There cannot be any doubt that India wants to reduce Bangladesh to the state of Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) or Sikkim or to a subservient dependency of some description. But the people of Bangladesh are determined to safeguard their independence and sovereignty and to defeat the hegemonic aggressions of India over Bangladesh. The conscious sections of the patriots of Bangladesh have thus embarked on a two-point political programme: (1) To safeguard the independence and sovereignty of the country and (2) To develop the country economically, politically, socially and culturally by upholding Democratic Rights, Human Rights and Justice.
l by Zoglul Husain
The threat and the resolve
(November 10, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) The present phase of political affairs of Bangladesh had its beginning on 11 January 2011, often referred to as 1/11 2007, when a not-too-covert military regime was brought in for two years by India and the US in internal collaboration with sections of pro-India and pro-US quarters. Since then, Bangladesh has been facing a serious threat to its independence and sovereignty from the Indian hegemonists, as it did during Mujib regime of 1972-75. There cannot be any doubt that India wants to reduce Bangladesh to the state of Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) or Sikkim or to a subservient dependency of some description. But the people of Bangladesh are determined to safeguard their independence and sovereignty and to defeat the hegemonic aggressions of India over Bangladesh. The conscious sections of the patriots of Bangladesh have thus embarked on a two-point political programme: (1) To safeguard the independence and sovereignty of the country and (2) To develop the country economically, politically, socially and culturally by upholding Democratic Rights, Human Rights and Justice.
The Indian hegemonism over Bangladesh
The ruling elites of India accepted the partition of British India in 1947, or the creation of Pakistan, only with a grudge, with the optimism of Nehru and many others in India that the suzerainty of India over Pakistan would only be a matter of time. The independence movement of Bangladesh in 1971 offered India a golden opportunity. The independence movement of Bangladesh developed as a consequence of economic, military, political and cultural disparity between the two wings of Pakistan. But while we in Bangladesh wanted independence for one reason, India wanted to divide Pakistan for another reason. With an independent Bangladesh, the Indian rulers thought, India would have military pressure off in its eastern sector and Bangladesh would fall an easy prey to the hegemonic intentions of India, and the disintegration of Pakistan would soon follow suit!
In 1971, the Bangladesh Awami League (BAL) adopted the policy of a totally subservient political alliance with India. With such an opportunity, India readily imposed a 7-point agreement on the govt in exile of Tajuddin in 1971, which stipulated that, when independent, Bangladesh would not have any army of its own, its foreign and other policies would be subservient to India and that Bangladesh would only have a national guards force for internal law and order. Basically, India conceived of independent Bangladesh as a vassal state of India, which the patriots of Bangladesh of course understood and opposed. India has not yet been found to be mindful of the interest and welfare of the people of Bangladesh.
Thus when a govt was established in the independent Bangladesh on 16 December 1971, as a continuation of the govt in exile, it was totally under the hegemonic clutches of India, which was backed by the Soviet Union at the time. But with the assassination of Mujib on 15 August 1975, thought to be backed by the US, and the army-people uprising of 7 November 1975, which defeated the pro-India military coup of 3 November 1975, the Indian hold on Bangladesh was greatly diminished. India retaliated by waging internal sabotage in Bangladesh, some armed sabotages and movements such as Bangabhumi conspiracies, military intervention in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) since 1975 and later, as thought by many, secretly organising the assassination of Zia on 30 May 1981. But India still did not regain the amount of control on Bangladesh as in 1972-75 or which it cherished. India has always been interested in exploiting Bangladesh economically, controlling it politically and using its territory and infrastructure commercially as well as militarily for its politico-economic and geo-strategic purposes, all of which constitute a menace to our independence, sovereignty and national development.
The conspiracy of 1/11 2007
1/11 2007 was thus another great opportunity for India since the assassination of Mujib in 1975. It was a military takeover of Bangladesh govt by Moeen U in the name of Care Taker Govt (CTG) for two years. In the new scenario of world political configuration, it was a conspiracy engineered by India with active support from Bush and his international allies, including their rubber stamp, the UN. As to the US active support for the Indian conspiracy of 1/11 2007, it was extended by the same policy-makers of the US, who devised utterly erroneous policies in waging wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, and as a result of these policies, two countries were totally destroyed and millions of people killed, while the US, amongst other things, suffered a huge setback in its economic affairs, triggering off the economic crisis of 2008-09, which ended the uni-polar world of 1991-2009 led by the US and gave rise to a multi-polar world.
1/11 2007 destroyed Bangladesh to a large extent politically, economically and militarily. Moeen U, with his brutal steamroller of destruction, evicted hundreds of thousands of shanty dwellers, hawkers and small shop owners and callously threw them to the wolves, and he also destroyed hundreds of thousands of shops, buildings and rural markets, which created havoc in the economy. Politically, apart from many people killed, about 5 hundred thousand people were interned and tortured for political objectives and also for extortion. The BNP was targeted for total demolition and the BAL for partial destruction by hitting both the parties, externally by internment, driving the activists out of their areas and intimidation of all sorts and, also internally, by dividing both parties through a group of ‘reformers’ influenced by the conspirators. The idea was to cripple both parties and, in their place, create a ‘king’s party’ to form a govt, which would be subservient to Indian and US interests. The Indo-US conspirators devised a ‘minus two’ formula, aiming at sending both Khaleda and Hasina to exile. But the scheme failed as Khaleda, even after brutal torture to her two sons, which disabled one of them in the back and the other in the chest, showed her determination not to concede to the pressure of leaving for exile. This brave resistance baffled the conspirators of 1/11 2007 and their ‘minus two’ plan fell flat on the ground.
Hasina was then selected by the Indo-US conspirators as their second choice to head a govt, which these conspirators prescribed. Accordingly, the election of 29 December 2008 was rigged through ballot paper stuffing under military deployment to produce a predetermined election result, giving BAL an absolute majority for brutal rule and having the required majority to amend the constitution according to the Indian design. This election was claimed by the Indo-US camps as the best election of Bangladesh so far, a stark untruth that compares very well with the US propaganda of WMD in Iraq! Recently, the Economist revealed that BAL won the election with the help of bags full of money from India and their advice, which is of course true, and the revelation being a well-crafted understatement, indeed it only described the tip of the iceberg of the conspiracy and the rigging that took place. In reality, the present govt is not an elected govt, it usurped power through the conspiracy of India backed by Bush. Many call 1/11 2007 the ambassadors’ coup!
The objectives of 1/11 2007
In sum, the objectives of 1/11 2007 were (i) to snatch the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh, (ii) to plunder its natural resources and (iii) to trample its national interest. India and the US policy-makers of 1/11 2007, seem to be still pressing for (i) economic integration of Bangladesh with India, (ii) surrendering Bangladesh territory for about 20 road and rail routes from Chittagong and Chalna ports, along with other required road-rail-river-air routes, for transit-corridor or transhipment of Indian commercial and military cargoes (may also be for movement of armed forces and their tanks and armoured vehicles) from one side of India to the other through Bangladesh, and (iii) later on to annex Bangladesh as a province of India or reduce it to a dependency. Some of these mistaken US policy-makers are so ridiculous that they draw the pictures of Balkanisation of Bangladesh to promote and harbour the hegemonic intentions of India, Israel and the quarters in the US corridors of power, influenced by them. These forces are anti-Bangladesh, and the people of Bangladesh will not only treat them as such, they will also defeat these anti-Bangladesh conspirators as well as develop alliance with pro-Bangladesh and humanitarian forces throughout the world, including favourable forces within India and the US. If Cuba and many geographically small-size states of the world can survive, so can Bangladesh. Bangladesh will certainly fight back any existential threat to it coming from any quarters!
Animosity of India in the name of friendship
As soon as the Pakistan army surrendered in Bangladesh and Bangladesh became independent with a government under Indian control, India launched a most reckless plunder. They looted all the tanks, vehicles, arms and ammunition left by the Pakistan army, machinery of mills and factories, other vehicles, furniture, etc. and they looted anything of value that they could lay their hands on. They grabbed most of the relief funds and the huge amounts of relief materials that flowed in the region from abroad in the wake of the mindless genocide that the Pakistan army perpetrated in Bangladesh and as the news became known to the rest of the world. At the same time, India-sponsored extensive smuggling went on throughout the borders by barges, boats, trucks and all sorts of other means.
India imposed a treaty of ‘slavery’ and a war pact in India’s favour in the name of a 25-year treaty of alliance and friendship. Mujib’s regime was a regime of subservience to India. A reign of terror was unleashed to stifle any opposition to the govt or to Indian hegemonism. The Bangladesh army was rendered powerless and later, for internal operations, the Jatiyo Rakkhi Bahini (National guards force) was created with Indian finance, arms, training and top command. Finally, 6 months before the fall of the regime, a most authoritarian one-party BKSAL rule was brought in to bury all vestiges of democracy. According to many, Mujib regime slaughtered 30 thousand patriots and its misrule, plunder and tyranny caused a man-made famine in 1974, in which 3 to 5 hundred thousand people perished.
Over the last 40 years, India has built barrages and other structures on nearly all the 54 common rivers between India and Bangladesh and diverted water upstream of Bangladesh. Farakka barrage alone has caused desertification on a large scale and wrought ecological disaster, an estimate of the damage made by some people being $140 billion. India influenced Hasina in 1996 to sign a fraudulent Ganges treaty with India. India occupied South Talpatti, made false claims on maritime boundary, kept some border problems unresolved, grabbed land in border areas, kept enclaves problems unresolved, caused border armed conflict at Raumari, etc.
India has built 4000 KM of barbed wire fence along the border on false pretexts to delimit the boundary with the venom of animosity. Over the last ten years, they have killed about one thousand unarmed poor villagers at the border by grossly trampling the Geneva Convention. Smuggling of drugs, abduction of large number of poor children and women for their dark business show the extent of Indian evil operation. Various barriers set up by India precipitated huge trade imbalance. India also sheltered many notorious Bangladeshi terrorist criminals for its financial gains and sabotage. Many think that India uses only a small portion of their legal and illegal earnings from Bangladesh to nurture their lackeys in Bangladesh, a usual practice of the hegemonic powers.
India has created huge security problems for Bangladesh. Internal sabotage of Bangladesh by India has been going on from the beginning. They have been carrying out armed intervention in CHT since 1975. They influenced Hasina to sign a peace treaty on CHT in 1997, in which the sovereignty of Bangladesh was badly compromised. Huge numbers of ethnic minorities, ethnic Bengalis and Bangladesh soldiers were killed because of Indian armed intervention in the region on false pretexts. Many think that the ‘Islamic’ terrorists, JMB, were organised and armed by India, as a section of the HuJI-B by Israel. Most of the huge amounts of explosives and bomb-making equipment were brought from India by these terrorist outfits and people were asked by relevant quarters to believe that the otherwise ubiquitous RAW was sleeping at this instance! Many believe that these terrorist activities were enacted so as to impart a terrorist image on Bangladesh to delude the world opinion, so that the joint forces of India, Israel and the US could intervene in Bangladesh. This is what exactly happened in the conspiracies of 1/11 2007 and the so-called election of 29 December 2008.
Many also think that the BDR massacre in February 2009 was perpetrated by an Indian commando with active cooperation from relevant quarters in Bangladesh. The results of the event and its follow-ups by the govt are that the Indian security force, BSF, alone is now controlling the border, with the border guards of Bangladesh made powerless, and the Bangladesh army is thought to be very much weakened according to a scheme. It is also thought that India achieved these twin objectives with the cooperation of the Bangladesh govt.
The present govt is a caretaker of Indian interest in Bangladesh
In addition to the present govt’s and the ruling party’s killings of 12 thousand people as claimed by the BNP, their plunder, grabbing, corruption, reign of terror and general tyranny, the govt has conceded to all of India’s demands and in return has realised none of the interests of Bangladesh. Hasina’s visit to India in 2010 followed by a return visit of Manmohan in 2011 epitomised the surrender of Bangladesh sovereignty and the sellout of Bangladesh national interests. In the name of giving India transit-corridor, the govt has effectively handed over the control of Bangladesh infrastructure, territory, rivers and sky to India. Bangladesh has been brought under the military strategic configuration of India.
On the other hand, the govt has been promoting the vicious plan of economic, political, military and cultural integration with India, the result of which would bring the Bangladeshis similar standing and situation, as the Kashmiris have been suffering. If the govt is allowed to go further, then the Bangladeshis would lose their govt and administration, their jobs and business, their homes and hearths, their education and culture, their national interests and freedom, etc. in exchange for temporary good living of a few Mir Jafars and Lhendup Dorjees. All patriots must wake up to the dire prospects!
The attitude of the ruling elites of India
Indian attitude to Bangladesh must also be taken on board. Former Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Muchkund Dubey, did some straight talking about the attitude of the Indian ruling elites towards Bangladesh. The Daily Star, a leading promoter of Indian hegemonism in Bangladesh, in October 2011 of its monthly forum, vol 5 issue 10, published an article by Muchkund Dubey, titled: Indo-Bangladesh Relations – failure of Leadership on the Indian Side, in which he said, “The attitude of most of Indian political leaders, senior officials, business magnates and strategic thinkers towards Bangladesh has been one of disdain and apathy. Very few of these people either understand the dynamics of the domestic politics of Bangladesh or have grasped the full import of Indo-Bangladesh relations.” He is right.
Firstly, the attitude of ‘disdain and apathy’ between states do not remain a one-way traffic for long. Secondly, the ruling elites, who oppress and look down upon the populace of their own country with ‘disdain and apathy’, cannot be expected to respect the people of another country.
Whatever the incumbent puppet govt in Bangladesh says or does, the relations between the two countries have deteriorated to an abysmal point. We cannot choose neighbours, but relations can be developed on a win-win basis with respect for each other’s national interests. For this, Indian hegemonism must go and compensations for the past misdeeds must be paid in cash or kind.
All patriots must unite, organise and resist
In all struggles, time is of essence. We must fast unite, organise and resist Indian hegemonism over Bangladesh. All patriots must unite irrespective of the political spectrum, whether they are rightists, centrists or leftists. Presently, the divide is whether one is pro-Indian hegemony or pro-Bangladesh independence and sovereignty. Safeguarding our independence and sovereignty being our top priority at present, no other divisions, political, social or cultural, should have any higher priority, though some can be dealt with simultaneously.
The patriots must be resolute and valiant in their struggle
As the movement to safeguard independence and sovereignty gears up, whether in the form of demands for free, fair and credible election or demands to stop transit-corridor or for annulment of subservient treaties or for Human Rights, Democratic Rights, Justice, etc. or to protect national resources, the govt is likely to respond with repressive measures. They cannot be expected to readily concede to the demands of the opposition. The govt cannot be expected to hold free, fair and credible election.
The govt, advised by India, may take further repressive measures against the opposition. Execution orders may be meted out against a number of people in the war crimes trial for political purposes, rather than for justice, which cannot be expected from the present govt. Some more opposition leaders may be imprisoned. Some may get disqualified for the election by court case judgments against them, etc. They may also try to create division within the ranks of the opposition. One way would be to withdraw court cases against some opposition members on condition that they oppose the opposition. Another way would be to offer cash or other favours and incentives to oppose the opposition in a way similar to the so-called reform movement during the Moeen U regime. Groups like those have already been working within different sections of the opposition, with powerful outside backing. They have been saying that India being a large and powerful country compared to us, we as neighbours must appease India for our existence! The patriots must be aware of these appeasers and defeat their sinister machinations.
Thus the call for uprising or seize (Gherao) against the govt is a right call and the struggle to establish a patriotic and good government is a right on-going struggle. According to some observers, at present, more than 70% of the people are very much opposed to the govt as well as to India’s present control on the Bangladesh govt. They need to be united and organised. There must be political programmes for the alleviation of poverty for the grassroots in order to enlist the active support of the grassroots. All the parties, organisations and groups, who have spoken out against Indian hegemonism or against the govt repression or against abuse of Human Rights, Democratic Rights and Justice or against handing over our national assets to foreign powers, etc. need to be united in a common front, if they are considered to be genuine.
The govt may unleash police or defence force action against the protesters, as many govts do. If the govt is threatened, then Indian army may intervene and can occupy an area within Bangladesh and coordinate repression of the protesters using or creating all sorts of pretext and propaganda for international consumption. The international community has not yet been successful in compelling Israel to return to Palestine the occupied land in 1967 war. Thus the patriots will have to depend on themselves to counter Indian aggression. The patriots of course would be able to find allies both within India and outside to repel Indian armed intervention, if any.
If the grassroots of Afghanistan and Iraq can defeat the super military machine of the US, if the people of Tunisia and Egypt can defeat the US-backed powerful dictators, then the people of Bangladesh can certainly defeat the Indian hegemonists and their puppet regime in Bangladesh! The people will certainly win in the end!