মুক্তাঙ্গন-এ উপরোক্ত শিরোনামের নিয়মিত এই সিরিজটিতে থাকছে দেশী বিদেশী পত্রপত্রিকা, ব্লগ ও গবেষণাপত্র থেকে পাঠক সুপারিশকৃত ওয়েবলিন্কের তালিকা। কী ধরণের বিষয়বস্তুর উপর লিন্ক সুপারিশ করা যাবে তার কোনো নির্দিষ্ট নিয়ম, মানদণ্ড বা সময়কাল নেই। পুরো ইন্টারনেট থেকে যা কিছু গুরত্বপূর্ণ, জরুরি, মজার বা আগ্রহোদ্দীপক মনে করবেন পাঠকরা, তা-ই তাঁরা মন্তব্য আকারে উল্লেখ করতে পারেন এখানে।
এখানে থাকছে দেশী বিদেশী পত্রপত্রিকা, ব্লগ ও গবেষণাপত্র থেকে পাঠক সুপারিশকৃত ওয়েবলিন্কের তালিকা। পুরো ইন্টারনেট থেকে যা কিছু গুরত্বপূর্ণ, জরুরি, মজার বা আগ্রহোদ্দীপক মনে করবেন পাঠকরা, তা-ই সুপারিশ করুন এখানে। ধন্যবাদ।
মাসুদ করিম - ৩ জুলাই ২০২১ (৫:৫৯ অপরাহ্ণ)
Laws of humanity: Karim Khan QC
When we speak, Karim Khan QC is in Malaysia, flying back from delivering his final report as Special Adviser and Head of UNITAD, the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, at the Security Council in New York.
Starting out at the Bar in 1992, Karim did not want to be ‘pigeonholed’ because of his background (Pakistani father, British mother – an ethnic minority in England) in immigration law or crime. His father advised him not to concern himself with financial considerations; to focus on what he most enjoyed. Karim cut his teeth at the Crown Prosecution Service. When he saw the horrors of the Balkans war on CNN and learnt that the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) had been established, he aspired to work there one day. Karim’s applications went into a ‘black hole’ but he persevered, eventually becoming the first from the English Bar to be recruited by the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICTY, in The Hague.
That was the beginning of a career not only as a prosecutor but as a defence counsel and victims’ counsel in the ICTY, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), Special Panels for Serious Crimes in Timor Leste and at the International Criminal Court (ICC). On 16 June 2021, Karim became Chief Prosecutor at the ICC in The Hague, the first British barrister to be elected to that post.
When he was called to the Bar, international criminal law did not exist as a field of practice. So I start by asking how he ended up practising in this area. ‘I did my pupillage at 5 Paper Buildings (Chambers of John Matthews QC) in the Temple, a specialist criminal law Chambers,’ he tells me. ‘I expected to have a criminal law practice, having also secured an offer with the CPS. That said, I was extremely keen on human rights law from the outset. I certainly did not foresee how the Human Rights Act of 1998 [would become] central to every part of domestic law, or how international criminal law [would take] off in the way that it has.’
He read law at King’s College, London and was already involved in human rights work: ‘I am a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community,’ he explains, ‘which faced heavy persecution in Pakistan. [Dictator] General Zia-ul-Haq… enacted Military Ordinance XX which made it a criminal offence in Pakistan for members of my community to call ourselves Muslims or “pose” as Muslims in any way. Many were killed or imprisoned or sought asylum outside of Pakistan. Unfortunately, that law and state-sanctioned persecution against Ahmadi Muslims, and also Christians and others, continues today. I think my voluntary work at university, and in my community, helped me gravitate to this area.’
What else spurred him on? ‘The war in the Balkans was raging. I encountered many refugees in the UK and was touched by the reporting that put a spotlight on that awful conflict. The prospect of justice for crimes of such magnitude just seemed the right thing to do and incredibly exciting.’
He was determined to work at the ICTY and kept applying until he was successful some years later. Karim has made his name in the field, acting in some of the most prominent cases reaching international criminal and hybrid courts (from Temple Garden Chambers) including as Lead Counsel for the largest group of victims in the ECCC arising out of the Khmer Rouge period, Lead Counsel representing the Deputy President of Kenya, Ruto against ICC crimes against humanity allegations arising from violence following Kenya’s 2007 national elections (Karim ensured his acquittal), representing the Former Prime Minister of Libya during the government of Gadaffi, charged with crimes against humanity and corruption in the courts of Libya following extradition from Tunisia (Baghdadi A-Mahmoudi case). Karim also acted at the confirmation state of proceedings for Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Former Vice President of the Democratic Republic of Congo for crimes allegedly committed in the Central African Republic (Bemba was eventually acquitted by the ICC) and was Lead Counsel until June 2007 to Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, before the SCSL, the first African president to be prosecuted at an international court.
‘The cases are huge,’ he tells me. ‘It takes a team to work on them.’ These are extremely complex cases which need (as Peter Haynes QC put it during a training session I attended for counsel before the ICC) commitment: they can last over ten years. We discuss how the work of a barrister in such international fora extends beyond the courtroom into the field – investigating, collecting evidence – areas in which a barrister would not usually get involved.
Karim feels that ‘our tradition in common law, being able to have the experience of prosecuting and defending, representing victims, is wonderful. It… keeps one grounded’. He expands: ‘Realising that your opponent in the courtroom is an opponent in a case, not an opponent in life, is important. [W]hat is always corrosive is if you are prosecuting and you feel you are doing “God’s work” or if you feel that the defence is the representative of the devil’s incarnate. We need to be moderate, to be objective. The ability to work on different sides is a wonderful privilege that enriches one’s practice and fosters the objectivity which is essential to good advice.’ The word ‘humbleness’ crops up many times during our conversation, and he also emphasises the importance of diversity – going, as he put it, beyond the ‘white male anglophone’ or ‘French white Paris Sorbonne’ in the composition of legal teams acting in such cases.
‘If you are to succeed in the international plane,’ he notes, ‘one needs a mix of different legal systems, gender, languages and culture in a team. We are working in other peoples’ countries with their own history with their own politics,’ he stresses. ‘One cannot come in as some sort of legal commando, you cannot… parachute in with Archbold International in one’s backpack and think you can succeed, investigate and prosecute… One needs also to study the situation in the country, learn its history and culture and become acquainted with its politics. To do this effectively and in a time efficient manner it is also essential to… work with lawyers and investigators who come from and know the country or the region concerned – and its people and dynamics. I really believe one must have the humility to be a student and start understanding the realities on the ground. If one simply seeks to transpose applicable international criminal law in a country, without awareness of the undercurrents, of the richness of that country’s history and traditions, or the complexity of its politics, ethnic, cultural, religious allegiances or dynamics, you can look like an idiot and become unstuck very quickly indeed!’
I mention that the President of the International Court of Justice, in a recent speech marking its 75th anniversary, noted the ‘unsatisfactory situation’ that ‘very few of the counsel [appearing before the ICJ] are from developing countries’. She added that ‘while there are many aspects of international law on which jurists of all stripes can be expected to agree, we must acknowledge that there is no single, homogenized answer to many legal questions that arise in international disputes. As much as each individual may aspire to a cosmopolitan perspective, we must all have the humility to appreciate that we are shaped by our respective experiences. We must actively seek differing perspectives and promote open exchanges of ideas, especially with those whose views differ from our own.’
Should this need for diversity be kept in mind by leading counsel who have influence in forming the legal teams before international courts, I ask. Karim agrees: ‘I think it is essential, quite frankly, and not just at the Bar. Diversity is essential in all areas of human endeavour.’
He shares a fascinating anecdote about Professor Abdul-Salam of Imperial College, London, a family friend and the Muslim world’s first Nobel Prize winner for theoretical physics, who was ‘one of the main advocates for opening up diversity and way ahead of his time’. He refers me to what another professor of theoretical physics, Jim Gates, observed about Salam.
Gates said: ‘When we look at diversity in an area like physics, many people leap to the conclusion that discrimination is the cause or the lack of minority participation. Others believe that it is a lack of ability or dedication. I’ve concluded there may be something quite different at work. Suppose we lived in a world where the only kind of music that existed was classical music and some bright young person came along and learned classical music, but then created jazz. How does the existing establishment view him? He’s not playing by their rules. Some people might say he’s not playing by any rules. So the difference in aesthetic plays an enormous role. I have a strong suspicion something like that’s at work in theoretical physics. In the early eighties Professor Salam commented that when a sufficient number of people of the African Diaspora start to do physics, he suspected something like jazz would appear… You see, there are different styles in how physics is done. There are styles of physics that are Russian, Germanic, English, and even American, which is very detectable to me. When enough people of African heritage do physics, they’re going to bring a different aesthetic, and it will be new and valuable. Because classical music and jazz exist we don’t think that we’re musically poorer. Had jazz never come into existence we would’ve been musically poorer… And that’s what’s lost when people with different inputs don’t participate in science. We miss the opportunity to create jazz.’
Karim thinks that the same applies to law. And that this diversity may also be about your place of origin. I tell him that living in a country in strife allowed me to observe things that later became crucial to the manner in which I plead crimes against humanity cases as counsel. Kids who have grown up in war zones may become the great international lawyers of tomorrow because they are seeing certain things that someone growing up in the West does not see, I suggest.
He agrees: ‘If you come from a background in which you don’t have electricity or if you grow [up] in the middle of conflict, you bring a different perspective. You can read all you want, but this does not compare to experience of life. We need to bring the understanding of such experiences into every area of human endeavour including the law. It enriches the law.’
I ask what has been the best part of his work, so far? He does not hesitate: ‘It is the people that I have met, the survivors particularly, the communities affected, that have had a profound impact upon me rather than the jurisprudence of the cases, important though that undoubtedly is. If one is involved in Cambodia, Former Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, one meets a diverse group of people mostly characterised by immense courage – people that overcome lack of education, poverty, trauma… who have the will to survive, endure and persist in their demands for justice as an essential prerequisite in order for them to move on. Their fortitude and resilience and hope they generally retain is as staggering as it is humbling.’
Karim also observes that for far too long, we have not given proper focus to crimes targeting or affecting children. ‘We conflate these with general crimes against the civilian populations. We talk about gender crimes and crimes against children as if they were the same thing. They are completely different and require different skills, understanding of trauma and how crimes affect different groups. The experience of children in terms of… destruction of schools or child soldiers under duress and then their ability to get rehabilitated. Transgenerational harm. These are massive issues. Trying to learn from those affected by conflict, we can try to make sure that the next generation of jurisprudence is more profound than the preceding one. This should be the continuous demand of civilisation as we move forward. This greater maturity of the law, to provide greater protections particularly for those marginalised groups is something we should support.’
I ask whether, from his first experiences in The Hague, he thinks that the English common law system has influenced the manner in which these tribunals have developed. ‘It definitely did at the beginning,’ he says. ‘The ICTY had much more of a common law pedigree.’ He tells me that the American Bar Association was quite heavily involved in the drafting of the rules of procedure and evidence; they were helping the judges. ‘This was a source of criticism. What one saw over a period of time at the ICTY and ICTR, was the judges amending the rules. They started revising the rules of procedure and evidence in such a way as to incorporate greater aspects of the civil law system.’ That journey led to the preparatory committees which preceded the conclusion of the Rome Statute.
By the time the Rome Statute for an ICC was signed in 1998, ‘the Francophone world, the civil law world more generally, wanted a more balanced system. We now have a fused system by way of victims’ participation, but also by balancing the obligation under Article 66, not only to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt but in Article 54, to get to the truth, and to investigate incriminatory and exonerating evidence equally. This was, to my mind, a very sincere attempt to try to get the best of both worlds in a unique, sui generis Statute, that was respectful for the different legal norms and cultures that enrich the world’s legal systems. It is not a European Criminal Court for the rest of the world. It really has to take on board some of the principles of all legal systems so as to foster fair trials in order to be seen as the Law of Humanity, or at least the law of those 123 States that are State parties.’
We talk about his work in Iraq, for which he left private practice. He literally walked into an empty office after being appointed by the Secretary General. ‘All I had was a Security Council Resolution; there was no Commission of Enquiry as in Syria or fact-finding mission that was there for the Myanmar mechanism.’ He had to decide what to do.
He has seen the immense dignity of survivors: ‘I am Muslim. I saw the crimes that Da’esh was committing in the name of Islam – a religion whose name means “peace”. It is important not to be a spectator. It was a job that took me to the frontline. To my mind, Da’esh have similarities with the Nazis. It is an ideology driven by terror and fear. It has targeted anybody who does not follow their creed; not just Yazidis or Christians but also Shi’a Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Kaka’i, Shabak, and Turkmen communities, Arab and Sunni; anybody who is just normal and moderate – or who refused to live as they were ordered – were targeted and tortured or killed. People were burned alive and drowned, crucified, thrown off buildings; children put into slavery, made into suicide bombers and combatants; women subjected to slavery; every kind of perversion, every type of criminality that you can imagine, was being committed.’
Karim recruited a team. ‘I deployed with five people to Baghdad in October 2018 from New York. We rented a couple of rooms in a hotel. We now have three field offices [New York, Erbil and Dohuk] and our headquarters in Baghdad. We have now 217 staff.’ Half of the leadership team, and 49% overall, are women. ‘I am immensely proud of the team. We have Iraqis on board who work on an equal footing with international UN staff. It has been a privilege to lead UNITAD.’
He collected evidence for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Iraq committed by Da’esh, using new technology to investigate such widespread crimes ‘in which the fabric of society is ripped [to] pieces’. Karim explains: ‘You cannot deal with these crimes in the usual fashion as if it is a one-off murder in a city. They are qualitatively, and quantitatively, different.’
What prepared him to be able to work so closely with the atrocities he saw? Since the ICTY, he has done a lot of investigative work in the field in different parts of the world, he points out. He was not just doing the courtroom advocacy. ‘I saw the devastation, spoke to witnesses,’ he states.
We discuss international justice and what works: ‘In Iraq, State consent was crucial. Bespoke systems are appropriate… and the Rome Statute system is a very good one. It is based on complementarity. Justice is best done at home. The best place for justice is national courts, by national judges, with national authorities who know the country very well. The ICC is not the default. It is a court of last resort…
‘I am inclined to think that The Hague itself should be a city of last resort. The Statute allows for the ICC to sit away from The Hague in the country or region where the crimes were committed. That has many advantages, for example, less trauma for witnesses, it’s closer to the targeted communities and can be “owned” more easily which is also important. The Special Court of Sierra Leone worked very well. The ICC model can work equally well.’
Even more important than the model or the venue is ‘making sure things work effectively and realising what matters’. The human rights activist, Nadia Murad said in the context of a Security Council Arria-Formula meeting that in the three months since UNITAD helped identify and return the bodies of victims massacred in Kojo, young Yazidi women had been able to get married. ‘We returned the bodies in February this year. Until their fathers or brothers had been buried, they just felt unable to move on with their lives. So this is not just a lawyer’s exercise. This matters to people,’ Karim says.
‘We saw it in Rwanda, we saw it in Da’esh. Communities that were considered “the other”, somehow different and not entitled to the same protection of the law. What we need is to show that every life matters… Sometimes we take it for granted that we have investigations for crimes against communities who really believe that their lives did not matter at all because nobody protected their rights, or respected them or their way of life, even before the genocide or crimes against humanity took place.’ The fact that the international community actually spends the money, time and resources to attempt to do justice ‘can be essential for communities beneath the radar, who felt that they were an underclass; viewed as less worthy; their lives, as less precious. It is important to keep reasserting the quality of humanity. It is a protection… not only in the courtroom but in villages far away from the courtroom. Law can play a part,’ he reflects.
As our meeting draws to an end, I ask what his main challenge is, moving forward? ‘The Office of the Prosecutor in the ICC must not be viewed a paper tiger. It can make a difference. It can protect. It can do justice. It is instrumental in the continuous march of humanity to civilisation – we are not in that world yet,’ he states.
মাসুদ করিম - ৭ জুলাই ২০২১ (৮:১০ পূর্বাহ্ণ)
‘Tragedy King’ Dilip Kumar dies: A look at the late icon’s legacy
Bollywood’s tragedy king Dilip Kumar breathed his last on Wednesday at Mumbai`s PD Hinduja Hospital. The 98-year-old actor passed away due to various age-related ailments. The multiple-award-winning actor’s career spanned over more than five decades and during the golden era of Hindi cinema, Dilip Kumar charmed millions of hearts with his performance in more than 65 films. He was also popularly known as the First Khan of Bollywood.
Born as Muhammad Yusuf Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan, he began his acting career with the screen name, Dilip Kumar. Dilip Kumar holds the record for winning the maximum number of Filmfare awards. He was the inaugural recipient of the award and won the best actor Filmfare Award eight times. In his five-decade-long career, he contributed to Hindi cinema in different ways, including the introduction of the method acting technique. His first few films, including his Bollywood debut ‘Jwar Bhata’, which was released in 1944, could not strike a chord with the audiences. But his scintillating performance in ‘Jugnu’ in the year of Indian Independence, 1947, won hearts, making the film his first major hit.
Born on December 11, 1922, Dilip Kumar was one among 12 siblings. The yesteryear actor completed his schooling at the Barnes School, Deolali, Nashik, where he grew up in a mixed neighbourhood. His childhood friend Raj Kapoor, too, later became his colleague in the film industry.
After running a sandwich stall at Pune’s Army Club in 1943, Dilip Kumar wanted to establish a business in Mumbai to contribute to the household income and help his father. His father was a fruit merchant and a landlord who owned orchards in Peshawar and Deolali near Nashik. But fate had other plans: at the Churchgate Station in Mumbai, Dilip Kumar met Dr Masani, who introduced him to actor Devika Rani, then owner of the renowned film studio in Malad, Bombay Talkies, which has now been shut down.
Earlier, Dilip Kumar used to help in the scripting and story-writing department because of his proficiency in the Urdu language. It was upon Devika Rani’s request that Muhammed Yusuf Khan changed his professional name to Dilip Kumar. He then embarked on his acting career with Bombay Talkies in the movie ‘Jwar Bhata’.
In his autobiography ‘The Substance and the Shadow’, he recalled, “I had no clue what acting in front of a camera was. It was something to be studied, learned, and practised.”
During his stint at Bombay Talkies, he met actor Ashok Kumar, who was a star back then. From Ashok Kumar, he learnt that acting was not about being theatrically bombastic, which was the popular trend in those times. After ‘Jugnu’, he starred in a couple of more hits — ‘Shaheed’ and ‘Mela’– before finally landing his breakthrough role in Mehboob Khan’s ‘Andaz’. The actor was known for his careful selection of scripts and it was evident why Dilip Kumar was more than just an actor, writer, filmmaker, poet, or philosopher. His erudition helped him to stand out and evolve a new method of acting. The dignified silences, the thoughtful pauses, and his poetic dialogue delivery were hallmarks of his understated style.
The 1949 film ‘Andaz’ saw Dilip Kumar, starring alongside two other golden stars of that era – Raj Kapoor and Nargis. Although he had some major hits in the 1940s, it was in the 1950s that he tasted real success for the first time with a string of hits: ‘Babul’, ‘Devdas’, ‘Hulchul’, ‘Yahudi’, ‘Daag’, ‘Sairat’, ‘Naya Daur’, and ‘Deedar’. These were the classic tragedy films that gave Dilip Kumar the title of ‘The Tragedy King’.
Though he was a teetotaller himself, in ‘Devdas’ he captured the essence of the self-destructive man driven by unrequited love to become a drunkard. He portrayed the grief of his character Devdas, through his hazy eyes and eloquent silences. It was the social drama ‘Daag’ that won the legendary star his first ever Filmfare Award in the main category of the lead actor, also making him the inaugural recipient of the award at the time of its inception in 1954. After that, he won the prestigious award several times and till date continues to hold the record for the maximum Filmfare wins with his eight Black Lady trophies. He shared the position with superstar Shah Rukh Khan who also has eight Filmfare Awards to his credit.
Though tragedy movies brought him great success on the professional front, Dilip Kumar got so involved in the characters he portrayed that it affected his mental health giving him bouts of depression. After that, on the suggestion of a psychiatrist, he went on to do a few light-hearted roles. He started with Mehboob Khan’s ‘Aan’, which was also his first film shot in technicolour. Though the actor tried to work in different genres to do away with the tag of ‘The Tragedy King’, his epic portrayals in these films have been so etched in the minds of his fans that he is to date remembered with this title only.
He played several lighter roles before finally landing the lead role of Prince Salim in the big-budget magnum opus ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ in 1960 which went on to be re-released in the full-colour format in 2004, 44 years after its original release.
In 1961, the late actor also became a film producer, bankrolling and starring in the film ‘Ganga Jamuna’ alongside actor Vyjayanthimala, though he did not produce any other film thereafter. The movie, which itself had elements borrowed from ‘Mother India’, later became the precursor for several other films, where one brother becomes an outlaw and the other is a policeman.Dilip Kumar excelled in his performance as a rustic villager who was forced to become a dacoit due to circumstances. Made in rural dialect, the film retained those flavours in its music and lyrics.
He delivered a few more terrific portrayals in the 1960s, which include his dual role in ‘Ram Aur Shyam’, Waheeda Rehman starrer ‘Aadmi’, and superhit flick ‘Sunghursh’, in which he again starred opposite Vyjayanthimala.The year 1966 marked the legendary actor’s marriage with the then Bollywood diva Saira Banu who was 22 years younger than him. Before marrying Saira Banu, Dilip Kumar had been in a relationship with the queen of elegance Madhubala. He was also linked with Bollywood beauties like Kamini Kaushal and Vyjayanthimala.
Lovingly known as Dilip Saab, he was one of the most sought-after celebrities by women. It is said his popularity amongst women was so immense that they used to stand in front of his car, wishing to be run over. On the day of his engagement, a girl from the industry, who was his supposed girlfriend, reportedly took sleeping pills. Dilip Kumar had to make her understand that he was in love with Saira Banu. It was only after she was pacified that he returned to his engagement ceremony.
After several back-to-back successes, Dilip Kumar went through a career slump in the 1970s, with only a couple of movies like ‘Bairaag’ and ‘Gopi’ performing well at the box office. In ‘Gopi’ he starred alongside his real-life wife, Saira Banu.
Dilip Kumar then took a five-year-long hiatus from films, lasting from the year 1976 to 1981. It was in 1981 that he made a comeback with the multi-starrer flick ‘Kranti’, playing a central role among the ensemble cast, which included names like Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Manoj Kumar and Hema Malini.
After playing the titular role of a revolutionary fighting for the independence of India, he then starred in the 1982 ‘Vidhata’ directed by Subhash Ghai with stars like Shammi Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt and Sanjeev Kumar among the cast.Featuring with Amitabh Bachchan in the 1982 super-hit ‘Shakti’ directed by Ramesh Sippy, he won his eighth and last Filmfare Award for the best actor. His next film, the 1984 social crime drama ‘Mashal’ directed by Yash Chopra was a failure at the box office, though his performance was critically acclaimed.
Later he also appeared alongside Rishi Kapoor in the 1984 ‘Duniya’ and with Jeetendra in ‘Dharm Adhikari’, which was released in 1986.
In 1986, he again collaborated with Subhash Ghai for the ensemble action movie ‘Karma’. He was paired for the first time with the veteran actor Nutan, though they had earlier collaborated three decades ago in an incomplete film named ‘Shikwa’. He was again paired opposite Nutan for the 1989 ‘Kanoon Apna Apna’.
Dilip starred in the 1991 film ‘Saudagar’ along with veteran actor Raaj Kumar, which later turned out to be his last phenomenal success at the box office and also his last collaboration with director Subhash Ghai.
In recognition of his contribution to the film industry for over five decades, he was conferred the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. In the same year, he was honoured with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award and was later conferred the Padma Vibhushan in 2015.
To mark an official comeback for the actor, film producer Sudhakar Bokade announced the movie ‘Kalinga’ in 1992, but the film got delayed for several years and was eventually shelved. His last appearance in the movies was in the film titled ‘Qila’ which was released in 1998.
After his acting career came to an end, Dilip was nominated to the upper house of parliament through the Indian National Congress. He served as a Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra from 2000 to 2006.
Besides acting and politics, the star has also undertaken humanitarian work. While serving as a Rajya Sabha MP, he used his MPLAD fund for improving the gardens of Bandra Fort and Bandstand Promenade.
Dilip Kumar was a flame carrier who took Bollywood to heights it had never been before. Living many lives in a lifetime, his persona could never be replaced by anyone else. Poetry and poise are the words that are synonymous with the name Dilip Kumar. No other actor has spent such a long life in the public eye and yet retained an everlasting positive image in the mind of the audiences. Whether it was his alleged love affairs with Madhubala and Kamini Kaushal, his first marriage, or other controversies like the Nishan-E- Imtiaz award (Pakistan’s highest civilian award) in 1993, which even raised questions about his patriotism, he handled all of that with grace and maturity.
One of the early stars of Bollywood, he rose to a level of prominence never achieved in Indian cinema before. A role model for many, a star, a legend, and the king of the golden era of cinema, Dilip Kumar has left behind a legacy for many acting enthusiasts to enjoy and learn from. The news of his demise has left a void in the hearts of many, including several Bollywood celebs of yesteryears and the present generation.
মাসুদ করিম - ১৬ জুলাই ২০২১ (৩:২৫ অপরাহ্ণ)
Pulitzer-Winning Indian Photojournalist Danish Siddique Killed in Kandahar
The Reuters journalist was embedded with the Afghan Special Forces, and had been reporting on their operations against the Taliban in the region.
Danish Siddique, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian photojournalist working with news agency Reuters, was killed while reporting in the Kandahar region of Afghanistan on Thursday night. Siddique was embedded with the Afghan Special Forces, and had been reporting on their operations against the Taliban in the region.
Afghanistan’s ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay tweeted about Siddiqui’s death, saying he was “Deeply disturbed by the sad news of the killing of a friend”.
Sources in the Indian embassy in Afghanistan also confirmed the news of Siddiqui’s death to The Wire. “Our Ambassador in Kabul is in touch with Afghan authorities. We are keeping his family informed of the developments,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
According to Reuters, Siddiqui was covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters near a border crossing with Pakistan when he was killed. A senior Afghan officer too was killed then.
Siddiqui’s latest report from Kandahar was published just three days ago, where he described how the forces he was embedded with had come under attack from the Taliban.
“We are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region,” Reuters president Michael Friedenberg and editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement. “Danish was an outstanding journalist, a devoted husband and father, and a much-loved colleague. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time.”
Siddiqui had reportedly told Reuters he had been wounded in the arm by shrapnel earlier on Friday while reporting on the clash. He was treated and had been recovering when Taliban fighters retreated from the fighting in Spin Boldak.
The photojournalist headed Reuters’ multimedia team in India. His work during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests and devastating coronavirus second wave, most recently, had been used widely used across media publications. His drone images of burning funeral pyres during the pandemic had drawn global attention to how bad things were in India at the time.
Siddiqui won the Pulitzer Prize in 2018, for his work on the Rohingya refugee crisis along with others on his team. “A photo should draw people and tell them the whole story without being loud,” Siddiqui told Scroll.in then. “You can see the helplessness and the exhaustion of the woman, paired with the action that is happening in the background with the smoke. This was the frame I wanted to show the world.”
During his time at Reuters and before, Siddiqui’s work had been carried by a host of Indian and international publications, including The Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, Al Jazeera and countless others.
Violence and attacks by the Taliban in the Kandahar region have increased now that the US has withdrawn its troops from the area. The Indian government had evacuated its diplomats and security personnel from the Kandahar consulate earlier this week given the uptick in Talibani control over the area.
মাসুদ করিম - ২৭ জুলাই ২০২১ (৪:৫৩ পূর্বাহ্ণ)
মরা তিস্তা জাগল দুইশ বছর পর
প্রায় দুইশ বছর পর জেগে উঠল মরা তিস্তা নদী; কিছুদিন আগেও যে নদীর অস্তিত্ব ছিল না। কালের বিবর্তনে কোথাও ধানী জমি, কোথাও গো-চারণভূমি, আবার কোথাও পুকুর হিসেবে রূপ ধারণ করেছিল নদীটি। নদীর বুকে খেলার মাঠ বানিয়ে সকাল-সন্ধ্যা খেলা করত পাড়ার শিশু-কিশোররা। নদীর বুকে বাড়িও ছিল কোথাও কোথাও। চলতি বছর উদ্ধার হয়েছে মরা তিস্তা নদী। যুক্ত হয়েছে চিকলী ও যমুনেশ্বরী নদীর মূলধারার সঙ্গে। উদ্ধারের পর চলতি বর্ষা মৌসুমে পানিতে পরিপূর্ণ হয়েছে এ নদী। এখন নদীর বুকে খেলা করে হাঁস। বেড়েছে বক, পাতি সরালী, মাছরাঙার আনাগোনা। শিকারের প্রতি তীক্ষষ্ট চোখে দেখা এসব পাখির দেখা মেলে মরা তিস্তায়। যমুনেশ্বরী নদীতীরবর্তী এলাকা থেকে ফসল বোঝাই করে নৌকাও চলতে দেখা গেছে সদ্য উদ্ধার হওয়া এ নদীতে। জলের আধার, আমিষের উৎস, পরিবেশের ভারসাম্য রক্ষাকারী হিসেবে এ নদী অবদান রাখবে; বলছেন সচেতনরা। হারিয়ে যাওয়া মরা তিস্তা নদী হিসেবে তার স্বাভাবিক গতি ফিরে পেয়েছে।
সরেজমিন পরিদর্শন, এলাকাবাসী ও বরেন্দ্র বহুমুখী উন্নয়ন কর্তৃপক্ষ (বিএমডিএ) সূত্রে জানা যায়, ১৭৭৬ সালের রেনেল মানচিত্রে প্রদর্শিত তিস্তার একটি শাখা পশ্চিমবঙ্গের জলপাইগুড়ি জেলার দক্ষিণাংশ থেকে প্রবাহিত হয়ে বর্তমান নীলফামারী জেলার ডোমার উপজেলা দিয়ে বাংলাদেশে প্রবেশ করে। নদীটি নীলফামারী জেলা অতিক্রম করে রংপুর জেলার তারাগঞ্জ, বদরগঞ্জ উপজেলা দিয়ে প্রবাহিত হয়ে মিঠাপুকুর উপজেলার শেষভাগে করতোয়া নদীর সঙ্গে মিলিত হতো। রেনেল মানচিত্রে এ নদীকে তিস্তা নামেই উল্লেখ করা হয়েছে। ১৭৮৭ সালে সংঘটিত ভূমিকম্প ও ভয়াবহ বন্যার ফলে তিস্তা তার গতিপথ পরিবর্তন করে। এর ফলে উত্তরবঙ্গের নদীগুলো স্বাভাবিক গতি হারিয়ে ফেলে। এ শাখা নদীটিও তিস্তা থেকে বিচ্ছিন্ন হয়ে পড়ে। কালের বিবর্তনে শাখা নদীটির তিস্তা নামটি বিলুপ্ত হয়ে এলাকাভিত্তিক দেওনাই, চাড়ালকাটা ও যমুনেশ্বরী নামে পরিচিতি পায়। সময়ের পরিবর্তনে অনেকে নদীর মালিক হয়ে যায়। এ নদীটি এক সময় মানুষের বসতভিটা, পুকুর, ধানী জমি, গো-চারণভূমিতে পরিণত হয়। আগে বন্যার সময় এটি চিকলী ও যমুনেশ্বরী নদীপ্রবাহের সমতা বজায় রাখত। সে প্রবাহ বন্ধ হয়ে যাওয়ায় প্রতি বছর উপজেলার প্রায় ৫ হাজার হেক্টর জমি জলাবদ্ধতা ও বন্যাকবলিত হয়। এ ছাড়াও বন্যার সময় চিকলী নদীর পানি নিস্কাশনের অভাবে উপজেলা সদরসহ পার্শ্ববর্তী গ্রামগুলো প্লাবিত হয়ে মানুষের বাড়ি-ঘরে পানি প্রবেশ করে। নদী না থাকায় অনেক মৎস্যজীবীর পেশা হারিয়েছে। এমন পরিস্থিতিতে বরেন্দ্র উন্নয়ন কর্তৃপক্ষের উদ্যোগে পানির সর্বোত্তম ব্যবহার ও বৃষ্টির পানি সংরক্ষণের মাধ্যমে বৃহত্তর রংপুর জেলায় সেচ সম্প্রসারণ প্রকল্পের (ইআইআরপি) মাধ্যমে খাল, ছোট নদী খনন কার্যক্রম শুরু করা হয়েছে। এরই অংশ হিসেবে বদরগঞ্জের হারিয়ে যাওয়া মরা তিস্তা নদীর প্রবাহ এলাকা শনাক্ত করে চলতি বছর ফেব্রুয়ারি থেকে জুন মাস ১৩ দশমিক ৫০ কিলোমিটার দৈর্ঘ্যের এ নদীটি খনন করা হয়। উৎসমুখ চিকলী নদীর সঙ্গে সংযুক্ত করে বদরগঞ্জ উপজেলা পরিষদ, সর্দারপাড়া, বানিয়াপাড়া, কুমারপাড়া, শংকরপুর, ঝাড়পাড়া, সরকারপাড়া, কালুপাড়া ও বৈরামপুর অতিক্রম করে কুতুবপুর ইউনিয়নের কাঁচাবাড়ীর পূর্বদিকে কুঠিপাড়া ঘাটের কাছে যমুনেশ্বরী নদীর সঙ্গে মিলিয়ে দেওয়া হয়। এতেই প্রাণ ফিরে পায় মরা তিস্তা নদী। পাড় সংরক্ষণ ও পরিবেশ উন্নয়নে এ নদীতীরবর্তী এলাকায় বিভিন্ন ফলদ, বনজ ও ঔষধি গাছের চারা রোপণ কার্যক্রম চলমান।
কালুপাড়া ইউনিয়নের শংকরপুর ডাংগারপাড়ার গ্রামের কৃষক ইউনুস মণ্ডল বলেন, ‘বাপ-দাদার আমলোত এইটা নদী আছিল। নদীত পদ্ম আছিল, মাছ ধরছিনু। এলাকার মানুষ কোদাল দিয়া মাটি চোটেয়া নদী সামান করছে। ইরি ধান লাগাইছিল। কিছুদিন আগোত নদী খোঁড়ছে। এল্যা নদীত পানি আছে। পদ্ম ফুটবে, নদীর পানি ধানবাড়িত দিমো। ঠান্ডা আবহাওয়া থাকবো। বেশি অক্সিজেন পামো, জ্বর হবার নায়। বড় বড় পাখি আসবো। বড় নদী থ্যাকি মাছ এই নদীত ঢুকবো। পাড় দিয়া গাছ নাগাইলে সোন্দর একনা পরিবেশ হইবো।
কালুপাড়ার কৃষক রিয়াজুল ইসলাম বলেন, আগে নদীটি খালের মতো ছিল। খনন করার পর ভালো হয়েছে। আমরা যারা নদীর পাশে আবাদ করি, তাদের জন্য অনেক সুবিধা। বৃষ্টির দিনে জমিতে পানি বেশি জমে গেলে সেটি দ্রুত নদীতে নামিয়ে ফসল বাঁচানো যাবে। কারও পুকুরে পানি বেশি হলে সেই পানি নদীতে দিয়ে মাছ রক্ষা করা যাবে। নদীর দু’ধারে গাছপালা লাগানো হচ্ছে। মানুষ নদীর পাড় ধরে হাঁটতে পারছে। খুবই ভালো পরিবেশ তৈরি হয়েছে।
বরেন্দ্র উন্নয়ন কর্তৃপক্ষের সিনিয়র উপ-সহকারী প্রকৌশলী ফজলুল হক বলেন, মরা তিস্তা নদীর অস্তিত্ব বিলীন হয়ে গিয়েছিল। আমরা মানচিত্র ধরে মাঠ পর্যায়ে পরির্দশন করেছি। স্থানীয় অধিবাসীরা নদীর বিভিন্ন অংশ কৌশলে নিজ নামে রেকর্ড করেছিল। তাই এ নদী খনন ও উদ্ধার আমাদের জন্য চ্যালেঞ্জ ছিল। স্থানীয় প্রশাসনকে নিয়ে এলাকাবাসীর সঙ্গে একাধিক সভা করে তাদের জীবনে নদীর গুরুত্ব বুঝিয়েছি। তারা বুঝে স্বেচ্ছায় নদীর জমি ছেড়ে দিয়েছেন। ফলে আমরা স্বল্প সময়ে এ নদী খনন করে চিকলী ও যমুনেশ্বরীর সঙ্গে মিলিয়ে দিতে পেরেছি। যুগ যুগ ধরে এর সুবিধা স্থানীয়রা ভোগ করতে পারবেন।
বিএমডিএর ইআইআরপি প্রকল্পের পরিচালক, তত্ত্বাবধায়ক প্রকৌশলী হাবিবুর রহমান খান সমকালকে বলেন, মরা তিস্তা নদী উদ্ধারের ফলে স্থানীয় অধিবাসীরা নদীর সুফল ভোগ করতে পারছেন। প্রতিদিন গৃহস্থালি কাজে পানি ব্যবহার, হাঁস পালনের সুযোগ সৃষ্টি হয়েছে। পাশাপাশি সেচ মৌসুমে জলাধার, গরিব মানুষের আমিষের উৎস হিসেবে এবং পরিবেশের ভারসাম্য রক্ষার্থে এটি যুগ যুগ ধরে অনন্য অবদান রাখবে।