26.3.08

political weathering

There is a week in mid August when the Bangladeshi qaum's political imagination is thundered upon by 3 battling storm fronts.

14th August - Independance from the British for Bangladesh under the guise of Pakistan
15th August - Independance from the British for India

the two fronts represent two(or more) visions for a just society and much theatre has been made of the exageration of the difference.

add to this a particularly nasty front,

15th August (early hours) - The assasination of Mujib ur Rahman (the political leader to whom Bangladesh's own independance is attributed) and the merciless annihilation of his family.

And you get stormy weather, check the papers every 15th August for real confusion. Three nation state creations remembered in a few hours. Imagine how the Afghani's must feel, they have several national sovereignty switches over an even shorter period of time.

A similarly configured meeting of meteorological fronts is represted by the idea of Shibir students and Jamat e Islami people joining in with Independance Day celebrations, and how that makes those who feel that they own national creation. There is plenty of content on violent crime, responsibility and sequences of events already out there and easily googleable, that is not my focus.

Rajshahi University is a public univeristy where the 'islamist' and 'secularist' aligned youth are played of against eachother. One paper reports with disgust how Shibir are allowed to be present at the ceremonies there. Considering that most undergrads there, except the very retarded ones, are under 37 years old and absent from the mayhem, its a bit strange.

But then again it's not. I wish the Jamaat shura meeting in which they pondered what they should do about what they should do in the midst of national disintegration and recreation had been better guided, and those calling for longtermism and a reality check had been heeded. I dont know what Allah's plan for Bangladesh actually is, but its really hard at the moment. Young virile members of the Bangali Muslim qaum have few options for a political pathway at the moment, the ones that they have are difficult. (.... maybe thats the whole point)

Just as the Late Aftab Ahmed traces the dynamics between factions within the Independance movement up untill the end of the Mujib era I want 'the other sides' contextualised with sobriety. The secularist, leftist and liberalIST forces who were present in those years are deliberately covering up a lot of the truth, a nonlinear and plural truth.

ka-fa-ra = to cover (the truth)

Therefore, finer grained analysis of 'Islamic' forces, 'Leftist' forces and 'Nationalist' forces who were not moved by the Awami programme and the armed struggle needs to be conducted.

sa-la-ha = to reform

Those who project ownership of national creation, often do so with a particularly constructed ideological lens, which they camoflage from the people like Romulans. My feeling is that most default 'Nationalists' aren't into Independance for the unsacred blessings of secularism. It is of disgust for the unacceptable behaviour metted out to the East Pakistanis, and the restoration of dignity that throwing of that shackle gives them.

Without voicing the socially present alternate partial narratives of the period there is a mental block for the people who now merely mime the present hegemonic national mythology. Such a limitation to modes of thought is really sad.

Others are more eloquent, confident and open with their view;

"...Anisuzzaman (DU Bangla Prof) said, ‘Scrapping of secularism from the constitution and subsequent imposition of Islam as the state religion reversed the country’s fundamental state policies.’ The people from other religions or faiths were relegated to second-class citizens by the imposition of Islam as the state religion which was contradictory to the spirit of the war of independence, he said. ‘The majority of the people still cherish non-communal ideals. So whatever be in the constitution, the spreading of the people’s non-communal belief would widen the scope for secularism to be reinstated in the constitution,’ he said."

"Writer Selina Hossain said the major source of inspiration for the war of inspiration had thus far been ignored. ‘We had adopted secularism as one of the basic principles of the state but it was scrapped and later Islam was established as the state religion.’ She also pointed to the revival of fundamentalism, state patronisation of communalism, and gradual increase in fundamentalists’ dominance. ‘The secular character of Bangladesh can be regained by creating mass awareness and forcing the next elected government to reinstate secularism as a state policy,’ Selina said. It has become essential to resist the fundamentalists and ensure trial of war criminals to establish a secular society, she added."

"Playwright and director Mamunur Rashid said ‘How can Bangladesh be a secular nation when Islam is the state religion?’ Despite vigorous attempts from the state to patronise communalism, it failed to wipe out non-secular ideals from across the country, he said. Mamun said the only way to revive secularism was through trial of the war criminals." (NewAge)

The final quote is telling, that war crimes trials have a political purpose. I wish them precision and guidance, but ultimate failure in desacrilising the people and society of my father and grandfatherland.

Anyway.

The Governments own celebrations are lessened by parties boycotting it due to the presence of Jamaat. The Awami League, the Worker's Party and the Nationalist Socialist Party are at least a little ideologically honest about why. However, the BNP's spokeslady is quoted by NewAge (26/3/8),

‘We will not attend the programme due to the present political situation and considering the peoples’ suffering for skyrocketing prices of essentials.’

If the BNP were to evolve a braincell, or if AnAwami forces were to ponder a bit and just get real, mature and blossom I would truly have hope that we might have a more Independant Bangladesh. A country where the newspapers didnt cry with glee to announce reception of 'Development' resources, where the leader didn't ask the enormous neighbouring country for help improving horsemanship in the Armed forces, where there was more than one chunky water control element, where there wasnt a football club still calling itself 'Mohammedan' and where so many of the talented people didn't want to leave.

2 comments:

sasha said...

Stalemate

asikha said...

what about 13th aug, pak's independence from India?