What `Bangladeshi’ couldn’t do, India did!!
Masuda Bhatti, Senior Executive Editor, The Daily Amader Orthoneeti : Bangladesh Nationalists Party (BNP) is said to be an anti-Indian political platform in Bangladesh since its birth. Although many will argue that it is anti-Indian in its speech only, in reality it is the one who always `forget’ Bangladesh’s interests while negotiating bilaterally with India. It seeks India’s political support to come to power but while in office it opens a second front in Bangladesh for the anti-Indian elements after Pakistan. Recently, we have seen BNP leaders being very critical about the PM’s visit to India and AL leaders’ visit to Delhi. They slammed the government and successfully established it in front of their supporters that the Sheikh Hasina’s government is nothing but an Indian agency ruling Bangladesh. On the contrary, with regard to the recent visit of BNP leaders to Delhi, AL general secretary said that they have nothing to do with the visit. Well, the secretary might not have anything to say but many do.
First of all, BNP supporters, becoming furious on the visit, asked why BNP needs India to come to power. Don’t they believe in the people of Bangladesh? Several sources confirmed that BNP leaders engaged in heated debate in their office on this issue. Secondly, BNP’s hardcore political partner, since its founder General Zia’s period, Jamat-e-Islami, also showed anger in public for BNP’s sudden India-affection. It was very clear that you cannot be `Mitro’ (friend) of Pakistan and India at the same time; you have to choose one. The strong union between BNP and Pakistan is not only an open secret but has also achieved trust over the years of service given to each other. All on a sudden, the 360 degree somersault by some of the BNP leaders towards India made Pakistan and its all-time ally Jamat-e-Islami furious, who now started blackmailing BNP with its political secrets.
Third and most importantly, in the Indian political, social, cultural or academic circuit, BNP is not known as their ally, rather it is known as the beneficiary of the killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, the Father of the Nation and a political icon of the Indian subcontinent. Moreover, in the new millennia when BNP-Jamat led government were in power, the relationship between Bangladesh and India deteriorated to the worst in all aspects since the independence of Bangladesh. So it is hard to bring their stance back to pro-BNP in just one visit of some pro-Indian businessmen turned BNP leaders – this was the view of the most of the Indian commentators. In addition, India herself is now struggling with a strong wave of religious extremism; two major religions in India are at loggerheads and the current regime is clearly in favor of the saffronists. In this crucial time, would India take the risk of another extreme religious political burden which is not really a supporter of their cause? That is definitely a burning question. A political cancer over India’s head (read map) is enough to put the country at severe security threat, so why they would maximize the risk in their belly (see India’s map again) with a political platform who are not trustworthy?
A few commentators though, believe that India should not keep all the `eggs’ in one basket. She should keep BNP in good faith too. For that, BNP should leave its old friends and change its `character’ as a whole. Apparently the BNP leaders, on the order of their acting chairperson – who is currently an asylum seeker in the UK – gave assurance to India for that change. If so, then it should be an achievement for us as well. If BNP comes out of its extreme political stance, the people of Bangladesh will benefit the most. The changes that the people of Bangladesh could not bring, India did it in one go. No doubt, this is the biggest triumph (if it is the case, which many have doubts as discussed above) before the upcoming election in Bangladesh. Let’s see how things proceed and where we go with a new India-loving platform in the political arena.