Archive for November, 2009

In recent times, as we expressed deep satisfaction over the Bangabandhu’s murder trial judgment, we also came to see some bizarre kind of propaganda unnecessarily depicting Bangabandhu as a villain who’s killing was a demand of time. These people tacitly declared their position that they liked the event. Although some are more moderate who simultaneously castigate the killing and dig the issue of why he was being killed! I cannot understand why these people have gone crazy with Bangabandhu’s regime right now. Even if Bangabandhu delivered a very bad rule, what is the justification to reorient these issues? They hardly understand that their position is just exposing themselves to others that they were the patrons of Bangabandhu’s killers and they still support the killing. I will not dismiss their right to question instead I would like to reason logically what is going wrong with their arguments and long-held believes (knowingly and falsely) .

Why Bangabandhu failed to materialize the dream of a golden Bangladesh is obviously subject to a vigorous research. But if someone reads contemporary analyses on this very issue, he/she will surely come to realize why a war-torn country couldn’t operate as smoothly as desired. In the world history there can hardly be found a single country, which gained independence after a bloody war, which enjoyed normalcy in operating state affairs just after getting its independence. Food crisis, devastated infrastructures, civil-wars among different groups, administrative mismanagements, fragile law and order situation normally prevail in these countries.

This is partly due to the widespread availability of arms and ammo in the masses’ hands, partly due to bankruptcy of the national treasury, and partly due to the over expectation of the people from a devastated system. In Bangladesh, the problems were simply coupled with the country having been victimized of the international geo-politics where it faced with enmity of the world’s strongest country (the US) in every single step. I bet, even a superman cannot handle such a situation let alone Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Moreover, as many believe that his experiment with a new government system was a bit lately oriented.

Many argue that BAKSAL should have been in place just after 1971 and constitution shouldn’t have been formulated so earlier. Naturally once you introduce a constitutional system you yourself impose some liabilities on your government not to breach its provisions. We learned from experience that our constitutional practice should have been in place at least 5/10 years later (as was the case in India and Pakistan both of which’s constitution formulation took more years than those of ours). Bangabandhu tried to be more democratic pretty sooner in an unrealistic situation and an unrealistic manner. That was his mistake not his BAKSAL. No war-torn country’s citizens should be given all rights as equal to normalized democratic countries. But Bangabandhu did it mistakenly.

Bangabandhu’s mistake was his big heart, his mistake was his kindness, his mistake was his democratic commitment, and his mistake was his forgiveness. This is a natural outcome that a country eliminates counter-revolutionaries. He didn’t do that. He was kind of idealistic leader who got a big heart necessary for being a good human but unnecessary to rule a war-torn country.

We should not criticize him for being not democratic (for BAKSAL) rather he should be criticized for being over-democratic (formulating the constitution within a year and giving election within a couple of years which he should hang on for years until the country come into normal situation). We should not criticize Bangabandhu for his mismanagement; instead he should be bashed for his kindness, forgiveness. If he were not so kind, the aftermath of our liberation war would cost at least tens of thousands of counter-revolutionaries’ lives which would in anyway be executed for their war-time role.

Here we get some arguments of why he should not be criticized for his actions instead be praised considering those opposing points. Now come to the real point of those who propagate against him with ‘evil intention’. I’ve deliberately put the phrase ‘evil intention’ here. Everybody knows that a group of people did not want a sovereign Bangladesh. They preferred Pakistan instead. Now to them, Bangabandhu, Awami League, Communist Parties (Marxist-Leninist) were the real culprits for dividing Pakistan because they led the Bengali nationalistic movement in the 1950s to 1970s.

I can tell you that they were not few. Muslim League, Jamaate Islami, Maoist Communist Parties (during war time when Communist China aligned with Capitalist America!) and some other small Islamist parties actively worked against our liberation struggle sometimes with holding processions, sometimes with giving statements and sometimes being actively aligned with Pakistani civil, military administration, politics and some other forms. These elements were pretty much active during our liberation war in 1971.

Alas! All of their efforts were in vain. We were liberated. Then, after 1971, when Mujib was so democratic (in a democracy you got to allow dissents to have their voice and a free press to operate), these elements penetrated into the system and had done everything to belittle Mujib government whenever they got chance to do so. A free press came harsh on him and proved counter-productive.

But at that time we frantically needed to rebuild the country’s devastated infrastructure, needed food, education, health service and adequate foreign currencies to import our basic necessities, needed to reestablish the civil-military command and discipline over society. In this particular situation, why a ruler should walk along the democratic path who’s people was hardly oriented with the norms and values of democracy in its thousand years’ history?! Surely misplaced hope. Those traitors silently utilized the situation. They were angry with Mujib not for democracy or whatsoever (see these same people supported all Pakistani military rulers for the sake of their golden Pakistan), their anger was only that Mujib and AL divided Pakistan.

Can anyone tell me why after 7 November 1975 we walked along the Pakistani path?? Why Ziaur Rahman made Sah Azizur Rahman (an active Rajakar) the Prime Minister of the State? Why those politically outcasted forces were rehabilitated by Zia? And you see all these people were against those values which driven us to liberation war. The same goes to India-phobia in our country. The reasons these people are irritated with Mujib and AL, the same reason they don’t like India (as India helped divide Pakistan).

We got to have many political forces in line with the spirit of our liberation struggle and war, in line with the dreams of the founders of the State who can share power alternatively. Our tragedy is that there are a few anti-Bangladesh political forces who are now enjoying a strong political footing (power contender) due to enjoying a long privilege to rule the country for most of the years!

Can you believe a country where anti-liberation political forces run the country ousting the proponent forces of the State?! It is just incredible! But in Bangladesh, everything has become so natural! We surely agree that AL cannot be the sole agent of the liberation war spirit and should not be. There must be some alternative and replacing power contending forces (they can even carry different ideologies) (now leftists are there but they are not power contender) who can take seat in absence of AL.

Now is the time to focus on that. A new front should be the target of young generation not the old path of rehabilitating anti-Bangladeshi forces. That movement is the call of the time…


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7 November 1975 is a historic turnaround for ‘Bangladesh politics’. I said ‘Bangladesh politics’ not ‘Bangladesh’. Because if the event was the very positive move to exonerate the country from many bad elements as the proponents of the day claim, the country would have gone much further than where we stand right now. But, yes, it changed Bangladeshi politics a lot.
Many, who interested in politics, tried to understand the dynamics of present political division and confrontation thrived in Bangladeshi politics. And there is a common understanding that the events like 15th August, 3 November, and 7 November 1975 left some deep regrets among political groups. I would go even a bit earlier which was- the year 1971. There were generally and broadly three typical groups who viewed things (1971 and 1975’s events) differently. First Group belonged to progressive politics (this was a typically mixed group where some belonged to hardcore communism (Marxist-Leninist), some belonged to Muslim sentiments but were more progressive (that is what Awami League stands for) who were originated from Muslim League politics and later denied religion to have a state role (like Indian National Congress)). The Second Group directly belonged to the Islamist idealism led by Muslim League and Jamaate Islami and other small Islamist political parties who strongly favored for a unitary Pakistan and a greater role of religion in the society. The Third Group was quite interesting. They were communists but deeply influenced by Chinese Maoist regime who then was an interesting ally of Capitalist America.
Our liberation struggle hovered around the dynamics of these groups’ activities. Although I am quite optimistic that all three groups would chose an independent country for their own if run sovereignly. But their roots in other places/countries/ideologies pushed them act sometimes (and at the critical juncture of the history) against their own people’s interests. Jamaat and Muslim League were hugely tied with the idea of Pakistanism and therefore any actions which could endanger the unity of Pakistan faced their automatic opposition. Maoist Communists’ position was a paradox. Only because of Chinese alliance with America and Pakistan, these people turned down to support liberation war which some of them termed “Dui Kukurer Lorai” (the fight of two dogs!). Therefore, the total upsurge was led by the First progressive group supported by the then Soviet Union and India. Although one can sum up by assessing all these things that the emergence of Bangladesh was part of a geopolitical game, they cannot be dismissed totally. Yet, the strong side of the movement for the liberation struggle was home grown and the issues which angered people most were mostly the infringement of Bangalis’ economic, social and political rights and that was clearly ignored by the Second and Third Group. The progressive political forces very smartly picked up the right issues at the right time and successfully moblised people in favor of them. Although their ultimate action (liberation war) served the interest of India and Soviet Union (one wanted to see a defeated Pakistan in its regional power equation and the other wanted to see a defeated America in its global hegemonic tussle), the deep sense of regrets of deprivation of Bangali people was on top of all the other issues. The Second and Third Group sadly failed to understand the nerve of their own people and desperately tried to serve the interests of their foreign masters.
In 1971, the First Group claimed a huge victory whereas the Second and Third Group received a humiliating defeat. However, it was America which didn’t want to let the communist flag conquer any other region other than Eastern Europe. They only receded for a while. Later, when dust settled, America, Pakistan and other like-minded countries desperately wanted to stop flourishing communism. As a result, until 1974, there were many attempts made to destablise the Mujib regime. Nonetheless, still there was a hope for America that Mujib couldn’t turn hardcore communist given his past endeavor for democratic rights. But when BAKSAL came into force, many claimed it as a likely agenda of Soviet Union to transform Bangladesh into a communist model single-party state, that was the last hope buried for the capitalist America. Now what they would do? American foreign policy history renders a very bad proposition in this regard. And they successfully maintained one of their smoothly maneuvered conspiracy games here in Bangladesh.
It was very sad that the conflict of two ideologies: Communism and Capitalism stretched down to the Bay of Bengal. And although in 1971 Communism block claimed a victory, on 15 August 1975 the later hit back brutally and sharply which took a formal shape in 7 November, 1971. November 3 coup was a bit of resistance from the communist block but the adventurism by JSD leader Colonel Taher was poorly maneuvered thus failed. The proponent country of Capitalism wanted a brutal revenge which it exactly did but it didn’t bother the subsequent outcome which was that the change could help Mullahs back to the podium as, by then, Capitalism and Islamism went hand in hand to beat the common foe: Communism. That was best exemplified in Afghanistan where Taliban received indiscriminate US largesse to fight Soviet forces. Ironically, Sheikh Mujib although knowingly tied with the Communist block, he seriously failed to deter the infiltration and infiltrators due to his vague confidence on People’s Power.
Therefore, whatever one claims about the 7 November, 1975, we can plainly draw a conclusion that the state dreamt by the proponents of Bangladesh had been altered by the event of 7th November 1975. Nobody can claim that Ziaur Rahman did that or led that event (and they acknowledge the fact that Ziaur Rahman was eventually freed from house arrest (by Khaled Musharraf) on that day). He couldn’t do it anyway. He had neither mechanisms nor political base to do so. He was just an instrument of global Capitalist and Islamist block to fight communism and to fulfill their own agenda. And Ziaur Rahman, under the disguise of his liberation fighter identity, did served exactly what the anti-Bangladesh forces preferred (in this regard, one can get ready references of what Ziaur Rahman did against the spirit of liberation war from the article Shat November: Biplob Protibiplob by Nuh-Ul-Alam Lenin published at the daily Jugantar on 7 November 2009). Those who term Ziaur Rahman as a majestic revolutionary hero hardly understand (or intentionally misguide people for their personal or political gains) the term revolution, people’s struggle and the concept of great leadership (I read a column in the national daily where of our Dhaka University professors compared Ziaur Rahman with Nkrumah, Sukorno, Patrice Lumumba! He must be joking!!). However, what existed as Zia’s legacy (BNP) was some of his later charisma which was also hugely mentored by those anti-Bangladesh global and mainly regional blocks.
I am sure all these groups or their support bases love Bangladesh now. And after the Soviet demise the global and regional players and power equations have been changed dramatically and significantly. But the matter of the fact that the days we observe annually (26 March, 16 December etc.) will exist so long the Bangladesh country exists. Therefore, the First Group’s influence will not erode or be diminished. In this equation, the Second Group needs to realise and change their propaganda of so-called 7th November’s heroic tales (which’s players already changed their tent) which the Third Group already did. There will be much more critical analyses of the event in the coming years and those from the insiders with more revealing of the facts will help us understand many other issues. We are eagerly waiting to see that kind of objective assessments of history.

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In Bangladesh, we have to come across some bizarre kind of politics all the time. Whatever happens bad, the finger has to be pointed towards India. No matter how trivial the matter is. The matter of the fact is India is our closest neighbour and no one can change that geographical reality. And with next door neighbours, many good and bad things can be occurred frequently. But there is a ‘big but’. A few Bangladeshis are having some original sins especially for those who felt dis-hearted for Pakistan for being broken apart by AL leaders and India. Therefore, the issue for them doesn’t stand merely for a neighbouring country issue instead something more serious (and you say it funny) than that.

Everybody understands some peoples’ agony against AL and India. During the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971, there were a few thousands people who blindly and madly supported Pakistani army in carrying out massacre in Bangladesh. They did it in the name of Islam and of saving the unity of Pakistan. But it was the AL leaders who were stubborn and didn’t bend down to let that happen. Although some infiltrators of AL like Khandokar Moshtak even tried to realign with this element but in vain. However, when the war finally broke out and India (and some other big forces considering the geo-political nature of the time) started assisting Bangladeshi guerrillas, the equation of the war had been seriously changed. And finally the last nail in the coffin was India’s all-out involvement in the war which hastened Pakistanis defeat. Those (basically from Muslim league and Jamate Islami (maximum of those later rehabilitated by BNP)) who used their every weaponry and maneuvered to save Pakistan felt insulted and got a broken heart return that their Golden Pakistan had been divided. I had a personal experience with an old bearded man who was too irritated by the acts of Sheikh Mujib and India especially for their role in dividing Pakistan. The man outrageously shared his agony that “Sheikka (Sheikh Mujib) and India is the main culprit for dividing the Golden Pakistan”. He was just mourning. I couldn’t believe after so many years a few can still feel that distorted love. May be they are right or wrong, but the reality is those people still carry the frustration and angry with Mujib and AL and India. Since 1971, India and AL has been considered their no-1 enemy. And their heirs (and successors too) are also sharing the same agony. Because, the feeling has successfully been transferred to the next generation and that was happened very smoothly after 1975 when these anti-Bangladeshis (considering 1971 role) were welcomed by our Muktijoddha Zia to form alliance and to merge into BNP.

Now whatever we hear about India, to judge the issue rationally, we must take into account two things. First of all, we should see who the person is telling us what. If the background of those unfortunately matches the aforesaid notes, we have everything to be cautious whether the thing is resulting from some past agonies and for political gains. And the second important thought is, India is the closest neighbour of Bangladesh. It has too many equations with us because of our unique geographical location. As some India foreign policy experts assert that Bangladesh is the single most concern for India’s geographical integrity. And they are in no errors.

Therefore, the active role of India within Bangladesh will always persist no matter who runs the country. Also, Bangladesh has to learn to live with such a big and strong neighbour and subsequently cooperate with India with ensuring its state interests. No govt. in Bangladesh can function smoothly by annoying the big-b. Also there are so many positive elements exist for the subcontinent people to be harmonious. Smelling India’s conspiracy in everything is a distorted political agenda. At the same time, we must play the game (not zero-sum) which will bring about a win-win situation for both and also utilize our very very strategic location to bargain for some gains. Nevertheless, unfortunately India finds confidence only on a few political forces in Bangladesh and that the present govt. is sitting in that privileged situation. Therefore, now is the time to go for a big deal, give some concessions and earn many. Although the task is very challenging and difficult, but surely the grand-alliance govt. should take the game on. We just ought to remember that the state has no eternal allies or perpetual enemies but has only its interests.


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