by Zia Hasan
Indian foreign policy- in collision course with Bangladeshi Peoples will
Like the light bulb jokes, there are quite a few jokes on what a diplomat says and what a diplomat means. A diplomat has to be diplomatic in stating what he thinks as one slip of tongue and one loose word may cause havoc in relationship between two nations.
But, when a diplomat stop being diplomatic and openly expresses his mind on contentious issues and clearly take side on highly sensitive political matters you would consider that the relation between the two countries are not running on standard mode.
Few days back, the foreign secretary of India Miss Sujata Sing visited Bangladesh and her activities during her visit raises question if the relationship between India and Bangladesh is on standard mode anymore.
The manner in which the Indian diplomats have dispensed with their basic diplomatic courtesy and are openly promoting the agenda of Awami league- raises the question if the Bengali people living in Bangladesh have completely lost their sense of national pride to allow such intervention on her political affairs.
The great nation of India has helped Bangladesh to be liberated from Pakistani rule. Many an Indian soldiers lost their lives in the war of 1971 to help Bengali people from genocide. And, Bangladesh has to be forever indebted to India for helping us to be free from brute Pakistani regime.
But, the role of India after liberation war till now can be compared with the role of the guy who freed a girl from a group of rapists and constantly raped that girl for years.
Nobody can blame India for supporting AL regime.
Sheikh Hasina’s government has obliged to everything India has ever wished from Bangladesh.
But, the will of Bangladeshi people is generally pointing towards a different direction.
Systematic corruption, nepotism, share market scam by government faithful and release of cold blooded murderers through Presidents special order, complete obliviousness to peoples sufferings, and active policy of dividing people into pro and anti-liberation category to gain electoral advantage and few other issues have plummeted Sheikh Hasina’s popularity.
The loss of her popularity was apparent when the heavyweights of her party were handed heavy defeat in all the city corporation election in last two years. Her government failed to win a single important local election in last two years. Even when opposition boycotted each of her candidates lost to rebels of her own party.
Secondly, Bangladeshi people have never re-elected same government twice.
This is due to the fact that, both the main parties of Bangladesh Awami League and BNP are so institutionally corrupt that for people the only way to create some sort of check and balance is to uproot one government in the ballot after each five years so that the next government takes time to create its own corruption structure.
By now, Awami league has created THE MOST dominant party in the history of the country.
The party controls each and every institution including bureaucracy, police, military, judiciary and mainstream media through party faithful in key positions.
They have now formed a strong syndicate that systemically plunders wealth generated by people’s economic activity both in government and in non-government sectors. Nonpartisan people are intimidated and seriously concerned about a second term of Awami League -although they don’t think BNP is either a good viable option.
In this backdrop, Awami league has planned an election under its own power structure which even a street dog in Bangladesh knows will not be held freely as government have the knowhow and willingness and capacity to manipulate and for them the stake is too high to loose. And, rightfully the main opposition parties have boycotted the election asking for a caretaker government which was norm in Bangladesh politics in last 20 years.
So, the opposition led by BNP has called for country wide blockade and resorted to violence upon people by derailing trains and through hurling bombs on innocent civil population across the country.
Government has also put virtually every senior opposition leader other than Khaleda Zia in jail. Already country wide violence has taken more than 100 lives through police fire or vandalism. Economic activities of the whole country have come to a halt due to relentless violence of opposition.
Everyone in Bangladesh realizes if this election goes on Bangladesh will fall into a permanent trap of violence and self-destruction.
In this backdrop Miss Sujata sing visited Bangladesh and shuttled door to door to make a case for Awami league and an election under Awami League.
Though, she or India has all the reason for supporting Indian interest but the sad part is they have dispensed with all the diplomatic decency in achieving that.
She visited ex-president Ershad and she was quoted saying to Ershad “ if Ershad’s party does not join the upcoming election, Jamat E Islami may rise”
People of the Republic of Bangladesh has all the reason to ask as to why Miss Sujata would intervene in what is absolutely an issue of Bangladeshi people to decide. Jamat E Islami is party similar in nature to BJP- a radical fundamentalist group. It has stained blood in its hand due to its participation in the genocide during liberation war but the question is- can India intervene in Bangladesh politics in such degree.
Are Bangladeshi diplomats allowed to go and meet Indian leaders and ask not to join in alliance with BJP, which also is a radical fundamentalist party?
India as a nation is entitled to look after its own interest in regional politics but how befitting is for Indian diplomat to ask Ershad “ Sheikh Hasina is doing a great job,( so you must stand beside her and join her plans)”.
Does any state can say its free, after such open intervention in politics by its regional big brother who has treated her with contempt, apathy and total disregards and never tried to build its relationship based on equal opportunity , mutual benefit and respect.
In truth the lack of this diplomatic behavior is not solely the fault of Indian diplomats. Ill trained and unprofessional Bangladeshi media professionals have also been found over enthusiastic to ask questions to diplomats that force them to answer questions that will be beyond diplomatic decency for a diplomat.
Bangladesh is a nation of 160 million hard working people, who just want to have decent living wage and respect as human and nation.
Bangladesh and Bangladeshi people are by design non aggressive people. It is a nation that is part of the historical great Indian identity.
But, very few people in the world and also in India knows how Bangladesh is at the receiving end of Indian policies that has created draught in half of the country and killed livelihood of millions due to withdrawal of water from 123 river violating international rules and how poor cattle traders are killed and abused by BSF in a trade that earns foreign currency to Indian economy.
Similarly very few people know how many Indian workers work in Bangladesh without proper visa and very few people in India appreciates how consumption of Indian goods thrives the economy of eastern India.
Bangladeshi people are genuinely concerned over India’s open interference in its internal politics and strategies adopted by India that is hindering its desire to choose its own destiny without any foreign influence.
Bangladesh does not pose any threat to India but constant intervention in Bangladeshi local politics to promote Indian interest has put Indian foreign policy against conflicting course with Bangladeshi peoples will and such short term strategy will definitely harm India’s long term regional ambition through falling moral authority and hardened anti India feeling across the population- at least in Bangladesh.
Source: CNN iReport