Veteran Indian journalist Kuldip Nayar in a recent writing said that Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina was ‘representing a dictatorial figure’ and ‘has effaced the lines between right and wrong, moral and immoral’. ‘Unfortunately Bangladesh, a product of the people’s right to a say in governance, has lost the vigour of expression which the nation once had. This is a sad development by itself. But it becomes all the more poignant when the person changing it is from the family which liberated the people from the clutches of West Pakistan,’ wrote Kuldip Nayar in an opinion piece published in Indian English daily The Statesman. ‘No one else is to blame except Hasina. She is herself extinguishing the flame of democracy. That it should be done by the daughter of Sheikh Mujib is not only disappointing but also disconcerting. That she can shackle the nation still further is a harrowing thought,’ read the article titled ‘A shot in the arm for Hasina’ published on June 11. ‘In this atmosphere of Hasina representing a dictatorial figure, [Indian prime minister Narendra] Modi’s visit was all the more unfortunate,’ wrote Kuldip, also a political commentator. ‘He [Modi] should have said somewhere while in Bangladesh that the country was a product of revolution and it should continue to radiate the same kind of thoughts. But he preferred to placate Hasina even though the people of Bangladesh were disappointed because they expected India to give some sign that it is not happy with the way Hasina is functioning,’ read the article. ‘Prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka was mistimed. It looked as if he had gone to shore up the sagging image of prime minister Sheikh Hasina. He has only heightened anti-India feelings because New Delhi is not seen as neutral,’ it read. He wrote, ‘I do not know why and for how long we have to support the authoritarian rule by prime minister Hasina in Bangladesh. True, she is the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, who liberated East Pakistan from distant and oppressive West Pakistan. But that does not give her the right to flout the constitution and accepted norms.’ He mentioned that ‘ballot papers in favour of candidates of the ruling Awami League were shoved into the ballot boxes to the horror of voters and others’ in the recent city polls. ‘No doubt, Modi’s visit has given a shot in the arm to secular forces against the burgeoning influence of fundamentalists, led by the Jammat-e-Islam. But Hasina would still have had her way. In fact, the cavalier manner in which she has suppressed dissent arouses doubts about her credentials. Did she ever have conviction about a free state and the democratic way of governance?’ wrote Kuldip, also a famous writer. ‘True, Modi was able to implement a long-standing agreement on the exchange of enclaves…But he should have used the opportunity to thank all the political parties in supporting the accord with a useful and endearing neighbour,’ he wrote. ‘The people of Bangladesh were expecting some agreement on the Teesta waters,’ Kuldip mentioned.
Source: New Age