SINGAPORE | From the Himalayas to the Korean DMZ to the South China Sea, the balance of power in Asia appears to be shifting. But beneath the rhetoric, have the fundamentals really changed ? In East–West Center International Media Conference in Singapore, an expert panel of journalists, policy analysts, and academics examined the situation from…
2013 was a year of general election in Bangladesh, and on that time, the Islamic fundamentalist group of Bangladesh had played their religious card directly with the help of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). In the name of Hefazat–e–Islam, they seized the capital Dhaka on 5th May 2013, and they tried to topple the government by ruining the city. Although they are Hefazat–e–Islam (Hefazat–e–Islam means who protects Islam), and their duty is to protect Islam, they committed the arson in the main mosque of the Dhaka. Instead of that, the movement of the Islamic fundamentalists under the leadership of Khaleda ultimately got failed, and Sheikh Hasina overcame it with her courage.
5 May of 2013 to 11 April 2018, it is almost five years. This “five years” is a special half–decade for Bangladesh; it is the time of development. Within these five years, Sheikh Hasina controlled Islamic terrorists with her iron hands too; besides most of the main war criminals and who were the Godfathers of the Islamic terrorist were awarded gallows to death. Most of these war criminals were the leaders of the mother organisation of Islamic terrorist party in Bangladesh, Jammat–E–Islam; and one of the leaders, Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, was the leader of BNP; even though he was a leader of BNP, basically he was one of the main pillars of Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Bangladesh. Moreover, the main shelter of Islamic terrorists in Bangladesh or the main pillar of ISI, BNP leader Khaleda Zia is in prison being awarded five years’ jail in a criminal case by the Judge court of Bangladesh. Her son, a close ally of Dawood Ibrahim, is living an exile life in London. Therefore, the Islamic fundamentalists are distinctly in back foot now in Bangladesh.
Although they are in back foot now, they still have got huge money, besides, their friend ISI of Pakistan is giving a lot of money to them. On the other hand, Khaleda’s son, Tarique, is collecting money from the businessmen in London; moreover, some of the businessmen in Bangladesh are giving them money too. The anti–corruption commission of Bangladesh has already got some irregular transactions in some Banks which is above twelve million BDT. Besides the banking channel, through many illegal channels, huge amount of money has been being shifted to their hands. Some of the business leaders, who belong to the portfolio of BNP, are trying to create some movement or chaotic situation in the country, and for this reason they are also supplying the money. It is true that money is the blood flow for making any kind of chaotic situations or terrorist movements. So, they have arranged money and spending it now to disturb the country.
The anti–corruption commission of Bangladesh has already got some irregular transactions in some Banks which is above twelve million BDT. Besides the banking channel, through many illegal channels, huge amount of money has been being shifted to their hands. Some of the business leaders, who belong to the portfolio of BNP, are trying to create some movement or chaotic situation in the country
However, in Bangladesh, it is impossible for the Islamic fundamentalists to generate a movement in the banner of any political or religious tag because, in last nine and a half years, they were completely exposed to the people. Besides that, after the ‘Holy Artisan’ incident (the immense terrorist attack in Bangladesh where some foreigners were killed by the terrorist, but all the terrorists were killed by the government’s law enforcements), the fundamentalists are condemned very much to the common people. Here to mention that after the Holy Artisan incident, Islamic terrorists were absolutely unable to attack anyone; rather, police made many operations in their den and at least fifty terrorists were killed including their leaders and women terrorists.
So, in Bangladesh, it is impossible for the Islamic fundamentalist to start any anti–government movement. Even it is not possible by the Islamic fundamentalist ally, which is led by BNP. So, they targeted a non–political issue, the reservation system in the government job. In Bangladesh, there are some reservations for the women, direct family members of the freedom fighters, students of the undeveloped districts, small ethnic groups, and the disabled persons. However, the reality is that, on an average, if it is gone through the statistics, above 70 percent boys and girls get chance in every civil service recruitments according to their merit. Besides that, the boys and girls who come from reservations have to sit and fight equal examinations. So, basically they are equally meritorious.
But the Islamic fundamentalist group organised a movement against reservation in the government job in the name of common student forum by spreading propaganda that 56 percent job is reserved in the name of reservation, which was absolutely fake. In the same manner, they turn the movement violent by spreading fake news through the social media like Facebook, Twitter. On the other hand, some of the pro–Islamic fundamentalist media house in Bangladesh broadcast, telecast, and published the news by either exaggerating or distorting way. Like, a boy was injured by the hit of gas cell, but they spread in social media and their like–minded mainstream media that the boy was died by bullet hit. Spreading this fake news, they managed to attract some general students for agitation. After that, they spread another fake news that one of the student leaders of the government party cut the tendon of a girl. Both were circulated by the social media and the pro–fundamentalist media.
Islamic fundamentalist group organised a movement against reservation in the government job in the name of common student forum by spreading propaganda that 56 percent job is reserved in the name of reservation, which was absolutely fake. In the same manner, they turn the movement violent by spreading fake news through the social media like Facebook, Twitter
Spreading fake news, they managed to make a huge agitation, and in this situation, they attacked the house of the Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University and attempted to kill him along with his family. They escaped and managed to save their lives, but Vice Chancellor was wounded. Even, through the spreading and sharing of fake news that one of the student leaders of pro–government cut the tendon of a student, they were successful to bring all the female students out in the street from the students’ dormitory at night. Given this context, the student organisation of Jamat–E–Islam, Islami Chatra Shibir, which is marked as a terrorist organisation by the state department of America, successfully brought all of their workers in Dhaka from all over the country.
Simultaneously, one of the businessman come BNP leaders, who is also a citizen of America, organised a huge number of students of the private University to come out in the street by spending money. They blocked the roads and vandalised many roadside barricades. At the time of that agitation, in Facebook, they were spreading and sharing many types of fake news and trying to divert the movement as a movement of toppling the government. They could not understand that the common student did not want that type of movement. So, when the Prime Minister declared in the parliament that if the students did not want any reservation, reservation system in the government job would not exist, and she would direct her government for abolishing the system. After her declaration, common students became happy, but the faces of the gang four, who were the front leaders of that movement, were pale. The language of their faces said, they have lost something. Undeniably, they lost something because their main intention was to divert the movement as a movement of toppling the government.
However, through this movement, they have gained some points. By attacking the reservation to the family members of the freedom fighters they could succeed to hit the spirit of freedom struggle of Bangladesh, and they got chance of chanting in favour of Pakistani collaborator in the holy soil of Bangladesh. It is one of the setbacks for the society of Bangladesh. On the other hand, through this movement, the gang four, who have come in front of the leadership, they are not truly in favour of the freedom’s spirit of Bangladesh rather one of their leaders, Rashed Khan, is a member of Chatra Shibir (the recognised terrorist organisation by the state department of America). But, through this movement, he is leading the rally and procession in Dhaka University. It is for the first time that one of the Shibir members is openly doing politics in the historical Dhaka University. In any circumstances, the students of Dhaka University always resist the Shibir members and wipe them out from the campus, but Rashed Khan is still in the campus.
In conclusion, it may be said that, like 2013, this year 2018 is also a year of general election in Bangladesh, so these fundamentalist forces are trying like cunning foxes for the uprising of the anti–liberation spirit to use it in the next election. ■
Swadesh Roy, Executive Editor. The Daily Janakantha, Dhaka, Bangladesh.