The fall of an arrogant man

Published : 26 Nov 2015, 11:24 AM
Updated : 26 Nov 2015, 11:24 AM

The self-proclaimed razakar Salauddin Quader Chowdhury's wayward and raucous politics came to an ignominious end on 22 November.

Future students of political science and political researchers will certainly be horrified when they study his political life that began in 1971 as a collaborator of the Pakistani forces and ended in 2015 at the end of a hangman's rope.

They will take note of the fact that he had no qualms of conscience mocking the very birth of Bangladesh and Bengali language; denigrating Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and other leaders of the largest political party of the country the Awami League, and scholars and civil society members of the country. Till the end, he remained a fervent Pakistani ideologue who could never accept the birth of Bangladesh despite the fact that he was a Bengali in every sense of the term.

Despite being a collaborator of the Pakistan occupation army, Salauddin Quader thrived on the soil of the land as a "national" of Bangladesh, earned his wealth here and sat in our sacred Parliament, and yet remained busy humiliating the country and its people at every opportunity that came his way. He maintained warm relations with countries and groups that were known to be "unfriendly" to Bangladesh.

SQ Chowdhury demonstrated no love for the common people of Bangladesh, simply because they lived outside the periphery of his narrow vision. He lived in an alienated cocoon. He did not even spare anyone from his own constituency who had annoyed him over a trifle.

There are examples aplenty of the many offensive comments he made about top BNP leaders while he was a political advisor to the party chief. He was ultimately thrown out of the party for exercising power beyond acceptable norms. He is known to have commented: "So long the dog used to move its tail, now the tail is moving the dog", in a clear reference to the influence of Khaleda Zia's son Tareque Rahman over his mother in taking party decisions, especially when he ruled from the infamous Hawa Bhaban in Banani.

Salauddin's unabashed arrogance, disrespect and audacity while commenting on the formation and functioning of The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) in 2009 outraged the entire nation but he remained blatantly blasé in his determination to undermine the court. He resorted to misguiding the court on many occasions by telling lies about his whereabouts in 1971 and his role in the nine-month occupation period. Towards the very end he pleaded for permission to bring some witnesses from Pakistan and other countries to prove that he was not in Bangladesh in 1971.

His mind worked in a bizarre way. A close study of his personality suggests that was driven by pathological hatred of and blind rage against the government, rule of law, and the people of the country.

Did he have some kind of premonition about his end when he once commented in court that it would ultimately hang him? On another occasion he had shouted before the court, "I am a razakar, my father was a razakar, so what are you going to do about it?" Such words only betrayed his inner beliefs and convictions.

If one follows his politics of the last 40-plus years and numerous caustic comments that he gifted the nation one would like to believe that he was made of the stuff that create the great tyrants of history. One shudders at the thought at what he would have done if he had absolute power to run the country.

Salauddin Quader Chowdhury steered his own boat in his perilous journey to doom. Other politicians of present and future should study his life and take lessons. The lesson is, no one can go far by doing politics for the party or the cult members only through ignoring the masses.

When a politician starts to go overboard he begins to pen his own epitaph.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher