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Old February 21, 2013, 09:11 AM
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Bangladesh’s memory politics
The country is yet to come to grips with its past and its history, and its rival interpretations, have played havoc with its present day politics

A file photo of Abdul Quader Mollah in Dhaka. Photo: Reuters

Bangladesh was born in violence, emerged in chaos and continues to live in tumult. The country is yet to come to grips with its past and its history, and its rival interpretations, have played havoc with its present day politics.
So it was not unusual that within hours of the country’s International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) delivering a guilty verdict against Abdul Quader Mollah on 5 February, protests broke out in Dhaka. Mollah, a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami, an ally of the opposition party the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was handed a life sentence. A death sentence was widely expected given the nature of his crimes and the evidence against him. This did not go down well with a large number of citizens. Soon the city’s Shahbag Square was blocked by a huge mass protesting the decision. The protests have only become louder since.
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