The Glorious History
Student politics traces its origin to the political reign of this subcontinent as one of many hallmark characteristics and the student organizations had, especially in Bangladesh, historic as well as epoch-making roles played. Differences in ideology, objective, agendum and procedure among different political parties are very typical to exist. In line with such normalcy, there are different ideology-oriented political parties here together with many ‘satellite’ student organizations embodied therein. In Bangladesh, student organizations continue to hold out, the roots whereof are to be traced back to the Pakistani regime and, besides, there are such as came into being in the post-independence era. Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir, grown up under the heaven of Independent Bangladesh, is a name of a lit student organization devoid of any party tail and an unrivalled scholastic academy. Having been initiated on the 6th day of February, 1977, on the premises of Central Mosque of the University of Dhaka, this very organization passed a span of long 35 years and thereby created a remarkable history covering itself in glory. It has made a permanent impression on the masses, especially on millions of youngsters, as a reformative dynamic democratic organization, a unique and peerless academic institution and a ‘nurture centre’ for humans.
The bygone 35 year history of Shibir may be viewed from different angles. Approaches of evaluation may vary in terms of socio-economic, political and cultural relevancy of a developing country like Bangladesh or in light of its status as the 4th Muslim majority state of the world. The history of more than three decades of an unparalleled organization badly deserves sentient, neutral and proper appraisal. Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir has had a glorious history enriched by solemn traditions as a result of its ceaseless struggle for 35 years. This write-up aims at putting those things forward for kind assessment of the countrymen.
Emergence of Shibir: An opportune must
No historic event takes place without some milieux and similarly no organization is formed otherwise without necessity. The job of formulation of “Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir” was a must opportune to that time. The then total socio-economic, religious, political and cultural scenario of Bangladesh made the emergence of an organization like this ‘a crying need’.
(a) Bangladesh in the post-independence era
On 16th December of 1971, the liberation war of Bangladesh terminated and after nine months of bloodbath, the freedom-loving people had a ‘convincing victory’. But, unfortunately enough, all we got is the territory of an independent country along with a geographic map cum a flag of red and green lacking true independence for the countrymen. India, the neighboring country to have backed our liberation war, sooner started bossing us around and looting our valued national resources through the border area. The condition reached such abysmal state that even Major Jalil, one of the sector commanders of liberation war, was held ‘guilty’ of protesting against such unjust behavior and became the first to be detained as a state prisoner. Very shortly, as a result, there occurred economic inversion, political instability and cultural bankruptcy in the country. The prevalent overall turmoil anon turned the independence of the country into plain subjection which is satirically outlined by the famous analyst Abul Mansur Ahmad in the following words: “Bought at high cost but sold at low one… it is but our independence”. It was a period of about three years and a half in between ’71 to ’75 when one party government system “BAKSAL” was established suppressing the plurality of opinions of all the parties. Furthermore, at that time, all types of Islamic political parties were banned and all sorts of newspapers were gagged save four allied with and controlled by the government. People tasted deaf jungle laws and lost their rights to freedom of expression and personal liberty. By daring to make a protest, as many as thirty thousand youths had to lay down their lives. The country sounded as if it were a ‘home base’ for a gang of riotous and malicious people chanting the slogan “One leader…One country”. Being under the umbrella protection of government administration, these wristlet wearing undisciplined youths made public life-living synonymous with ‘agony’. Under such disconcerting circumstances, people seemed as though they had lost even their very ‘right to cry’. Millions of people died of famine, women were to try to save their modesty by covering their private organs with rags and tatters and, moreover, men and dogs snatched all together at orts in the garbage can. The offspring of the ruling class went beyond the purview of law and the ordinary mortals began to fall victim to ruthless fist of black barbarian law.
(b) Dream of ‘Golden Bengal’ (Sonar Bangla): Lack of ‘Golden men’
Bangladesh is a dream land abounding with myriads of rivers, fruitful trees and green corns. Once upon a time in Bengal, 8 maunds of rice cost one taka only. Here were granaries full of grains, cowsheds chock-full of cows and homes filled with love and affection. This is why it was called “Golden Bengal” (Sonar Bangla). Frequent colonial rule and inroads of the Marhattas from time to time were always about to snatch away peace, progress and stability of the people of this locality. At the same time, those who encouraged people’s aspirations were always seen to advocate the vision of “Golden Bengal” (Sonar Bangla) before the people. This way, one and all were animated, inspired and incited to rebel against the autocrats of Pakistan and to rush to struggle for freedom. But all the hopes and aspirations ended in smoke. The erstwhile President (Sheikh Mujib) himself said- “Man gets mine of gold but I got mine of thieves,, thieves are everywhere around me; on the right and left and in the front as well as behind… Seven and half crore blankets were allocated for seven and half crore people but where is mine?”. It is difficult to build up a “Golden Bengal” inasmuch as it is easy to dream of it. For this purpose, a band of golden men is badly needed; a band of honest, truthful, efficient and patriotic people who will cost much more than precious gold. How can this dream possibly come true without such a band of golden men? In fact, man is properly nurtured by blessings of a good and effective education system. As a silk purse cannot be made out of a sow’s ear, a multitude of golden men can also not be envisaged of by a hollow and ineffective education system. We have expressly or impliedly been taking the education system adopted and systemized by the Britishers for granted for about two centuries. To engender the people as God-fearing, truthful and patriotic is almost impossible under the shade of this education system. This was the overall hazardous scenario of Bangladesh whereto the historic U-turn of 1975 was added as an aftermath of assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the President of the country simultaneously to appear as the national Hero of independence and to introduce autocratic system of one party government, together with his family members. But despite the occurrence of such a tragic event, the countrymen were not seen even to shed their tears for their national Hero. The fellowmen and associates of Mujib came to power after him and many events took place in the meantime. The country reached a haphazard plane undergoing many phases of martial law administration and subsequent restoration of the democratic order. The disappointed masses were thinking twice as to what the country was going to face in store. In this perspective, some reflecting and audacious youths of the country decided, having put their absolute faith and trust in Allah, to constitute an ideological student organization with firm conviction to nurture the young segment of students. Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir, a caravan loved by the peace-longing students and youths, started its journey headed by those dedicated youths on 6th February, 1977, from the premises of central mosque of the University of Dhaka, popularly known as “Oxford of the Orient”. There began the resonance of a song resulted from a solemn oath:
“We all together tread the pathway of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and with us there is the bayonet of oath.”
Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir declared its aim and objective as- “To secure the pleasure of Allah by moulding the whole life of humans in accordance with the paradigm guidelines prescribed by Allah and exemplified by the Prophet (PBUH)”. With a hope to get Allah’s pleasure and with a view to establishing the system of ‘DEEN’ (Islam), Shibir adopted five point agenda. In light of the movement launched by the Prophets and Apostles of Allah, Shibir took three of them, namely ‘Dawah’, ‘Organization’ and ‘Training’, as its permanent agenda. On the other hand, it took the agenda for movement of education and Islamic life pattern as per Bangladesh’s relevancy. Thus Shibir determined its five point agenda in a realistic and scientific way. The outset of Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir was a sudden flash of light alike in the then extreme dark; a solace to those in despair. This organization ignited new light of hope and possibility in all. Sooner, Shibir became the only caravan for the Islam-loving youths and students. There spread out a wave, a name- “Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir” in every curvature of many a river like the Padma, the Meghna, the Jamuna, the Surma, the Karnafully etc including each urban as well as rural locality. The unique agenda, the noble job of calling the students to the way of Allah, attempting to empower the Organization with a sense of strong brotherhood like a lead-built wall, endeavoring to enrich the students with knowledge, excellent code of conduct together with human attributes, moving for restoration of rights of the students, helping the students design and reach their career destination and undertaking steps for emancipation of the humanity from all sorts of oppression, tyranny and servitude were behind Shibir’s rise as country’s biggest student organization. A band of dedicated and sprightly youths has been contributing to gradual and further development of Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir in the cause of Allah. No drawback can turn these youths backward; nor can any setbacks of greed, jealousy or worldly interest. They are not homesick; rather they are here to call all to the way of Allah to ceaselessly strive in His cause. Their singsong plays- “Mother says: ‘My son, don’t go out of home again; I say: ‘let the life be lived in Allah’s way’.” Tiresome and uncompromised endeavors launched by the leaders of Shibir provided for this Organization a firm base to stand on.
SHIBIR: A name of the alternate academic institution
The traditional education system of our country schools the students in world-centric material majors like science, technology, arts and strategies. There is no effective arrangement in the traditional educational system to make our pupils philanthropic and Allah-fearing. In stead, this education system via its academia is sending some ruthless, irresponsible and consumerist people with an ultra-rated sense of competitiveness and rivalry and hence humanity, philanthropy, fear of God and sense of accountability are not generated in them.
Though the complete Islamic education system is not systematized, Bangladesh is being enriched each year by a group of enlightened men, a quite different band of people, by dint of wearisome effort of 35 years of Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir. Shibir prepares its manpower as per the curriculum of a beautiful and harmonious syllabus. Every activist here is to maintain, of course everyday, his personal book of records (Report book), study some verses of Holy Quran with meaning and exposition, study Hadiths, one or more than one, study at least 10 pages from Islamic literature and read newspapers. Everyday, he has to criticize himself for what he has done all day long. More importantly, he has to translate all these abstract ideas into concrete actions. He has to perform his Salah (regular prayer) five times a day in congregation. This way Shibir tries to make each its fellow youths a harmonious man with knowledge and good conduct. Furthermore, Shibir insists that every activist study his curriculum of schooling not less than three hours a day. The Organization gives attention to the followings as a part of its educational movement:
To help get admitted into the universities, Shibir provided guides and coaching for the students. Shibir-led coaching centres and Shibir-made admission guides are the most effective and trusted ones to the students and guardians. The best teachers and students of country’s leading universities take classes in these coaching centres. These coaching centres are run not with any commercial ‘drive’, rather with an attitude of public welfare to enable the students to maximize their ability for the admission tests. ‘Poor but talented’ student are granted half or even full waiver in their payable tuition in exchange for coaching.
Shibir regularly heartens the brilliant and erudite students by paying tribute of respect through receptions. Shibir provides, under its own administration, scholarships for the students who are poor but meritorious. Recognition of talent is a must for its proper blooming and having taken this fact into account, Shibir is inspiring talented and erudite students through reception. The local affiliates arrange reception ceremony for those who got scholarships in classes of five and eight. Gala congrats ceremonies are held for those who hunt A+ in the exams of SSC/Dakhil and HSC/Alim wherein distinguished guests of national and local arena attend and address. Under the programs of providing coaching and textbooks for free led by Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir, many bright students have attained good grades. Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir is dispensing the young students an environment with a touch of life free from smoking, drug addiction, copying in the exam etc. Activists of Shibir themselves keep away from these dirty practices and they also enthuse others with motivation to refrain from the same and to live a beautiful and exemplary life. The government of Bangladesh enacted anti-smoking law in 2005 but Shibir has been launching the anti-smoking propagation for 35 years. Since the very inception, Shibir has made each of its fellows accustomed to copying-free exams. Shibir makes its activists habituated to ‘prayer at night’ with an aim to infuse in them love of Allah (in righteousness) and fear of Allah (in vicious acts) and thus they get used to performing ‘TAHAJJUD’ Salah in addition.
SHIBIR: A ‘Nurture Centre’ for Talents to bloom
Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir is an unparalleled organization which not only nurtures talents but also searches for them. Each year, Shibir hold various quizzes, talent verification programs, career guideline conference, computer fair, science fair, general knowledge convention, recital competition, cricket and football matches in central as well as local spheres of the Organization in search of latent talent. Moreover, Shibir organizes inter-school and inter-college debates. These undertakings encourage the brilliant youths and, at the same time, sort the talents out who will upgrade tomorrow’s Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir is the only student organization of the country which maintains a regular publication department to publish monthlies and periodicals such as ‘Student Views’, ‘Youth Wave’ etc for the students of all stages. Many who acquired the ABC of writing by writing for these papers have now become country’s highly-acclaimed poets and litterateurs. To further add that almost all the major affiliates of Shibir have their own regular publication order many of which are publishing monthly and tri-monthly papers.
At a time when all got anxious about, but unable to cure, the youths falling prey to the upshot of “counter-culture”, Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir took concrete actions in this regard. Today, after 35 years of glory, Shibir is pleased enough with its more than 200 bands of cultural performers throughout the country. Every year, these bands are going on making a multitude of young artists and performers through regular training and workshop. Besides stage-performance, they present a great deal of audio and audio-visual publications that include Islamic songs, patriotic songs and folk songs together with recital of poetry, plays and comedies which give the audience cool pleasure of amusement and taste of Islamic values. In 1994, Shibir formed a ‘Forum’ of the cultural organizations set up in different regions of the country. The Forum arranges for training and festivals and has been presenting numerous audio and video cassettes as well as compact discs. A movement for a new stream of dramaturgy and theatrical art of film projection is also on the rise day by day. Shibir has been playing a vital role in instilling Islamic code of conduct, values and culture in modern and educated youths of Bangladesh. Introduction of ‘Salam’ tradition in all and sundry is one of many brought about as reforms. To respect the senior and to love the junior is another culture the youths got acquainted with by Shibir. Shibir is circulating various sorts of ace posters, stickers, view cards, postcards, class routine cards, schedule for Ramadan and diaries as well as calendars of New Year for the students of all ages. With intent to make the study of science more interesting, Shibir came up with ample publications including ‘Science Series’. Shibir has been bringing out three page subject-wise enormous calendars since 2000.
You are to Wake up in such a time of disaster and catastrophe
Bangladesh is one of the world’s most calamitous countries. The people of this country have been surviving by facing dreadful natural disasters branded in history. Besides saving their own lives, they always approach other people too to lend them a helping hand. Conventionally, Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir has always played a generous and dauntless role in these national crises. Islami Chhatrashibir raised relief and handed the same round to the flood-devoured people in different parts of the country during flood. The 1991 cyclone-struck people of Chittagong and its southern parts will probably never get oblivious of devotion and cooperation of Shibir activists. The role played by Shibir through its relief and medical team in drought-struck northern parts and other epidemic-hit places of the country was highly applauded. All were charmed at the relief distribution programs of Shibir during post-flood time in 1988, 1991, 1998, 2000 and 2001. In 2007, Shibir not only delivered relief to the ‘Sidr-affected’ localities of southern part of the country but also carried out rescue operation putting their own lives at plain risk to save those cooped up. In the same manner, Shibir stood by the ‘Aila-struck’ people in Patuakhali, Satkhira and Khulna in 2009. As a student-oriented organization, Shibir paid attention more to the educational support of the affected students in these devastating circumstances. It was one of the prime goals of Shibir to let the students go on with their study undisturbed at that hard time by providing them, for free, with textbooks, exercise books and even cash. Every year, Shibir launches the program of distributing warm garments to those shivering. The regular programs of Shibir includes, among many, voluntary donation of blood and tree plantation as a part ‘social movement’ policy which are contributing towards building a beautiful and righteous society.
Positive stances of Shibir in national issues
This Organization always took, as a student organization, positive stances in various national issues during crises. After the assassination of President Ziaur Rahman in 1981, Justice Abdus Sattar came to power. But in 1982, autocratic dictator Hussein Muhammad Ershad forcibly brought President Abdus Sattar down from power by pulling a gun on him and became President in an undemocratic way. Shibir played a pioneering and strong role in anti-Ershad movement. Shibir was eminently behind the movement and students’ upsurge which took place in TSC, Shahbagh and DOEL Square around Dhaka University in the 1990s. Many leaders and activists of Shibir have been killed and imprisoned by the autocratic rulers but, nevertheless, Shibir did not get confused. The grand gathering and procession of Shibir animate the youths with new hope and inspiration. Student-oriented movements were mainly behind the fall of autocratic Ershad and Islami Chhatrashibir was an important ‘party’ in all these. In 1992, Shibir had to play a historic role which opened a new horizon in country’s national politics. Shibir was a powerful fighter alike in the field against the mischief of those who were advocating ‘trial in public’. The national parliamentary polls of 2001 were a turning point of country’s national politics. When the party which came to power through the polls of 1996 turned into ‘one party autocracy’, Shibir together with all the other student organizations formed “All Party Students Union” whereby the country gradually reverted to the order of democracy. Shibir played a very confident, tiresome and devoted role in the general polls of 2001 which was known to and applauded by all.
Shibir has always put bars to all the acts of terrorism, dacoity and sedition in the country through protest and blockages. Shibir recognizes no room in itself for the terrorists and it also gives no indulgence to them. Some of the antagonistic quarters pointed the finger at Shibir when frequent bombarding, terrorism and killings were about to make the overall situation of the country instable but Shibir proved, by now, that it has no links with terrorism. Shibir arranged for a round table talk with conscious and patriotic intellectuals, academicians, journalists and politicians the time after the concurrent bombarding operation in 63 districts and at the time of instable and oscillating condition of the country regarding SAARC Summit in 2005. This initiative inspired the nation with new aspiration. In 1999, Shibir reshaped public sentiment against the blasphemous acts of the mass-condemned writer Taslima Nasrin and made her leave the country. The role of Shibir was as transparent as crystal in all the important national issues including creating mass awareness against the government actions of separating Chittagong hill tracts in the name of the so-called ‘Peace Accord’, granting suicidal transit issue and systematizing a secular education system by materializing mass-criticized education report of Kudrat-e-Khuda Commission. Shibir took terrorism as a national challenge and is also playing an important role by launching movement to combat and uproot terrorism and reshuffle public opinions against the same. For the betterment of the situation, Shibir is holding seminars, symposiums, discussion conferences and rallies. Shibir welcomed and paid tribute to the victorious cricket team of Bangladesh together with their coach and staff when they won the one-day match against the world beater Australia in ‘Natwest’ series. Asian Highway Ges Trans-Asian Railway is a sister concern of the United Nations. Initially, under the action plan of ESCAP, 15 countries were declared to be included in this Highway but later the number of the countries was upgraded to 20. Now it is said that 32 countries are included in this Highway. The aim of the project was stated to connect the capitals of Asiatic countries to a common trail of road and railway communication for the promotion of their economic status by easy and speedy commercial contact. But having begun from Istanbul and Ankara, the Asian Highway was said to connect Tehran of Iran to Kabul of Afghanistan, Lahore of Pakistan, Delhi of India via the historic ‘Grand Trunk Road’ made by Sher Shah, Dhaka and Chittagong of Bangladesh, Akiab and Yangon of Myanmar, Kualalampur of Malaysia and Singapore only by road within the ambit of original project. To exclude China from the track of Asian Highway was essential to strengthen the power of dominion of India upon Bangladesh and thereby to ensure leniency of the country to the influence of the US. On the other hand, if Bangladesh could get connected to China by road on the Asian Highway, it would have been largely benefited in terms of economy and diplomacy and country’s national sovereignty would keep protected to more extent from the aggressive attack of India. But India and the United States are afraid of the good relationship likely to take place between Bangladesh and China out of bettered communication through the Highway. Thus China is strategically excluded from the Asian Highway and India is trying to get transit inside Bangladesh to go to her Seven Sister States by using it. Importantly, US is also making advocacy and flattery in favor of India’s interest. The Asian Highway which will give India a better alternative to transit for going to its Seven Sister States is more fatal than the transit itself for which Bangladesh will earn less but will have to spend more. Bangladesh will have to finance the cost-scheme for building and supervising the part of the Asian Highway up to 1050 kilometers or 650 miles in the border area which is quite impossible to be borne by Bangladesh. So, Chhatrashibir stood against this new blueprint of enslaving the country.
Hill Tract Peace Accord: Withdrawal of Army
India will easily get the control of Chittagong Port if the hilly Chittagong can be detached from Bangladesh. Driven by this greed, India has been assisting Sontu Larma, the leader of ‘Shantibahini’ and ‘Jonosonghoti Committee’, with money, weapon and training from behind the curtain. The government withdrew Army from hill tracts and, at the same time, Sontu Larma called for movement to attain their own rights and privileges (The Daily Naya Diganta, 10.08.2009). Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir undertook programs to make the government and the people aware of India’s aggressive policy because Sontu Larma’s call for movement for their ‘own rights and privileges’ will make Bangladesh’s independence and existence at stake. In Indo-Bangladesh relationship, it is a disputed matter that India aids terrorism in Bangladesh and vice versa. India complains that Bangladesh is contributing to the movement of ‘terrorism’ and ‘separatism’ in the North-Eastern part of India with the help Pakistani investigation agency. On the contrary, Bangladesh counters by saying that in India, there are about 39 outposts acting against Bangladesh. Besides, 45 armed camps of Shantibahini of Chittagong Hill Tracts are situated in Indian Territory adjacent to border areas of Khagrachhori, Rangamati and Bandarban. Thus, India is aiding the ‘soldiers of Bengal’ (Bangasena) in launching ‘Bengal land movement’ (Bangabhumi andolon) to make Bangladesh instable. Chhatrashibir wants this dirty game to come to an end for the betterment of country’s future and hence it has always been countering every possible progress in this regard.
Barbed Wire Fence in Border area
On the lame excuse of preventing illegal immigration from Bangladesh, India has erected barbed wire fence in the international border areas which sufficed to prove the unfriendly attitude of India to Bangladesh. This proves that India is not willing to maintain a friendly relationship with Bangladesh; rather it wants to cage Bangladesh. Since the onset of the occurrence, Chhatrashibir along with all the other countrymen has been protesting against such act of India which goes against international laws and standards. Meanwhile, India has finished erecting barbed wire fence in an area of 1357 kilometers and it has another plan to fence a further area of 2429.5 kilometers off with barbed wire fence in second phase. This barbed wire fencing has unfolded India’s stubborn appearance and following this incident, Myanmar also gave attention to erecting barbed wire fences likewise. Thus, Myanmar joined India in this dirty game. Now Bangladesh has to keep both of these countries in clear view which is a great threat for Bangladesh’s survival. Chhatrashibir wants the government of Bangladesh to sit together with these countries without further delay and to prevent them from doing such acts.
28th October, 2006: Spring Festival of blood and massacre of boat hook and oar
Awami League led fourteen party alliance started to launch the movement for resignation of Chief Election Commissioner Justice M.A. Aziz and replacement of Justice (retired) K.M. Hasan (who was constitutionally determined) with Justice Mahmudul Amin as the Chief Adviser of the caretaker government when, having completed their term of five years, the four party alliance government was about to hand over the power to the neutral and non-party caretaker government. On 28th October, 2006, the four party alliance called for their last mass-gathering at the northern gate of Baitul Mukarram Mossque just prior to shift of power. The hired terrorists of Awami League raided this gathering with boat hooks and oars as per the direction of Sheikh Hasina. They killed and injured countless leaders and activists of Jamaat as well as Shibir with snake-like hooks and oars on the highway of Dhaka city. Five activists of Jamaat-Shibir died on the spot that day. Massacre of hooks and oars began all over the country which left a great many people dead and injured. The whole world got dumbfounded to see such terrible scenes of hooks and oars on the television. Uttermost anarchy spread out throughout the country. Due to this anarchy, Justice K.M. Hasan refused to accede to power as the Chief Adviser of the caretaker government and then the erstwhile President Professor Iajuddin Ahmad took, as the last constitutional option, over as the Chief Adviser of caretaker government. Awami League rejected the validity of Iajuddin Ahmad by mocking him saying “Yes Uddin” but announced to partake in the general polls of 22nd January. On the eleventh hour, it withdrew the nomination and undertook “Burn it all” agenda being driven by the incitement of plotters of home and abroad and thereby made the situation of the country from bad to worse. As a part of government, Chhatrashibir took part in the program of Jamaat on 28th October but eventually it had to suffer a lot. At that time, on the spot, there appeared the influence of local and transnational dominant superpower. Political unrest in one side and blueprint of international plotters as well as some self-sold national intellectuals on the other paved the way for undemocratic, unconstitutional and pseudo-martial government of 1/11.
Pilkhana Tragedy occurred on 25th and 26th February, 2009, in the Head Quarter of BDR as a sequence of the national and international plots to destroy stability, safety and peace of Bangladesh. 58 efficient Army officers were killed falling victim to this conspiracy. Such a massacre without any war is really unprecedented in world’s history; unprecedented even in the battlefield. Though the incidents of distributing relief and selling essential commodities at due cost during the reign of unconstitutional and Army-allied three ‘UDDINs’ (Iajuddin, Fakhruddin and Moinuddin) are apparently branded as reasons behind this massacre, all know, more or less, that it was a horrible blueprint of the plotters. It was a profound conspiracy to upset the defense order of Bangladesh. Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir made a strong protest against Pilkhana tragedy and BDR massacre, arranged for a ‘DUA’ get-together to pray for the incorporeal spirits of the killed, formed human chain demanding detention and punishment of the offenders and met and consoled the surviving family members of the killed.
SHIBIR on International issues
Shibir believes in friendly attitude to all and groundless hostility to none while dealing with the issues of international arena. However, Shibir is really uncompromising against injustice and tyranny. It is a moral obligation of Shibir to counter the oppressors and to favor the oppressed. In 1979, Shibir organized a grand procession of about 20 thousand youths in Dhaka to protest against the ‘naked’ aggression of Russia with the help of her pseudo-government Barbak Karmal on the freedom-loving Afghan people. Thus, by making protests, Shibir has been showing its compassion to the hero fighters of Palestine. The then Central President of Shibir attended the ‘Tehran Conference’ held in 1991 on Palestine issue. Shibir has given a pledge to stand by the Palestinians in their movement, struggle and reformation. Shibir is always playing its role in favor of the people of Kashmir supporting the right to ‘self-administration’ of Kashmiri Muslims, UN prescribed referendum and many other similar issues. Shibir has been holding agenda since 1989 protesting oppression on and biased treatment to the freedom-longing Muslims of Kashmir. Shibir fulminated through rallies, gatherings and protest get-togethers against the slaughter directed on the Muslims in Bosnia Herzegovina. These programs aimed at constitution of public opinions against the rulers and Army of Serbia.
Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir framed public opinions in national and international areas in favor of the enactment of blasphemy law and, especially, Shibir shook the whole country with movement opposing the validity and legality of “Satanic Verses”, a work by the notorious writer Salman Rushdie. Shibir has created mass-awareness against the scandalous writers like Daud Haider, Taslima Nasrin etc who vilify and slander Allah, His Messenger and His religion and spread falsehood thereabout. Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir was the first organization to fulminate against the Iraq-attack of Kuwait in 1991. Later on, Shibir held programs in protest of the naked attack, killings of ordinary mortals and indiscriminate slayings of Children by the “Super power” in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Shibir played bold role by making advocacy of global peace, condemning the cowardly raid on Twin Tower on 11th September of 2001 and sympathizing with those killed thereby. Shibir made a strong protest against the unjust appeal (in 1991) of the fierce Hindus to erect ‘Temple of Ram’ on the rubble of historic ‘Babari Mosque’ (located in Ojoddha of India) after destroying it and also constituted public sentiment in that regard. Similarly, Shibir protested the riot run in Ahmedabad and condemned indiscriminate killings of Muslims thereby. In 1991, with students of other religions, Shibir launched “Peace Procession” and guarded the places of worship of the Non-Muslims at the time when a group of opportunists of the country tried to run riot herein. This undertaking received high acclamation of the upright Hindus. Bombardment occurred in the underpass rails and vehicles in Britain on 7th July, 2005, and the erstwhile Central President of Shibir signed in the “mourning book” placed at British High commissioner’s quarters connoting his consolation (to the near ones of those killed), mourning (for those who died) and condemnation (for the culprits). In the same manner, the Central President signed in the “mourning book” kept in Saudi Embassy connoting his mourning on the death of Fahad bin Abdul Aziz, the king of Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the central leaders of Shibir including the Central President wished salvation to the incorporeal bodies of those died from the blows of the hurricanes “Katrina” and “Rita” in several states of the United States and consoled the kith and kin of the people so died.
Shibir in International Conferences, Summits and Seminars
As a giant Islamic student organization within the ambit of the global Islamic movement of students, Shibir played such roles as drew the attention of the whole world. The delegates of Shibir played crucial roles to resolve the crises of the Muslim World by attending international conferences. The inclusion of Shibir delegates in……. proves that Shibir is an important organization to contribute to global necessities. Shibir played instructive roles in international summits held in different countries of the world including Turkey, Iran, Malaysia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan etc. World Assembly of Muslim Youth was established in the early 1980s (in 1972). Prior to this, in 1969, International Islamic Federation of Student Organization, a federation of the organizations of youths, was set up. Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir got membership of……… in 1979 on its third birth anniversary. Shibir got membership of IIFSO in 1982. The then Central President, in 1991, attended the summit of YMO held in London as the Chief Guest. In 1992, the erstwhile Central President A.Z.M Obaidullah attended the international summit of IIFSO held in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. In this summit, Dr. Syed Abdullah Muhammad Taher, the sometime Central President of Shibir, was elected Secretary-General of IIFSO. In 1993, international summit of WAMY was held in Kualalampur which was also attended by the delegates of Shibir.
In 1996, the then Central President of Chhatrashibir played a vital role in mobilizing global movement of students and youths by attending the International Summit of Turkey. In 1997, the erstwhile Central Assistant President of Shibir visited Turkey on the occasion of International Youth Summit and victory anniversary of Istanbul. There he attended many conferences in Turkey and, in the course of this visit, he also went to Bahrain. In 1998, Mr. Motiur Rahman Akand, the then Central President of Shibir, partook in the salient discussion on “Youth and Contemporary Challenge” in the international summit of WAMY and was included in the Panel of Directors. In 1999, Mr. Motiur Rahman Akand, the then Central President of Shibir, attended International Student and Youth Summit held in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, which was attended by the delegates of about 80 countries. On the eve of adieu of the old century and arrival of the new one, in the context of relevancy of international events, a discussion on the title of “the role of student and youth movement” was held and the Central President addressed this program on behalf of the delegates from the continent of Asia. He, in his speech, called for a common platform of all the student and youth organizations of the world to act together against the conspiracies of Jews and Christians. He further made proposal with respect to establishing a broadcasting network with the fund raised by the well-heeled of the Muslim World to face the challenges of science, techs and satellite dish culture. This proposal was accepted by the forum. The then Home Minister of Sudan was so animated by the speech delivered by President of Shibir that he gave the speaker (Shibir President) a stick as a prezzie that connotes the memory of Allah’s Apostle Moses (PBUH). In that conference, the President of Shibir was nominated as member of “World Parliament”. Dr. Syed Abdullah Muhammad Taher, the former Central President of Shibir, successfully discharged his function as the Director of…………of Asia-Pacific region and Secretary General of IIFSO for long. In 2000, Mr. Ehsanul Mahbub Jubair, the then Central President, flew to England on the occasion of the summits of Islamic Forum of Europe and YAM. There he attended various conferences of Islamic Forum of Europe in different cities of England and Italy. In the same course of visit, he visited Pakistan to attend Central Conference of members of “Jamiat-e-Talaba Pakistan”. In 2001, Asian Federation of Muslim Youth was established consisting of the organizations of students and youths of Asia with a view to organizing the student and youth organizations of Asia, cooperating and making the leaders of the concerned organizations efficient with necessary training. The then Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir was delegated to attend the establishment conference held in Saudi Arabia. Islami Chhatrashibir is the founding member of AFMY. The Secretary of Foreign Affairs together with The President of the University of Dhaka was delegated to represent Shibir to the month-long training program of AFMY which took place in Sri Lanka. In 2001, Mr. Nurul Islam Bulbul, the then Central President of the Organization flew to Malaysia to attend the program titled “World Youth Conference” organized by WAMY. In 2002, the erstwhile Central President of the Organization Mr. Nurul Islam Bulbul attended the fourth annual conference on the title of “Muslim Youth and Globalization” held by WAMY in Riadh. In this conference, the Central President of the Organization was nominated as Assistant Secretary General of Asian Federation of Muslim Youth. Gradually afterwards in 2007, 2008 and 2009, the Central Presidents of Shibir contributed to many international conferences. In these conferences, they exchanged their views with various Islamic scholars and leaders. In 2008, the then Central President Muhammad Rezaul Karim visited Malaysia being invited by IIUM wherein he met ABIM leaders and distinguished personages including Anwar Ibrahim besides attending the conference. At that time, he was escorted by the then Secretary General Shishir Muhammad Manir. Early in 2009, the Central President Muhammad Rezaul Karim visited Turkey being invited by IYF (International Youth Forum) and there he presented an informative essay on the education system. On the 19th November of the same year, he went to Saudi Arabia to perform pilgrimage and there he exchanged his views with different dignified personages of Muslim World. Every year, the Central President of Shibir flees to Saudi Arabia to perform pilgrimage and exchanges views with the Islamic personalities of various countries of the world. Thus Shibir has been playing its role in each global issue as a representative organization of the conscious youths.
Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir: Some Aspects of Heritage
Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir is the only student organization wherein there is no room for someone other than student. Where the case is that the majority of student organizations are crowded with non-pupils, Shibir declares that an activist of Shibir is firstly a student and then come his other identities. Since the setting out its journey in 1977, the leadership of this Organization has been being elected in completely democratic way, by secret ballot and without any candidacy. This is why till now, there occurred no inter-party rivalry in this regard in the Organization. Instead, the Central President and other responsible personages are seen to shed their tears after they are elected in fear of accountability. Due to every year election, neither the congestion of leadership nor the practice of “dirty one leader system” never could happen or arise here. Such election system as Chhatrashibir’s is quite beyond imagination to any other student organizations of Bangladesh. In every sphere of Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir, there prevails a system of “Muhasabah” or constructive criticism. Having been driven by love of Allah, sense of brotherhood and welfare of the Organization, anybody can talk to any leader or activist and thereby draw his attention to his shortcomings only for the sake of the latter’s reform. All the collective programs include such agenda. As a result, reformation is ensured instead of backbiting and slandering. The manpower of all cadres of Shibir is to avoid copying in the exam. If any oath-bound manpower (Associate and Member) copies in the exam, he is sure to lose his associateship or membership despite the fact whether the academia took steps or not in that regard. The oath is possible to be restored only by making a pure repentance and following certain rules and regulations. Shibir is uncompromising, dutiful and caring with respect to preserving moral values of its activists. In handling the case, Shibir very strictly guards decline in fundamental principles of Islamic Shariah, violation of veil system, irregularity in mutual transactions and violation of pledges. Consequently, Shibir is now a place of trace for dutiful Muslim youths. Each of Shibir Activists gives monthly subscription to the Organization from his own pocket. The activists of Shibir have to take part in monetary and corporal sorts of sacrifice compared the fact that activists of the other organizations receive various gains. Shibir determines the candidates for the candidacy in election of Students’ Union in light of Organizational decisions. No leader of Shibir can make himself candidate out of his personal whim. The person concerned keeps calm even if his candidacy is discarded as per the direction of the Organization. If any Panel of Shibir wins anywhere, they try their level best to serve the welfare of the students and institution. Dealing illegal tenders, raising subscription unjustly and serving the party purpose don’t become their part of agenda; rather serving with philanthropy and aiding broad national interest become their foremost jobs. Every year, Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir celebrates 15th August as “Islamic Education Day” which mainly aims at establishing a working Islamic Education System coupled with morality and efficiency wherefore Abdul Malek, the first student of the subcontinent to face martyrdom, was brutally martyred in the hands of perpetrators in 1969. The sacrifice of those educated under the general education system for the sake of Islamic education system is a rare and new addition added to the history of the country. The leaders of greater student-oriented Islamic movement of different countries of the world attend the annual summits of Shibir as Shibir believes in ‘Pan-Islamism’ (Islamic Internationalism). Similarly, the leaders of Islami Chhatrashibir attend the central summits of different Islamic organizations. This way, views are exchanged and cooperation as to the affairs related is increased among the leaders. Many of the international leaders who attended the summits of Shibir are now-a-days ministers, members of parliament and public figures in their respective countries.
Precepts of Shibir towards murder, terrorism and oppression
Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir took Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), the greatest revolutionary leader, successful Army Chief and true President of all times to come, as the ‘role model’ with a mission to establish an Islamic social order and to make the students as good as the true servants of Ar-Rahman (Allah) and efficient leaders of the ‘world of tomorrow’. So, this Organization has been treading the pathway trodden by His Excellency since 35 years. This is really a massive achievement of Shibir. Since the very outset of its journey, Shibir fell prey to hostility of the anti-Islamic Fronts and vested quarters exactly the way how Muhammad (PBUH) were treated when he declared his prophethood in public. To counter Islami Chhatrashibir, to spread false scandals against the Shibir leaders, to raid on the programs of Shibir, to ban Shibir, to injure Shibir activists both individually and collectively, and to slay them by attacking in secret and in public have become the only jobs of a group. Shibir always maintained TAD (Tolerance-Avoidance-Defense) policy while dealing with these false propaganda, attack, terrorism and oppression. The leaders and activists of Shibir always adopted the strategies of tolerance, avoidance and, in case where there is no other alternative, self-defense. The right to self-defense is primordial even in wildlife! There are many around us who have always been condemning and branding Shibir with identities of “terrorist” “killer” and “intolerant” as the following proverb goes- “He who excuses himself accuses himself”. By now, as many as 139 activists of Shibir accepted martyrdom due to attacks of many organizations who don’t even know what their offences are and why they have been killed. In the same manner, thousands of Shibir activists are living sub-human lives having been wounded and crippled. The only query of those brethren who lost their eyes, hands and legs etc is “why are we so done?” but nobody passes any rejoinder though everybody knows the same. “The only offence they committed is that they believed in Allah, the Omnipotent, the Applauded”. They testified for truth even by laying down their lives. They went crippled but didn’t go in line with falsehood (Batil). And thus to search for life in death is a unique feature of heritage of Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir.
“Our belief is only one; we will tread the way of Allah,
We will shine as polestars in the sky of deepest dark”.
Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir is a name; a history; a courageous Front in Allah’s way. Day by day, it left behind 35 golden years. Shibir became a platform of trust, love, relief and salvation for the students holding “Monotheism”. None can draw a Shibir activist back from his track; nor even the appealing touch of mother, affectionate tie of mother, call of lovely younger sister and attracting look of the little kids. A strong feeling of sacrifice and an insatiable attraction to the heaven make him stand steadfast and go forward with courage even with his head asunder. Therefore, Shibir is now a name of revolutionary Front and fear-free youth. This firm and confident Organization want to decorate the life of a student with colors of dream, struggle and achievement. The ceaseless effort to preserve heritage, create history and build glorious future is the goals of Shibir. Bangladesh Islami Chhatrashibir is the starting point of the waves which surrounded every mansion and hut with new hope and aspirations. Shibir created resonance of the revolutionary Sentence (Kalimah) in the mouths of the youths who were drowned into the dirt of the bold cultural aggression, gave the reins of conscience and beauty to their reinless lives and created in them transparency of the light of polestar and enlightened code of conduct. Shibir has been launching its journey towards the pleasure of Allah and pleading of the Messenger (PBUH) for more than three decades like a confident horseman. This is why in his tongue, there plays the singsong of Nazrul, the revolutionary poet, the poet of Islam:
“The hill is inaccessible; the desert is impenetrable and the sea is impassable;
Beware the passengers!!! We have to go through in the dead of night.”