Now we have an incident in hand revolving two telephone conversations between the current convener of Nagorik Oikyo, a political activist and a former VP of DUCSU and CUCSU, Mahmudur Rahman Manna and BNP leader Sadeq Hossain Khoka (now in USA), and also between Manna and an unknown individual.
If telephone discussions are anything to go by, we have many such talks taking place every day. We only come to know of those that are revealed by the government sources or media.
In Bangladesh, we have had conversation between a judge of the International Crimes Tribunal and his lawyer friend living abroad. The honorable judge sought his advice on some issues relating to judgment of a case in ICT. This also raised many eyebrows.
A natural thing to happen
The media person who took initiative to exposé the news of this conversation had to land in jail on many other allegations that came up against him. But his sole offense was he leaked the news of this conversation.
We shall have many such breaking news of appalling conversations in future also. So the Manna-Khoka conversation, at this point in time, was a natural thing to happen.
The mystery and the mind boggling part is the statement of Mahmudur Rahman Manna. His long political career, the changing roles, his varied statements and his sophisticated newspaper columns had created a positive image for himself.
His successful stint as a student leader made him a revered person and he later graduated into a national leader. He was on the left pole, and then found himself on the right. His variable roles sometime made him contentious. He was also found wanting in deciding his unchanging objective.
Later when he disassociated himself from the Awami League he chose to be in the middle path, trying to transform his image into rather neutral and an intellectual person with high thinking ideology.
But things lacked in him from the very beginning – a firebrand student leader starting his career under a firebrand banner with ‘left ‘indoctrination. So there has been some sort of concoction within him from the very beginning. He showed signs of ‘indecisions’ during his entire mature career.
However, coming back to the latest conversation between Sadeq Hossain Khoka and Manna, it has been a one sided affair. We hardly heard anything from Khoka.
Rather what we heard was expression of concern by Khoka regarding the current situation and the ineffective movements of BNP and the opposition. Khoka was heard suggesting new means of movement if necessary.
An intriguing affair
Manna did most of the talking. He tried to point out almost all the areas and possibilities of the opposition movements, the TV talk shows and the impressive speakers, suggestions of capturing of student halls of Dhaka University, the callous suggestions of expecting a few lost lives during this struggle on the campus, and his chances of meeting army personnel to win their support in strengthening the antigovernment movement- – all these made the tête-à-tête an intriguing affair.
While the entire part of the talk by Manna wasn’t very serious the fraction that irked everyone was the hint of ‘losing of lives ‘ on the campus and the possible entente with army officers in future actions of the opposition movements.
These remarks stirred the government which sees this as a matter of immense apprehension.
Not only did Manna put himself in a soup, he has, through his statement embarrassed many along the line. Those unsuspecting individuals, who wanted to put up a neutral face and attempted to bring about an understanding between the rival political groups, now find themselves in a fix.
The civil society personnel are now at the receiving end. Manna had been a part of the civil group till he and Dr. Kamal Hossain was dropped out of the circuit due to their political hue.
His observations about capturing of DU halls will add to the tension that now prevails in campuses across Bangladesh, especially Dhaka University.
Therefore, his comments and observations made to Sadek Hossain Khoka are likely to have negative impact in our politics and its future course.
People may lose faith in politicians and would hardly be convinced even if one states the truth with all earnestness.
Manna is now in detention and faces sedition charges. He is on a 10 day police remand. As usual the law will take its own and often long course.
Manna’s image may have taken a drubbing for now. He will have to come up with lots of conclusive logic to secure himself. To me, his latest expressions are only an eruption of early JSD indoctrination.
Source: Weekly Holiday