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Ugly face of fascism

Publication Date : 24-02-2013


We find no word strong enough to condemn the premeditated attacks on electronic and print media journalists by Jamaat-Shibir and likeminded parties during their countrywide reign of terror on Friday.

They converged on mosque premises and carried out indiscriminate assaults on law enforcement personnel, citizens and the media persons with handmade bombs, guns and sticks. While 1000 people were injured, as many as 17 on-duty journalists in Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna fell victim to the outrageous onslaughts.

This is a proof, if any proof were needed, how fanatics make a brazen faced display of their fascist character. This is an abuse of a religion that admits of no aggression and violence and stands for peace.

It is clear from Friday's rampage and mayhem that the zealots targeted journalists as part of the smear campaign against Shahbagh Chattor protestations spewing venom on media people. They were taking their wrath out on journalists and e-media. This is highly reprehensible and hideous and, therefore, must be decried in a full-throated manner.

Journalists have to go to cover events and incidents in all kinds of intimidating circumstances; the growing risks posed to their calling are disquieting, to say the least. Surprisingly, as far as journalists under attack were concerned, the police played a muted role, although otherwise they were seen actively fighting off the Jamaat-Shibir elements and their ilk. A police boss advised journalists to beware of being targeted. But isn't it part of state obligations to protect journalists from dangers in the line of duty?

Whilst the extremist elements' orchestrated attacks on the police, ordinary citizens and journalists underscore their fascist character, their call for hartal today after such a series of violence perpetrated by them needs to be rejected out of hand. Not only is it an imposition on the people's free will and destructive to economy, hartal generates violence which may tend to spiral. We have already had hartals in close succession; another one is certainly torturous.


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