Nation. After 21 years, the Awami League got the responsibility of governing the country in 1996. The indemnity ordinance was repealed. The trial of the murderers of Bangabandhu began. All of a sudden, Begum Zia started doing a weird thing. With much extravaganza she started celebrating her birthday on 15th August. August 15 is not just a day of mourning, but a day of national shame and disgrace. Begum Zia was the prime minister from 1991 to 1996. She did not celebrate her birthday on August 15 at that time. Besides, her marriage documents, passport and even the academic certificates do not show that her birthday is on 15th August. Begum Zia falsely made that birthday in solidarity with the self-proclaimed murderers. In the last two years, she has stopped celebrating such disreputable birthday due to severe criticism of the public.
But the entire nation has observed her vicious character. Sheikh Hasina is also a blood-flesh human being. Do you see any such person who makes an ugly festival on your father`s death? How much compassion will you grow to him/her?

After August 15, August 21 followed. Begum Zia was in power. Her son Tarique Rahman came up with the master-plan to perpetuate the power by killing Sheikh Hasina. The atrocities of the 21st August in the Bangabandhu Avenue need no further description. Sheikh Hasina survived on that day miraculously. Dear reader, how would you treat your killer? Still, Sheikh Hasina has shown a tremendous level of tolerance. She is immune to any poison because she has digested it.

This is why Begum Zia has got justice. This is why the trial has been conducted for nine long years. The lower court has given the verdict after series of activities in the High Court and the Supreme Court. The High Court, the Supreme Court turned down the lower court verdict. Had Sheikh Hasina retaliated, then she could have arrested Begum Zia in 2014, or in 2015. But she did not do that. The court has given this verdict. This is neither the cruelty nor the vengeance of Sheikh Hasina. Her imprisonment reflects her self-punishment. This is the retribution of her own activity because she celebrated her fake birthday with the murderers of the Father of the Nation.

It is the result of her sin that she made the master plan to assassinate Sheikh Hasina on 21 August. Zia Orphanage Trust graft case is just an occasion. The fire of vengeance and cruelty that Begun Zia ignited is burning her today in return.

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