March 18, 2008

John Pilger on Moudud.. biased propaganda?

Renowned investigative journalist, documentary film maker and writer John Pilger writes a piece on Bangladeshi politician Moudud titles "The prisoner of Dhaka" which was published in The Guardian.

There is no doubt that he was framed with an absurd charge, possession of Alcohol, but there are dozens of more legitimate cases that can be brought against him. But he was portrayed as a saint by Pilger and this is what Bangladeshis say about him:

Asif Saleh writes in Drishtipat:
Moudud Ahmed, is one singular politician who has the distinguished record of serving under all governments under different parties. Translation: he is a shameless political chameleon who has not winked one bit in changing parties and supporting dictators and autocrats under different times to get political benefit. I wish John Pilger did his own due dilligence first rather than just depending on Moudud Ahmed’s wife’s testimonial about him.

Granted fully that one Moudud Ahmed has the same right as one average citizen. But, it is still disconcerting to see the previous perpetrators of human rights abuse, thanks to their foreign friends, are getting disprportional highlights in the foreign media as victims than the little people with no foreign connection.
Shahidul Alam writes a letter to Pilger:
"The arrest of Moudud on the basis of alcohol being found in his house is laughable, and clearly a setup. We have written about it in national Bangla newspapers. The actions of the military government cannot be justified, and we have vehemently protested through our blogs and in local newspaper columns. Unfortunately our words do not reach mainstream media in the west. Yours does. Hence it is important that you voice your opinion against such irregularities, as you have indeed done in this article. But to paint Moudud as a saint, does go against the sentence at the top of this mail. A google search on Moudud Ahmed and chameleon will provide enough links to whet any researcher’s appetite. Sure, not all those links can be trusted and as a journalist you need to dig deeper to get to the facts, but that precisely is what has been carefully omitted in the Guardian article.

I have watched this man wax lyrical about any leader he currently served, only to rapidly change colour and join the winning side when the tables were turned. Moudud and his group of lawyers have abused the legal system wherever possible and under each regime, but for me, one of his ‘lesser’ crimes is perhaps the most blatant. Demanding the clemency of a murderer, because he was a political thug loyal to the party.

There are far more sinister charges against the man and it is somewhat pathetic that the government had to resort to this charade to jail him. But to paint one of the most despised men in Bangladeshi politics as a hero, does insult the Bangladeshi public."
Hope Mr. Pilger reads it.


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