“Today was a hard day. After last night watching on TV, catching up on facebook, trying to find what happened, this morning after the ‘operation’ to rescue the hostages from the cafe in Gulshan, we were busy trying to cope with this disaster that has hit our nation. Bangladesh has learned to cope with many disasters, of many kinds, cyclones, floods, river erosion, wars, and we as a nationa have been able to turn around, show our resilience and build our lives, more strong, more focused, with humour, love, and a spirit of collectivity. Now we have a worse diseased form of disaster, new and alien disasters that have made us get into a kind of stupor, of not knowing how to deal with these new actions against us, these horrifying and senseless killings. These killings, machete attacks being targeted only for being progressive, for being gay, for being a liberated person, for being open, a rationalist, an agnostic, an atheist, a baul, a follower of sufism, of being a pir, of being a shia, of being an ahmedia, a hindu, a buddhist, a christian, anything that is not following the totally alien to our land cult and I use the word cult deliberately of Wahabism as it is seen in the present context or popular perception. It could be in the name of IS or AQIS or any other name given to it.
The recent night long siege and operation carried out at the every lovely, peaceful, warm Cafe O and Holey Artisan Bakery, in what used to be Late Dr. Suraiya Jabeen’s house, opposite her Lake View Clinic is something that Bangladesh had not ever witnessed. Being a high priced restaurant, with the perfect ambience, it was a popular place for young people, small dinners, official or family. The mornings and early afternoons saw children running around the lawns. This kind of a senseless attack was never ever imagined could happen here.
KHUSHI KABIR: In 1972, immediately after the liberation of Bangladesh, Khushi joined one of the first Bangladeshi NGOs and became the first woman to be based in the field to live and work with rural marginalized women and men, in some of the most remote areas of Bangladesh. In 1980 she joined Nijera Kori as Coordinator, a national level NGO working with 2,37,787 rural women and men in 1366 villages. Nijera Kori believes in creating strong autonomous organizations of the rural poor to assert their rights and ensure their entitlements as citizens. It believes patriarchy and class division are the twin forces against ensuing equality of women.
Khushi is passionately involved in promoting gender equality, rights of women, indigenous peoples and other marginalized communities; land and water rights, secularism, environmental justice, food sovereignty, ensuring democratic values and accountability at all levels. She is active in Public Interest Litigations, in protecting landless and slum dwellers from eviction, preventing transformation of agriculture land to shrimp farms, use of fatwa as a form of repression, actively voicing strong actions against violence against women, extra judicial killings and ensuring basic human rights for all.
She has coordinated One Billion Rising in Bangladesh since 2013.