1990. Ershad government has just fallen. A new caretaker government has been
formed under the leadership of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Sahabuddin
Ahmed. Election winds blowing across the country. With the urge to implement
the outline of the three alliances. The combined student union has called to
resist the “Agents of Dictatorship”. Meanwhile, one afternoon, two secretaries
appeared at 'Bangabandhu Bhavan' at number 32. They want to meet Awami League
President Sheikh Hasina. Awami League President is very busy with elections,
activities of three alliances etc. assigned an important leader of Awami League
to listen to those two bureaucrats. That popular and influential leader in the
bureaucratic circles spoke to Keramat Ali and MK Anwar. Two bureaucrats said
they want to contest in the National Assembly elections. They have huge
popularity in their area. All they need now is the nomination of Awami League.
The responsible leader of Awami League told their desire to the party chief.
But Sheikh Hasina rejected their proposal. Sheikh Hasina returned MK Anwar and
Keramat Ali for two reasons. Firstly, both of them are blacklisted as Ershad's
friends. It was clearly stated in the outline of the three alliances that no
party of the three alliances would give shelter to any of Ershad's associates.
Awami League President showed respect to the outline of the three alliances.
Secondly, Awami League is a political organization. Obtaining party nominations
in political organizations is a lengthy political process. There is no shortcut
to getting nominated in politics. No one gets nominated suddenly. Awami
League's door was closed for two bureaucrats. But incidentally at that time an
influential leader of BNP came to 'Bangabandhu Bhavan' at Dhanmondi 32. To
attend the Tri-Alliance Committee meeting. At the end of the meeting, he met
those two bureaucrats. After listening to their interest, he took them to the
BNP office. Arranged them a meeting with Begum Zia. The next day, they resigned
from government service and officially joined the BNP. MK Anwar and Keramat Ali
had no difficulty in getting BNP's nomination for the election. They contested
as ready-made candidates of BNP and won. BNP surprised everyone by winning a
single majority in the National Parliament in the February 1991 elections. BNP
formed the government with the support of Jamaat. Both MK Anwar and Keramat Ali
became ministers in the BNP government. Among them, MK Anwar was an influential
leader of BNP until his death. This is a classic example of shortcut to become
MP and minister in the political history of Bangladesh. No standard practice.
No political practices. no loyalty to the party. No loyalty to the party. No
knowledge of the party's goals and ideals. In a flash like Aladdin's lamp, they
became MP and minister. During the reign of Ershad, two powerful bureaucrats
developed their area by spending state money and later became ready-made
candidates. MK Anwar and Keramat Ali's shenanigans in the 1991 elections opened
up the 'shortcut' way of politics. However, the trend of becoming an MP in
shortcut way started from 1975 onwards. Zia formed the BNP with mercenaries
from various parties. Now this trend is ubiquitous. As the tendency to become
MPs in shortcut is increasing among individuals, it is now normal for political
parties to look for 'ready-made' candidates, excluding long-time party
stalwarts. 'Ready-made' candidates are much like ready-made clothes. You go to
a store and get a dress. You joined the party and become an MP with money.
After the 1991 debacle, the Awami League moved away from its conservative
stance in nominating candidates. The election of 1996 was a challenge to the
existence of Awami League. Awami League also started looking for ready-made MP
candidates to face this challenge. BNP is already a party based on ready-made
candidates. When the two major parties tend to turn to ready-made candidates,
becoming MPs in shortcut got recognized as normal political practice.
Businessmen, ex-bureaucrats, retired army officers all joined the race to
become MPs in the shortcut. In the 1996 election, the Awami League denied the
nomination of many field politicians, including the late advocate Sahara
Khatun, Mozaffar Hossain Paltu, to make way for short-cut nominations. What is
the formula to become an MP in the shortcut? You own huge wealth (legally or
illegally). Go to your election area and build some mosques and madrasas. Give
charity. Surprised everyone by sacrificing 100 cows in your area on
Eid-ul-adha. Boom. You are popular. Now some people of Awami League, BNP will
contact you openly and secretly. You give them shiny new money. This is not the
only shortcut to becoming an MP. You are a government official. People of your
area come to you for various reasons. There is no road or bridge in the area,
the school has to be included in the MPO, the roof of the mosque has to be
welded, and if you provide jobs to the unemployed in the area, you will be
blessed. When a bureaucrat becomes a secretary, he has a lot of power. The power
of secretaries is now limitless. When the outbreak of Corona started in 2020,
secretaries were given the responsibility of the district. The secretaries
owned the all-power of the district through the district commissioner.
Bureaucrats were taking all the decisions of the district. Their value
increased in the area. Opportunistic sycophants were flocking. Suggesting that
they are wiser than a member of parliament. If you were the MP of the area,
this area would have changed. People want you. The bureaucrats surrounded by
flattery are also giddy with happiness. They also thought, what is the MP doing
in the area? I made the road. I am making a list of ‘kabikha’. It is up to me
to decide who gets home from Ashrayan Project. So, they became a bigger Awami
League than Awami League. The greed of shortcut to MP got them. Earlier, the
businessmen went ahead in the race to become an MP in a shortcut. The number of
businessmen in the National Parliament is now more than 50 percent. Most of
them have no previous experience in politics. They are doing business, taking a
huge amount of loan from the bank and not paying it with various loopholes and
not even becoming debtor. They created their own mercenary forces in the area.
Made another Awami League within Awami League with 'My Men'. Among the
businessmen who have become or are in the process of becoming a shortcut MP,
have a kind of business 'motivation'. If he becomes an MP or a minister, he
will be able to grow his business. Debt will be easy in the secretariat. No need
to pay bribes. It will be convenient to get the tender. So, election is good
investment for them. Since 1975, businessmen have therefore been very
enthusiastic about investing in the political sector. Politicians in the
national parliament are cornered by the tide of their money. Many up-and-coming
politicians have also been lured by the magic of becoming shortcut MP of
established businessmen. They have imbibed honesty, idealism, sacrifice etc. in
the self. But to get nomination, money will be required. Elections will cost
money. What is the way to make money? Tender trade, recruitment trade etc.
Under the guise of a politician, they are embarking on a robbery mission. You
can't become an MP without money. So, they run to become bigwigs in short cuts to
become MPs. Their number is not less in the national parliament. Compared to
that, the presence of bureaucrats in the National Parliament is negligible and
some people in the bureaucratic circles are endlessly sad about this. They only
have power as long as they have their job. But when the tenure of the job is
over, the struggle begins. Some try to get contractual employment after their
tenure. Some wants a commission or a post-retirement job in an organization and
some expects to become the chairman of a bank. Thus, bureaucrats have captured
almost all institutions and positions. The national parliament has not yet come
under their control. However, the main reason for this, is not the failure of
bureaucrats. Now the way bureaucrats squirm around power like a fish in monsoon
bill, it is not a difficult task for them to enter the parliament. They will
make a good competition with the businessmen. But the obstacle is actually a
law. Representation of the People Ordinance 1972. Section 12(1) (f) of this Act
states, ‘Provided that no person shall be eligible to be elected or to remain
as a member (Member of Parliament) if- (cha) if he has resigned or retired from
any service in the Republic or Statutory Government Authority or from the
Department of Defense and three years have not elapsed after his resignation
and retirement.’ Just as stale flowers are not valued, bureaucrats' 'artificial
power' is exhausted after three years of retirement. After the lapse of three
years, those who survive in the field of politics, continue to exist on their
own strength. At this time they have to go through the political process. This
time, bureaucrats (military and civil) want to challenge this clause before the
National Assembly elections. A writ petition was filed in the High Court
Division of the Bangladesh Supreme Court challenging this clause on Thursday,
January 19. In pursuance of a writ petition, the High Court issued a ruling
seeking to know why the provision of participation in parliamentary elections
after three years of retirement from government service is not
unconstitutional. The High Court bench comprising Justice Zafar Ahmed and
Justice Md. Bashir Ullah issued this rule. Brigadier General (retd) Shamim
Kamal filed a writ petition challenging 12 (1) (f) of the Representation of the
People Ordinance. For some days there was pressure from the bureaucrats to
cancel this section. At first some bureaucrats tried to persuade the government
to abolish this clause. But the government has so far not taken any initiative to
change this law. Earlier some bureaucrats had approached the court to cancel
the law. But in order to file a writ petition in the court, the petitioner must
be aggrieved - the High Court did not consider the petition on this argument.
Now the writ petition is pending before the court. Judges will make a final
decision about it by analyzing their intelligence and legal aspects. However,
there are two types of arguments for and against this law. A bureaucrat spends
the first year on post-retirement leave after retirement. During this time, he
does not work but enjoys salary and allowances. For the next two years, he
feels that heat of power. A restriction of three years of non-participation in
elections has been imposed on government officials, considering that he may
gain extra advantage in the electoral field. Those who are in favor of it think
that if this provision is not there, bureaucratic candidates will get extra
advantage in the election field. Considering the political party candidates who
can show more power in the elections, a newly retired bureaucrat can influence
the field administration in the conduct of the elections, the law-and-order
forces will show favoritism towards him. As a result, political parties will be
motivated to nominate bureaucrats. They will be the most sought-after
ready-made candidates who can become MPs in a shortcut.
Again, the argument against it is not to be dismissed easily. According to the constitution, the law is equal for every citizen. Article 27 of the Constitution states, "All citizens are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection of the law." After retirement, a government officer and employee are equal to 10 ordinary citizens. Therefore, barring them from participating in the election is a violation of Article 27 of the Constitution.
There are more such arguments for and against. But I think the decision of bureaucrats, businessmen, looters, black money owners not to participate in elections is an important political commitment. The decision of the political parties is important in this regard. After 75, Zia seized power and said that he would make politics 'difficult'. Indeed, politics in the country has become difficult for politicians. Real politicians are gradually falling behind in the process of becoming members of Parliament. Major political parties want to win any kind of election. And they look for ready-made candidates to win. Again, to further inflate the huge illegal wealth and keep him safe, the march to become an MP is also growing. Do you remember the former MP of Laxmipur-2 Constituency Mohammad Shahid Islam Papul? He became MP only with the power of money. He also made his wife a member of parliament under the women's quota with money. Many papuls now want to gain impunity through elections. In this situation, if retired government officials also contest to become MPs, then politics will become more difficult for real politicians. There are many ways to contribute to the country. One can contribute to the development of the country from where they are. A businessman will play a major role in advancing the economy of the country. That is his sacred work. Why should he be an MP? A government official can advance the country by working with honesty and devotion. He does not need to be an MP for this. Citizens of every profession have different positions, roles and responsibilities in society. Just as it is not a good sign for businessmen or bureaucrats to occupy the field of politics, similarly politicians should not be businessmen. If everyone in the country wants to be an MP-minister, then the balance will be lost. That imbalance is now being noticed in various fields. Recently, the Prime Minister has taken some initiatives to bring politics back to the politicians. In several by-elections she gave a message by nominating tried and tested politicians of the party. In the meeting of the parliamentary party, she declared her determination to bring forward the tried and tested candidates of the party in the next election. But she can do so in a risk-free, unimportant by-election. When the opponents are looking for ready-made candidates in the national parliament elections, will Awami League be able to ignore those who want to be MPs in a shortcut? In the 2018 election, we saw a wave of ready-made candidates in the BNP. BNP revealed its real politics by nominating a moneyed ready-made candidate instead of a nationally known leader like Ehsanul Haque Milon. It is easy to predict the ready-made candidate who will be in BNP in the next election. Awami League also has the urge to change many constituencies. Will field politicians get priority or Awami League will also look for ready-made candidates to make MPs in a shortcut?
There are many doubts about the next national parliament election. Will BNP come to the election or not? Will there be free and fair elections or not? But I think the next election is a litmus test for politics. It is now a big challenge that the National Parliament should not be held hostage in the hands of ready-made MPs by shortcuts. Whether the politics will be in the hands of the politicians is going to be a serious test of the upcoming elections.
Sachin Datta, a judge of the Delhi High Court, made the following statement on Monday (22nd May), 'The freedom of expression does not grant a license to anyone to character assassination through the publication of information. Freedom of expression does not include the freedom to attack or spread false propaganda.' This statement by Judge Datta is significant in the context of the controversial issue of the documentary titled 'India: The Modi Question.' He has summoned the BBC in a case related to this matter.
On January 17th, the BBC aired a controversial documentary in India on "Gujarat Violence", which directly implicated Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The documentary was highly biased and one-sided. The Indian government did not lodge any protest against the BBC. Instead, they issued a directive to remove the contentious documentary in strong terms. Facebook and YouTube swiftly removed the controversial documentary, considering it to be a provocative piece of content. However, the Indian government remained unsatisfied. The Income Tax Department conducted campaigns at BBC's Delhi and Mumbai offices within a month (February 14th). Lastly, on May 22nd, the Delhi High Court issued a summons against the individuals associated with the BBC on charges of spreading "hate and animosity" through the dissemination of the "disgusting and defamatory" documentary. This case represents a significant milestone in curbing the spread of hate and animosity in the field of information dissemination.
Approximately two years ago, a similar incident occurred concerning Bangladesh. On February 1, 2021, a fabricated, vindictive and untrue documentary was published by Al Jazeera regarding Bangladesh. The documentary under the title 'All the Prime Minister's Men' is forcibly linked to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. After the release of the documentary, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh sent a strongly worded protest letter to Al Jazeera. However, the Qatari-based television channel did not pay any attention to the protest letter. After the release of the documentary, various circles are using the documentary as a tool for propaganda against the government. Fragmented sections of that document are still being circulated in Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms. BTRC, the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications have not even taken any initiative to remove this hateful, violent documentary from social media. India has done everything possible to protect the dignity of the institution of the 'Prime Minister' to protect the interests of the country. We have witnessed their tireless efforts. But our officials watched the joke. India has succeeded, but Bangladesh has not. Why? Those conspiring within the government whisper, "India is a much larger country. Can we compete with them considering their huge population?" Hearing this, it seems that they live on a distant planet. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh appears to be quite conscious of the dignity of his country, as evident from his recent statements. Despite being aware that the United States can "turn the tide" of power in Bangladesh, the Prime Minister is openly criticizing the most powerful nation in the world. This criticism is not against a nation, but rather for the sake of the country's own interests and dignity. Are the individuals holding various positions in the government not courageous and steadfast enough? They cannot afford to be because they are the conspirators themselves.
While India has reined in arbitrariness in the name of expression, summoning influential media outlets of international repute like the BBC, Bangladesh's Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, kneeling down and greeting Facebook. On May 11, Jasad's scientific revolutionary held a meeting with the employees of Facebook. He praised the people of Facebook and treated them like sons-in-law. However, he has not taken any initiative to stop the offensive, hateful, and character-assassinating content against the state. According to published reports, Facebook has stated that it will not open an office in Bangladesh. It has also stated that content monitoring is not feasible. Posts and Telecommunications Minister is quite delighted even with these objections of Facebook in Bangladesh. "Facebook is currently holding up to 40 percent of requests," he said.
Bangladesh has become a hub of rumors primarily due to Facebook and YouTube. Not just rumors, social media has now become the main vehicle for spreading hatred against the state and government. The state and the government are constantly being vilified through social media. Social media platforms are fueling distortion and divisive celebrations in relation to Bangladesh. Today, Bangladesh is facing a terrible information terror and nasty attack by some cyber terrorists from the USA, Canada, France, and Paris in the name of Tarek Zia, the fugitive BNP leader in London. At first glance, these may appear to be anti-government propaganda. However, the way all this filth and obscene content is spreading through social media, it is polluting and becoming odorous throughout Bangladesh. Yet, the government and its relevant agencies are not taking any initiatives to stop these continuous indecent broadcasts. There is no headache. So, is there any secret communication between the cyber terrorists and government officials? This question arises because Sheikh Hasina, who is transforming under the attacks of cyber terrorists, and those who are working for the development of Bangladesh, are the only targets of the cyber terrorists. There is no voice against the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications through social media. A few days ago, I saw the announcement of a report against a state minister. But then no more reports. It was announced for a few days that a report was coming against a person who became the owner of several banks during the Awami League period. But the report did not come. I noticed a similar incident involving some influential businessmen suddenly becoming close to the government. Upon further investigation, it is revealed that there is a terrifying conspiracy behind it, aiming for complete destruction. The Awami League has been responsible for governing the country for the past 14 years. During this time, many businessmen have become incredibly wealthy. Nameless people have also become owners of thousands of crores of taka. Those who were not around during the bad times of Awami League are now standing around the power like femicles. All these infiltrators, sudden perpetrators of unlimited corruption, are smuggling billions of dollars abroad. They are contacting London to secure their looted assets in the future. Cyber terrorists are blackmailing them. As soon as the announcement is made to publish news against them, they are establishing contact with their associates abroad. They are shutting down all those news that expose their looted assets. Not only are they providing financial support, but they are also leaking highly sensitive information about the government to cyber terrorists. On the other hand, those hardworking entrepreneurs who have contributed to the country's development with their sweat and intellect are not falling into the trap of cyber terrorists. The lovers of the country, businessmen, and industrialists do not accept defeat from these vile manipulators. So, they have now become targets as well. Relentless distorted propaganda is now underway. The BTRC, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications seems to be merely a spectacle. Those who were against Bangabandhu and the Liberation War in Ganakantho are now ministers in the current government. It is their responsibility to oversee the welfare of social media. At that time, they themselves used to spread false propaganda against Bangabandhu and his family on Ganakantho. And now social media gives way to ugly propaganda against Sheikh Hasina and her loyalists. They are conspirators. The Prime Minister's visits to Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom were important in terms of diplomacy and economy. An ancient state minister took a selfie with several other ministers and companions on the plane. It seems like they are going on a picnic. They shared the photo themselves on social media. Did they willingly provide cyber terrorists with weapons? Did he intentionally hand over weapons to cyber terrorists? Taking a photo of someone without their consent and sharing it on social media is inappropriate, unethical, and even more so is removing it from his ID after sharing it on social media. Not only this state minister, many such people are going as the Prime Minister's travel companions, they keep in touch with the anti-independence forces. They serve as a major source of information for cyber terrorists. They disseminate these photos and information with distorted colors and angles on Facebook and YouTube from abroad. Through social media, they engage in relentless defamation against the Prime Minister and the people she trusts, which is a punishable offense in any country. If anyone within the country participates in even a fraction of these activities, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Digital Security Act. But what if someone does it from abroad? The highest court in Bangladesh has ordered multiple times to block certain types of content. However, the BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) and the relevant ministry have stated that they have no control over Facebook and YouTube. I sometimes get confused. Who do the government-appointed ministers and officials actually represent? The government or the cyber terrorists? According to the laws of Bangladesh, Tarique Zia, a convicted fugitive, is prohibited from making any statements in public. But every day, this fugitive individual comes live and ridicules the state, the liberation war, and the government. He is organizing meetings, and spreading slander against the Prime Minister. Those who are not taking any action to stop such propaganda are disrespecting the court. Due to the influence of a rotten scientific socialist minister in the government, the BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) and the opposition party BNP-Jamaat have now taken control of social media. The embassies of Bangladesh abroad are also sitting with arms folded against cyber terrorists. Till date, I have not heard that the embassy of Bangladesh in the United States, United Kingdom, France, or Canada has requested the government of that country to take action regarding their activity. Far from filing a case against them, the embassies did not even protest against the filth. Just a few days ago, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a list of 22 names to various embassies. However, the embassies have shown no interest in the matter. Destruction is taking place within the government itself. Facebook has more than 50 million users in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a huge market for Facebook and YouTube. It is very easy to bring them under the law. What is happening in Bangladesh now is similar to what happened in India and other countries. There have been allegations of racism, violent propaganda, and incitement of hatred spreading on Facebook and YouTube in various countries. Since its establishment in 2004, Facebook has faced numerous lawsuits in different countries. In almost all cases, Facebook has surrendered. Facebook is an American company. According to US law, if any defamatory information is published, it can be sued. If you lose a financial compensation case, you have to pay a huge amount of compensation. There was also a debate about who would pay the compensation for the case. But in a New York damages case, the court said Facebook could not avoid its liability. Facebook will have to pay compensation. The company has reportedly paid close to $8 billion in damages in the United States alone. The country that has been vocal against fake information, personal attacks, racism, hate crimes on Facebook, Facebook has been flexible towards them. Facebook has not voluntarily set up office in any country in the world. Did not pay taxes by self-motivation. Facebook has surrendered to the countries that strongly demanded Facebook to comply with their laws and regulations. In Brazil, a person posted a photo of a pregnant woman on Facebook. The woman filed a complaint against the individual for violating her personal privacy. The Brazilian court ordered Facebook to remove the photo as per the complaint. However, Facebook rejected the court's decision. Consequently, the court directed the government to instruct Facebook to suspend its activities if it failed to comply with the court's order. The government instructed Facebook to establish its own office in Brazil within one month. Within 21 days, Facebook set up its office in Brazil and they removed that photo too. A U.S. Senator referred to a Mexican minister as a drug trafficker in his statement. A Mexican citizen who immigrated to the United States gave a status on Facebook with this statement. The minister takes legal action, and the Mexican government takes a strong stance. Finally, the issue is resolved, and Facebook establishes an office in Mexico. Previously, a comment was made referring to Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, as a hub for sex business. The Thai government immediately banned Facebook. Within two days, Facebook seeks forgiveness and pledges to establish its own office in Thailand within three months. There are many similar examples. When Facebook or YouTube operates in a country, they must adhere to the laws of that country. Accountability is essential to ensure a response. As long as they do not come under accountability, they are out of touch. Facebook is a business organization. It earns billions of dollars annually from Bangladesh. Previously, they did not pay any VAT or taxes. Due to the initiative of the Prime Minister's ICT Advisor and the appropriate steps taken by the NBR, now Facebook is paying some VAT and taxes in Bangladesh. However, there are still allegations of a significant amount of tax evasion against the organization. In Bangladesh, a Digital Security Act is in place, but it is as ineffective as a paper tiger. It only causes harassment to the opposition, and it fails to control cyber terrorists. To control cyber terrorists, a data protection law is necessary. It exists in all developed countries. Recently, the largest democratic country in the world, India, is in the process of enacting the ‘Guidelines on Ethics in Digital Media Code’ as a law. The country's Minister of Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, has stated, ‘This policy aims to make social media more accountable and responsible within its jurisdiction.’ According to these guidelines, any complaint related to cybersecurity must be addressed by Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter within 72 hours. Any objectionable content of this nature must be removed within 24 hours. ‘This policy of the Indian government has been welcomed,’ said Ajit Mohan, the Managing Director of Facebook in India. He expressed respect for India's law and stated, ‘There is no alternative to complying with it.’ While in India, the tech giants are being brought under scrutiny, the situation in Bangladesh is different, with their relevant ministries remaining silent. I have been hearing for a long time that the Ministry of ICT is working on the Data Protection Act. But it's not happening. Minister of State for ICT focuses on profitable projects. What are the benefits of making a law? Recently, the government has taken the initiative to create guidelines called "Regulation for Digital, Social Media, and OTT Platforms 2021" and sought opinions from stakeholders. Facebook has provided their opinion on this matter. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is examining 45 opinions regarding the policy. Of these, 33 opinions are from Meta or Facebook. Those who do not have an office in Bangladesh, who are beyond the jurisdiction of the country's law, do they have the right to express their opinions? Why is there so much reluctance in the government, ministers and authorities in bringing Facebook, YouTube under the purview of the law? Is this for the sake of propaganda against the government and the state? Instead of opposing movements, they are confusing the people through the false propaganda of social media. Embarrassing the government.
The outcry of some demons on social media have unsettled the people of the country. If Sheikh Hasina declares firmly that she will not buy anything from the country that imposes sanctions, why can't the ministers muster the courage to say that they will not allow anyone to do business in Bangladesh if they don't have offices here, including Facebook and YouTube? Why do the ministers feel embarrassed to send such a warning message to Facebook and Google? Or do they have some other hidden agenda?
Sometimes I really like BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. He often reveals the truth unintentionally or his face says it all. For example, last Saturday (13th May) during a gathering in Paltan, he said, "A storm is coming. Strong waves are approaching Bangladesh. Today, not only a natural storm but also a political storm is coming. When Mirza Fakhrul was cheering "A storm is coming," the people of the country were anxious, worried, and fearful. Coastal residents were leaving their houses to settle in shelters. The Meteorological Department had issued a Level 10 warning. Storms, cyclones, and tornadoes are not happy occasions. They bring destruction, death, fear, tears, and suffering. But the BNP Secretary General seemed to be thrilled by this catastrophe. A political party that believes in people's rights can never wish for people's misery. But Mirza Fakhrul expressed anticipation of people's suffering through this political storm. The people of this country are not unfamiliar with natural disasters such as Sidor, Aila, and Mokha, as well as political storms in the name of terrorism, violence, arson, and unconstitutional rule.
Political storms can be of two types. One type is temporary and short-lived, like the political tornadoes in 2014 and 2015. During these unfortunate events, violence broke out, homes were destroyed, and educational institutions were set on fire. People lost their lives in the chaos. However, these storms did not last long. The other type is a long-lasting political storm, like the one in 2007 known as "One-Eleven." This turmoil engulfed Bangladesh for two years. So, did the BNP General Secretary indicate bringing another one-eleven? The BNP has been relentlessly striving to bring about another "One-Eleven" in the country for the past few months. They want to create a situation similar to the previous turmoil and overthrow the Awami League government. Visible indications of an impending unelected government can also be observed in Bangladesh's politics. Recently, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made some explosive remarks in an interview with BBC. During her visit to the United Kingdom, she granted an exclusive interview to BBC journalist Yalda Hakim. In that interview, Sheikh Hasina stated, "Perhaps the United States does not want to see me in power, hence they have imposed sanctions on the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the special security force in Bangladesh." This statement by the Prime Minister is significant and indicative. The strain in the relationship between the United States and Bangladesh has now become evident. After concluding the visits to the three countries, a press conference was held at Ganabhaban (Prime Minister's residence) on Monday (15th May). In that press conference, without mentioning the name of the United States, she announced that we will not buy anything from countries that put sanctions on us. It is evident that Sheikh Hasina has indirectly indicated the United States with this statement. During the press conference, the Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police stated that the ambassadors of four countries will no longer receive additional protocol or security privileges. In the evening, the Foreign Minister made a similar announcement. The nature and process of the decision were confusing. Without understanding or comprehending, it started creating chaos. The BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) criticized this decision by the government. In protest, the BNP also announced a demonstration program. You don't need to be a researcher to understand the secret of BNP's unconditional love for the US. Once some communists in Bangladesh were pro-Moscow, while others were pro-China. At that time, there was a popular joke in Bangladesh politics. The joke was as follows: "If it rains in Moscow, the communists in Bangladesh hold umbrellas." When Ziaur Rahman came to power, he started the canal-building program. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs used to invite diplomats from various countries to attend this event. Some diplomats, under the guise of courtesy, participated in this event. One such event was attended by the then ambassador of the Soviet Union to Bangladesh. That’s it. The next day, the leaders of the Communist Party went down to cut the canal with spades around their waists, starting a humorous trend in politics. Even the Communist Party workers were surprised. Later, the leaders explained that they participated in the canal-building program due to tactical reasons. It was their way of protesting against the oppression faced by the banned leaders and workers of the Communist Party. BNP's reaction to withdrawing the Protocol or Escot is an expression of blind adherence to politics. What is actually the case? Many countries have embassies in Bangladesh. The ambassadors of all these embassies do not receive the same level of security and facilities. Some ambassadors of certain countries receive privileges like kings. When ambassadors from a few countries used to visit here and there, their security measures would increase in the name of the protocol. Not only the secretaries but even the ministers do not receive such protocol. The government has now stopped providing additional security to some such countries. All the measures that should be taken to ensure the security of an ambassador or an embassy are taken according to the Vienna Convention of 1961. This is a natural and normal step by the government. However, a minister and the police commissioner organized a press conference in a way that made it seem like a terrifying incident had occurred and BNP saw an opportunity. Without further ado, they started lamenting about it as if the whole security system of ambassadors, including the United States, had been withdrawn. Is the BNP desperate to gain the trust of the US Embassy when the government is in open tension with the US? Because in Bangladesh, all unconstitutional powers were replaced by the direct or indirect influence of the United States. However, the BNP seems to have forgotten that during their rule, a serious attack was carried out in Sylhet on High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury of the United Kingdom. Amnesia has now become prominently visible within the BNP. They not only forget the failure to ensure the security of foreign diplomats but also overlook their own failures. Load shedding, Hawa Bhaban corruption, the rise of terrorists and militants like Bangla Bhai, the incidents of 10-truck arms smuggling, the grenade attack on August 21, the syndicate in the market—everything has been erased from the memory of BNP leaders. Or perhaps they deliberately choose to forget all these. If they were to remember what the BNP did from 2001 to 2006, no BNP leader would have the audacity to speak with such confidence. They wouldn't have been able to hold their heads up in shame. The list of BNP leaders' forgetfulness includes the incident of One-Eleven. For this reason, they are again trying to bring such an unelected government to power. BNP leaders may think that if such a government comes, it will push the Awami League aside, and the BNP will enjoy the comfort. But the situation is not like that. Unelected government is the adversary of politics, an obstacle to the economy, and an enemy of the general public. Let me clarify a bit with some "nostalgic" memories. In 2007, under the leadership of Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed, the unelected government seized power and attacked politics first by arresting politicians in a biased manner. It was the beginning of a dirty game to prove the dishonesty of politicians. Powerful media was used to assassinate the character of politicians. Political leaders were arrested and brutally tortured without charge. The books "Kaaragar-e Kemon Chilam" by BNP's late leader Barrister Moudud Ahmed and "Karagar-e Lekha Onusmriti, Je Katha Bola Hoini" by Awami League's General Secretary Obaidul Quader leave a chilling impact on anyone who reads them. If the leaders of the Awami League and BNP were arrested, they would be taken to torture cells. They would be subjected to merciless torture. BNP was then a departing party from power, and Awami League was the opposition party. But the army-backed caretaker government did not spare the Awami League leaders either. Rather, Awami League President Sheikh Hasina was arrested before Begum Zia. So, if the BNP thinks that a civil government will come and pamper them like a son-in-law, they are living in a fool’s paradise. If a caretaker government comes, politics will be expelled from Bangladesh. Democracy will be buried. The economy will be destroyed. Dr. Fakhruddin's caretaker government did not just arrest political leaders. They were looking for some spineless servants in politics. The 1-11 government tried to implement the blueprint of breaking up the two main political parties with these servants. The caretaker government of the Eleventh Government had tried to implement the dark desire of dividing the two main political parties by formulating the minus formula to remove the two popular leaders from politics unconstitutionally to strengthen their power. Interestingly, those who fought for that army-backed government then, those who were hated as reformists then, and those who tarnished politics - are now the most vocal in their demand for a caretaker government. Many of those who were oppressed in BNP during 1-11 are now cornered. Reformists are now in the driving seat of BNP. Greedy leaders who used to sit at the feet of army intelligence during One-Eleven are now the ones who clamor the most to throw out the government. So, are they on a mission to complete the unfinished agenda of one-eleven? What is one-eleven? In my opinion, turning Bangladesh into a dependent and puppet state of the West is the main concept of One-Eleven. If we analyze the rule Fakhruddin-Moin U Ahmed, it becomes evident that there was an attempt to make the country dependent on foreign powers at that time. The driving force of the country's economy is the private sector. At that time, a sinister game began against the entrepreneurs of the private sector. Large industrialists were immediately arrested right from the beginning. The alleged list of top corrupt individuals was both alarming and a clear disregard for the law. This list marked the beginning of unchecked extortion in the country. Without considering the country's laws, businesses began to face extortion in various forms. Industrial establishments were subjected to arbitrary arrests, and they faced threats of hefty financial demands. Many people, out of fear for their dignity, handed over their hard-earned money to national extortionists. Some fled the country, crying in despair at the merciless destruction from afar. Someone stopped business and waited for dawn. During the time of One-Eleven national terrorism resulted in an extortion of 10 trillion takas from private accounts. The highest court of the country declared this fund collection illegal. However, despite the directives of the highest court, the businessmen and industrialists have not yet recovered the money. Agriculture is a major pillar of Bangladesh's economy. Our agriculture also suffered greatly under the storm of a caretaker government. Due to the high cost of fertilizer and shortage, irrigation stopped due to lack of electricity, our farmers were in serious crisis. Frustrated with the unjust situation, they protest by throwing potatoes on the streets. When farmers are struggling to survive, the current Defense Minister hosts a lavish potato festival at a five-star hotel. Educational institutions turned into prisons. The entire nation was humiliated by tying ropes around teachers' waists. The common people confront a dire situation. In the grip of an oppressive condition, the entire country is pushed into a state of terror. On February 5, 2007, a message from the American diplomat reaches Washington, stating, "Since the new government took over, 43,000 people have been arrested by a joint force consisting of the police, paramilitary forces, and the army." (Source: One-Eleven Bangladesh 2007-2008, Page: 197). The lower courts were controlled by the military-backed government. Even when the High Court granted bail, human rights activists like Dr. Kamal Hussain protested against it. Those who complain about human rights in Bangladesh today did not protest it that day but rather supported it. The United States did not impose any sanctions on Bangladesh at that time. Rather, they expressed their approval. Apart from a few enlightened politicians and intellectuals, no one supported that military-backed government. So, does the BNP want to bring back that situation to the country?
A cyclone or natural disaster provides some indications before its impact. Similarly, the advent of a political storm can be understood through certain events. In Bangladesh, another political storm is looming, and the first sign of a political catastrophe is political instability. There is currently uncertainty and instability regarding the upcoming national parliamentary elections in Bangladesh. BNP has declared to bring a heated situation in politics. If the BNP resorts to violence, protests, and arson attacks, it will accelerate the catastrophe. The failure of the ruling party is also a major reason behind the creation of such a situation. Within them, some groups secretly welcome such disasters. The Awami League has been in power for more than 14 years. However, at this time, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is solely responsible for all responsibilities. No one else seems to have any role. A large part of the ministers is incompetent. Some are deeply involved in corruption. A state minister gave an explosive interview to some media a few days ago. There he spoke candidly about ministerial syndicates, corruption and failure. Unrest within the government is becoming evident. Within the government, there are opportunists and sycophants who are not providing accurate information to the Prime Minister. The conspirators who are undermining the administration are gradually being exposed. The ruling Awami League leaders and workers are suffering from complacency. Awami League is in thought that Sheikh Hasina will bring them to power again. The condition of the party is miserable. The extent to can be understood only by looking at Gazipur and Barisal City Corporation. All these are the pre-indicators of an unelected government. The undisputed mastermind of the unelected government is civil society. They are actually agents of the Western powers. They do everything according to the orders of their Lord. Now, without any obstacles, they have taken the field. The power-hungry civils is doing everything to destabilize the government. They are being supported by the most powerful state in the world. Those who have no concern for Bangladesh anymore. They want to corner the government on the issues like democracy, human rights, etc. They are conspiring against the government. The psychological warfare of the United States with the government is now evident. It is also an indication of an unelected government taking power. It was these diplomats who played a major role in bringing about One-Eleven.
However, to strike a one-eleven the country's armed forces need to be deployed. Every time an undemocratic regime has come to the country in the past, a certain misguided faction of the military played a role. The armed forces of Bangladesh are now more professional and globally recognized than ever before. They represent the sovereignty of the country from a neutral standpoint. Due to the absence of such confusion, they have not intervened in the past 14 years. That is why there is doubt that such a disaster might not hit Bangladesh. Another reason for hope is the courage, determination, and political foresight of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She possesses the political wisdom and expertise necessary to handle such crises effectively. As a result of her leadership, Bangladesh was freed from the turmoil of One-Eleven. It was because of her, the political cyclones of 2014 and 2015 did not last long.
The sky is dense with clouds. Just as nature becomes turbulent before the arrival of the monsoon, the situation in Bangladesh is also similar now. Will Sheikh Hasina be able to handle it? In the end Mokha did not hit Bangladesh. It changed its course. Crossing over the border of Saint Martin it hit Myanmar. Bangladesh is saved from major disaster. Will political storms also change their course in the same way?
the morning of April 4th, I woke up to some sad news. There was a fire in the
Bangabazar area. At first, I didn't realize the severity of the fire, but I was
shocked to see the flames on television. By midday, around 5000 shops in
one of the biggest wholesale markets were burnt to ashes. Thousands of
businessmen were left devastated. Investigation into the cause of the fire has
begun, but there is still debate on whether it was an accident or an act of
sabotage. Nevertheless, several investigation committees have been formed to
look into the matter. But can be said in advance what the investigation
committee will report. The blame game will begin. People will get annoyed and
will feel helpless. Many residents of Dhaka city consider it to be a 'death
pit'. That number will rise. Anyone can get into an accident at any time in
this city. It seems like there are no guardians in this unsafe, deathly city.
It can be said until now that 2023 is the year of civil emergencies and
accidents. There are incidents of explosions and fire one after another. The
citizens' anxiety and agitation are increasing. Insecure, frightened people are
losing faith in the government and becoming angry. After each explosion and
fire incident, questions arise in people's minds about what the government is
doing. Political parties opposed to the government are now speaking out,
claiming that the government has failed to provide safety to the public. And
some officials sitting inside the government are satisfied with trivial
accomplishments and are covering up the crisis, saying that there are no signs
of destruction or danger. So, Bangladesh is now a country of accidents. In this
country every week some buildings, big markets are on fire. This is what some
people want to prove? Are these fires and explosions to destroy public
confidence in the government and create anger? After Science Laboratory,
Siddikbazar, if anyone calls the Bangbazar fire incident a mere accident, then I
suspect that he is also involved in this conspiracy. This destruction is part
of the multi-dimensional conspiracy taking place in Bangladesh regarding the
election. If the government cannot find the root cause of these incidents, then
even more horrific events may occur in the future. This is an excellent weapon
to weaken and embarrass the government. It makes it easy for people to form
negative opinions about the government. It is one of the easiest ways to impose
the idea of government failure among the public. This is why the BNP-Jamaat
alliance chose the path of arson and terrorism in 2013-2015. They attempted to
establish a reign of terror through petrol bombs, bus fires, and terrorism. It
created a sense of fear among the people, and the people lost their trust in
the government. The problem is that if a political party destroys peace and
stability in the name of its political agenda, then the responsibility falls
directly on the shoulders of the activists. From 2013 to 2015, the BNP was
responsible for arson and violence against people, causing frustration among
the population. Their protests were rejected by the public, and as a result,
that violent political agenda has become extinct. Not just the BNP and
Jamaat-e-Islami, but all political parties now avoid violent political programs.
Violence, terror, and arson have departed from the strategy of the political movement;
But has it now returned in the form of accidents and sabotage? Opposing parties
in political campaigns are often discredited when they resort to violence and
aggression. In addition, sudden explosions and fires raise questions about the
government's competence and accountability. Therefore, it must be investigated
whether there are any efforts underway to weaken the government through these
incidents. Because the weaker the government is before the election, the more
difficult it becomes to hold the election. Which in open the door for an
unelected and unconstitutional government to come to power.
Fire not only rages in the Bangabazar but also in the commodity market. People's uproar over the prices of goods during fasting is often heard. The government has no control over the market. Some irresponsible statements by some ministers are about to shatter people's patience. One minister said, "Now the price of commodities is under control. The price of goods is at a tolerable level." After listening to that statement, I was just out of words. It again proves that most of the ministers who became ministers in 2019 are mostly incompetent and irresponsible. On the same day the minister announced his unprecedented discovery of the tolerable level of commodity prices, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics reported that the inflation rate in March was close to 10 (9.33). And another minister made a fuss about this inflation. As the inflation rate did not increase by 10 percent, he expressed gratitude to the creator. If the creator controls inflation, then what is the government's job? What is the need of so many ministers-bureaucrats? The uncontrolled rise in commodity prices is as horrific as the fire in the Bangabazar market. The difference is that the fire in Bangabazar is visible, but the fire in the market for commodities cannot be seen with the naked eye. Especially those in power can pretend not to see this fire. The fire in Bangabazar was extinguished by the fire brigade with water. But how would you control the fire of commodity price? The fire in Bangabazar was limited to a specific area. However, the fire in the commodity market is uncontrollable. This fire has spread from the lower class to the middle class and is now affecting the upper class as well. The situation of commodity prices is not only due to global conditions, there is corruption, the greed of some businessmen, and the existence of syndicates. Some government institutions are conducting campaigns in the market, but these campaigns are poorly coordinated and ineffective, resulting in no visible positive impact in the market. But the worst thing is the tendency of some in the government to cover up the truth and reality. Recognizing the fact that the prices of goods are beyond the reach of the common man, it was important to determine what to do. This was not done. Many small positive actions could have been taken. For example, since the beginning of Ramadan this time the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has sold meat, chicken, eggs, and milk at affordable prices. This initiative has been widely appreciated in Dhaka city. Daily necessities such as rice, lentils, and oil have been sold at low prices through TCB. If the Ministry of Agriculture took some initiative, then vegetables and fruits could be sold at reasonable prices. During the pandemic, a project called 'Farmers' Market' was praised, where farmers sold their agricultural products directly. The prices of these products were low and the quality was also good. The 'Farmers' Market' was widely popular among the people. But this time the Ministry of Agriculture has not taken any innovative steps of this kind. But why? Sadly, there is no explanation to it.
Concerned coordinated efforts could control the inferno of the commodity market, but it has not been possible. The responsibility for the fire in the commodity market directly falls on the government's shoulder. The common people are not interested in what is happening in the world. They are also not enthusiastic to compare Bangladesh with the commodity price situation of the world. The common people just want to survive on their income. It is the responsibility of the government to address this issue. A few irresponsible incompetent ministers, sycophantic bureaucrats and opportunistic businessmen in the government have made the commodity price situation intolerable. Some of them are not even providing accurate information and are giving false information to the prime minister. As a result, a distance is being created between the government and the people. Commodity prices have been made a tool in the conspiracy about the upcoming elections. This issue has been changed from 'national' to 'international'. Here too, the government could not show enough competence and maturity to control the situation. A section of civil society wants to use commodity prices as a weapon against the government. In 1974, artificial famine and commodity prices were used as tools against the Bangabandhu government. It was while implementing that blueprint that Basanti drama was arranged. This time also some newspapers are trying to stage the same drama. And the government stepped into the trap of that civil controlled newspaper. However, I think using that newspaper, it is actually a conspiracy of civil society. The government fell into that trap and has suffered more losses in the incident than benefits. That newspaper is now getting almost 'hero' status nationally and internationally despite misreporting and committing crimes. Just as a snake will bite if you step on its tail, only time will tell whether the government has put itself in danger by stepping on the tail of civil servants. But now it can be said that some pro-civilian officials who are lurking inside the government are embarrassing and cornering the government. The newspaper should be sorry and ashamed for misreporting, slandering freedom, child abuse. But instead of that the publication of this false, inflammatory information is now being branded as 'fearless journalism'. They have caught the attention of the international world through this. They have been able to successfully promote in the world that the media of Bangladesh is being harassed due to reports on hunger, scarcity, commodity prices. In other words, the government of Bangladesh does not allow the media to report about scarcity, hunger. If someone dares to speak out against such things, they are labeled as 'traitors.' They are targeted by harsh and controversial laws such as the Digital Security Act and at the end of this propaganda, the discussion of 'elections' arises. Eventually, it is said that the government is cracking down on opposition voices to maintain power. They are not allowing the media to express their opinions. They are misusing the controversial laws. The government is becoming a criminal without doing anything and on the other hand and despite committing crimes, the mouthpieces of the civil society has become the conscience of the nation, patriots. The course of events following an irresponsible, deliberately inflammatory media report on March 26 has seen a clear backsliding by the government. Trapped. Bewildered. I have some questions about this. The government has said that the newspaper has committed the crime of child abuse. So why did the digital security law case against them instead of child abuse case? Several influential ministers of the government have claimed that the newspaper has compromised the independence. They have attempted to create another Basanti Drama, which is treason. So, why has this issue been debated and criticized under the Digital Security Act, instead of being treated as a case of treason? Why did law enforcement officers go to the journalist's house to arrest him in the middle of the night in this case? Would the Mahabharata have been deemed impure if they had waited till morning. I think there is a powerful group within the government that is conspiring from within. They are creating conspiracies within the government. The same thing can be seen in the case of Dr. Muhammad Yunus. His financial investigation and the cases of worker exploitation are not making any progress. This is also like stepping into the tail of the snake. Dr. Yunus is engaging in international diplomacy over this matter. The government is not able to properly deal with the propaganda of Dr. Yunus. These events will have an impact before the next elections and a glimpse of that was seen in the incident centered on the civil controlled newspaper. The newspaper and its editor were made 'courageous fighters' in a planned manner. This is not the first time. Civils’ mouthpiece Bengali and English newspapers have been made 'national heroes' several times under the patronage of some government circles. A journalist of this newspaper was caught stealing in the secretariat. At that time, it was right to release her on her bond. But instead of doing that, she was detained for a few hours and the 'thief' was made a 'hero'. Even though she committed the crime of theft, the international media called the journalist brave and persecuted for receiving a "medal." The editor of a civil-controlled English newspaper went on a talk show and confessed to the crime that, he got the information from DGFI and disclosed it without verifying it. In the context of that false, baseless information, Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina was arrested. Any editor who makes such a confession quits the profession or goes into voluntary exile. Lose the moral rights of journalism. But the over-enthusiastic Awami clumsy people did such a childish act after that incident that the ‘Agent editor of intelligence agencies' rose from the gutter and sat on his seat. These events may seem isolated. It may seem that the government and the Awami League lack judgment, intelligence and skill. But actually, it is planned and part of the blueprint for rigging election. Agents of civil society and neo-Moshtakas in the government are doing this knowingly. The agents and conspirators must be identified. The prime minister made an official announcement about the newspapers she does not read. The newspapers who are the proponents of minus formula. Some minister-leaders of the Awami League government and the party becomes very proud and satisfied by writing columns in those newspapers. Conspirators can be identified only by making a list of who advertises there and attends their events. I believe that such incidents are being done to bring the mouthpieces of the civils both nationally and internationally under the footlights. After these incidents, two newspapers got a license to spread propaganda against the government and the country. Dr. Yunus also joined the anti-government campaign in Bangladesh. They realized that there was no one to catch them. The way their foreign coaches made noise after this incident, both the government and the people understood where their roots are. Before the election, cannons and other weapons were prepared to be used against the government. It is already known that several other cannons have been secretly prepared, which will be used in the propaganda of the upcoming election. Evidence of which has already been found. On April 4, when Bangabazar was burning, a virtual meeting of Kushilab of one-eleven and pro-BNP civil servants was held. Under the initiative of Sujon, a virtual roundtable discussion was held on "Competitive Elections, Constitutional Framework, and the Future of Democracy in Bangladesh". In that meeting, civil society declared a public position in favor of caretaker government system. The round table questioned the validity of the Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution. The atmosphere of the entire round table was that there should be no elections in the country until the demand of a non-partisan neutral caretaker government is achieved. This roundtable discussion has made one thing clear – it is the civil society's master plan to derail the election by raising the demands of the caretaker government. The BNP is just a proxy. They are just supporting characters. The real players on the field are the Civils. They were fielded by their Western masters. The noteworthy point is that the western region, Sushil, and BNP are now united. Western countries are not officially backing the caretaker government's demands. They say that the next election should be participatory, free, fair and impartial. They have informed the government and Election Commission that if BNP does not participate in the election, then the election will not be accepted. Civils say that the current government does not want to conduct fair and impartial elections. This government does not allow freedom of expression. The misuse of the Digital Security Act is taking place. There is the issue of the ‘disappearance’ drama. Therefore, a neutral atmosphere must be created before the election. Some of them are even giving 'Fatwas' to the effect that there is no harm even if the election is delayed for two years. And just like parrots, BNP is saying what the civils and their western lords have taught them. They are saying that they will not participate in the election without an impartial caretaker government. That’s it. After saying this, they are having iftar party in five-star hotels while strolling around with carefree attitudes. In my opinion they are just a 'cog' in the blueprint of the conspiracy. Or a puppet in a puppet show. They are happy to dance in whatever way they are being pulled, as the BNP's sole aim is to remove the Awami League from power, not to sit in power themselves. Civils and their followers want to raise their voices for fair elections to ensure uncertainty in the upcoming elections. To achieve this, the government needs to be weakened, unpopular, and vulnerable. The government must be separated from the people. That is why there is a fire in Bangabazar, a fire in the commodity market. This is why there is a suicidal tendency within the government. As the time of election is approaching, the government is getting trapped in the web of conspiracy. The flames of the conspiracy are burning within the government to destroy democracy. "Democracy" will burn to ashes like Bangabazar if there is no election. Will 'democracy' be saved from this fire?
On the night of March 27, one of my editor friends called
and informed on the phone that the American President Joe Biden had written a
letter to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. This letter was sent on the occasion
of the great Independence Day of Bangladesh on March 26. The editor said,
"For various reasons, this letter is important at this time." That's
all. I read the details of the letter from the American President in various
online newspapers to find out what was important in the letter. Before I could
find out what was important in the letter a pro-BNP teacher and intellectual
called and said, see Biden’s letter. They have given an ultimatum for fair
election. This time it won’t be like 2014 and 2018. And what is the praise of
the leader. Read well. Then he kind of burst out in laughter and said,
"Now even America is on our side. What will happen to the BNP?" I
remember saying this with a smile in the high-pitched breeze. I hung up the
phone reminding him that it is better not to laugh so loudly during the month
of Ramadan. There was only one letter from the US president but this same
letter pleased both Awami League and BNP. Both sides think that the message of
this letter is in their favor. What a charisma. Both Awami League and BNP
consider this letter as their victory. This is like the secret of the Mona
Lisa's smile from 500 years ago. Leonardo da Vinci began painting this famous
painting in 1503 and 1504. He began working on this artwork at the request of a
wealthy Florentine merchant. The businessman wanted a portrait of his wife,
Lisa Del Gherardini. At the time of the naming, 'Mona' was used as a term of
address for women. Now, just like using Miss or Mrs., 'Mona Lisa' is the naming
convention used with the addition of Lisa. It is believed that Leonardo worked
on the painting for more than ten years. The 'Mona Lisa' by Leonardo da Vinci
is globally renowned and one of the reasons for its attractiveness is the
mysterious 'smile'. Using the perspective and the work of chiaroscuro, Vinci
created a unique smile that creates a type of optical illusion. Whenever the
viewer looks directly at the Mona Lisa, the face appears to be smiling.
However, when the viewer's gaze is fixed on the smile, it becomes invisible.
There are two different interpretations of the Mona Lisa's smile. Some believe
it to be a happy smile while others believe it to be a sad one. This debate has
been ongoing for 500 years. Biden's letter has also created a mystery. The
message and purpose of this letter creates a mystery. What was the meaning of
this letter? The debate will continue for a long time. At least until the next
First of all, the question that arose in my mind is why letters in this age? Joe Biden could have called the Prime Minister on Independence Day. The White House could have issued a statement congratulating Bangladesh on Independence Day. White House officials regularly issue such statements on behalf of US presidents. Just a few days ago, on Victory Day (December 16), a statement of congratulations was issued by the US President on behalf of the United States. Governments and heads of state of different countries also send greeting cards or souvenirs on such occasions. But why did Biden write a letter instead? In political science, "authentication" or "documentation" is a widely used word. Documenting or keeping records for the future is a political strategy. Does the White House want to use it as a reference in the future? Is it for this purpose, their wishes have been sent in the form of a written letter? The United States wants to authenticate it for whatever reason or for whoever it is written for. My second question is about protocol. The President usually sends greetings, condolences, or other messages to the counterparty. If a formal greeting message is sent on Bangladesh's Independence Day, it will be sent to the President. However, President Biden sent a letter to the Prime Minister. There is a logical reason for this. Since the American President is the head of government while in Bangladesh, the Prime Minister holds executive power. Therefore, it is natural for the country's head of government to receive a message from the American President on important issues. That is why this letter is important. It is not just a casual greeting but an important message. That is why Mr. Biden sent the letter to the Prime Minister, not the President.
I have another delusion regarding the letter issue. On March 21, Biden sent a congratulatory message to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, which was sent to the Prime Minister through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Generally, when important people around the world send congratulatory messages or make phone calls, the Prime Minister's office or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces and publicizes it. The phone call of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Prime Minister was also announced from the Prime Minister's office. On various days, telephone calls from the Prime Minister of India or the Prime Minister of Pakistan, greetings are officially announced by the Prime Minister's Office. Again, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives official information about the greetings of the UN Secretary General or the communication of international personalities. But no one from the Bangladesh government has released any information about Joe Biden's letter on March 21. Neither the Prime Minister's Office, nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The US president is the most powerful person in the world. He has sent a letter to the Prime Minister; this is very important news. Does the Ministry of External Affairs think this is an unimportant matter, so there is no need to report it to the media? Or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is uncomfortable with this letter and that’s why they didn't want to publicize it? Apparently, the US Embassy waited until March 27. Since Biden's letter was on March 26, the US embassy did not delay after the occasion. They released the entire letter to the media. Although it may seem unimportant to the bureaucrats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but it seems very important to the US diplomats in Baridhara. More importantly, the message given to the Prime Minister through the letter, the US wants to convey that message to the people as well. For this, the letter was published by the US Embassy in the media.
Another question regarding this letter is why was it sent on March 21 instead of March 26? Bangladesh Independence Day is on March 26th. It is said that this letter is to convey greetings on Independence Day. So why was this greeting letter sent five days earlier? I have tried to find a reason for this. On March 20, the United States released a report on human rights. The next day, Biden sent this letter. Bangladesh was criticized in the human rights report. The government was accused of several issues in an unfair and irrational manner. The 2018 election was also questioned in that report. Then came the letter from the American president. Is this letter a supplementary? The greeting for Independence Day is just an excuse? In fact, in light of the Human Rights Report, Joe Biden informed the Prime Minister in brief about American expectations. That's what this letter is for. There are more reasons for this idea. On March 21, the day after this letter, the US ambassador invited Awami League leaders to lunch on March 22. Dressed in suit coats, six leaders led by the Awami League General Secretary met for lunch. There, the US ambassador spoke about the upcoming elections. He reiterated the hope and desire of the US that the election be free, fair and impartial. So, is Biden's letter a type of pressure? To officially inform the government of the intention of the United States regarding the upcoming elections and Independence Day has only been chosen as a day to express the United States' desire or opinion.
Now we can try to find the meaning of this letter. Before looking into the meaning of the letter and its purpose, let's see what the letter contains. In the letter written by Biden, it is said, ‘On behalf of the United States, I wish you and the people of Bangladesh a happy Independence Day. The Bangladeshi people understand deeply the value of freedom and independence as they fought courageously in 1971 to choose their own fate and to speak their own language.’ The letter further states, ‘As Bangladesh approaches its next election, I am reminded of the deep value both of our nations’ people place on democracy, equality, respect for human rights, and free and fair elections.’ Biden's letter applauded Bangladesh's demonstrated commitment as the largest contributor to peacekeeping operations. The letter said, ‘We applaud Bangladesh’s demonstrated commitment to protecting the most vulnerable as the largest contributor to peacekeeping operations. We thank Bangladesh for cohosting the Global Action Plan ministerial that significantly elevated the political commitment to end the global pandemic.’ The letter praised the provision of shelter to Rohingya refugees. At the end of the letter, referring to the diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and the United States, the US President wrote, ‘In over 50 years of diplomatic relations, the United States and Bangladesh have achieved a lot together — advancing economic development, strengthening people-to-people ties, addressing global health and climate issues, partnering on the humanitarian response to Rohingya refugees, and committing to a prosperous, secure, democratic, and independent Bangladesh. On this day of celebration, please accept my sincere wishes to you and the people of Bangladesh. Joy Bangla!’
The letter from the American President is divided into three parts. Firstly, the desire of the United States for the people of Bangladesh, human rights and democracy has been discussed. In particular, the expectation that the next national parliament elections should be free, fair and impartial is openly stated in the letter of the US President. But whether it is an expectation or a command is as mysterious as the Mona Lisa's smile.
Secondly, Bangladesh's importance and success on the global stage have been highlighted in the letter. Bangladesh's leadership and various issues have been praised in the international community, including its peacekeeping mission and humanity towards the Rohingyas.
Thirdly, the 50-year diplomatic relationship between Bangladesh and the United States has been discussed in the letter.
However, above all, two issues of the letter have become the topic of discussion in Bangladesh politics. One is, 'Free and fair next election' and at the end of the letter 'Joy Bangla'. BNP leaders and supporters believe that the United States is very serious about this election. They want to see the upcoming elections of Bangladesh free and fair at any cost and it is not possible without the participation of BNP. There is enough logic behind such statements of BNP leaders and activists. For two years, the United States has been constantly talking about elections. The US position regarding the 2018 elections is now clear. The latest human rights report by the United States has mentioned flaws about this election. The incumbent US President expressed the ultimate desire of the US regarding the upcoming election. In a democratic system, elections are a competitive process. Participation of multiple political parties is essential in this process. The Election Commission conducts this battle of votes or acts as a referee. Therefore, free, fair and impartial elections depend on the active and responsible behavior of all parties. BNP says that they will not participate in the next elections without a non-partisan caretaker government. If they stay away from the next election due to this demand, then that is their political decision. As a political party they can take such decision. But the question is, if the BNP and some parties boycott the election, will that election be acceptable? Similarly, if the Awami League and its allies declare that they will not participate in the election under a caretaker government, then how will the election be held? If the Awami League or BNP do not participate, will keeping the people away from exercising their voting rights be a democratic decision? If the election is held excluding the parties that are not willing to participate in the election and if it is free and fair and the people are able to vote for their preferred candidates peacefully and unhindered, wouldn't that election be acceptable? It is crucial that the answers to these questions are clarified. It is also necessary to know the US explanation in this regard. Otherwise, anyone can take democracy hostage and that effort is now clearly visible. Competition plays a major role in making elections fair and free. Awami League's main rival in terms of votes in Bangladesh is certainly BNP. Therefore, if BNP does not participate in the elections, then obviously the mood and attraction of the elections will decrease a lot. Many voters will lose motivation to vote after realizing what the outcome of the election is going to be. In such a situation it is easy to question the election. The BNP has relied on this easy tactic for more than sixteen years of being out of power. They believe that if they boycott the upcoming elections, it will not be internationally acceptable, and there will be uncertainty even before the elections. So, is there any way to prevent this from happening in the upcoming elections? Is the United States supporting them from behind? Is this why the US President hinted in a letter that the election would not be recognized if all parties did not participate? If the BNP continues to boycott, it will pave the way for unelected government and unconstitutional process to seize power. The countries, including the United States, which are talking about fair elections, should talk to the BNP about this. If the US really wants free, fair and impartial elections in Bangladesh, then it should take the initiative to bring BNP to the elections. What kind of provisions exist in the current constitution and election laws in Bangladesh? Where are the boundaries of the election commission? It is important to figure out how to keep the administration neutral in elections. The United States can also talk to the Election Commission about this. However, I think there is another motive behind putting the responsibility of fair elections on the ruling party alone without doing any of those things. Behind statements like the upcoming election in Bangladesh must be free, fair and participatory it is necessary to investigate whether there is actually a conspiracy to bring unconstitutional forces to power by thwarting the election.
What is the real intention behind the US Embassy's insistence on fair elections in the upcoming election? Is it to ensure a fair election or to restore a lost dominance in this region? Because the United States has become important again in Bangladesh by raising the voice of fair elections. To maintain this importance, the election issue was also mentioned in the Independence Day greetings. And at the end of the letter, the phrase "Joy Bangla" was used to create a sense of mystery, like Mona Lisa's smile. To prove that the United States is not targeting the Awami League, they are not trying to oust Awami League and they have no agenda in Bangladesh, the emotion 'Joy Bangla' has been used as a shield. This letter is nothing but an expression of desire to manifest American hegemony.
While India has reined in arbitrariness in the name of expression, summoning influential media outlets of international repute like the BBC, Bangladesh's Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, kneeling down and greeting Facebook. On May 11, Jasad's scientific revolutionary held a meeting with the employees of Facebook. He praised the people of Facebook and treated them like sons-in-law. However, he has not taken any initiative to stop the offensive, hateful, and character-assassinating content against the state. According to published reports, Facebook has stated that it will not open an office in Bangladesh. It has also stated that content monitoring is not feasible. Posts and Telecommunications Minister is quite delighted even with these objections of Facebook in Bangladesh. "Facebook is currently holding up to 40 percent of requests," he said.
Political storms can be of two types. One type is temporary and short-lived, like the political tornadoes in 2014 and 2015. During these unfortunate events, violence broke out, homes were destroyed, and educational institutions were set on fire. People lost their lives in the chaos. However, these storms did not last long. The other type is a long-lasting political storm, like the one in 2007 known as "One-Eleven." This turmoil engulfed Bangladesh for two years. So, did the BNP General Secretary indicate bringing another one-eleven? The BNP has been relentlessly striving to bring about another "One-Eleven" in the country for the past few months.
‘Starving Pakistan is burning in the flames of politics.’ This headline of Anandabazar newspaper tells everything about the current situation of the state of Pakistan. Pakistan exemplifies the outcome of a failed, terrorist state. The corrupt politicians, through their wicked politics, lead the country towards a dangerous catastrophe. The late leader of the Pakistan People's Party and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto once said in an interview with BBC, 'The fate of Pakistan's politics is not determined by its people, but by the military and the West.' Pakistan's military, whom they favor, places them on the throne.
There are incidents of explosions and fire one after another. The citizens' anxiety and agitation are increasing. Insecure, frightened people are losing faith in the government and becoming angry. After each explosion and fire incident, questions arise in people's minds about what the government is doing. Political parties opposed to the government are now speaking out, claiming that the government has failed to provide safety to the public. And some officials sitting inside the government are satisfied with trivial accomplishments and are covering up the crisis, saying that there are no signs of destruction or danger. So, Bangladesh is now a country of accidents. In this country every week some buildings, big markets are on fire. This is what some people want to prove? Are these fires and explosions to destroy public confidence in the government and create anger? After Science Laboratory, Siddikbazar, if anyone calls the Bangbazar fire incident a mere accident, then I suspect that he is also involved in this conspiracy. This destruction is part of the multi-dimensional conspiracy taking place in Bangladesh regarding the election. If the government cannot find the root cause of these incidents, then even more horrific events may occur in the future. This is an excellent weapon to weaken and embarrass the government.
First of all, the question that arose in my mind is why letters in this age? Joe Biden could have called the Prime Minister on Independence Day. The White House could have issued a statement congratulating Bangladesh on Independence Day. White House officials regularly issue such statements on behalf of US presidents. Just a few days ago, on Victory Day (December 16), a statement of congratulations was issued by the US President on behalf of the United States. Governments and heads of state of different countries also send greeting cards or souvenirs on such occasions. But why did Biden write a letter instead? In political science, "authentication" or "documentation" is a widely used word. Documenting or keeping records for the future is a political strategy. Does the White House want to use it as a reference in the future? Is it for this purpose, their wishes have been sent in the form of a written letter? The United States wants to authenticate it for whatever reason or for whoever it is written for.