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Have You Ever Asked Yourself these Questions?

August 15, 2011

On August 15, when renegade Army Majors and their loyal soldiers avenged breaking up of Pakistan by killing Mujib and his whole family, Bangladesh took the path of becoming another Jelly state, a term often used by legendary journalist M.J. Akbar to describe Pakistan as it is neither stable nor disintegrate.

Thanks to Bangladesh’s culture, its selfless leftist leaders, its inspiring intellectuals, grass-root organization of the poor, aspiring middle-class and a determined entrepreneur class, the country did not become another Jelly State yet it has lost its inherent secular nature a lot over the years.

When we look back on the darkest chapter of our history and tried to digest the reason, as many tried to establish, that it was the work of some unhappy “wayward section of junior army officers”, we found it difficult to accept such naïve explanation.

I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. But why did the killers choose August 15th, Indian Independence Day, to accomplish their mission? Who was the instructor of Rashid and Farook at Pakistani Military Academy?

If Mujib was blamed for imposing an autocratic rule, BKSAL was just 6 months old by the time Mujib was killed, then how do you describe the first-leg of Zia’s rule till February 1979, Ershad’s rule till 1986 and the rule of the recent Caretaker regime?

How did these killers take refuge in Western World? How did they grow their business in Libya, Kenya and Karachi? How did the subsequent regimes allow indemnity ordinance that bars the killers from future prosecution? Why did our donors and development partners fail to pressure on regimes to abolish the law?

Mujib was often criticized for introducing Rakhi Bahini. Why didn’t the post-Mujib rulers try Rakkhi Bahini after Mujib’s murder?

After Mujib’s death, ‘multi-party’ democracy was installed. Who were the stakeholders of this ‘multi-party’ democracy? Where did they born? Islamist parties who are not democratic at all were given a stake in this democratic system. Even Mujib’s killers were allowed to form a party. What a mockery!

Mujib’s regime was often blamed for rising cost of living and widespread corruption. Was the situation improved during subsequent military regimes? Were the persons responsible for rampant corruption brought to justice during post-Mujib period?

I’ve recently come across a brief account of Zia’s governance while I was going through the pages of Anthony Mascarenhas’s “Bangladesh : A Legacy of Blood”.

M. B. Naqvi, a senior Pakistani Journalist who visited Bangladesh for the first time a month before General was assassinated, painted a harsh picture of what he saw: the bureaucracy, backed fully by an authoritarian regime and entrusted with ample funds, has become the purveyor and promoter of corruption. A new ruling elite have become the inheritors of all that Bangladesh had….It was a sort of rapid deployment of corruption.’

Marcus Franda, in his study ‘Ziaur Rahman’s Bangladesh’, was equally critical.’Authoritarian control of the foreign-related portions of the economy by a small elite class of nouveau riche has made possible a dual economy of the most extreme kind, with the modern enclave centred on Dhaka becoming increasingly affluent and the fetid rural sector continuing to grow and rot. It mercilessly accentuates the gap between the rich and the poor.

So what we have heard about the downsides of Mujib’s regime all these years are some wrong reasons to justify a brutal act that changed the course of Bangladesh’s destiny.

What lessons the present regime should learn from this day of mourning? Not a single problem—-from soaring food price to frequent power cut—- that affects daily lives of ordinary Bangladeshis should be left unaddressed. Act boldly to hold responsible those who are behind these daily problems. Remain steadfast to deliver what you promised in manifesto. Any negligence from part or whole of the government to ensure good governance could end up in tragic incident with fatal consequences as the conspirators are still very much active to prepare the ground for committing .another August 15.

Rezaul Hoque

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From → My Thoughts

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