[R-G] (no subject)
dnr at egujarat.net
Tue Oct 26 12:02:30 MDT 2004
Published in Proletarian Era the Central Organ of Socialist Unity Centre of India(s.u.c.i.) on 15th. October Issue
Recent Developments in Bangladesh
Bangladesh, our neighbouring country on the north-eastern flank is now making news headlines not because of any feats in the socio-economic front but because of the spectre of violence that looms large. Reports of bomb-blasts and violent attacks on the Opposition including secular forces and religious minority community have been daily on the increase. But the bestial attack on 21 August last on the leader of the Opposition and former Prime Minister Sk. Hasina who narrowly escaped death, has surpassed all previous records of violent attacks in dimension and its import in the prevailing politics of animosity. While she was addressing a rally organized by Awami League in Dhaka, series of grenade and highly explosive bomb blasts rocked the venue. The Awami League central leader Ivy Rahman along with 22 other leaders-workers were killed and 200 workers and 10-12 central Awami League leaders were grievously wounded. It is to be noted, in this connection, that the operations of communalists-fundamentalists pre-date the fateful 21 August event: even during the earlier Hasina-led Awami League regime, there had been quite a large number of violent outrages.
Perhaps not a single day passes nowadays in Bangladesh without one or more bomb/grenade blasts or live bomb-grenade and explosives being seized by the security forces. The social milieu being terror-stricken amidst this violence, the day-to-day living and livelihood of the people there are deeply affected, and they are in a fix as to how they can come out of this imbroglio. All sensible persons admit that this perilous turn of events is no isolated a phenomenon. It is connected with the evil design of the dark fundamentalist forces, which were opposed to Independence of Bangladesh with a secular democratic polity. It has also to be acknowledged that although Awami League leaders and workers were the direct target of gruesome grenade attacks on this fateful 21st August, nonetheless, the secular, democratic-progre-ssive forces, that present a stiff obstacle to the freerun by the communalists-fundamentalists, are very much its indirect but ultimate targets. For, these dark forces are waiting in the wings for the moment when they could ride forth with their war cries for dominance and destruction. That's why, cutting across the barrier of party affiliations, all Left and democratic-progressive parties and forces voiced their indignation and severely condemned the gruesome attack demanding at the same time punishment of the real culprits through proper investigation and an end, once for all, to this orchestrated violence. The ruling BNP led by Khaleda Zia, who initially maintained silence, in the face of spontaneous outbursts of all sections of the people, broke its silence in a gathering on 30th August where its central leaders including many a cabinet colleague of Khaleda Zia, squarely blamed the Awami League itself for the dastardly grenade assaults. Following suit, Khaleda Zia herself in the founding ceremony of her party on 1st September, echoed the tune of her cabinet colleagues, pretending at the same time, not to cast aspersion on anyone. From the above, it is as clear as daylight that Khaleda Zia's government, as on previous occasions, is not serious at all to bring the culprits to book.
Both BNP and Awami League abate fundamentalist forces
It is worth recounting that even during Hasina's Awami League regime also, none of the incidents of ghastly violence was ever properly investigated to identify the culprits. With this background, observers of Bangladesh politics point out that when the Awami League was in power, the first bomb-blast of this kind occured on March 6, 1999. At the conference of an artists' forum at Jessore district, bomb-blasts took a toll of 10 innocent lives while 70 were wounded. The second incident took place at Khulna on October 8, the same year, in which 8 people were killed and 26 sustained severe injury. A spate of murderous attacks were continued on the Leftists, secularists and Bengali cultural workers till Hasina regime lost power in the elections in 2001. It has been reported that during Hasina's regime alone, as many as 25 big criminal assaults were engineered in which over 150 innocent people lost their lives and a very large number were severely wounded. It has, so to say, become a common pattern. All these violent fundamentalist crimes mysteriously remained to be solved and with days passing by, these vile acts have become more intense today. It is no wonder, therefore, that none of the culprits behind the 21st August event have been booked so far. And unless the BNP government can prove that its security forces do not stoop to the same level as do those whom it calls ''destabilizing force'' or ''terrorists'', the marauding spree of the communalists-fundamentalists will contribute to the growth and rampage of these dark medieval forces. At any rate, the fact of circumstances boils down to this, that while Hasina refused to make any serious effort to unearth the truth behind such criminal assaults, Khaleda government now follows her footsteps caring a whit to put an end to such unending assaults through holding investigations taking the people into confidence.
In such a prevailing vicious atmosphere, the pertinent question that is uppermost in the minds of the enlightened people of Bangladesh is why both Hasina and Khaleda Zia's governments, instead of dealing sternly with the real culprits in order to eradicate the pernicious influence of these dark forces, are indulging these violent types of terrorist attackers ? It is admitted on all hands, that let alone Khaleda Zia's government, even Hasina government had been using these dark communalist-fundamentalists to ensure easy electoral victory. So none of them is interested at all to touch the culprits. It is not possible, for argument's sake also, to strike at the roots of the groups of dark forces operating for the bourgeois outfits like Awami League and the BNP since the squabbling groups inside each of these bourgeois outfits are aligned with these dark forces directly or indirectly. Given the reality of the intense crisis in socio-economic political scenario of Bangladesh, it is next to impossible for them to strike at the roots of these dark forces. So, even after asserting vociferously that 'they won't stop before finishing me physically'', Sk. Hasina is found the next moment conducting hectic parleys and mysterious activities to stage a comeback to the governmental power 'at any price' rather than focusing her efforts on revealing the truth behind devastating grenade attack on her party and on her life. Well, can anyone assert that with the installation of Hasina's Awami League in the governmental power, the real culprits would be hauled up and punished and consequently the safety and security of her life and her party would also be guaranteed ? Hypocrisy, par excellence! That's why, whenever the needle of suspicion points to these dark forces operating from within Zammat-e-Islami and/or Jatiya Oikya Jote as also these two main ruling bourgeois outfits, being the mainstay of these dark forces, the real culprits were shielded by the powers-that-be so as to allow the perpetrators of crime to go scot-free. So, belying the hopes and wishes of all sections of the people of Bangladesh, Hasina and her party, recipient of the deadliest blow the other day, went whole hog to emphatically demand resignation of Khaleda Zia government, obviously to reap electoral gains.
Role of US imperialists and India
Another question that has cropped up in the minds of right-thinking people of Bangladesh is the role of the imperialist powers and that of Indian government. A deep sense of misgiving is working surrounding the motive behind their presence in the aftermath of such a terrorist attack in the prevailing situation of anarchy inside Bangladesh. The moves and conducts of ambassadors of both USA and India aroused serious misgivings. For reason best known to him, the US ambassador was found to be freely moving around Bangladesh, having parleys with the ministers and leaders of ruling and parliamentary Opposition parties and making speeches and statements to the press violating diplomatic code of conduct. One Mr. Patterson, the US Assistant Defence Secretary, was reported to have stated on September 13, in a press meet, that Bangladesh might undergo a sea-change and lose her democratic polity. A dubious indication, indeed ! They also went so far as to assert that people wanted export of surplus gas for development of the country which some politicians stood opposed to and so on and so forth. Without going into further details, it is quite apparent that the US is on the lookout for naked interference in the internal affairs of Bangladesh as it does all over the globe today. Nepal, another neighbouring state down the Himalays, stands out as a glaring example where the US imperialists in league with medieval Palace rule are at work to ruthlessly suppress the ongoing mass movement for establishment of full-fledged parliamentary democracy. What business have they got to meddle into the internal affairs of another country, travelling thousands of miles to land in Bangladesh for uncalled for gratuitious sermons? The people of Bangladesh must remain alert and in the way they have valiantly resisted bartering away the vital interests of the country on all important issues of gas-power-port to foreign power forcefully demand of their government not to allow, in any way, the imperialist powers to interfere in the matters of their country. So also the moves and conduct of the Indian ambassador have raised questions. The ambassador's surreptitious moves, hither and thither, in conjuction with the recent tirade of the Indian ruling parties against Bangladesh at a time when Bangladesh is in turmoil and the people are in search for a way out of this crisis, cannot but evoke serious apprehension about their motive. This, perforce, creates tension between the people of the two neighbouring countries which, we the people of India, cannot afford to go unchallenged, on any pretext whatsoever. This unnecessary meddling into the internal affairs of another country provides a handle to the anti-people ruling clique in Bangladesh to misdirect the people's attention from the real cause of misery and abject poverty as well as the politics of terrorization wreaking havoc on them. We, on behalf of the toiling people of India, demand that the Government of India must desist from meddling into the internal affairs of Bangladesh.
Role of left and democratic forces
Taking into account all these aspects for consideration what, after all, is the objective reality obtaining now before the people of Bangladesh? Being embroiled in a terror-stricken insecure condition coupled with ruthless exploitation, deprivation under an oppressive rule, the people of Bangladesh pine for restoration of peaceful atmosphere free from insecurity in life and livelihood. Expectantly, they sincerely believed that the left and democratic parties and forces were in the prevailing situation the only dependable allies who could deliver the goods. But the state of affairs in the left-democratic camp are not what the people had been aspiring for. Barring the Socialist Party of Bangladesh, the two combinations of Left and democratic parties, i.e., 7-Party Left Front and 11-Party Combination, share worst sort of confusion. Though the Socialist Party of Bangladesh is included in the 11-Party Combination and wages mass struggles on specific issues in people's life, right now, save and except the Socialist Party of Bangladesh, all the constituents of Left Front and the 11-Party Combination, notwithstanding their differences over emphasis to be given on the formulation of demands, are trying to anyhow rope in the major parliamentary Opposition party, Awami League. For all practical purposes, therefore, this camp on which the people reposed their confidence, has fallen a prey to Awami League's trap of electoral course to dislodge the BNP government from power. It is a betrayal to people's hope and aspirations.
Now, on the issue of forming an alliance with the Awami League, the pertinent question that has emerged is: in the face of people's demand for inflicting a crushing defeat on the dark fundamentalist forces and, in its wake, create a congenial atmosphere for living and livelihood, how could inclusion of Awami League, a party whose conduct and behaviour during its period of rule abundantly confirmed its refusal to deal with the dark forces, arise at all ? Does the Awami League represent a force to reckon with in the arena of democratic mass movement ? And secondly, since the Awami League, like Khaleda, has nurtured these dark fundamentalist forces for reaping electoral dividends, it can, on no account, be considered a secular force. How can it be then taken into an alliance in the battle against these dark forces? So, in order to satisfy the people's need, what is to be done right now? It is the teaching of history that working out electoral arithmetic giving up the struggle for resolving burning issues of people's life would lead nowhere in saving the country from being taken over by the dark fundamentalist forces. On the contrary, when the toiling people from all walks of life unite on a platform for conducting mass movement, the common cause of their life override all barriers of religion, creed or ethnicity or the like, among the struggling masses. And in course of conducting such a movement under a genuine revolutionary leadership and in the process of its intensification, the unity of the people gets further cemented and the barriers separating them socially and culturally by religious intolerance, mutual distrust centring round it, communal disposition and all such obscurantist ideas, get progressively demolished. This is the scientific way to do away with the virus of communalism-fundamentalism and with all sorts of legacies of dark medieval ideas and thought processes. In view of this, can the people expect anything from the Awami League ? As a discredited bourgeois outfit, the Awami League remained in power since 90's in cooperation with these dark forces and when out of power, went on compromising with these very dark forces with an eye to regain power in the next polls. It is anybody's guess, on what consideration then the forces who call themselves Left and democratic, confer secular credential to Hasina's Awami League vis-a-vis its refusal to give a determined fight against the black forces.
Need to identify and strengthen true Left force
It is, no doubt, a fact that at the impact of freedom movement of Bangladesh, the Awami League led by Sk.Mujib declared the newly born Bangladesh as a democratic, secular and socialist republic with constitutional guarantee which the Awami League promised in its own Manifesto. It is also a fact that Awami League banished the two great principles of 'secularism' and 'socialism' from its Manifesto subsequently after the BNP-led by Ziaur Rahman removed the words 'secular' and 'socialist' from the constitution to pave the way for declaring Bangladesh an Islamic state under the pressure of rabid communalists-fundamentalists. If Mujib's Awami League was true upholder of secular principles in life and society, it would not have abandoned these noble principles governing democratic way of life. It was Mujibar Rahman again, who, in order to get into the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), presented Bangladesh as the second largest Muslim state in the world. It was in Mujib's life time that an Islamic foundation was sought to be given to Bangladesh. The secular-democratic people of Bangladesh observe today that the dress code followed by the Awami League leaders indicates how anxious they are to demonstrate a Muslim identity. Sk. Hasina and her ilk in the party, almost every year, air-dash to Haj pilgrimage and wears Hijab, the religious cap to present themselves as true Muslims, the exigency of which never impelled them in pre-independence days of Bangladesh. It is also a fact that by yielding ground to fundamentalists, it encouraged an anachronic system of Madrasa education, so on and so forth. It is also found that in course of practising this nefarious game of communal politics, the Awami League, instead of containing communal flare-ups and lethal hostilities against the religious and ethnic minorities, has been abettor of such crime. The reason is not far to seek : to faithfully serve the scheming of the ruling capitalist class to bring about cleavage among the working people based on religion, creed, etc., on the one hand and to cultivate the majority Muslim communal politics for creating Muslim vote-bank on the other.
The people of Bangladesh are now in a dire situation. They have nothing to expect from the Awami League or the BNP, the two most trusted agents of the ruling Bangladeshi bourgeoisie. So also, parties other than Bangladesh Socialist Party claiming to be Leftists have really nothing to offer. In this situation, the Socialist Party of Bangladesh alone, true to people's wishes and aspirations, is making all-out efforts to build up movements to forestall the rampaging march of these dark fundamentalist forces. We strongly believe this movement will gather more and more strength and true leftism will strike deep roots in the soil.
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