Power-addict Hasina & Fake Election in Bangladesh

 The addiction & the calamity                                      

Addiction to power is far more catastrophic than the addiction to drugs. A drug-addict only kills himself; but a power-addict may kill millions. They are more dreadful than the lethal bugs. No episode of Tsunami, epidemic illness or earthquake caused so such tragedies to the mankind as were inflicted by these power-addicts. The annals of history is full of their brutalities. They carry out every sort of cruelties to stay in power. Secrete killing, extrajudicial killing, mass killing and abolition of human rights are the awful expression of such power addiction. So, millions had to die in Germany, Russia and China because of the power-addict rulers like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong. They didn’t give the right of survival to their opponents, let alone give any political space. Only those who submit to their ideological cum political enslavement, enjoy some breathing space in their domain.

This is why, political cum ideological slavery gets huge boost during the rule of the brutal autocrats. In its coercive milieu, millions of Germans, Russians and Chinese became the ideological convert cum political slave overnight to serve the power-addict rulers. Currently, President Bashar al-Assad of Assad of Syria happened to be the worst and the classic example of such power-addicts. He has already dragged the country to a blood-bath and shocking destruction, but not ready to leave his power. More than three hundred thousand people in Syria are killed and more than 6 million people are forced to flee from their homes. Hundreds of cities are bombed to rubbles. This shows, how a power-addict -like a drug-addict, is ready to die but not ready to give up his addiction.  Like any other power-addict, he too, could amass a large number of political cum ideological slaves to help him killing people and destroying the country.

The case of Bangladesh is not different either. This country has been under the rule of awful power-addicts during the most part of its history since its inception in 1971. In 1970’s election, Shaikh Mujib took votes in the name of multi-party parliamentary democracy, but when grabbed power, established one-party autocracy. Like a drug-addict, a power-addict can’t stay strict to the established morality; the betrayal becomes the norm. So, Mujib’s power-addiction led him to banning all the opposition political parties and death to more than 30 thousands political activists. His killing machine could only be stopped at his own brutal death in 1975. Another power-addict General Ershad snatched power from an elected government of retired Chief Justice Abdus Satter by a military coup in 1982 and continued his autocratic brutality until ousted by a mass up-rise in 1990. But his ouster didn’t bury autocracy in Bangladesh; rather re-emerged with more brutality under the current power-addict Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina. During her rule, brutality has attained a new and more heinous dimension. Not only the opposition political leaders and activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and Bangladesh Nationalist Party are targeted for political assassination, crucial military and religious institutions are also targeted for weakening their grip. Hence, 53 military officers were slaughtered and hundreds of imams and religious students of Hefajat-e-Islam are massacred with utter ruthlessness.

Like a drug-addict, a power-addict too, can’t survive without crossing the red lines of civilised norms. Hence, the extrajudicial killing and the enforced disappearance of the political figures become his or her favoured tools for eliminating the political enemies. This is why, Shaikh Hasina can’t think of a political milieu that would allow the opposition activists freely roaming in the streets and mobilising people. Therefore, they are locked up in prisons. Addiction doesn’t come alone; it also brings in other vices. Hence, Hasina could be fully compatible with crimes like thievery of government treasury, banks and share market. Although the country is known for massive corruption -stood five time first in corruption in the world, but the prisons are full with political activists, not by the corrupt. To stay in power, she thinks it a political necessity to get rid of fair and free election in Bangladesh. Hence, engineering a rigged election is the part of her savagery. She has blocked not only the practice of basic human rights, free press and other democratic values, rather has taken the country far backward. Hence an impartial election that was possible more than half a century ago in 1937, 1946 or 1954 –in British and Pakistani period, now stands unthinkable in Bangladesh.

 

The fake election

The power edicts show her mastery in holding fake election. Shaikh Hasina did the same in Bangladesh. She has successfully killed democracy in Bangladesh. The election is held without an iota of democratic norm. It has been used only as a tool to rubber stamp the extension of her autocratic rule. In the recent parliamentary election held on 30th December, 2018, Shaikh Hasina rigged the whole electoral process. She has proven, how impossible is a free and fair election in Bangladesh under her autocratic and corruptive rule. The rigging started long before the Election Day. More than 10 thousands opposition political activists were put behind the bar so that they cannot take part in the election campaign. The opposition parties were mostly barred from holding the political meetings and displaying the election posters. The political agents of the opposition candidates were not allowed to do their desired job. So the poling agents of the ruling party in collaboration with the partisan government employees enjoyed unfettered opportunities to fill the ballot box by pre-stamped ballot papers.

Many of the polling agents of the opposition parties were beaten up and forcefully ousted from the voting centres. Many of them were arrested prior to the Election Day. Many voters found their votes casted before they reach the voting centre. In many places, the opposition voters who dared to appear in the polling stations were forced to stamp the ballot paper for Hasina’s party candidates in front of the ruling party thug. In some places, the voters are beaten if discovered that they casted votes for the opposition candidate. It has also been alleged that the ballot box were filled with the stamped ballot papers before the election was actually started. To hide the whole electoral rigging, the CCTV camera were either dismantled or not allowed to install. Independent press reporters were seldom seen to observe the voting process.

 

The sadistic Hasina

A drug-addict can’t enjoy his life without his drugs. Similarly, a power-addict can’t enjoy his life without the unfettered power. But there is a difference. A drug-addict goes against the laws secretively. But a power-addict autocrat publicly destroys all civil and military institutions, laws and values that restrict execution of his arrogance. Bangladesh under the rule of Hasina is a true example of that. Its laws, judiciary, media and state institutions are only allowed to fully comply with its power-addict ruler Shaikh Hasina. No one is allowed to stand against her wish. Abdul Qader Mollah –an Islamist leader, was given a judgement of life-long imprisonment for his role in 1971; but Shaikh Hasina and her cronies were not happy with the judgement.  To please their whims, the judiciary had to change the judgement to his death by hanging. So, Abdul Qader Mollah had to die to please Hasina’s sadistic instinct. The former Supreme Court Chief Justice Surindra Kumar Sinha was still in job; but he had to flee the country hurriedly for his visible incompatibility with Hasina.

 

Shaikh Hasina’s illegitimacy

Hasina has already committed huge damage to Islam and the Muslims. It is indeed the inherited legacy of her father. In 1971, after the defeat of Pakistan Army in former East Pakistan, Shaikh Mujib and his party men -under the umbrella Indian occupational Army, committed huge brutality and violation of human rights. About half a million non-Bengali Muslims were driven out from their homes, jobs and businesses; and tens of thousands were brutally killed. Thousands of non-Bengalis women were raped. Their belongings were taken by the ruling party’s hooligans. Those who survived are made homeless, stateless and forced to live in concentration camps supported only by the UN agencies. Those camps still survive in Bangladesh with the legacy of untold atrocities. In fact, the type of atrocities that are now being committed against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar had indeed happened with more brutality against the non-Bengali Muslims in 1971. Though these criminals belong to two different ethnicities, but proved to be the ideological cousins of the same ultra-nationalism. In the ruling Awami League circle, the same brutality still thrives. But the targets are now different: they are the opposition activists.

Shaikh Hasina grabbed power without holding a fair election in 2014. She spent most of her time to hide her illegitimacy. In democracy, the government must draw its legitimacy only from people; and it comes through a proper election. The electoral body and the election process constitute the most important institution in democracy; it works as an effective tool to know the people’s verdict. But if it is corrupted or made dysfunctional, those who get elected also lose their legality and credibility. But such a transparent election didn’t happen in 2014. The election was so massively boycotted by the people that there was no need to set up polling booth in 153 seats of the parliament. How a government can claim democratic legitimacy with absence of such a huge number of polling centres?

 

The indispensable care-taker government

In democracy, holding an election is not enough; it must be visibly fair and impartial. Otherwise, it doesn’t serve the purpose. This is why, creating a conducive environment for free and fair participation of people and all political parties is so crucial. In election in 2014, more than 90% voters didn’t cast their votes. Therefore, the election made the message quite clear. The people didn’t have any faith in that election. The whole election process was fake; and it loses its credibility. In fake elections, the people can still punish the self-declaring winners. They do that by staying away from the election booth. This way, they deny giving legitimacy to those who claim to be elected. Exactly that happened in 2014.

In the recent election on 30th December, the participation of the opposition parties didn’t make any difference either. This time, the rigging happened with a different strategy. But electoral rigging –in one form or other, never gives legality to anyone. Rigging is always rigging. So, this time too, Shaikh Hasina failed to draw her legality from the people. Such a fake election, could only expose her as a mega fraudster. Only the people with moral deprivation and with no shame could publicly display such a cheating skill and claim victory. Awfully, Hasina belongs to such a lot. The people with such moral deprivation disqualify themselves to hold any public office. So the leaders of the opposition parties have rightly rejected her election to the office. In such circumstances, the issue of holding election under an impartial caretaker government now receives extremely crucial importance. 01.01.2019

 

 




Fake Election Victory of Hasina & Death of Democracy in Bangladesh

The calamity of immorality                            

Those who are power-addict, morality stands as the most unwanted burden on their shoulder. Hence, they drop it in the dustbin on the first day of their political career. They are focussed only to grab more power. As a result, the moral deprivation cum immorality becomes the most distinctive feature in their political career. Because of such moral deprivation, Shaikh Mujib –the former leader of Bangladesh could easily go against his own high-sounding promise. He could quickly bury the multi-party democracy and impose one-party brutal dictatorship in the early seventies. Shaikh Hasina –the current Prime Minister and the daughter of Mujib, showed the same immoral persuasion vis-à-vis the parliamentary election under a caretaker government. When she was out of power, she fought for it. But when in power, he abolished it. In both the situations, addiction to power was the guiding force; not any morality.

In Bangladesh, holding parliamentary election under a caretaker government was adopted as a consensus formula of all political parties in 1991. It has its own historical background. Since the party-based government repeatedly failed to hold a free and fair election, election under a caretaker government was preferred as the only alternative option by all parties including Awami League. Such governments under the retired Chief Justices of Bangladesh showed some spectacular successes; fair and free elections were successfully held in 1991, 1996 and 2000. There was no post-election chaos on the acceptability of those election. Such successful experiment of caretaker government indeed encouraged many other countries like Pakistan to replicate it.

Moreover, the constitutional legality of such a caretaker government was never challenged by any political leader, nor by any legal expert. Even Shaikh Hasina couldn’t openly raise any objection against it. But she has other reason to abolish the system. She wanted victory only for her; and an electoral defeat was totally unacceptable. Since a neutral caretaker government can’t ensure such an all-time victory, she wanted its quick abolition. She conveniently forgot her own argument in its favour. She even took a deceitful secretive route by using the country’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Mr Abul Khair for its abolition. Mr Abul Khair declared it unconstitutional. It is significant to note that even three previous Supreme Court Chief Justices didn’t consider it illegal to head the caretaker government. Chief Justice Abul Khair unsettled the settled issue and opened the door of serious political instability in the country. He was so desperate to serve his presumed beneficiary that he did the job on his own; nobody needed to ask him openly to deliver a judgment on it. In an unrelated non-constitutional litigation, he jumped on the issue of caretaker government and abolished it by making a casual remark on its constitutional legality. He didn’t allow any legal experts to make any argument on the issue. Whatever he had in his mind was announced as a final Supreme Court verdict. Thus, Shaikh Hasina was given a green signal to go ahead with her agenda. Later on, it came to the press that the same Abul Khair took one million Taka from Prime Minister’s Relief Fund to meet his domestic need.

 

Manufacturing election victory

There exists little doubt about the real beneficiary of the judgment of former Chief Justice Abul Khair. It gave the needed legality to the incumbent Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina to manufacture election victory for herself -as she did in 2014 and now in December, 2018. She became the player as well as the umpire in the electoral game. As a result, the whole election process is used only to rubber stamp an extension of her rule. So, it clearly proves how the judiciary can be complicit in promoting the evil agenda of a power-addict autocrat. In such a forged election, Hasina doesn’t need to launch any tiresome election campaign. In 2014 election, she need not open polling booth in 153 parliamentary seats in a total of 300 seats; her party nominees were elected uncontested. She could easily manufacture a victory for her party only by appointing a compliant Election Commission and using the servile administrative machinery. She could manufacture similar victory in 2018 election, too. It is alleged that the opposition polling agents were arrested either beforehand or restricted to enter into the polling stations on the Election Day. So, the ruling party thugs enjoyed the full liberty to put ballot papers in the ballot boxes even before the polling booths were opened for the voters. In such forged elections, the victory is so guaranteed for the ruling party that the party stalwarts could openly claim that Shaikh Hasina will stay in power as the life-long Prime Minister before the Election Day.

 

Democracy is dead

When the ruler is a power-addict autocrat, the democratic institutions possess no option but to die. Then, sovereignty rests only in the hand of the ruling autocrat. The people are made mere powerless viewers, sycophants and obedient tax-payers. Thus in Bangladesh, the democratic rights of the people stands blatantly robbed. The country is brutally ruled by an immoral ruler. In the name of election, only a political slavery has been imposed. The election process has become a selection process to elect only the dictator and her cronies. The recent election in Bangladesh is indeed a huge proof of such an autocratic selection process.

In the past, Shaikh Hasina and her party Awami League could be easily defeated with huge margin on multiple occasions. It was only possible because of her inability to manipulate the election. But now, since she is the Prime Minister, no one can defeat her. The candidate who stood against her in Gopalganj constituency was not allowed to take even a few hundred votes. Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) –the party which won election several times in the past, was restricted to have only 7 seats in the parliament of 300. In the past, the rigging power of the ruling party proved to be so huge that no one could defeat even the most unpopular dictator like General (rtd) Ershad in any election while he was in power. It is not difficult to understand the massive rigging power of the partisan state institutions; hence power-addict Hasina is deadly against any election under a neutral caretaker government. She knows, such a neutral election will ensure only her defeat. Her toxic tribal ideology, her cruelty against the common people, her slavery of inimical India and her politics of extrajudicial murder and enforced disappearance could flood the county only with the enemies. Hence, election phobia runs very high in the psyche of Shaikh Hasina and her cronies. Election defeat appeared to her as a death sentence. Criminals know their crimes; they know the punishment, too. Hence, many top party leaders of the ruling party even told in public that their election defeat will bring deaths of thousands of their party leaders and members. So, Hasina thought it life-saving event to elect herself and her cronies.

A hijacker needs weapons to do the hijacking; the power-addict too, needs weapons to hijack people’s democratic rights. Rigged election provides as such an effective weapon to grab the state power. And for successful rigging, it is indispensable for the power-addict to manipulate the whole election process. Then, grabbing even 98% percent votes is not a problem. The dictators like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Abul Fatah al-Sisi of Egypt and the ruler of North Korean display such fraudulent electoral success. Shaikh Hasina had taken the same route. Without free and fair election, democracy finds its place only in the graveyard. This has proven to be exactly true in the case of Bangladesh.

 

Back to the square one

Bangladesh is back to the square one. The election on 30th December, 2018 couldn’t solve the ongoing political crisis; rather has complicated it. The culture of electoral rigging by the ruling party has successfully killed democracy in Bangladesh. As a result, the country is on a disastrous course. No amount of economic growth can solve this political crisis. The political crisis must be solved politically. Without a functioning heart, how can a body survive? Likewise, how can democracy survive without a fair and free election? Since free and fair election may lead to the defeat of the ruling party, it isn’t an acceptable to them. They need the guarantee for 100 percent success. For ensuring such a success in 2014, the election was held by keeping the main challenger Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) out of the race. Such an exclusive election earned huge condemnation for Hasina. Hence, this time she tried to make it more inclusive. Since the intention was fake, such inclusion didn’t work either. Hence the crisis continues. How election can work while the ruling party is not ready to admit a free and fair expression of the people’s verdict. Such fake election –even if held ten times, never helps democracy. It can only promote brutal autocracy.

Although the participation of the opposition parties in election on 30th December 2018 couldn’t put an end to the autocratic rule of Hasina, it has helped immensely in other way. She is more naked than before; it has fully exposed her evil intention and the toxic immorality. Millions of lectures couldn’t expose her with such clarity. Equally, it has proven how indispensable is the need of the caretaker government. The forged election and the confrontational politics between the illegitimate government and the democratic opposition has now revived the most crucial political issue of Bangladesh. It is the restoration of caretaker government to conduct the next election as soon as possible.

Like drug-addiction, power-addiction too, kills the common sense. Hasina reveals the death of her common sense, too. Hence, like a drug-addict, she displays ugly shamelessness publicly. So vote rigging crosses all limits. She has failed to understand the simplest fact that fake election can’t solve any problem. It can only aggravate the crisis. Such election only causes a huge wastage of money, energy and time. But, such wastage or poor participation of the people is not an issue for Shaikh Hasina. Her only interest was to fulfil a constitutional formality for another five year term. Sadly, what else one can expect out of a rigged election engineered by an established power-addict?

 

The only option

The foreign governments as well as other stakeholders of Bangladesh have only two options: either to stand for autocratic Shaikh Hasina or support the democratic rights of the people. Support for a dictator can only damage the fate of democracy in Bangladesh. It can only promote political savagery that would make the country unfit for civilised living. Such a savagery of an autocrat only brings civil wars, deaths, destruction and mass migration. Syria gives a good lesson on that. In such a critical juncture, the foreign countries need to make visible their own choice. The political crisis in Bangladesh and the political culture of the ruling Awami League is not unknown to anyone. So, no one needs lecturing on that. Those who love democratic values and basic human rights should do everything for an immediate fair and free election under a caretaker government. Holding such an election is indeed the most important single political issue in Bangladesh.

For the majority, a free and fair election is indeed the only ray of hope to get out of the current impasse. Otherwise, it will only trigger the explosive despair of the people. In such tense context, election needs to be visibly transparent, impartial and acceptable to all parties. The election which is acceptable to Shaikh Hasina and her ruling Awami League may not be acceptable to others. Election for the sake of election can only exacerbate the toxic political divide. It needs to understand that the people of Bangladesh now stand at the edge of the breaking point. The situation is ripe only for a war pathway. A fake election can only can aggravate that. Then, no one will stand safe. Even India will feel the heat. Only the ruling party and its internal and external cronies will bear the whole responsibility for such a disastrous calamity. 10.06.2018 Tweet:@drfmkamal; facebook.com/firozkamal

 




Power-addict Hasina & the Death of Democracy in Bangladesh

The rule of the power-addict & the calamity             

Addiction to power is far more catastrophic than addiction to drugs. A drug-addict slowly kills himself; but a power-addict autocrat may kill millions. They are more dreadful than any vile animal or bugs on earth. No Tsunami, epidemic or earthquake caused so such tragedies to the mankind as were inflicted by these power-addicts. The annals of history is full of their brutalities. They carry out every cruelties to stay in power. Secrete killing, extrajudicial killing, mass killing and abolition of human rights are the awful expression of such addiction. So, millions had to die in Germany, Russia and China because of the power-addict rulers like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong. They do not give the right of survival to their opponents, let alone give any political space. Only those who submit to their ideological cum political enslavement, enjoy some breathing space in their domain.

This is why, political cum ideological slavery gets huge boost during rule of the brutal autocrats. In its coercive milieu, millions of Germans, Russians and Chinese became the ideological convert cum slave overnight to serve the power-addict rulers. Currently, President Bashar al-Assad of Assad of Syria happened to be the worst and the classic example of such power-addicts. He has already dragged the country to a blood-bath and shocking destruction, but not ready to leave his power. More than three hundred thousand people in Syria are killed and more than 6 million people are forced to flee from their homes. This shows, how a power-addict -like a drug-addict, is ready to die but not ready to give up his addiction.  Like any other power-addict, he too, could amass a large number of political cum ideological slaves to help him killing people and destroying the country.

The case of Bangladesh is not different either. This country has been under the rule of awful power-addicts during the most part of its history since its inception in 1971. In 1970’s election, Shaikh Mujib took votes in the name of multi-party parliamentary democracy, but when grabbed power established one-party autocracy. Like a drug-addict, a power-addict can’t stay strict to the established principle or morality; betrayal becomes the norm. So, Mujib’s power-addiction led to banning all the opposition political parties and death to more than 30 thousands political activists. His killing machine could only be stopped at his tragic death in 1975. Another power-addict General Ershad snatched power from an elected government of retired Chief Justice Abdus Satter by a military coup in 1982 and continued his autocratic brutality until ousted by a mass up-rise in 1990. But his ouster didn’t bury autocracy in Bangladesh; rather re-emerged with more brutality under the current power-addict Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina. During her rule, brutality has attained a new and more heinous dimension. Not only the opposition political leaders and activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and Bangladesh Nationalist Party are targeted for political assassination, crucial military and religious institutions are also targeted for weakening their grip. Hence, 53 military officers were slaughtered and hundreds of imams and religious students of Hefajat-e-Islam are massacred with utter ruthlessness.

Like a drug-addict, a power-addict too, can’t survive without crossing the red lines of civilised living. Hence, extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearance of the political figures become his or her favoured tools for eliminating the political enemies. This is why, Shaikh Hasina can’t think of a political environment that allows the opposition activists freely roaming in the streets and mobilising people; therefore, they are locked up in prisons. Because of her power-addiction, she is ready to tolerate all evils like thievery of government treasury, banks and share market, but not free and fair election. Although the country is known for massive corruption -stood five time first in corruption in the world, but the prisons are full with political activists, not by the corrupt. To stay in power, she thinks it a political necessity to create a fair-election-free Bangladesh. Hence, engineering a rigged election is the part of her savagery. She has blocked not only the practice of basic human rights, free press and other democratic values, rather has taken the country far backward. Hence an impartial election that was possible more than half a century ago in 1937, 1946 or 1954 –in British and Pakistani period, now stands unthinkable in Bangladesh.

 

 

The pagan norm still survives

The pagan backwardness survives not only in people’s beliefs, culture and religious practices; it thrives also in politics. Autocracy is indeed a definite marker of the pagan backwardness where the rule of law doesn’t work. This is why, whenever human civilisation makes some real progress, autocracy disappears and rule of law overwhelms. But for such civilizational progress, it requires some institutional build-up based on morality and higher spiritual values. Human body can’t survive with non-functioning or dis-functioning vital organs like heart, lung, liver and brain. Similarly, a civilised society can’t survive with the absence of basic human rights and value-based institutions. This is why, right of free speech and writing, right of forming organisation and right of practising religion are vital for civilised living. Free judiciary, impartial rule of law, free media and unbiased state institutions are also indispensable parts of it.

The pagan ignorance survives only through brutal forces of the power-addict rulers; it has no inner truth to serve its cause. This is why, autocratic rulers had always been the arch enemy of Islam. Instead of sovereignty of Almighty Allah Subhana wa Ta’la, they want to enforce their own sovereignty. Pharaoh is a classical prototype of such rulers. Hence, it is impossible for a Muslim to grow up as a true Muslim with ideological and political submission to an autocrat. Enforced allegiance to them indeed works as a bar to submission to Allah Subhana wa Ta’la. Such allegiance to autocrat make them soldiers against His Cause. The same is true in Bangladesh context; those who are allied with the autocratic rulers show their enmity only against Islam and the Islamists.

 

 

Elimination of autocracy: an Islamic necessity

Islam makes people incompatible with the political cum ideological project of all autocratic forces. Rather, makes it an Islamic obligation on every Muslim that he must deploy his physical, moral, spiritual and intellectual endowments to promote the cause of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la.  It is indeed a heinous treason against the Almighty Allah if he invests His endowments in the service of any secular or anti-Islamic cause. And for promoting His cause, it needs a friendly and promotive environment. Therefore, it makes elimination of autocracy an indispensable Islamic necessity. This is why, the history of Islam is the history of fighting against the autocrats. Through ages, it has always been the moral and ideological binding on every Muslim either to dismantle the autocratic rule and build an Islamic state or migrate from the prison-state of the devil to a safer place –as did Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions. It is indeed the greatest political sunnah of the prophet (peace be upon him) that shows how to play a civilizational role for the mankind and please Allah Subhana wa Ta’la. In fact, such a sunnah made the Muslims the greatest civilisational power in the whole human history.

A drug-addict can’t enjoy his life without his drug. Similarly, a power-addict can’t enjoy his life without the unfettered power. A drug-addict goes against the laws secretively. But a power-addict autocrat publicly destroys all civil and military institutions, laws and values that restrict execution of his arrogance. Bangladesh is a true example of that. Its laws, judiciary, media and state institutions are only allowed to fully comply with its power-addict ruler Shaikh Hasina. No one is allowed to stand against her wish. Abdul Qader Mollah –an Islamist leader, was given a judgement of life-long imprisonment for his role in 1971; but Shaikh Hasina and her cronies were not happy with the judgement.  To please their whims, the judiciary had to change the judgement to his death by hanging. So, Abdul Qader Mollah had to die. The Supreme Court Chief Justice Surindra Kumar Sinha was still in job; but he had to flee the country hurriedly for his visible incompatibility with Hasina.

 

 

Evil of autocracy & the power of true democracy

Autocracy has never been a sign of civilised living; it is indeed the worst brutality. This is why, it is incompatible with the people of enlightenment and higher values. Mere buildings, highways, economic affluence and luxuries can’t hide it backwardness. In the early days of Islam, idol-worshipping, fire worshipping, sun worshipping were not the only marker of jaheliya (ignorance); tribal brutality was the worst expression. In those days, democratic norms exists nowhere. The rulers used to draw their legality only through blood relation with the previous ruler. Since blood doesn’t bear any moral, spiritual or educational attribute, such blood based inheritance of power is an expression of utter ignorance and racism. Hence, it is incompatible with Islam’s civilizational goal. This is why, while the followers of Christianity and Judaism made a peaceful co-existence with race-based autocracy, Islam dismantled it. Hence, none of the early rightly guided Caliphs needed to be the son of the previous ruler. They could be the Caliph only because of their piety, sagacity, sincerity, intellectual ability and sacrifice for the Islamic cause. Such a radical practice of higher democratic values could happen for the first time in the whole human history.

The prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) was fully aware of the evil project of autocracy. He knew that mere elimination of pagan religious practices is not going to help the mankind. It needs total elimination of autocracy and its evil institutions that promote vile beliefs and brutality against Truth. Otherwise, their toxic beliefs will continue to use the military and the civil institutions of the state for pulling people to the hellfire. They raise huge barriers on the way towards paradise in the name of security, tradition and culture. Islam can’t help people getting free from their grip unless their power base is totally dismantled. This is why, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not only a preacher of Divine Truth, but a destroyer of autocracy and its institutions. So, in Islam, the highest ibada –as well as prophet’s greatest sunnah, is not 5 times prayer, month-long fasting, giving charity or haj, but engaging in jihad to destroy the power bases of the evil rulers. Otherwise, practice of Islam become restricted only within the private life or mosques; and Islam loses its place in political, cultural, educational and legal premises of the world –as is the case now. More than 70 percent of the companions of the prophet (peace be upon him) had to sacrifice their lives to carry out that prophetic mission.

The decline of the Muslims started when their rulers take them back to the oppressive prison of autocracy. Autocracy centralises all power in the hand of the ruler. Such empowerment of the ruler happens at the expense of de-empowering of the common people. So, in autocracy, the common people stand truly powerless. The early Muslims could build the finest and the most powerful civilisation on earth only because of massive empowerment of the people and the powerful state infrastructure of khilafa. The whole state infrastructure worked as the immense mobilising instrument to engage people doing the good and forbidding the wrong. Never in history, the common people were involved such massively as the soldiers of Divine Truth to fight the forces of falsehood. But whenever the state and its institutions get hijacked by the opportunistic autocrats, the people get robbed of the most important entitlement of pursuing such a sublime Divine goal. The Divine Truth then becomes the worst casualty; and the autocratic barbarity returns with full force. This is indeed the most catastrophic loss for the mankind at the hand of autocratic ruler.

 

 

Shaikh Hasina’s illegitimacy & crime

In Bangladesh, power-addict Hasina is doing similar damage to Islam and to the Muslims. This is not the first time that they harming the Muslim Ummah. It is indeed the inherited legacy of her father. In 1971 after the defeat of Pakistan Army in former East Pakistan, Shaikh Mujib and his party men -under the umbrella Indian occupational Army, showed huge immorality, brutality and violation of human rights. About half a million non-Bengali Muslims were driven out from their homes, jobs and businesses; and tens of thousands were brutally killed. Hundreds of women were raped. Their belongings were taken by the ruling party’s hooligans. Those who survived are made homeless, stateless and forced to live in concentration camps supported only by the UN agencies. Still those camps survive in Bangladesh with the legacy of those untold atrocities. In fact, what is now happening against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar that indeed happened with more brutality to these non-Bengali Muslims in Bangladesh in 1971 by the hands of the ideological Bengali cousins of the Burmese racists. Such brutality never happened in the Bengali Muslims in the past. But such brutality still thrive in the ruling circle of Bangladesh. Only the targets are different.

Shaikh Hasina grabbed power without holding a fair election in 2014. Now, she spent most of her time to hide her illegitimacy. In democracy, the government must draw its legitimacy only from people; and that must come through a proper election. The electoral body and the election process constitute the most important institution in democracy; it works as an effective tool to know the people’s verdict. But if it is corrupted or made dysfunctional, those who get elected also lose their legality and credibility. But such a transparent election didn’t happen in 2014. The election was so massively boycotted by the people that there was no need to set up polling booth in 153 seats of the parliament. How a government can claim democratic legitimacy with absence of such a huge number of polling centres?

In democracy, holding an election is not enough; it must be visibly fair and impartial. Otherwise, it doesn’t serve the purpose. This is why, creating a conducive environment for free and fair participation of people and all political parties is so crucial. In election in 2014, more than 90% voters didn’t cast their votes. Therefore, the election made the message quite clear. The people didn’t have any faith in that election. The whole election process was fake and loses its credibility. In fake elections, the people can still punish the self-declaring winners. They do that by staying away from the election booth. This way, they deny giving legitimacy to those who claim to be elected. Exactly that happened in 2014. So, Shaikh Hasina failed to draw her legality from people. Such a fake election, could amply expose her as a mega fraudster. Only the people with total moral deprivation and with no shame can publicly display such a cheating skill. Now, the question arises, how such people can hold any fair election in future –as she is pretending now? The people with such moral deprivation disqualify themselves to hold a fair election. Moreover, it is more worrying that during the last 10 years tenure, her sadistic moral disease could only get worse and more virulent –as evidenced by more judicial and extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearance cum death of her political opponents.

 

 

The calamity of moral deprivation                

Those who are power-addict, they find morality a big burden. Therefore, they drop it in the bin on day one of the political career. As a result, moral deprivation or immorality is the part of their life. Because of such moral deprivation, Shaikh Mujib could easily bury multi-party democracy and impose one-party brutal dictatorship. Shaikh Hasina showed the same immoral persuasion vis-à-vis caretaker government. When she was out of power, she fought for it. But when in power, he abolished it. In both the situations, addiction to power was the guiding force; not morality. Whereas, holding parliamentary election under a caretaker government was the consensus formula of all political parties in Bangladesh since 1991. It has its historical background. Since party-based government repeatedly failed to hold fair election in the past, election under a caretaker government was preferred as the only alternative by all the political parties of the country including the Awami League. Under such caretaker government, elections were successfully held in 1991, 1996 and 2000; and its success lies in the fact that there was no post-election chaos about the acceptability of those election. Such successful experiment of caretaker government indeed encouraged other countries like Pakistan to have the same.

Moreover, the constitutional legality of such a caretaker government was never challenged by any political leader, nor by any legal expert. Even Shaikh Hasina couldn’t openly raise any objection against it. She could take only a deceitful secretive route by using Chief Justice Abul Khair to abolish it. It is significant to note that even three previous Supreme Court Chief Justices didn’t consider it illegal to head the caretaker government. But Chief Justice Abul Khair unsettled the settled issue and opened the door of serious political instability in the country. He was so desperate to serve his presumed beneficiary that he did the job on his own; nobody needed to ask him to deliver a judgment on it. In an unrelated non-constitutional litigation, he jumped on the issue of caretaker government; and abolished it by making a casual remark on its constitutional legality. He didn’t allow any legal experts to make any argument on the issue. Whatever he had in his mind was announced as a final Supreme Court verdict. Thus, Shaikh Hasina was given a green signal to go ahead with her agenda. Later on, it came to the press that the same Abul Khair took one million Taka from Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

Now, there exists little doubt about the real beneficiary of his judgment. It gave legality to the sitting Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina to stay in power; and the power gave her the opportunity to engineer an election coup in 2014. It clearly shows how the judiciary can be complicit to promote evil agenda of a power-addict autocrat. In such a forged election, Hasina didn’t need to launch any tiresome election campaign; nor did she need to open polling booth in more than half of the country. She could easily manufacture a victory for her party only by appointing a compliant Election Commission and using the servile administrative machinery. Now she is planning to get a similar victory in the similar way. In such forged elections, the victory is so guaranteed for the ruling party that the party stalwarts could openly claim that Shaikh Hasina will stay in power as the life-long Prime Minister.

When the ruler is a power-addict autocrat, sovereignty belongs only to him or her. The people are made only the powerless subjects. Thus, the democratic right of the people to elect the government gets robbed. In the name of election what gets imposed on the people is not democracy but slavery unto the ruler. In fact, the people of Bangladesh is now experiencing such a political slavery. The whole election process has become a selection process to benefit the dictator. This is why, no one could defeat even the most unpopular dictator like General (rtd) Ershad in any election while he was in power. Likewise, who can dare defeat Shaikh Hasina and her party while she is in power as the Prime Minister? In the past, her party’s defeat in the election was only possible because she couldn’t manipulate the election as the head of the government.

 

On a disastrous course

Bangladesh is back to the square one. The old culture of electoral rigging by the ruling party looks looming. If not tackled, the country may take a disastrous course. Without a functioning heart, how can a body survive? How can democracy survive without a fair and free election? Since free and fair election may lead to the defeat of the ruling party; it isn’t an acceptable option for them. They need the guarantee for 100 percent success. For success in 2014, the election was held by keeping the main challenger Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) out of the race. Such an exclusive election still looks the most preferred model for the ruling Awami League. Hence, to block BNP’s participation in the election, its chairperson Mrs Khalida Zia is already put in prison. How a train can move without the engine? The same is true for a political party in election.

Therefore, putting Mrs Zia in prison is indeed the calculated strategy to keep BNP out of the election. Such election –even held hundred times, never helps democracy. Rather, promotes brutal autocracy. In such fake election, giving constitutional legitimacy to an illegitimate ruler is its only intention. The people of Bangladesh are politically mature enough to understand such deceitful strategy of the ruling party. Hence, they show their extreme determination to boycott it –as they did in 2014. Here lies the crux of the whole political pathology of Bangladesh. As a result, the symptoms of the confrontational politics between the illegitimate government and the democratic opposition forces stays as the permanent feature. Like drug-addiction, power-addiction too, kills the common sense. Because of that, the ruling Awami League leader fails to understand the simple fact that fake election –even if held ten times, can’t solve the problem. It can only aggravate the crisis. Such election only causes a huge wastage of money. But, such wastage of money or poor participation of the people is not an issue for Shaikh Hasina. Her only interest in election is to fulfil a constitutional formality for another five year rule. From an established power-addict what else one can expect?

Shaikh Hasina and her cronies also talks about democracy; but she conveniently forgets that free and fair election is its life-line. In its absence, death of democracy is unavoidable. Then, the people are deprived of any tool to punish the government for its wrongdoing. As a result, the ruling party feels unaccountable; and freely engage in corruption, atrocities, vote rigging and other barbaric evils without any fear. The people may have huge anger, but stand helpless to change the government. As a result, the government can freely use judicial and extrajudicial killing, torture, imprisonment, enforced disappearance and politically motivated criminal cases to eliminate the political opponents. This is why, under the rule of Shaikh Hasina, killing and enforced disappearance of the opposition leaders is so rampant; and public meeting, free press, free election and fair judiciary stand as a rarity. The government is using its weaponised media to smear the defiant leaders. Whosever exposes the government’s wrongdoings meets with harsh punishment, and even death. The media is left with no option other than enforced cover-up or doing advocacy for the government policies.

 

Looming crisis and the only options

The next election is at the door. Shaikh Hasina looks to be in her original form. She doesn’t show any sign that she will budge off from the route she took in 2014. She has a strong reason for that. Only 2014-model election can give her 100 percent chances of a sure victory. Otherwise, she risks defeat which she can seldom stomach. Hence, a serious political crisis in Bangladesh looks looming. She had already hanged almost all top-ranking Jama’ati Islami leaders. She could put the main opposition leader Khaleda Zia behind the bar. She could also enforce forced disappearance on hundreds of the key political players. So, Hasina is now in a better position to engineer a similar electoral victory –as did in 2014.

In order to hide her evil intention, Shaikh Hasina is leading a counter-offence against the opposition. She is smearing the main opposition parties as the enemies of democracy and the promoter of Islamic extremism cum terrorism. She is taking those lies to the foreign camps. She thinks such lies will help remove her own illegitimacy and allure the world powers to support her. This is why, her government convened the foreign diplomats at Dhaka on 28th May, 2018 to give them a lecture eulogising her own project and maligning the opposition. She is manipulating Islamophobia of the non-Muslims western countries to pull them to her side. In order to persuade them, her harsh policies towards the Islamic parties are projected as the saleable top credentials.

Now the foreign governments as well as all the stakeholders of Bangladesh have only two options: either to stand for autocratic Shaikh Hasina or support democratisation. Support for a dictator can only damage the fate of democracy in Bangladesh. It can only promote dehumanising political savagery that would make the country unfit for civilised living. Such a savagery of an autocrat only brings civil wars, deaths, destruction and mass migration. Syria gives a good lesson on that. In such a critical juncture, the foreign countries need to make visible their own choice. The political crisis in Bangladesh and the political culture of the ruling Awami League is not unknown to anyone. So, no one needs lecturing on that. Those who love democratic values and basic human rights should do everything for a fair and free election in 2018. Ensuring such an election is indeed the most important single political issue in Bangladesh.

For the majority, a free and fair election is indeed the only ray of hope to get out of the current impasse. If hijacked, will only trigger their explosive despair.  In such a tense context, election needs to be visibly transparent, impartial and acceptable to all parties. The election which is acceptable to ruling Awami League may not be the acceptable to others. In such a situation, election for the sake of election will only deepen the political divide. It needs little wisdom to understand that the people of Bangladesh are on the edge of the breaking point. The situation is ripe only for a war pathway. A fake election will only act as a huge provocation towards a disaster. And it needs to be fully understood too, only the ruling party and its internal and external cronies will bear the whole responsibility for such a disastrous calamity. 10.06.2018 Tweet:@drfmkamal; facebook.com/firozkamal

 




Enforced Indebtedness to India & the Politics of Appeasement in Bangladesh

The on-going war against democracy

There are only two visible powers in the political landscape of Bangladesh: the people of Bangladesh and the government of India. The political history of Bangladesh is indeed mostly the history of clash of these two powers. Before 1971, India had its incessant war to demolish the arch enemy Pakistan in its eastern wing. After India’s victory in 1971, Pakistan’s war has ended. But India’s war hasn’t. Rather, it has received a new life, new objective and a new game-plan against a new enemy in this strategic land so crucial to India’s destiny. Here, the Indian war is to crush the democratic aspiration of 170 million people of Bangladesh. Moreover, such a war has never been new in India; it is already continuing for 70 years in Kashmir and in its north-eastern provinces. And, it shows no sign to end in the near future.

On its eastern boarder, India  never showed its readiness to tolerate a strong Pakistan-like neighbour. It wants only a subservient weaker Bangladesh -like neighbouring Bhutan, Nepal or melt-down Sikkim. In fact, such an Indian vision has always been the guiding compass for its foreign policy as well defence strategy vis-à-vis Bangladesh since its creation in 1971. Whereas, the Bengali Muslims want otherwise. They want to build a strong and independent Bangladesh and play its civilizational role as the 3rd largest Muslim country in the world. In fact, prior to 1947, the Bengali Muslims –the largest Muslim population in the subcontinent, played a crucial role to change the geopolitics of South Asia by creating Muslim League and Pakistan. Pakistan has been defeated in Bengal, but the vision survives. Because of strong entrenchment in such visionary premise, there starts an irreconcilable conflict between two incompatible objectives of the two dissimilar people. And such dissimilarity adds fuel to India’s obsession to crush the popular aspiration of the people of Bangladesh. They can’t see any acceptable alternative. To its advantage, India is not alone in the war. It has ruling Awami League as its partner. In fact, here lies the pathology of the political crisis as well as India’s second phase of the old war in this war-torn country since its inception in 1971.

India never kept it hidden that her geo-strategic interest overrides the popular ambitions of the people of Bangladesh. For the similar reason, Indian leaders couldn’t accept the democratic creation and the existence of Pakistan on its both flanks since its creation in 1947. This is why, whoever crushes the popular aspirations of the people of Bangladesh -like the one-party autocratic ruler Shaikh Mujib, the military junta General Ershad and the election fraudster Shaikh Hasina, could be embraced as the close partner in India’s war in Bangladesh. In 1972, India withdrew its troops, but didn’t withdraw its embedded agents who have been working for India’s interest in civil, military, media, cultural, political and intellectual arenas since 1947. Moreover, during its military occupation in 1971-1972, India could manipulate the pro-Indian government at Dhaka to install a new army of collaborators in the defence and security infrastructures of Bangladesh.

 

The enforced indebtedness

India could successfully enforce a sense of indebtedness towards her political elites by its full scale war for the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. Such an embedded sense of indebtedness, has indeed reduced the sense of independence in the psyche of the nationalist Bengalis. As a result, the leaders of the ruling Awami League and its cronies take it as a pleasure as well as a political obligation to give license to India to interfere in the country’s internal affairs. In fact, they made it a precedence by inviting the Indian Army inside Bangladesh in 1971. The legacy still thrives in the political and intellectual arena.

The war of 1971 was not only against Pakistan, it gave India a golden opportunity to enforce a deep sense of indebtedness in the secularist Bengali psyche. The Bengali separatist fighters -called Mukti Bahini, never had the moral strength and the war-skills of the Afghan Islamist fighters.  The Afghan Islamists liberated every inch of their land from Russian occupation without any helping foreign Army in their land. Even the US Army with the help of 40 other states couldn’t control more than 30% of Afghanistan. Whereas, Mukti Bahini couldn’t liberate even a single district or a sub-district on their own. They needed a full scale invasion by the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy to do the job. After its victory in the war, India could present Bangladesh –the separated eastern wing of Pakistan, as a gift on a platter to her submissive cronies.

As a result, Shaikh Mujib could be easily portrayed in India as a recipient of an Indian gift –not as the father of a nation. Thus, the third largest Muslim country in the world could be indebted to an idol-worshipping kuffars for its creation. As a mark of gratitude to India, the leaders of the ruling Awami League consider it a solemn duty to express such indebtedness by protecting Indian interest in Bangladesh in every possible ways. In fact, such a sense of indebtedness forms the basis of their policy of appeasement towards India. This is why, India could get so easily the transit through Bangladesh, access its sea ports, withdraw waters from its international rivers and flood its market with the Indian goods. Such pro-Indian collaboration has other vile expressions: it is to vilify, torture, kill and restrict the political rights of those who fought against the Indian aggression in 1971. The ruling Awami League even runs an incessant judicial and extrajudicial killing scheme to exterminate them.

 

Indian claim of the fatherhood

Because of an embedded indebtedness to India, the pro-Indian leaders of Bangladesh need to swallow even the most unpalatable stuffs to appease her. The Indians too, understand the helplessness of their collaborators; hence look emboldened to openly claim even the fatherhood of Bangladesh. Such a claim was made in public on 27.08.2008 to celebrate the death anniversary of General Manek Shaw -the Indian Army Chief during the war of 1971. The renowned Press Trust of India published an article with the caption “Manek Shaw: A Soldier Who Created a Nation”. In that article, General Manek Shaw and not Shaikh Mujib has been projected as the father of Bangladesh. It is noteworthy that the ruling Awami League and its pro-Indians coalition partners didn’t raise a single voice of protest against such a robust derogatory and demeaning claim made so publicly in the prominent Indian media!

Such a claim indeed bulldozes the pride as well the core essence of Awami League’s politics -as they claim Mujib as the father of Bangladesh. The Indians frame their argument on the basis that General Manek Shaw (later on honoured as Field Marshal) and his Army fought a full-fledged war against Pakistan for creating Bangladesh. Thousands of Indian soldiers had to die in the war. India spent billions of dollar to bear the cost of the war. In comparison, Shaikh Mujib didn’t even declare any intention of independence publicly. Rather, he fought the general election in 1970 with the promise of framing a constitution of a strong and united Pakistan – as expressed in his party’s election manifesto. He even sat with President Yahiya of Pakistan to reach a political deal.

 

Politics of appeasement & the new low

The politics of appeasement unto India has attained a new low in Bangladesh. In fact, it has turned to overt slavery of India. Politics is an art cum science of effectively running a state, safeguarding its interest and causing maximum benefit to its people. But in politics of slavery, the prime objective is to serve the geopolitical interest of the master; therefore, security and welfare of the state and its people get ignored. In an independent politics, who should be in power is the sole and sovereign issue of the people of the sovereign country. But in slavery, that is not the case. It becomes a subject to be decided by the foreign powers. This is why, it becomes a major issue in the political circles of Bangladesh to look at Indian preferences vis-à-vis who should come to the power in their country.

Such a sense of slavery towards India is expressed very candidly by Mr Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury -the adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina on information affairs. In a seminar in Dhaka Press Club on 28th May 2018, he told that India on her own interest will want the ruling Awami League in power. He emphasised that India can’t allow the anti-Awami League forces to win in any election in Bangladesh. In the past, Mr Pranab Mukharjee –the ex-President of India, reinforced the same view by a categorical statement that Bangladesh will not be allowed to slip away any more from the domain of the Indian radar. To support his expectation, Mr Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury argued that Awami League government is helping India in her war against the separatist forces in the north-eastern seven Indian states. He told, India has to invest heavily both militarily and financially to fight the separatist forces in Kashmir. India would have collapsed economically if it had to fight similar war in her seven north-eastern states.

Mr Chowdhury gives credit to Awami League government’s zero tolerance against the separatist forces in those North-Eastern Indian states that helped India to avoid such a collapse. Therefore, he believes, India has no other option but to keep Shaikh Hasina in power. However, he didn’t mention that such zero tolerance against those liberation movements is indeed an expression of full submission to Indian agenda. It is also an expression of zero morality vis-à-vis the democratic rights of the oppressed people of those states. Such zero morality of the Bangladesh government is also expressed through its Kashmir policy. Whereas, it is an internal matter of the people of the Indian states to decide whether they want to stay in India or get independence. Only the politics of slavery unto India can deny such rights of those people.

Mr Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury understands the incapacitating helplessness of his own party -as well as that of other stakeholders in Bangladeshi politics. Hence, the Indian preferences in the forthcoming election looks so important to him. Moreover, Mr Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury is also aware of India’s on-going crisis and the vulnerabilities. It can’t afford losing a protected market of 170 million people. He is also aware that India can’t accommodate a strong Bangladesh on its border. He also understands that only Awami League can give sustenance to Bangladesh’s sense of indebtedness cum a state of bonded enslavement to India. Hence, he could tell so frankly and confidently that India must see Awami League in power in future election for its own interest. His statement also reinforces the common belief that India has the full manipulating power to influence the outcome of any election in Bangladesh. And, like any pro-Indian Bengali nationalist, he too, shows the tip of a huge moral deprivation. If he had an iota of self-esteem, he would have asked himself: why should India have a wish vis-à-vis who should stay in power in Bangladesh? Why such an Indian preference should get importance in Bangladesh’s internal matters? It’s indeed an exact expression of the slavish mentality of the Bengali political pets who rely on the masters to decide their fate. Because of them, the opinion of the Bangladeshi people are not counted in the general election and a fake election becomes such a necessity.

 

Indian collusion & the guaranteed victory of Hasina

Recently, Shaikh Hasina finished her India tour. Since her meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Mr Norendra Modi couldn’t yield anything for Bangladesh, she now talks like a philanthropist. Recently, she told the press at Dhaka that she loves giving and dislikes begging. She also mentioned that she has given so such to India that can never be forgotten. It is indeed the usual expression of the deep-rooted indebtedness that India could instil in the secular Bengali psyche through its intervention in 1971. In fact, the war in 1971 was a political necessity of India to engineer an intellectual, cultural and political conversion among the secular Bengalis. The feeling of deep indebtedness to India is indeed the product of such a inner conversion. Because of that, serving the Indian strategic interests in Bangladesh has become a political obsession among the Bengali nationalists. Hence, Hasina is not an exception. In fact, the conversion is so profound that many of them even say in seminars that if the bondage with India is severed, Bangladesh will again become a part of Pakistan.

Such a sense of deep indebtedness has indeed inculcated the political, the ideological and the cultural submission to India. So, the influential Indian Bengali daily the Ananda Bazar could gleefully report that the Bengali New Year celebration in Dhaka looks more like a Hindu puja celebration in Kolkata. Shaikh Hasina feels proud of that. It is indeed the marker of hindu’isation of the Bengali Muslim culture. Shaikh Hasina has given free license to India to launch such an ideological cum cultural invasion. She is repackaging such a service cum submission to India as philanthropy. Now, it is obvious that Shaikh Hasina and her comrades can’t come out of such a life-long bondage -enshrined in the name of indebtedness. So, the people of Bangladesh have to pay heavily for Indian involvement in war in 1971. No doubt, India will continue to cash on it in the future. This is indeed the price that Bangladesh has to pay for inviting an opportunistic India in its midst in 1971. It is indeed the ugliest moral and political failure of the people who led independence of Bangladesh.

There is no doubt that what Hasina has given to India is unprecedented in the history of Bangladesh. India couldn’t even think of that in the past –even during her father’s time. It is also true that India would not forget such an exceptional servitude of Hasina. But she should also know that better slavery never helps get free from the bondage of slavery, rather earns new role to serve the new agenda of the master. In such context, Shaikh Hasina has already earned a new role as the collaborator in India’s war in its seven North-Eastern states and the executioner of the Islamists in Bangladesh. Since 1971, Bangladesh has served so much the geopolitical cum economic interest of India, but India never paid back to benefit the people of Bangladesh. On the contrary, it has done everything only to give more mileage to the rule of its own stooges. Hasina also understands India’s predicament. Since India has no other better substitute, she would be the sole beneficiary of the Indian collusion in election in Bangladesh. It gives her an extra confidence in her eminent election victory in 2018 –as repeatedly expressed in her recent speech.

Since election is at the doorsteps, Shaikh Hasina needs to tell people about her deep Indian connection with a strong political purpose. She gives such lectures not for any Indian audience, these are only for the domestic consumption. This is why, she delivers such lecture only in Dhaka, and not in Delhi. She wants to warn the people of Bangladesh that India is definitely on her side; hence her victory in the forthcoming election is guaranteed. Nobody can undo that. Conspicuously, free and fair election is not the subject in her political sermons. Her adviser Mr Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury told the same stuff in a seminar in Dhaka Press Club. Such lecture has an implicit intimidating message for those who dare oppose Hasina’s rule. Such intimidation is done intentionally to demotivate and demoralise them. It works as a strong deterrence against people’s power. Hence for the opposition parties, the message is clear. Since Hasina is going to stay in power, they have no way to avoid her punishing wrath.

 

Fake election: a tool of state-run terror

Fake election has always been the most favourite tool to legitimise the rule of terror in Bangladesh –as has been the case in Syria, Egypt and other autocracies in the world. Power-addict Hasina abolished the consensus formula of the election under a caretaker government only to use it as a tool to defeat the aspiration of the people. Her wrath is well known: the brutalities in the police custody, the physical abuse on the street by her party hooligans, the fabricated criminal cases in the court, the judicial and the extra-judicial killings and the enforced disappearances cum death are its usual features. These are indeed the powerful weapons to force the people to a total surrender.

Such a state-run terror has tremendous power not only to silence the people’s voice but also to damage their moral power. In state of deep despair, a ray of new hope is very essential to generate an effective political force. Hence, crushing such a hope in the public mind is the most common objective of all brutal autocrats. They use the massive tool of the state-owned terror to kill such hope and drive people out of the political arena. The British colonialists ruled Bengal for 190 years by generating such hopelessness by using the massive military power. However, they didn’t have fake elections. But Hasina has an advantage. Along with the state-owned tools of terror, she deploys fake election to impose the same subjugation more cunningly and more deceivingly. 23.06.2018 Tweet:@drfmkamal; facebook.com/firozkamal