The Crisis in Bangladesh PDF Print E-mail
English Articles
Tuesday, 24 November 1998 00:00

Bangladesh now passes through its most critical period of its history. The country’s economy, culture, politics and even its sovereignty are at stake since the foreign agenda have almost overwhelmed those national issues. The aliens have effectively used this fertile land to rear their most obedient surrogates. The nation is indeed divided two nations: nation of Islam and a nation of anti-Islam. The Muslims forces now stand face to face against these home-grown intellectual and political aliens. Now the stakeholders of the conflicts are not only the people of Bangladesh, among others India now appears to be a major player. Since the conceptualisation of a nationalist Bangladesh, India enjoys a vintage point in its politics. The secular nationalist forces of the country have a long history of collaboration with India to promote communal Hindu hegemony in the sub-continent. Through effective propaganda, they could successfully glorify their servile past and persuade a large part of younger generation to carry on their own legacy. Such spectacular success of the pro-Indians owes to heavy Indian investment in projects in Bangladesh that are primarily aimed at intellectual and cultural conversion of the young generation.

In 1971, India enjoyed a full and unfettered opportunities to dominate Bangladesh politics, culture and economy, and since then they are desperately pursuing to mould changes in Bangladesh to serve its own agenda. Due to its troubled western border with Pakistan, India is not ready to tolerate any strong Islamic country on its eastern border. The recent demographic and political shift in the eastern states and in the West Bengal has further enhanced the apprehension of these expansionist Indian Islamophobes. Since Bangladesh has the potentials to play a significant role in shaping once again the geopolitical contour of South Asia, the Indian intervention, both in covert and overt form, knows no bound in Bangladesh. Due to her midwifery role in the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, Indian wishes for a statutory right to intervene in the internal affairs of Bangladesh. Shaikh Mujibur Rahman and his party Awami League succumbed to that Indian wish by signing a 25 years’ treaty for so-called friendship with India in early seventies. The treaty provided her a legal sanctity even to a military intervention. This was only to annul the emergence of a fully independent Bangladesh. Since economic strength is the forerunner of political strength of a country, India is systematically destroying its economy. When Indian army entered Bangladesh in early December 1971, not only the leftover arms, ammunitions and army vehicles were taken to India, but also government and private houses, residences and industries were looted for booties. That was only to damage permanently the country’s economic potential and to perpetuate its India dependency.

During Mujib’s rule, the country’s border with India virtually disappeared. Thus, India captured a market in Bangladesh much larger than that of West Bengal, Bihar and Assam combined. In the early seventies, the plunder was so massive that caused a catastrophic famine and resulted in deaths in millions. India also grabbed Bangladeshi land like Beru Bari, Talpatti to quench its expansionist thirst. Its blatant interference in the country’s internal affairs like restricting her sovereignty in Chittagong hill track is another indicator of India’s hegemonic design. How harsh is India's anti-Bangladesh policy is better revealed from Farakka Barrage, built on the river Ganges. They built it to enhance navigation at Kolkata port, but at the cost of ecological disaster in half of Bangladesh. They have withdrawn water from a common international river without any heed for consequences on life of millions at the downstream. This ways they show that they are not only revengeful against the Bangladesh nationals; they are also against the plants, the birds and other habitats of this country. Its cities, markets and ports were once built along rivers, but the Indian withdrawal of water is turning them into desert. India's specific objective is to cripple Bangladesh intellectually. For that, they nurture people with distinct India bias so that her political and economic hegemony can sustain with their support. These are the people who are Bangladeshi only by blood, but more Indian by beliefs and intellect. They have almost overwhelmed the country’s media, academia and cultural arenas. Hence, Bangladesh is increasingly loosing its cultural boundary. The question arises, if the cultural boundary becomes a non-existent then why Bangladesh should exist as a separate entity ?

A nation needs a separate geopolitical entity only to maintain a distinctive cultural entity. If we loose that cultural distinctiveness then why should we bear a huge cost for maintaining a separate state? For agriculture? For business? For petty jobs? For that, no one needs a sovereign state; hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshi are already engaged in such things in many alien lands. Although proud of being the largest democracy in the world, India makes mockery of democracy when it goes against her interest. They are not ready to give democratic right of self-determination to the Kashmiries, despite previous promise in the UN. India conveniently supported Mujib's one party autocratic rule and assisted in all possible ways to suppress any democratic up-rise. The autocratic ruler Shaikh Hasina, daughter of Mujibur Rahman also receives political support from India. So the present situation in Bangladesh should be understood in real perspectives. Those who are visionary cannot overlook his or her geopolitical environment. It is to be duly realised that maintain sovereignty while face-to-face with an expansionist powerful state, is not an easy task. It needs investment of huge material and non-material resources to achieve and protect that. Nations that give independence the highest priority and make sacrifices for that are the people who can only enjoy that pride. West Bengal of India, has little concern for independence, it is vested with the rulers in Delhi. Whereas protecting sovereignty is a major issue in politics in Bangladesh. Therefore, who are our friends and who are our foes are the important topics in our national politics. An effective defence strategy can only be made with adequate knowledge about the political intention of our potential foes and friends. Independence is not a privilege, rather acquired through sacrifices. For its sustenance, it needs sacrifices too. The extent of sovereignty of a nation is dependent on the qualitative potentials to defend that.

There are people who preach that Bangladesh has no threat from the outside. They also hope that Bangladesh has come to exist forever. Such belief may cripple our independent survival. It is just like telling amidst a jungle, that nothing to be worried of wild animals. Such notion leads them to believe that Bangladesh does not need a strong army. Such belief can only paralyze the country's arms forces, and thereby render the country totally defenseless. If such conceptual infection continuously goes on invading the nation then it will be hardly possible for us to continue as an independent nation. This propaganda has some external connection too. The intellectuals and the politicians with overt India bias are found to carry out the same propaganda with high enthusiasm. The process of national defeat indeed starts from the inside. Rats in homes are more damaging than those in fields. They are the elements that cut roots of independence from below. For an easy success in aggression, enemies invest heavily to grow such fifth columnists in the target nation. This very task has been heavily done in Bangladesh by our enemies, and mostly by India – our ambitious neighbour. This is why we hear people saying the same staff what Indians used to say staying inside their own territory. In 1971, India got an opportunity to sow seeds of their own political choice in disguise. To be born in Bangladesh and to speak Bangla are not the criteria that make one defender of Bangladesh. Sikkim was sold to India not by outsiders, rather by the people who were born there. In the same way, it will be foolish to assume that democracy will be guarantor of our independence. In our country, it is not uncommon that the people elected to the power with popular votes turned more autocratic than army dictators did - as was the case of Shaikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the former prime minister Shaikh Hasina. India's motive to subdue our sovereign status is not a covert one, rather has been quite explicit. In 1947, though they failed to keep India undivided, but they did not leave the idea. Such concept of reviving united India has a clear implication for Bangladesh. It denies our independent existence. India's media along with its military and political strategist are bent upon to implement such a sinister design. Kolkata's leading Bengali daily "The Daily Ananda Bazar Patrika” wrote in its India's 50th anniversary day editorial, "15th August is the guiding emblem for establishing an undivided India, let us start from today to realise that cherished goal." Such statement does not keep any ambiguity about our neighbour's territorial ambition. Since, they cannot establish an undivided India without melting down our independence, it is a clear announcement against our sovereign entity. All freedom loving people of Bangladesh must pay serious thoughts to such expansionist design of our neighbour.

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