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Shahriar Kabir (Bengali: শাহরিয়ার কবীর; born 20 November 1950) is a Bangladeshi journalist, filmmaker, human rights activist, and author of more than 70 books focusing on human rights, communism, fundamentalism, history,juvenile and the Bangladesh war of independence.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 His working area in the field of journalism,humanism & writing
- 3 Ghatak-Dalal Nirmul Committee and Shahriar Kabir
- 4 Others
- 5 Shahriar Kabir’s role in organizing South Asian Peoples Union Against Fundamentalism and Communal'ism
- 6 Shahriar Kabir and movement for the trial of War criminals
- 7 Shahriar Kabir’s Library Movement
- 8 Career
- 9 Documentaries
- 10 Shahriar Kabir's writings
- 11 Family members of Shahriar Kabir
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 Further reading
Early life and education
Shahriar Kabir was born in Islampur, old Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 20 November 1950. In early life, he attended St Gregory's School (Dhaka). He passed his higher Secondary from Jagannath College (now it is a university). He was a student of Bengali department of University of Dhaka
His working area in the field of journalism,humanism & writing
He joined in the great liberation war of Bangladesh;,when he was a student of Bengali Department of University of Dhaka.
He is one of the revolutionary juvenile writer in the history of Bangladesh,and he started his writings for teenagers and juveniles when he was a university student.
After the liberation war of Bangladesh he joined as a journalist in the Daily Bangla and also in the Weekly Bichitra. In 1976,there was a organization of writers (বাংলাদেশ লেখক শিবির),he become the general secretary of this organization and after 3 years of his joining as general secretary,this organization become the biggest and well known organization of writers and cultural workers in Bangladesh.
When bongobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman died, general Ziaur Rahman and general Hussain Muhammad Ershad, were two military dictators(one after one).This time was very critical and crucial in the history of Bangladesh.On those times he worked a lot for human rights in Bangladesh.He became additional general secretory of two organizations.Those are Basic Right reservation (মৌলিক অধিকার সংরক্ষণ) and committee for law helping (আইন সাহায্য কমিটি)।
Ghatak-Dalal Nirmul Committee and Shahriar Kabir
This committee called for the trial of people who committed crimes against humanity in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War in collaboration with the Pakistani forces. The Ghatak-Dalal Nirmul Committee set up mock trials in Dhaka in March 1992 known as Gonoadalot (Court of the people) and 'sentenced' persons they accused of being war criminals (Bangladesh). Jahanara Imam and others were charged with treason. . This charge was, however, dropped in 1996 after her death by the Chief advisor Mohammed Habibur Rahman of the Caretaker government of that time.
The activities of the "Ekattorer Ghatak-Dalal Nirmul Committee" led by Jahanara Imam were deemed unlawful by the Government of Bangladesh. After death of Jahanara Imam, he become the acting president of Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee(ঘাতক দালাল নির্মূল কমিটি),(Committee for Resisting Killers and Collaborators of Bangladesh Liberation War of 71)an organization for ensuring the punishment of war(1971) criminals of Bangladesh.
Shahriar Kabir’s role in organizing South Asian Peoples Union Against Fundamentalism and Communal'ism
Shahriar Kabir played a significant role in organizing South Asian People’s Union Against Fundamentalism and Communalism’. On October 3, 2000 he convened a meeting of the representatives of the civil society of Bangladesh and discussed his idea to hold a conference of the representatives of the civil society of South Asian countries. He explained resurgence of fundamentalist in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
Shahriar Kabir and movement for the trial of War criminals
Shahriar Kabir is the main organizer of the movement for trial of the war criminals as well as the movement against fundamentalism and Communal'ism in Bangladesh.
During the liberation war of Bangladesh, Pakistan army and their local collaborators i.e. Jamat-e-Islami, Muslim League and Nizam-e-Islam committed unprecedented genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. They are responsible for killing three million Bengalis. More than quarter million Bengali women were been raped during the war of liberation. Though the first govt. of Bangladesh led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took initiative for the trial of war criminals but after the assassination of Sheikh Mujib pro-Pakistani army junta assumed power and annulled the act (Collaborators Act of1972) that was enacted for the trial of war criminals. Moreover post-Mujib military govt. amended the constitution to rehabilitate the war criminals in politics, as well as to create space for the fundamentalist forces to organize political parties that was prohibited in the first constitution of Bangladesh.
Since then the civil society of Bangladesh protested the amendment of the constitution and demanded trial of the war criminals. Their protest expressed in various forms and Shahriar Kabir was involved with all the initiatives those were taken to organize movement for secular democracy as well as for trial of the war criminals.
In January 1992 Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee (Committee for Resisting Killers and Collaborators of Bangladesh Liberation War of 71) was formed by 101 eminent citizen of Bangladesh those were aggrieved by the resurgence of the fundamentalist forces under government’s patronization. Nirmul Committee was formed in demand for trial of the war criminals and ban on communal and fundamentalist politics in the country. Shahriar Kabir played a major role in formation of Nirmul Committee and after the death of Jahanara Imam, the founding convener; he became the acting convener in 1995, now he is the acting president i.e. the chief executive.
For the last 11 years movement of Nirmul Committee is going ahead towards the desired goal despite various attacks and obstructions. In order to rekindle the spirit of the first constitution of Bangladesh i.e. secular democracy, Nirmul Committee adopted several programs to create awareness among the people, particularly among the young generation for the trial of war criminals, who are the leaders of Jamat-e-Islami and similar communal and fundamentalist parties. Prior to the last parliament election Jamat-e-Islami and other fundamentalist parties formed an alliance with BNP, a major right wing party and assumed power in October 2001. After assuming state power they started unprecedented onslaught on the religious minorities to implement their political agenda i.e. to convert Bangladesh into a monolithic Islamic country like Afghanistan and Pakistan. Nirmul Committee was the first organization that strongly protested communal persecution and stood beside the victims. Shahriar Kabir wrote number of articles in the national dailies and went to India in November 2001 to record the testimony of the victims of communal persecution, who were forced to leave their homeland. On his way back to Dhaka he was arrested at the airport on 22 November 2001, without any warrant, sent to the central jail and detained for two months. The govt. led by BNP-Jamat that has two well-known war criminals in the cabinet, charged Shahriar Kabir for treason. When Nirmul Committee was formed in 1992 the then BNP govt. also charged Shahriar kabir for treason, along with his 24 colleagues. This time he was charged alone. Though Bangladesh High Court rejected the detention order and asked the govt. to release him on bail again he was arrested with the same charge on 7 December 2002. Repeated arrest of Shahriar kabir reflects govt.’s hostile attitude toward him as well as Nirmul Committee’s movement. But Shahriar Kabir declared, no false case, even if it is a case of sedition can resist him from the movement for a secular democratic Bangladesh.
Shahriar Kabir’s Library Movement
One of the major contributions of Shahriar Kabir is the Liberation War Memorial Library Project, considered to be a unique movement for a democratic secular society. Bangladesh forged its name in the list of nations of the world at the cost of 3 million lives in 1971. The new-found state upheld the promise of a secular democratic welfare state, free of not only all kind of exploitation but also assuring equality of various religion, caste and creed with a view to establishing a non-communal society.
This hope was crushed with the death of the founder of the nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman only 3 years after liberation.Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was killed brutally along with his close associates, who believed in a secular, democratic civil society. Since then, for 21 long years, Bangladesh was either directly or indirectly under military rule. The ideals and aspiration of secular democracy were eliminated carefully in a planned method, and those egalitarian values were replaced by the sprouting of orthodox communal attitude and fundamentalist forces. Secularism, one of the four pillars of the constitution, was replaced by the declaration of Islam as state religion, thereby reducing the believers in other faiths to the status of second-class citizens of the country. The religious minorities and indigenous communities in the Chittagong Hill Tracts became victims of extreme violence under those regimes. It needs to be mentioned here that people of all religions and communities had fought in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
After 1975, with the support of the government the communal and fundamentalist forces have been involved in retarding the developmental programs brandishing Islam as its imposing tool. The society is regressing to the darkness of the Middle Ages. In the rural areas they had been active in promulgating religious decrees against women who are involved in the developmental work sphere or projects of the NGOs. They have burnt down schools of the NGOs, posed threats to those who are involved in development work and have gone as far as to inflict physical violence on them. The progressive writers, artists, journalists, intellectuals, political activists have become the target of these fundamentalist forces. On every pretext they are being threatened by the fundamentalists who are pronouncing their threats through their threats through their news papers and the meetings, gatherings and rallies they organize.
As we know that Bangladesh is a poverty laden country and the percentage of education is very low,(this conditions are now changing dramatically) these two weaknesses have been taken advantage of by the fundamentalist forces. The masses which is backward, uneducated, superstitious and who fear the religious indictments have become the vulnerable targets of the fundamentalist’s evil design. They have found a fertile ground to spread fanaticism, instigated by certain Islamic countries that have been providing them with money and arsenal.
Under this adverse circumstance Shahriar Kabir took initiative to organize progressive writers, artists, journalists and intellectuals and chalked out a program to conscientize the mass, the young generation in particular and formed the MSSK (Muktijuddher Smriti Sangrakshan Kendra) Trust in October ’95. The Chairperson of the trust is the former Education Secretary of Government of Bangladesh and celebrated writer Professor Kabir Chowdhury, and the chief executive of the Trust is Shahriar Kabir.
The project’s aims are primarily to revive the spirit of liberation war and transmit it to the next generation, to eradicate illiteracy and to raise the consciousness of the people leaving in remote areas. The programs of this trust include the collection of materials and information connected with the Liberation War, which are in the process of being obliterated. Till now 41 libraries have been set up in the rural areas, those are known as strong hold of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and other fundamentalist parties & groups. Other than being a center for disseminating knowledge and information, these libraries act as the centre for cultural activities in those remote areas. The functions are as follows (a) competition on reading of selected books (b) essay competition for students of schools and colleges (c) discussion on books (d) sessions on literature (e) drama exhibition (f) cultural programs of songs and indigenous recitals (g) video/film shows. Aside from this some libraries are also conducting programs of adult literacy where priority has been given to the destitute women.
These libraries preserve mainly books on the history and spirit of Bangladesh Liberation War, books on science, ecology, political science, social science, history in general, philosophy, great works of Bengali literature, renowned books of world literature, and books which will eventually encourage secular democratic values for the sustenance of a democratic modern welfare state and promote the advancement of women and youth particularly who are the main target of the fundamentalist evil forces.
Since the four party alliance led by BNP &Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, assumed power in October 2001, Shahriar Kabir was arrested twice and BNP(Bangladesh Nationalist Party)-Jamat activists attacked number of libraries set up by MSSK Trust. They set fire to the libraries, hundreds of books were burnt to ashes, local organizers of the libraries were tortured physically, some were arrested and the members were been threaten in order to frustrate the library movement. After coming out of jail Shahriar Kabir is moving around from one corner to another corner of Bangladesh to reorganize the library movement. He and his colleagues are determined to continue the movement till their goal is achieved. 
Shahriar Kabir has been active for years as a journalist writing about human rights issues in Bangladesh. His numerous books, which include both books for young readers and works on political issues, have been published in the Bengali language. He is also a filmmaker and author.
He was arrested twice in the early 2000s for what the government considered illegal attacks. He was first arrested in November 2001, after the government of Begum Khaleda Zia of the Bangladesh National Party had come to power. The government charged him with sedition and "tarnishing the image of the government" because he was investigating attacks on the Hindu minority from October to December 2001. Many Hindus had been intimidated and attacked by party workers during that period in an effort to keep them away from the polls, as they have generally not voted for the Islamist parties.Shahriar Kabir was documenting accounts by survivors. He was soon released on bail.
Kabir was arrested again in December 2002. As head of the Nirmul Committee, which he founded in 1992 to work for prosecution of those responsible for genocide and other war crimes during the Bangladesh War of Independence in 1971,Shahriar Kabir has continued to take an active role. Observers said that the BNP was threatened by his activism, as its principal political partner, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami has leaders who have been alleged to have participated as young men in paramilitary forces against liberation in 1971, which the party opposed. When the High Court ruled on January 4, 2003 that Kabir's detention without charges was illegal, the government held him for an additional 90 days under the Special Powers Act.
He has alleged that Ghulam Azam, a former leader of Jamaat e Islami at the time of the liberation war, had played an important role in the mass killings of the 1971 conflict, as had Jamaat as a group. He has also said that the Razakars were founded by the Jamaat e Islami leader, Maulana A.K.M. Yusuf.
Kabir has supported efforts by the Awami League-led government, which won a two-thirds majority in the Parliament in December 2008, to establish an International Crimes Tribunal in 2009 to prosecute war crimes. The first trials were completed in early 2013, with three men convicted who have been prominent in Jamaat since the liberation war, which the party opposed. Afterwards he called for a ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami party.
Kabir has received international recognition and numerous awards for his contributions to Bengali culture. In addition, he has addressed at least 60 international conferences, seminars, and workshops on issues of peace, communal harmony, and human rights. 
Shahriar Kabir's writings
Publications by Shahriar Kabir
- 1. Puber Surjo(পূবের সূর্য) (Juvenile novel), Calcutta 1972, (পূবের সূর্য)
- 2. Nuliachhoriyr Sonar Pahar,(নুলিয়াছড়ির সোনার পাহাড়) (Juvenile novel), Dhaka 1976
- 3. Hariye Jayor Thikana(হারিয়ে যাওয়ার ঠিকানা) (Juvenine novel), Dhaka 1976
- 4. Comrade Mao Tse-Tung(কমরেড মাও সে তুং) (Biography), Dhaka 1977
- 5. Abuder Adventure(আবুদের এডভেঞ্চার) (collection of juvenile stories), Dhaka 1983
- 6. Ekatturer Jishu(একাত্তরের যীশু) (collection of short stories), Dhaka 1986,
- 7. Oder Janiye Dao(ওদের জানিয়ে দাও) (novel), Dhaka 1986,
- 8. Janaika Protaroker Kahini(জনৈক প্রতারকের কাহিনী) (collection of short stories), Dhaka 1987,
- 9. Simante Sanghat(সীমান্তে সংঘাত) (juvenile novel), Dhaka 1988,
- 10. Enver Hozar Smriti(ইনভের হযার স্মৃতি) (Reminiscence of Enver Hoxa of Albania), Dhaka 1988,
- 11. Hanabareer Rohos(হানাবাড়ির রহস্য) (Juvenile novel), Dhaka 1989,
- 12. Nicolas Rozarior Chhelera(নিকোলাস রোজারিওর ছেলেরা) (Juvenile novel), Dhaka 1989,
- 13. Michhiler akjon(মিছিলের একজন) (collection of short stories), Dhaka 1989,
- 14. Pathariar Khoni Rohoshyo(পাথারিয়ার খনি রহস্য) (Juvenile novel), Dhaka 1989,
- 15. Maolana Bhashani(মাওলানা ভাসানি) (Biography), Dhaka 1989,
- 16. Mohabipad Sanket(মহাবিপদ সংকেত) (collection of short stories), Dhaka 1990,
- 17. From Balkan to Batlic (Travelogue), Dhaka 1990,
- 18. Bangladeshe Samprodaikatar chalchitra(বাংলাদেশে সাম্প্রদায়িক চালচিত্র) (Non fiction), Dhaka 1993.
- 19. Sadhu Gregorir Dinguli(সাধু গ্রেগরির দিনগুলি) (autobiography), Dhaka 1994,
- 20. Bangladeshe Moulobad-O-Sangkhaloghhu Samprodye(বাংলাদেশে মৌলবাদ ও সংখ্যালঘু সম্প্রদায়) (Essay), Dhaka 1995,
- 21. Sheikh Mujib-O-Muktijudhher Chetona(শেখ মুজিব ও মুক্তিযুদ্ধের চেতনা) (Essay), Dhaka 1997,
- 22. Shantir Pathye Ashanto Parbottyo Chattogram(শান্তির পথে অশান্ত পার্বত্য চট্রগ্রাম) (Essay), Dhaka 1998,
- 23. Kashmirer Akashey Moulobader Kalomegh(কাশ্মিরের আকাশে মৌলবাদের কালমেঘ) (Essay), 1999,
- 24. Muktijuddher Brittyobondi Itihash(মুক্তিযুদ্ধের বৃত্তবন্দী ইতিহাস) (Essay), Dhaka 2000,
- 25. Ekattorer Gonohattya O Juddhaporddhider Bichar(একাত্তরের গণহত্যা ও যুদ্ধাপরাধিদের বিচার) (Essay), Dhaka 20001,
- 26. Dakshin Asiaye Moulobad(দক্ষিণ এশিয়ায় মৌলবাদ) (Essay), Dhaka 2001,
- 27. Pakistan Theke phirey(পাকিস্তান থেকে ফিরে) (Travelogue), Dhaka 2002,
- 28. Bangladeshe Shamprodayik Nirjaton(বাংলাদেশে সাম্প্রদায়িক নির্যাতন) (Essay), Dhaka 2002,
- 29. Bangladeshe Manobadhikar O Shamprodayekota(বাংলাদেশে মানবাধিকার ও সাম্প্রদায়িকতা) (Essay) Dhaka-2003,
- 30. Abaruddhyo Shawdesh Theke(অবরুদ্ধ স্বদেশ থেকে) (Travelogue), Dhaka 2003,
- 31. My Sojourn in Pakistan (Travelogue) Dhaka-2003.
Edited books by Shahriar Kabir
- 1. Genocide 71 (Ed. jointly with Prof. Ahmed Sharif & Prof. Serajul Islam Chowdhury), Dhaka 1989,
- 2. Bangladesh Genocide After Twenty Years (Ed. jointly with Frank Kerrigon), New York, 1994,
- 3. Resist Fundamentalism : Focus on Bangladesh, Dhaka, 1995,
- 4. White Paper : Repression on Religious Minority, Dhaka, 1996.
- 5. Tormenting Seventy One Dhaka, 1999.
Family members of Shahriar Kabir
- Wife:Dana Shahriar
- Son:Arpon Shahriar
- Daughter:Arpita Shahriar 
- Bangladesh Liberation War
- Bangladesh: A Legacy of Blood
- Ghulam Azam
- Razakars (Pakistan)
- Al-Badr (East Pakistan)
- International Crimes Tribunal (Bangladesh)
- Al-Shams (East Pakistan)
- Goodreaders' Description
- Shahid Janani Jahanara Imamer andoloner 15 bochor" by Shahriar Kabir, published by Ekattorer Ghatak-Dalal Nirmul Committee
- Shastri, Amita; A. Jeyaratnam Wilson (20). The Post-Colonial States of South Asia: Political and Constitutional Problems. Routledge. p. 153. ISBN 978-0700712922.
- "Bangladesh sets up war crimes court – Central & South Asia". Al Jazeera. 25 March 2010. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
- Kabir,Shahriar,Sadhu Gragrir Dinguli (2010),Dhaka,Bangladesh, ISBN 978-984-598-000-5
- Kabir,Shahriar,(2000)gonoadaloter potobhumi
- Mookherjee, Nayanika (26). Sharika Thiranagama, Tobias Kelly, ed. Traitors: Suspicion, Intimacy, and the Ethics of State-Building. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 54. ISBN 978-0812242133.
- Doinik Janakantha Potrika,(www.dailyjanakantha.com)
- D'Costa, Bina (1). Nationbuilding, Gender and War Crimes in South Asia. Routledge. p. 76. ISBN 978-0415565660.
- ^ Jump up to: a b Adams, Brad (2 November 2011). "Bangladesh: Stop Harassment of Defense at War Tribunal". Thomson Reuters Foundation.
- Admin (December 2002). "Humanist Shahriar Kabir Arrested Again". International Humanist and Ethical Union.
- Admin, "Humanists Must be Released!", International Humanist and Ethical Union, 5 January 2003, accessed 8 March 2013
- Hiranmay Karlekar (13 December 2005). Bangladesh: The Next Afghanistan?. Sage. p. 150. ISBN 978-0761934011.
- "Bangladesh journalist urges government to ban Jamaat-e-Islami". The Indian Express. 2013-04-23. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
- Kabir,Shahriar,(1993),Background of Human Court(গণ আদালতের পটভূমি)
- "Juddhaporadh 71: Documentary highlighting war crimes". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- <Daily prothom alo>www.prothom-alo.com
- <Daily prothom alo>www.prothom-alo.com
- Daily Prothom alo,www.prothom-alo.com
- Kabir,Shahriar,Sadhu Gragrir Dinguli (2010),Dhaka,Bangladesh,cover page=2, ISBN 978-984-598-000-5
- Daily prothom alo<www.prothom-alo.com>
- Kabir,Shahriar,Sadhu Gragrir Dinguli (2010),Dhaka,Bangladesh, ISBN 978-984-598-000-5