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From Awami League to BAKSAL

Edit Date:8/10/2010 12:00:00 AM


Azizul Karim


On 16th December 1971, a new country was born - Bangladesh. As a newborn country, Bangladesh had lots of hopes and aspirations. It was time for the "Father of the Nation" to materialize the dream that he had presented to the people. The liberation war had broken all the class barriers in the society. A great opportunity was created to forge a national unity leaving aside the age-old class differentiations. The people expected that the leaders would rise above the group and party interest and would unite the people to harness their patriotism and productivities to rebuild the war torn country to fulfill the dream of a 'Golden Bengal'. 100 millions of Bangladeshis would find their rightful place in the world community with dignity and honour. Historical heritage, distinct self identity, the vision of the able leadership, right direction, patriotism, sacrifices, hard work and above all united efforts of the nation could achieve cherished goal step by step with the passage of time. Creation of a progressive, happy and prosperous Bangladesh and reaching its fruits at the doorstep of every citizen would have matched with the spirit of the liberation war. The independence would have then become meaningful. But the people had already become apprehensive about the sincerity of the leadership.

Our political leaders had always done much sweet-talking than actual deeds. Promises had been even greater. People have heard such for ages and got used to such empty promises. Who ever had gone to power had always failed the people. They had oppressed the people paying no heed to their demands. The isolation of the leaders from the people and their selfish interest were the main reasons for such betrayals. Our leaders mostly are alien in their own societies. That is why people are apathetic toward them. Once in power they do everything to meet their own vested interest and later justify their deeds with power and position. The people remain enslaved in the merry go round of betrayal and deception. The politicians always placed their self-interest above the interest of the nation. Even at times the country and the people became sacrificial goats to meet their greed and lust.

Soon after stepping on the soil of the independent country Awami League came out with the ambiguous slogan of "Mujibbad". After three and half years when "Mujibbad" was proven to be an empty slogan Sheikh Mujibur Rahman like any other power hungry dictator promulgated 4th amendment and took all powers in his own hand by forming one party autocratic regime of BKSAL. This unprecedented constitutional coup de' tat was called his 'Second Revolution'. As he usurped absolute power apparently things for a while looked calm on the surface but beneath that uneasy calm political and social conditions were fast deteriorating. The main reason for such deterioration was the presumption of the rulers that by dishing out favours and benefits rule can be perpetuated forever. They depended on this belief because of their lake of understanding of the complexities of the newly independent country. It's problems and solutions were beyond their perception. They lacked any ideology, conviction, experience and vision. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman like other third world dictators considered his own ideas and thoughts to be the ultimate. He never cared to take any advice or suggestion from any one, other than his 'kitchen cabinet' comprised of his family members. His all knowing attitudes were to a great extend responsible for his administrative failure.

He also did not have a clear idea about the difference between party and the state. This became clear even in 1956-57 when he deferred with the then Chief Minister Mr. Ataur Rahman Khan. Mr. Khan wanted to keep the administration totally neutral. He knew that if the administration were brought under the party control then it would be difficult to run the administration efficiently. But Sheikh Mujib refuted his contention and said, "The administration has to accept party domination. Not only that administration will just help and assist the party to execute its policies, but the administration will also be helping in increasing its influence among the people". Mr. Ataur Rahman Khan had to surrender to Sheikh Mujib as he was then considered very powerful in the party. Thus during this time Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the Minister of Commerce and Industries indulged in rampant corruption, nepotism and misuse of power. He used his power in giving out permits, licenses, bank loans, and sanction to establish industries to people who were loyal to him and his cronies.

After taking over the reign of Bangladesh he started ruling the country in the same old style. Some were given money, some undue promotions, appointments as the directors of the abandoned business concerns and industries, license permits, dealerships etc. to buy support and personal loyalty. This is how only within two and half years a total anarchy was created in the economic sector. Many of his confidants were also involved in smuggling in collaboration with the Marwaris. Thus under the patronization of Awami rule a new class of 'novo' rich grew like mushroom. They accumulated from national resources but did not reinvest into the economic cycle. Most of their wealth was spent in non-productive sectors or transferred abroad. With these people Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wanted to establish 'GOLDEN BENGAL' in the country. It was really very hard to understand what he was up to? Was it his ignorance or cunning mechanization? Was it appropriate that he should place his party's interest over the national interest? Did the nation expect that from him?

It was not only his party people who got involved in rampant corruption. His immediate family members were also involved. Gazi Golam Mustfa who was a close confidant of Sheik's family became famous as 'Kamble Chor' in the country for his open misappropriation of relief goods being the Chairman of the Red Cross. The donors and the international relief agencies also came to know about his malpractices. International press and media became very vocal against this notorious thief. His only brother Sheikh Naser not only garbed the abandoned properties and businesses in Khulna his hometown, but also became one of the ringleaders of the smuggling activities. All his nephews Sheikh Moni, Abul Hasnat, Sheikh Shahidul Islam not only became politically very powerful, they also amassed enormous wealth under the patronization of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. His sons, particularly Sheikh Kamal also got involved in amassing fortunes and other unethical activities such as Bank robberies.

Regarding the state of corruption during Mujib's regime, the reputed journalist Lawrence Lift Shulz wrote in the Far Eastern Economic Review on 30th Aug 1974. "Corruption and malpractices are nothing new. But Dhaka people thinks the way the corruption and malpractices and plunder of national wealth that had taken place during Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's regime is unprecedented".

It was virtually impossible for the government to gain any economic or political achievements with such loots and plunders in a newly independent war ravaged country. The looters did not plough back their ill-gotten wealth in the national economy; they spent that fortune for their luxuries and comforts. But the government had to pay heavily as its image got tarnished in the eyes of the people and the world.

The government became isolated from the people. Against the promise to turn Bangladesh into 'Golden Bengal' the ruling elites turned Bangladesh into a "bottom less basket". The common people viewed this as a national betrayal. They became dejected with the Awami League leadership. Awami League lost the people's support, which was so vital for any government to govern. Gradually they also lost the support of many powerful quarters within the government itself. Their support within the students, youths and armed forces eroded substantially.

An agricultural country Bangladesh is heavily dependent on the nature. It was a gigantic task to feed 100 millions people in a devastated country. The donors and the international communities came forward generously to help Bangladesh in its reconstruction. Till 30th December 1973 Bangladesh received grants and aid credit amounting 1.4 billion US Dollars. Beside through UNROB huge amount of relief assistance was also provided. In spite of this all the hopes and aspirations of the newly independent nation got lost into the nightmare of AWAMI-BKSAL miss rule.

AWAMI-BAKSAL period is the dark chapter in the history of Bangladesh. Volumes would not be enough to write the full history. On Jan. 25, 1975 with a stroke of pen Sheikh Mujibur Rahman killed democracy and imposed on the nation the yoke of one party rule of BAKSAL. He snatched away from the people freedom of press, freedom of expression, fundamental rights along with all political rights. All national dailies and periodicals were banned except 4 government-controlled dailies. Constitutional rights of the judiciary were also high jacked and was brought under the administrative control. Rule of law thus was buried.

The period of AWAMI-BKSAL rule was full of barbaric atrocities. The history of AWAMI-BKSAL rule was basically history of murder, rape, loot, oppression, plunder, famine, capitulation to the foreign exploiters, white terror and above all betrayal to the spirit of the liberation war. People could never be able to forget those horrifying memories. In the name of socialism they plundered the national wealth, they kept the border open for the smuggling, for their mismanagement of the economy the country got recognized internationally as the 'bottomless basket'. There was no famine in Bangladesh during or just after the war but hundreds and thousands of people had to die out of the man made famine of'74 during the rule of AWAMI-BKSAL.

Sheik Mujib and his government presented the people fascism in the name of democracy, social injustice in the name of socialism, national disunity in the name of Bengali nationalism and communal disharmony in the name of secularism. In this way after subjugating the whole nation in a state of gasping suffocation all the opposition was crushed systematically through state terrorism with a view to close all the constitutional and democratic avenues to bring any change of government. The nation was thrown into an era of total darkness with no hope to breathe afresh.

It was Awami League of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman that mortgaged the national independence and state sovereignty signing the 25 years long-term unequal treaty with India. By creating Rakkhi Bahini, Lal Bahini, Sheccha Shebok Bahini and other private Bahinis AWAMI-BKSALISTS unleashed an unbearable reign of terror killing 40000 nationalists and patriotic people with out any trial.

On 24th Feb 1975 President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman through a decree announced formation of the only political party of the country Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League or BKSAL. He also declared himself to be the chairman of BKSAL. In the 3rd article of the announcement it was stated, "Till any further order from the President all the members of the Parliament of the defunct Awami League, all its members, Cabinet Ministers, deputy Ministers, state Ministers will be considered as the members of the BKSAL. Bongo Bir Gen. Osmani and Barrister Mainul Hossain decided to defy this order and not to join BKSAL instead they both resigned from their Parliament membership.

Due to the announcement of the so-called 'national party' all other political parties got abolished. Finally CPB, NAP Muzaffar and Awami League got merged into BKSAL. Out of the 8 opposition members in the Parliament 4 joined BKSAL.

On 6th June 1975 the organizational structure and the constitution of BKSAL was announced. That day names of 115 members central committee were announced. In that 115 members-- vice President, Prime Minister, speaker, deputy speaker, Ministers, deputy Ministers, state Ministers, 3 Chiefs of the army, navy and airforce, DG BDR, DG JRB and the secretaries of all the ministries were included.

The Executive Committee of BKSAL

(1) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, (2) Sayed Nazrul Islam, (3) Mansoor Ali, (4) Khandakar Mushtaq Ahmed, (5) Abdul Hasnat Mohammad Kamruzzaman, (6) Abdul Malek Ukil, (7) Prof. Yusuf Ali, (8) Manaranjan Dhar, (9) Mohiuddin Ahmed, (10) Gazi Golam Mustafa, (11) Zillur Rahman, (12) Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni, (13) Abdur Razzak.

List of the Central Committee of BKSAL

(1) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, (2) Sayed Nazrul Islam, (3) Mansoor Ali, (4) Abdul Malik Ukil, (5) Khandakar Mushtaq Ahmad, (6) A.H.M Kamaruzzaman, (7) Mahmudullah, (8) Abdus Samad Azad, (9) Yusuf Ali, (10) Fani Bhushan Majumder, (11) Dr. Kamal Hussain, (12) Sohrab Hussain, (13) Abdul Mannan, (14) Abdur Rab Shernyabat, (15) Manaranjan Dhar, (16) Abdul Matin, (17) Asaduzzanan, (18) Korban Ali, (19) Dr. Azizul Rahman Mallik, (20) Dr. Mozzaffar Ahmad Choudhury, (21) Tofayel Ahmad, (22) Shah Moazzam Hossain, (23) Abdul Momen Talukder, (24) Dewan Farid Ganj, (25) Professor Nurul Islam Choudhry, (26) Taher uddin Thakur, (27) Moslemuddin Khan, (28) MD Nurul Islam Manju, (29) AKM Obaidur Rahman, (30) Dr. Khitish Chandra Mandal, (31) Reazuddin Ahmad, (32) M. Baitullah, (33) Rahul Quddus(Secretary), (34) Zillur Rahman, (35) Mohiuddin Ahmad MP, (36) Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moin, (37) Abdur Razzaq, (38) Sheikh Shahidul Islam, (39) Anwar Choudhry, (40) Sajeda Choudhry, (41) Taslema Abed, (42) Abdur Rahim, (43) Abdul Awal, (44) Lutfur Rahman, (45) A.K. Muzibur Rahman, (46) Dr. Mofiz Choudhry, (47) Dr. Allauddin, (48) Dr. Ahsanul Haq, (49) Raushan Ali, (50) Azizur Rahman Akkas, (51) Sheikh Abdul Aziz, (52) Salahuddin Yusuf, (53) Michale Shushil Adhikari, (54) Kazi Abdul Hakim, (55) Mollah Jalaluddin, (56) Shamsuddin Mollah, (57) Gaur Chandra Bala, (58) Gazi Ghulam Mustafa, (59) Shamsul Haq, (60) Shamsuzzoha, (61) Rafiqueuddin Bhuiya, (62) Syed Ahmad, (63) Shamsur Rahman Khan, (64) Nurul Haq, (65) Kazi Zahurul Qayyum, (66) Capt.(Retd) Sujjat Ali, (67) M.R. Siddiqui, (68) MA Wahab, (69) Chittaranjan Sutar, (70) Sayeda Razia Banu, (71) Ataur Rahman Khan, (72) Khandakar Muhammad Illyas, (73) Mong Pru Saire, (74) Professor Muzzafar Ahmad, (75) Ataur Rahman, (76) Pir Habibur Rahman, (77) Sayeed Altaf Hussain, (78) Muhammad Farhad, (79) Motia Choudhury. (80) Hazi Danesh, (81) Taufiq Inam(Secretary), (82) Nurul Islam(Secretary), (83) Fayezuddin (Secretary), (84) Mahbubur Rahman(Secretary), (85) Abdul Khaleque, (86) Muzibul Haq (Secretary), (87) Abdur Rahim(Secretary), (88) Moinul Islam (Secretary), (89) Sayeeduzzaman(Secretary), (90) Anisuzzaman(Secretary), (91) Dr. A Sattar (Secretary), (92) M.A Samad(Secretary), (93) Abu Tahir (Secretary), (94) Al Hossaini (Secretary), (95) Dr Tajul Hossain(Secretary), (96) Motiur Rahman. Chairman. TCB, (97) Maj. Gen K.M. Safiullah, (98) Air Vice Marshal Khandakar, (99) Comodore M.H.Khan, (100) Maj Gen. Khalilur Rahman, (101) A.K. Naziruddin, (102) Dr. Abdul Matin Choudhury, (103) Dr.Mazharul Islam, (104) Dr.Sramul Haq, (105) ATM Syed Hossain, (106) Nurul Islam, (107) Dr. Nilima Ibrahim, (108) Dr. Nurul Islam PG Hospital, (109) Obaidul Haq Eiditor Observer, (110) Anwar Hossain Manju Editor Ittefaq, (111) Mizanur Rahman BPI, (112) Manawarul Islam, (113) Brig. A.M.S. Nuruzzaman DG Jatiyo Rakki Bahini, (114) Kamruzzaman teachers Association, (115) Dr. Mazhar Ali Kadri.

In the same declaration 5 sister organisation of BKSAL were also formed:-

General Secretaries

1. Jatiyo Krishak league Fani Bhushan Majumdar
2. Jatiyo Sramik league Professor. Yousuf Ali
3. Jatiyo Mahila league Sajeda Choudhury
4. Jatiyo Jubo league Tofayel Ahmed
5. Jatiyo Chattra league Sheikh Shahidul Islam.

The general Secretaries nominated were most trusted confidants of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The members of the central committees of these organizations consisted of members taken from CPB, NAP Muzaffar and Jatiyo league of Ataur Rahman Khan.

In accordance with forming of BKSAL on 16th June 1975, News Paper Cancellation Act was promulgated. Under this Act only four nationalized dailies were allowed to be published along with a few weeklies. Rests were all banned.

Thus after complete burial of democracy the whole country was subjugated under unprecedented reign of white terror. Being denied of personal security the people was suffocated and became hostages in their own homeland under the tyranny of the autocratic BKSAL rule. The political leaders and workers alike miserably failed to grasp the famous doctrine, "Of the people, by the people and for the people." Thus people could not achieve their cherished dream in spite of their glorious straggle and sacrifice. All their efforts had got lost once again in the blind alley because of the betrayal of the leadership. 

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