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Dhaka Tribune

Ganajagaran Mancha one year on

Update : 05 Feb 2014, 07:12 PM

Ganajagaran Mancha is celebrating its first anniversary with a three day program of art and cultural celebrations.

One year after huge crowds started gathering at Shahbagh on February 5, 2013, the movement has a number of achievements to its credit.

Crucially, it has always demonstrated in a peaceful manner which brings people together in a patriotic spirit. From the start it has also sought to keep its demonstrations inclusive and participatory in nature, and by doing so, has gained wide appeal among young people beyond the main political parties.

The spontaneous manner in which it sprang up and the innovative way in which it used social media to attract supporters all across the country has been an inspiration to many.

Nationally, it has had considerable success in highlighting the scale of public support for the ICT prosecutions. Its call for the death penalty for convicted war criminals was heard by a change in the law last year which allowed Quader Mollah to be hanged. More recently, it has been marching in solidarity with victims of communal attacks and is now returning to highlight its core campaign on the war crimes tribunals.

Of course, the movement cannot be said to have succeeded in changing the minds of all its opponents. That is to be expected in any political debate. What is not acceptable is intimidation and violence in support of political aims. The most valuable lesson to draw from Ganajagaran Mancha’s campaigns in the past year is the value and importance of keeping protest peaceful.

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