is mortal, but the nation is immortal. Those who are leaders, those who
took the responsibility of administering the country, their principles
and reign will be remembered in history. Many a state leader wanted to
rule the countries as per their whims and caprice in order to establish
dictatorship, but they could not change the course of the people's
history and tradition. History follows its own pavement, does not
tolerate the tyranny on its way, forgives not injustice and "wrong
The aforesaid lines have been taken from the renewed book
"Pakistani Rajnitir Bish Basor" by the legend in the world of journalism
-- Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia.
The first June reminds us to observe
the death anniversary of Manik Mia, a man of dogged tenacity of purpose
and indomitable energy. Those who are connected to journalism in this
country remember Manik Mia with regards and respect, his write-up and
opinions. What he wrote are still tiring, as if for the political needs
and guiding the nation to the destination of justice.
rightly said, the history flows on its own course. We are now the
citizens of an independent country, born after his demise. Manik Mia
left signs of courage in his writes-up against the Pakistani dictators,
and we are inspired. It may seem difficult for us to think over his
contribution to flourish journalism and to the independence of
Bangladesh. Man from the South Bengal, Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia in his
writings expressed his feelings for the common people freeing them from
the distress that have lessons for us. While commenting about the
bureaucratic mentality, he wrote for the people, saying, "The so-called
nation builders have been evading taxes for crores of taka, adopting
unfairmeans in the field of export and import cumulating foreign
exchange. Yet, we have no intention to question about the patriotism of
the inactive capitalists and industrialists. But if the trade and
commerce is made people-oriented, there is no doubt that many of them
would flee the country to start business abroad. Whereas the farmer
community whom we ignore become resourceful, they would enrich the
country's future, would never leave the country".
The writings of
Manik Mia are still living in the political arena of the country and
beyond. His write-up under the guise of 'Musafir' have lessons for the
people of all professions including journalism, as those have signs of
sense, moral courage and far-sightedness. Manik Mia fought against the
then Dictator President Mohammad Ayub Khan with pen through the Ittefaq.
But it is regrettable that we could not find realisation of the
dreams of Manik Mia. When there is no want of exploiters on the one
hand, there is no end of sorrows of the common people. About the
independence of the newspaper, Manik Mia wrote few lines in his column
'Musafir' in June 1966, which are being mentioned hereunder.
wrote, "Life with fractured hand and leg is so painful, likewise if
freedom of speech, security of people and freedom of newspaper are
curved, human minds become sick and newspaper production appears
disappointing. If newspapers cannot write people's distress, problems
and current events, if the newsmen are forced to self-censorship and
under the restrictions and bans, then there is no worth of newspaper".
pictures of half-naked beauties and inserting meaningless headlines
with large banners and giving importance to the foreign news ignoring
own problems, it can result in fruitless efforts to divert the
attentions of the people. This kind of journalism and newspapers cannot
do good to the people and guide public opinion. To impose laws on the
news and views in order to collapse freedom of press, transpires
weakness of the government(s). Even knowing all these, the governments
attacked the newspapers in the past, even today."
What Manik Mia said
is very relative still now. We often watch killing of the journalists,
torture on them, putting them in jail and cancellation of newspaper
declaration. The adversaries what Manik Mia noted in 1966 is still
alive. We can feel what would he write today had he been alive. Our
newspaper arena is divided into groups and sub-groups. Many of the group
leaders run for materialisation of self-interests submerging people's
Manik Mia is a great example of protest against jail and
torture, disparity and plundering of foreign currency. At the same time
he contributed to building public opinion against tyrannical government.
He always wrote for the people and never thought of self-enjoyment. He
could be a rich man, had he compromised with the government.
always remained above greed and luxury, wrote fearlessly in the Dainik
Ittefaq till death. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said about
Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia under the column 'Amar Manik Bhai' that Manik
Mia had transparency and clear idea about politics. "We discussed with
each other for nights together about the political rights of the people.
At that time his feelings for the people and the country moved me very
much. His capacity and accuracy in feelings were so deep that he could
understand easily what the people think", wrote Bangabandhu.
day of death anniversary of Manik Mia, we may swear to fight for
protecting journalism peacefully. Let the journalists be guarded by
ethics and morality, and not by laws, to flourish the world of
journalism, guide the great journalist how to produce fact and truth,
ignore threat and greeds, build themselves as ideal journalists for
lessons to others.
(A.N.M. Wahiduzzaman is Online In-charge, The
New Nation. The original article was written in Bangla, later on
translated by A.T.M. Nurun Nabi).