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  • Krishnakanth asked: What is the historical and contemporary significance of recent judgements by Bangladesh war crimes tribunal?

    Anand Kumar replies: The tribunal is looking into war crimes related to the Liberation War of Bangladesh that was fought in 1971 by the Mukti Bahini. When atrocities on the people of East Bengal increased, India supported their cause and subsequently fought shoulder to shoulder with the guerrillas. In the Liberation War, some Bangladeshi organisations like Jamaat-e-Islami sided with the Pakistani army and committed atrocities on their own population at the behest of their Pakistani masters. These people were not punished in the immediate aftermath of the liberation. Now the law in Bangladesh is trying to catch up with these war criminals who over the years have managed to gain legitimacy in the Bangladeshi society. The present war crimes tribunal is geared towards the trial of such elements.

    Majoritarian State and the Marginalised Minorities: The Hindus in Bangladesh

    The problem confronting the Hindu minority in Bangladesh is analysed in this article within the framework of a majoritarian state, which embodies the socio-cultural ethos of the majority community in its effort to establish itself as a nation state with a unique history. Such a state by its very nature marginalises the minorities, who are considered unequal in the construction of the ‘nation state’ narrative even though constitutionally they enjoy equality as citizens.

    July 2013

    Ban on Jamaat may not affect political fortunes of the BNP

    The court verdict has made Jamaat’s political future uncertain but it will continue to indulge in political activities and campaign for the BNP candidates in the forthcoming elections.

    August 05, 2013

    Shiv asked: What should be the response of India towards ongoing violence in Bangladesh?

    Anand Kumar replies: While the violence in Bangladesh unleashed by the Islamist forces in the wake of war crime trials is ominous, there is little that the government of India can do. This is purely an internal affair of Bangladesh. However, what happens in that country will also have some impact on India sooner or later. Probably, India can help the Bangladesh Government in projecting the right perception about the international war crime tribunals. There is a feeling in the West that these tribunals are not fair and are being used as a tool of political vendetta. However, this is completely untrue and the war crime trials being conducted by the country would help it to remain moderate.

    Bangladesh: Punish War Criminals but Maintain Law and Order

    The war crime trials should be taken to their logical conclusion to create a precedent that will discourage the extremist and radical elements. But the government must also act swiftly to maintain law and order so that the situation is not used by extra-constitutional forces to thwart the whole exercise.

    March 21, 2013

    The War Crimes Trial and Forthcoming Elections in Bangladesh

    Even as it stands firm on the issue of proceeding with the war crimes trials, the Awami League government should not make the mistake of going for an election without the participation of the main opposition BNP.

    March 18, 2013

    Aftermath of Salman Khurshid’s Visit to Bangladesh: A Role for West Bengal Too

    India should grasp the opportunities which are discernible in the political horizon in Bangladesh and deepen relations through engagement at the track two tier involving India’s political parties as well as by involving West Bengal as a major partner.

    February 20, 2013

    Bangladesh War Crime Trial: The Surprise Second Verdict

    The verdict against Abdul Quadir Molla by the War Crime Tribunal 2, which sentenced him to life, came as a surprise to many given the graveness of his crime.

    February 12, 2013

    Prosecution of War Criminals in Bangladesh: The Verdict Starts Coming

    Punishing war criminals would not only meet a long-standing demand of Bangladesh’s freedom-fighters but also take the country further on the path of secularism.

    January 22, 2013

    Brinkmanship over the Padma Bridge

    The World Bank’s decision to withhold funding for the Padma Bridge embarrassed a government that has been doing reasonable work especially in checking extremism at a time when radicalism is sweeping many parts of the world.

    October 19, 2012