What is gained in politics by foreign dependence?
We all know that the culture of agitation against the rulers is not new in the region. The movement-struggle for the development of independent-sovereign Bangladesh was a core instinct of Bengalis, breaking the shackles of the military rule of neo-colonial Pakistan from the powerful colonial British rulers. Not only is it said, but it is a constant truth of history that the colonial rulers of British India played a major role in dividing the unbroken Bengal and Punjab due to the wealth of immense power to rise up against the injustice and exploitation of the inhabitants of these two provinces.
If we look at the rough picture of the authoritarian history of independent Bangladesh in front of us, what stands out is that, keeping the historical tradition intact, Bengalis are ready to build a strong resistance against the tyranny of the ruler. If we go back in history, we can find many years like 79, 71, 90, 96, during which Bengali resistance has flared up again and again. Bangladesh's political leaders-activists and protesting masses have succeeded in dismissing uniformed military rulers in the face of deprivation and dissatisfaction. And it is worth mentioning that the legends of those historic movements are still alive today and they are important leaders of major parties in the country.
The context is - Today (15 November 2023) in the evening Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal has announced the schedule for the upcoming Jatiyo Sangsad(JS) elections. According to the announced schedule, this polling will be held on Sunday, January 7, 2024. We have noticed that last October 28, 2023, BNP organized a rally with pre-announcement. However, the rally ended in violence. After this, like-minded parties including BNP-Jamaat announced programs like hartal and blockade. The schedule for the upcoming national elections was announced on Wednesday amid a blockade program by the parties.
Now the question is - BNP and like-minded parties have been working on all the demands for a long time, why was there no response from the ruling party or the government? Political observers said that the BNP or the like-minded parties could not intensify their agitation to get the demands, as intense as it can be to oust a strong government. If we look at the political programs that have taken place in the recent decade, the weaknesses of the BNP's movement program at this time will become clear.
We have heard many former and new leaders of BNP said that despite having so much public support at the grassroots, the party is mainly suffering from the weakness of leadership and not being able to take the right program at the right time. Some of them said that most of the current top leadership of BNP has not prioritized the field movement as it has become dependent on foreign countries.
In the last two days, we have seen a letter from the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs urging political parties to engage in dialogue. But we have seen in the past, what is the result of the dialogue discussed by BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiya with Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil! There seems to be no reason why the Awami League-led government would sit in dialogue with the BNP and give good news for the country and the nation.
A famous quote by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the great son of freedom fighters during the colonial era, seems very relevant here. He said, 'Freedom is not given, it is taken' meaning freedom does not come; it has to be taken away. In view of the situation, it can be said unequivocally that the top leadership of BNP has failed to streamline their movement program in the situation of taking away the demands.
We recently noticed that around the 'Two plus Two' ministerial level meeting of India and the United States held in New Delhi, there was a lot of speculation about the two friendly countries reaching a common position in the context of the upcoming elections in Bangladesh. But what did we see? India ruled out interference in the election of its long-time friend Bangladesh as an internal issue. Political and diplomatic analysts are indirectly describing the matter as a positive sign for the government, even if they do not openly support the current rulers. In the past few days, we have seen some organizations that recognize the US hegemony expressing concern over the prevailing situation in Bangladesh on the issue of 'democracy and human rights'. Ambassador of the country appointed in Dhaka Peter De Haas we have yet to see the other countries of the world or their diplomats act in a way other than a single burst of laughter. Does that mean other countries in the world except the United States have a different opinion on this? Or trying to observe the situation with the strategy of silence?
If we try to look deeper before going to find these answers, we can find some links with it! As we can see in the assessment of geopolitical analysts in recent weeks and months, basically the three superpowers have direct and indirect watchful eyes and policy positions around Bangladesh. It is not like that. It is for geo-political interests that the countries have been making this position known around Bangladesh. India's historical and strategic importance to the three-dimensional interests of superpowers Russia, China and the United States has become clear as day. In such a reality, many are blaming the big mistake of the top leaders of the party in the idea that the result of BNP or like-minded parties' dependence on the United States may not lead to victory.
But opposition political parties will such a failure of the bullet hasten the so-called 'absolute victory' of the rulers? Many analysts said that such an idea is not reasonable. Despite the progress of government development, ordinary people have more criteria to evaluate the government. The ongoing global recession and the Russia-Ukraine war, the Palestine-Israel war have hit the economy long ago in countries like Bangladesh. But the matter of the situation is that the government has miserably failed to do that if the common people could get some relief even in this situation if they could ensure the activism and good governance internally.
The constant rise in commodity prices has left the common man breathless. We can see in the media news that the protests are gradually foaming in the minds of the people due to the shock of the collapse of the financial institutions due to good governance and corruption in the sector. On the other hand, the displeasure of the common people towards the leaders of the ruling parties, organs and allied organizations is also expressed quite strongly. Apart from this, the infighting of the ruling party from the grassroots to the center is often revealed. Despite all this, the anti-government movements have floundered as a better alternative has not emerged, and it appears that they have not seen success even at the end of announcing the schedule of national elections.