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Who will protect us? : Musings in the victory month of December

Edit Date:12/30/2010 12:00:00 AM



Shimul Chaudhury

10 December 2010

I came to know from a Daily Star (Dhaka, 10 Dec 2010) report titled “BSF routinely kills on border” that the US-based rights group the Human Rights Watch recently urged Bangladesh government to “vigorously protect the right to life of its citizens”. This advice from the HRW to the current government of Bangladesh evidently suggests the regime’s silence about the Indian BSF’s killings of its citizens almost on a daily basis. What surprises me most is the obvious irony in HRW’s request to Bangladesh government.

In a true sense, it was Bangladesh government that was supposed to make such a request to international rights groups such as the HRW to bring the issue of BSF atrocities to global forums and thus to help it protect its citizens’ right to life. Unfortunately, Bangladesh government is so indifferent to the sufferings of its citizens especially those in the border region that it is reluctant to even talk about the continuous BSF killings. What is more, when BSF kills Bangladeshis, it does not discriminate whether the victims belong to Awami League or BNP: BSF personnel kill Bangladeshis of all political denominations.

We understand that this lack of concern of the government for the protection of its citizens is because of its slavish ‘friendship’ with India. We are worryingly observing that our beloved country is being pushed increasingly into the dangerous grip of this hostile neighbor. But, how long will this continue? Was it the reason why the people of this country fought for independence in 1971? Or, was it the reason why India helped us defeat the Pakistani soldiers during the war? If our government is indifferent to our sufferings, who will protect us? These questions overwhelm our triumphant mood in the victory month of December.

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