Opinion

Sheikh Hasina doing her best for journalists

Digital Security Act – no barrier to objective journalism


Published : 08 May 2020 09:13 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 05:05 PM

It is known to us all that a group of people at home and abroad has long been spreading anti-state and anti-social propaganda against Bangladesh and some unscrupulous people are spreading false, fabricated, and malicious news on the social and foreign media which have never supported the emergence of Bangladesh. 

Also some people are continuously trying to malign our national leaders who brought our most coveted independence by sacrificing their lives.

Some people in the name of journalism have been engaged in spreading anti-state propaganda. Anyone will be offended to know the ugly language which they use on the mass media. 

If their father and mother were alive and heard that language, they would certainly be ashamed of them. Living in seclusion, they maintain regular connection with international community, and by spreading false and motivated information, they are tarnishing Bangladesh's image before the world.   

Mr Shahidul Alam, founder of Drik, had never worked as a professional journalist in any print or broadcast or online media. But he identified himself as a journalist of Aljazeera and in the same television he gave false, fabricated and malicious information that hundreds of university girls were being abducted and brutally killed at Awami League office in Dhanmondi road number 3. 

The agitating university girls and their friends instantly visited the Awami League office and found that the allegations were false. Nevertheless, Mr. Shahidul did not lose his determination to spread propaganda to topple the government.


I would like to assure you that if a journalist faces charges 

under digital law without doing anything wrong, I will be 

the first person to protest it. Journalists should be 

concerned about the freedom of press, freedom of 

speech, democracy and human rights. Journalists 

should write keeping the law of the land in mind. They 

should remember that pen is mightier than sword. We 

have examples before us that because of a journalist, 

the world’s mighty president Richard Nixon had to lose 

his job. So a real journalist who maintains objectivity in 

making news has nothing to be worried


Being a prime minister of the country for three terms, Khaleda Zia in an open statement said that the Padma Bridge would not be a safe means of transportation. However, when the construction of the bridge was going on in full swing, a quarter started spreading rumours that thousands of lives of children are needed for the construction of Padma Bridge. 

Mr. Shahdeen Malik, a renowned lawyer of the country, frequently appears on TV and provides his valuable observation to the nation that he never heard of such anti-state propaganda! Hundreds of thousands of example at home and abroad are there. 

But Mr. Shahdeen Malik is lucky enough that these highly immoral and anti-state activities could not reach him. Mr. Shahdeen Malik does not find anything wrong with Tarique Zia almost every day saying about the country’s founding father.

I was recently watching a late night talk show in which my fellow journalist Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul was saying that the real journalists who are pursuing objective journalism should not be punished under the Digital Security Act. But I saw a new Abu Alam Shahid. 

What he was talking about was not clear to me and I could not find any meaning. I know Mr Abu Alam Shahid but it was not that person whom do I know.

According to Greek philosopher Plato, "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."

It is also a tragedy that a man like Shahdeen Malik overlooks how some people are tarnishing the image of the country and deliberately misleading the innocent people using the digital media. And still there are some people who are very active in doing something like the devastating incident of Motijheel vandalism unleashed by Hifazat-e-Islam even during the deadly coronavirus crisis. 

Some media outlets and a so-called human rights organisation informed the world that hundreds of thousands of people had died when the authorities tried to quell the violence.

It was alleged that Khaleda Zia ordered the Dhaka unit of her party BNP to join Hifazat and participate in vandalism to topple the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. 

But when the Hifazat itself could not provide the list of the claimed number of dead people, the nation understood that how a so-called human rights organisation told a blatant lie.

The way Mr. Shahdeen Malik started talking on the discussion topic was absurd and irrelevant. While talking about the defamation issue, he first tried to negate the matter and said anti-defamation law has never been practised and it is not necessary.

Not a single example can be found about a journalist being arrested for making objective news since the enactment of the digital law by the parliament. Some people are trying to act as blind in so many cases when they do not find anything to say. 

I would just like to bring it to the kind notice of all the citizens of the country that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina usually informs the president after returning home from any foreign visit and after that she invites the journalist community to let them know what she did during the trip. No other head of government in Bangladesh was as accountable as Sheikh Hasina.

Journalists are immensely benefited by the government of Sheikh Hasina. And when a journalist becomes sick, she comes forward for his or her help. Sheikh Hasina is a best journalist-friendly leader in Bangladesh. 

It needs no emphasising that under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina not a single journalist will be punished or harassed for making objective news. 

But if someone gets engaged in war against the government in the name of journalism, then the law will take its own course.  I would like to assure you that if a journalist faces charges under digital law without doing anything wrong, I will be the first person to protest it. 

Journalists should be concerned about the freedom of press, freedom of speech, democracy and human rights. Journalists should write keeping the law of the land in mind. 

They should remember that pen is mightier than sword. We have examples before us that because of a journalist, the world’s mighty president Richard Nixon had to lose his job. So a real journalist who maintains objectivity in making news has nothing to be worried.


Sharif Shahab Uddin is Editor-in-Chief, Bangladesh Post