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The Road To BAKSAL

Edit Date:7/21/2010 12:00:00 AM



Shimul Chaudhury
04 June 2010

The forecast of the political weather of Bangladesh is not very good. The way the ruling regime Awami League is treating the opposition parties and stifling dissent voices reminds people of the BAKSAL (Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League) of 1975 when all opposition political parties and newspapers were banned.

During the campaign of the last general election, Awami League never mentioned that, in honour of the founder of BAKSAL Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, it would go back to a one-party political system in Bangladesh. But now we notice an irresistible tendency in the Awami psyche to return to BAKSAL style politics.

Television channels and newspapers are being shut down. Rallies of opposition parties are being thwarted with bright Awami excuses: Awami affiliate organizations call counter rallies at the venue where opposition parties want to hold a meeting; and then the police step in and declare 144 to proscribe any political rallies. On one occasion, obviously directed by the government high-ups in Dhaka, a local UNO emerged in the midst of a political meeting and declared 144 on the spot. Needless to say, if such an episode occurred in the midst of an Awami rally, the UNO would not have returned home alive.

Unlike the first Awami regime of the 1970s, the current Awami government does not shut down a newspaper without an excuse. It locates a Hasmat Ali, takes him away from his home and keeps him in a secret location for 6 hours. Then the country comes to know that this Hasmat Ali sues an editor, on the basis of which the government arrests the editor and shuts down his newspaper.

Unlike the earlier Awami regime, the current one has a big advantage: with the help of a neighbouring country it has produced dozens of 'intellectuals' affiliated with universities who issue moral certificates to Awami human rights violations. Many of these intellectuals appear on TV, write for newspapers and sell statements. They are instrumental in distracting the attention of the people from the pressing issues and in bringing in issues in public attention that have no relevance to the eradication of poverty or to the advancement of the country. These intellectuals will present the 21st-century BAKSAL to the world in a sugar-coated way. Since the Awami League uses the secularism slogan to sell its fascist ideas, the secular west may turn a blind eye to a one-party political system in Bangladesh. However, the people of Bangladesh will have to bear the brunt of the atrocities of such a one-party political system.
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