Monthly Archives: May 2012

Altab Ali Day and the history of Bengali fightback against racism

I often hear from the older generations the difficulties and racism they faced when they came to Britain. I could only image what things must have been for them. But when I hear about isolated brutalities on innocent Bengalis, it pains me immensely. One of them is the heart breaking story of racist killing of Altab Ali.

On May 4 1978, Altab Ali was walking home from the factory where he worked in London’s East End when he was stabbed and murdered by racist thugs. St. Mary’s Park near the site of the incident was renamed to Altab Ali Park in memory of Altab Ali.

Racism may not be as bad as before but it’s still live and kicking. Altab Ali was killed, so was Stephen Lawrence, the reality is any one of us could be next. Before there was the National Front, now we have the British National Party (BNP) and English Defence League (EDL).

Amongst the doom and glooms, as a Bengali I feel proud to see Altab Ali Foundation as an inspiring movement led by sincere activists. We must propagate truth and justice and fight racism at all cost.

Click here for “Commemorating Altab Ali Day 4 May” pamphlet, which explains the anti-racist movement, support for independence of Bangladesh and history of Bengalis in Britain better.

Commemorating Altab Ali Day
Brick Lane, 20 August 1978. Demo by Tower Hamlets Defence Committee and the Anti-Nazi League.

Morning Star article “The Bengali fightback against the racist EDL“:

On May 4 1978, Altab Ali, a 25-year-old Bengali clothing worker, was walking home from the factory where he worked in London’s East End when he was stabbed and murdered by racist thugs. His death sent shockwaves through the Bengali community. It was the eve of the local elections when Altab Ali left to die in a pool of blood. He was heading past St Mary’s Gardens (now renamed Altab Ali Park) when he was murdered in Adler Street off Whitechapel High Street. The racist killing was not an isolated incident in the East End. The  following month a 50-year-old Bengali man, Ishaq Ali, was murdered in Hackney…

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DM Digital Rapped by Ofcom for Broadcasting Extreme Views

The lunacies of the Asian satellite channel are endless. Just look through the regular Ofcom Broadcast Bulletins and you will discover countless breaches. One wonders how these businessmen/women think they can operate such services with amateur behaviours and a lack of respect of the rules. The breaches range from abuse of charity appeals, political advertisements, phone competition to advice that is extreme in anyone’s eyes to name a few.

In Broadcast Bulletin Issue number 205 08/05/12, DM Digital a television channel primarily aimed at Pakistani audience have been found in serious breach of broadcasting rules. Some of the things that were said is so outrageous, you wonder where DM Digital staff think they live. I mean inciting violence? Persecuting minorities? Have Pakistan not got enough of their own problems? Have the immigrants to UK not left Pakistan to escape shit like that? DM Digital staff must have the little-Pakistan mentality, where they live in a ghetto and picture the villages of Pakistan in the mind!

Ofcom is now considering sanctions against the channel. Let this be a lesson that the ground in Britain is set and neither DM Digital nor any other channels can change it.

Keep it up DM digital and you will head in the same direction as Press TV, that is to the end of a cliff and back home to Pakistan, or Iran in Press TV’s case!

Praise Ofcom for doing a great job regulating Television, praise the individuals who took the time to complain to Ofcom! This goes to show if we all make a stand we can preserve the values that gives us freedom to live a better life in Britain than Pakistan or other similar places we immigrated from.
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Jahanara Imam – The Profile of a Fighter

Jahanara Imam (May 3, 1929—June 26, 1994) was a Bangladeshi writer and political activist. She is most widely remembered for her efforts to bring those accused of committing war crimes in the Bangladesh Liberation War to trial. She was known as “Shaheed Janani” (Mother of Martyrs).

Secular Voice of Bangladesh: Jahanara Imam – The Profile of a Fighter

One of the most revered names in the recent history of Bangladesh is Jahanara Imam. She personifies the ideals of the liberation war of Bangladesh of ‘71 and embodies the protest against obscurantism and bigotry.

Through her dissenting voice she had assumed a bigger than life stature of a warrior, resounding the sentiment of those who had fought for the ideals of democracy and secularism, and continued their struggle to reinstate them in the new found democratic setup of 1991.

Before she heralded her call for the movement the trial of the killers and collaborators of ’71 in 1992, Bangladesh had suffered long 15 years of military rule. This militarization, which began only three years after the reception of Bangladesh in August 1975, continued till the over through of General Ershad in December 1990. Over the years under military rule, the democratic space had shrunken for the people to assert their right in matters of the state and its policies. The military dictators amended the constitution to suit their end and remove the principles of secularism and socialism, thus fortifying the use of religion ion politics. With the over through of the last military despot through people’s movement, a New Hope for a democratic society had set in.

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