Save one country, ‘democratic’ India, the world community raised serious questions on the fairness and transparency of the parliamentary elections held recently in Bangladesh. The United States and European Union and Common Wealth refused to send their observers in Dhaka saying that conditions were not conducive for transparent polls. Still on 5th January 2014, the ruling Awami League headed by Sheikh Hasina went on with the farce. Of the 300 parliamentary seats just over half (153) had no contests at all, since only AL candidates or its allies registered. These were declared won uncontested by AL and her allies. On the day elections were held overwhelming majority of people in response to the call of BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) and Jamat-e-Islami boycotted the elections. The voter turn-out has been dismal low of 15 per cent. In forty constituencies not a single vote has been cast. In capital Dhaka voting took place in just 9 of 20 seats. Amid the boycott and violence AL claimed thirty more seats, thus securing two-third majority. The rest of seats had gone to its alliance partners.
Not caring about the adverse opinion of the international community and people of Bangladesh on the credibility of the mandate, AL leader took oath of office as Prime Minister of the country second time in row. BNP-led alliance refused a contest demanding supervision by a caretaker government of the kind seen in four elections. But Hasina in despotism scrapped the constitutional provision for that in 2011.
Non-participation of the elections by three-fourth of the people clearly points to the arrogant and authoritative obsession of the Sheikh Hasina and her party. Brazenly shameful, they are still priding of their representative character, although it is the minority autocracy that Bangladesh at present is in the severe cold grip of.
Hasina and her coterie has turned her country into a surrogate of India. The country under her leadership has lost its independence, though not geography. Not to speak of its foreign policy. Is democratic policy too is planned in Delhi which is then implemented by the AL government. That capitulation to Delhi has evoked sniggers from Jamat-e-Islami (and now Khalida Zia too) calling Sheikh Hasina Lhendup Dorjee of Bangladesh. Dorjee was the first chief minister of Sikkim who showed no nerves of fortitude to resist Delhi’s too much interference in once an independent country which ultimately led to Sikkim losing its sovereignty status and falling in the lap of India as ‘one more state’ of India.
The economic, security and military concerns of India are fully catered by AL government. It is a quid-pro-quo relationship where the ‘Big Brother’ (of George Orwellian ‘1984’) props the AL to sustain its rule and in turn exacts the pound of flesh from her.
Read carefully the editorial extract that I have taken from one of the reputed English dailies of India and see how India looks Hasina as the best pawn to safeguard its interests.
“Moreover, Hasina’s attempts to overhaul ties with India through an economic and security partnership as well as by demolishing the terrorist infrastructure that threatened India’s security must be placed in the larger context of peace and stability in South Asia. Her success against the Islamists is a regional imperative. Her failure could see a Talibanised Bangladesh jeopardizing the subcontinent…”
___ Battleground Dhaka – Indian Express, December 30, 2013.
One can easily feel the discomfort, bordering on anger of India, in having BNP leaders Khalida Zia and her ally Jamat (‘Islamists’) assuming power. The reasons are too obvious. One can ask when Khalida Zia-led government in two stints was in power before BNP government, why did not Bangladesh follow the footsteps of Taliban and the subcontinent jeopardize?
The fact of the matter is that while AL under Hasina has turned a pawn into the hands of Delhi, BNP-led alliance (of which Jamat is main constituent) has refused to pawn their conscience in its hands. Jamat is a special target of India because it kept alive the ideological Islamic moorings of the nation. Its growing influence is making Indians restless. For that reason while entire world community, the United Nations and the human rights groups, all questioned the integrity and transparency of the War Crime tribunal AL government constituted to sentence Jamat leaders for alleged crimes some 40 years back, India backed Hasina in its hunt for Jamat. The same editorial hails Hasina’s fight against Jamat saying ‘it is connected to the Hasina’s courageous stand against fundamentalists’.
India is interested in War Crime trials in its neighboring country. What about its own conduct in the occupied territory of JK. Its army and other forces (over 7 lakh) have turned Kashmir into a block hole of human rights violations. Thousands of extra-judicial killings, rapes, unmarked graves purely fall in the ‘crimes against humanity’. How many of its guilty soldiers have been convicted and sentenced? None. Let her first clear its own house, before it touts its ‘democratic’, ‘secular’ and ‘humanistic’ character.