New Age Islam
Sat Feb 04 2023, 05:34 AM

Islam and Politics ( 2 Aug 2008, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Bangladesh: The nation that mortgaged its future

By Ibn-e-Rehmat

AT present Bangladesh has four major groups Awami League, BNP, Jamat-i-Islami and Bangladesh Jatio Party and Islami Okya Jot (IOJ). These parties are poles apart in their ideological background, their political mandate and history of their past activities. Awami League of the Hasina Wajid enjoys full backing of the India, while BNP is regarded as a nationalist party, having liberal outlook and wishes to toe independent and non-aligned policies, without being linked with India. While the remaining two JI and IOJ are regarded as fundamentalist groups.

Like Pakistan, Bangladesh’s politics too is in dire strait. Both Awami League of Sheikh Hussina Wajid and Bangladesh National Party (BNP) of Begum Khalida Zia are facing similar dilemma, as the PML(N) and the PPP experienced in the past. The news that leader of the Awami League Hasina Wajed was released from detention on 11 June, 2008, while the similar decision about Begum Khalida Zia of BNP was deliberated by the Chief Adviser Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed a couple of days ago. Both leaders were held on graft charges. Say it a coincidence that these leaders after their release wish to go abroad for medical treatment along with their sons.

Although things have gone a sea change since 1971, after Bangladesh’s independence, but the fact that reservoir of good will and bond of affection still echoes in the minds of the people of Pakistan and Bangladesh. There is no denying the fact that centuries-old bonhomie of their relationship of common religious, political, cultural heritage cannot be erased from the annals of history. The people still believe that separation of Bangladesh was an outcome of the Machiavellian role played by India by whipping up petty differences. The events culminating into tragic fall of Dakka was the outcome of administrative and political blunders and a string of intrigues, conspiracies and disinformation bombardment by the Indian media. When Pakistan was moving towards democratisation, similar sentiments found their resurgence in Bangladesh, as well. But, the military backed government instead of holding elections in the country kept harping on shady past of the politicians. The corruption charges are perhaps the unique universal phenomenon which almost every ruling party after coup faces; as there is much to incriminate, foment, fabricate and glue together to drag them in the net of allegation or strain the politicians through the accountability net. But this time, politicians, who were deprived of their legitimate rule on grafting or corruption charges are being exonerated one by one.

The armed forces rule in Bangladesh, keep shifting their stance on one pretext or the other to keep dangling power bait to both parties. At the same time, New Delhi keeps shaking Dhakka regime and playing their cards to install government of their choice one like Awami League (AL). Their overt and covert support is now an open secret to the world. On the other hand Ms Khalida Zia is always dealt with cynicism and scepticism. According to Dhaka Courier, the release of Begaum Khalida Zia and Sheikh Hassina means that Government is now in state of retreat, on the back foot and desperate about holding elections and making its way out through handing over power back to an elected government.”

If we look at the role of the military in staging similar power play acts, one can sum up the whole affairs into three viable options; the ruling army is working on some one other’s agenda, they sincerely wish to pull the country from the quagmire of rampant corruption or else they are power hungry, as the history of such `on-again-off-again’ is replete with such incidents. All these three scenarios, if grilled, by relating to ground realities, will give clear clues what all the Dhakka ruling machinery intends to achieve?

The practice of staging out and then inviting the politicians to form the government adds a layer of grudge against the army regimes. New Delhi always dictated her terms to Bangladesh, rather than helping the impoverished Bengalis and playing their role in ensuring good governance. In fact, tacit approval granted to its like-minded military rulers to take over the reign of power every now and then, deprived the people of Bangladesh from the fruits of democracy. Concurrently there is no dearth of lame excuses to castigate the Bangladesh by the New Delhi but one of the most favourite themes is complaints about providing sanctuaries to the militant or freedom fighters’ organisations like ULFA, having their dens or hideout in the Bangladesh. It is always alleged the Pakistan’s ISI has its covert and overt links with these separatist organizations. But the BD government consistently denied these accusations. In fact, such acts of brow-beats, played by the Indian rulers through dirty imperialist stratagems are beyond anybody’s guess.

The current spree of negotiations and rhetoric of restoring democratic rule in the country is same old wine in new bottle. As usual India would continue to coax, betray, graft, dismantle, drain off and disintegrate the Bengalis. Insiders and veteran political workers fully understand the true dynamics of their calls not worth a cent. It would be pertinent to refer to my meeting with one of the Bengalis abroad some twenty years back, who claimed the Independence of Bangladesh was the day, when his country men mortgaged their future to the Indian imperialists.


Source: Daily Mail