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To Manmohan Singh from a Bangladeshi: Jyoti Rahman

July 6, 2011
Guest post by JYOTI RAHMAN
In a Q&A session with five newspaper editors recently, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had this to say about the Indo-Bangladesh relations:

With Bangladesh, we have good relations. Bangladesh government has gone out of its way to help us in apprehending the anti-Indian insurgent groups which were operating from Bangladesh for a long time. And that is why we have been generous in dealing with Bangladesh. We are not a rich country. But we offered it a line of credit of one billion dollars, when Sheikh Hasina came here. We are also looking at ways and means of some further unilateral concessions. We are also looking at ways and means of finding a practical and pragmatic solution to the sharing of Teesta waters. I plan to go there myself. The external affairs minister is planning to go later this week. So, Bangladesh, our relations are quite good. So with Bangladesh, our relations are quite good. But we must reckon that at least 25 per cent of the population of Bangladesh swears by the Jamiat-ul-Islami and they are very anti-Indian, and they are in the clutches, many times, of the ISI. So, a political landscape in Bangladesh can change at any time. We do not know what these terrorist elements, who have a hold on the jamiat-e-islami elements in Bangladesh, can be upto.

There are more errors here than one would have found in the balance sheets of Lehman Brothers. Let me note a few.

Firstly, what is Jamiat-ul-Islami / Jamiat-e-Islami? There is no such party in Bangladesh. The closest I can think of is Jamaat-e-Islami. Conflating Jamaat and Jamiat makes Dr Singh sound like those clueless westerners who think most Indians speak Hindu.

Of course the Jamaat-e-Islami is strongly anti-Indian, Dr Singh has that right. I have no idea whether it is in the clutches of the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence, but its sister party in Pakistan was a favourite of Gen Zia-ul-Huq, this much is well known. It’s also a historical fact that the Jamaat fought against the creation of Bangladesh, and its members formed Al Badr and Al Shams death squads that perpetrated some of the worst atrocities during the war in 1971.

Given that history, it would be quite odd if a quarter of Bangladesh swore by the Jamaat.

Fortunately for Bangladesh, and embarrassingly for Dr Singh, the Jamaat commands nowhere near that kind of support. It has participated in six parliamentary elections. Its highest tally was 12% of votes and 6% of MPs – that was in 1991. In the most recent election, in 2008, it got 4% of votes and less than 1% of Members of Parliament. Its average over all elections: 6% votes, 3% MPs. Even if everyone voting for theJamaat swears by it – and we know that people vote for all sorts of reasons, and not just because they swear by the politicians – 25% seems wide off the mark.

So that’s error number two.

But these are factual errors, gaffes. We shouldn’t read too much into them.

But these gaffes signify some deeper maladies.

If LK Advani or Narendra Modi or some other chest-thumping Hindutva type said this, one would have excused it as the feverish rantings of ultra-nationalists. But it was Dr Singh, whose reputation in the global stage is one of towering intellect providing sober tales, not sabre rattling. That supposedly intelligent, sensible Indians might have such basic blind spots with regards to Bangladesh should send a shiver down the spine of any Bangladeshi, pro- or anti-Indian.

While the Jamaat does not command any serious support, many (perhaps even most) politically conscious Bangladeshis harbour a sense of apprehension about India which has nothing to do with the Jamaat or the ISI.

Consider these comments by Shahidul Alam:

Shahidul Alam is a card-carrying member of the left. He has been active in, or supportive of, most progressive causes fought for in contemporary Bangladesh. He would probably be considered a heretic by the jihadis. He was speaking at a talk show aired by Channel I, a secular, liberal media outlet.

Not only does Dr Singh appear to have no idea that people like Shahidul Alam are sceptic about India, he seems to have no idea whatsoever about what really aggravates Bangladeshis about India. If he did, he would have acknowledged the border killings, he would have known that much more than anything else, it’s this photo that had not only shocked and angered most Bangladeshis, but was also discussed around the world, from the Guardian to the Foreign Policy.

Of course, Dr Singh didn’t mention the trigger happy BSF at all. Instead, he talked about how generous his government has been towards Bangladesh with the $1 billion loan.

Let’s put that loan into context.

Bangladesh’s economy has been booming for the past decade, and the country is hobbled with infrastructure bottlenecks – spend an hour in Dhaka and you’ll know. The Awami League promised massive infrastructure building in the 2008 election. To pay for the power plants, expressways and bridges, it has borrowed between one and three billion each from South Korea, China, Turkey and the IMF/World Bank since coming to power in 2009 . The Indian loans are nothing special in the scheme of things here.

And the Indian loans are not only relatively expensive, but also, almost all of the money will have to be spent on Indian firms and goods. Some generosity that.

It gets more interesting. The Indian Foreign Minister, SM Krishna, is scheduled to visit Bangladesh soon. As it happens, Mr Krishna has been accused of corruption regarding lines of credit extended by India to neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh:

The controversy (the [Ministry of External Affairs] has scarcely ever been dogged by the C-word) revolves around the award of contracts for projects and the line of credit, worth a few billions of rupees, extended to neighbouring countries, particularly Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and in Africa. This is said to have led to the shifting out of joint secretary T.S. Tirumurti, who till recently headed the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka-Myanmar-Maldives division (commonly known as BSM)…

But soon enough, what had earlier just smelt fishy now began to toss up evidence of the actual corruption. A few days after [the construction of a housing project in Sri Lanka through an Indian line of credit] was given the green signal, senior officials from the other two public sector entities called the BSM enquiring whether the [Ministry] expected a cut from the project. When asked for reasons, PSU officials disclosed that a businessman, claiming to be close to [the Foreign Minister's advisor], was demanding a cut. The BSM division promptly replied that its expectations were a “zero cut” from the housing project, and the businessman was asked to buzz off…

MEA officials counter that [a Joint Secretary was removed] because he would have insisted on stringent scrutiny of another line of credit pending in Bangladesh, where India is scheduled to build a railway line. (A line of credit is an MEA programme which has India finance a project in another country, with 85 per cent of it executed by Indian companies.) [Outlook]

Despite what Dr Singh may think, Bangladesh can get along perfectly well without the Indian line of credit. And, if it turns out that the money of Bangladeshi taxpayers – it’s a loan, which will be repaid with interest by the Bangladeshi taxpayers – is going to fuel corruption in India, then it would probably be better to cancel the line of credit altogether.

Of course, this tragedy of error ended with the damning para erased from the official website. That is the kind of stuff one would expect in a certain country that has the words ‘People’s Democracy’ in its name. Sad to see it in a real democracy that we in Bangladesh would like to look up to.

(This post has benefitted from contribution by my fellow bloggers Dhakashohor and Tacit).

(Jyoti Rahman blogs about Bangladesh.)
25 Comments leave one →
  1. Sadman29 permalink
    July 6, 2011 9:31 AM

    Thanks JYOTI RAHMAN for bringing the issue up. The Government of India killed the story before they thought it could put a strain on the Indo-Bangladesh bilateral relationship. But it became a hot issue already. Mr.Singh was known as a cool and very learned technocrat turned politician. If his assertion that at least 25% of Bangladeshis are Jamat-e- Islami Followers having anti-Indian feeling none should have any reason to talk. Everyone has a right to hold his his/her own opinion. But in the process Mr.Singh has made Jamaatis gratified on the progress they have so far made. Based on statistics Jamat -e- Islami has between 5 -8% vote of their own, much less than BJP in India has.Jamat on it’s own has not strength. The reason for killing the story on MEA, Government of India website was little funny. They did not disown the statement but said it was made off the record in his discussion with 5 (five) editors of leading dailies of India. I am guessing, the statement reflects the mind of Mr.Singh. Its no different for many of the Indian leaders. Many of us as Bangladeshis had the luck of observing the immense sacrifice Indian Military and people particularly of Indian States of West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalya had made to support our liberation in 1971. It was a friendship molded with bloods of Indian and Bangladeshi spilled on the soil of Bangladesh. We will remain grateful as long as we live. After Bangladesh came into being relationship between the two governments and people was very brotherly and cordial. Have Indian policy makers ever had opportunity to ponder why the relationship started souring even during later part of the reign of the founding father of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibor Rahman? One may blame post Sheikh Mujib Governments for insensitive attitude. But the seed was sown long before they came in. Mr.Singh brought out their real inner feelings only. We as Bangladeshis have to live with it.
    .

  2. July 6, 2011 12:29 PM

    State to state is one thing, and people to people is quite another!
    Keeping telling lies and perpetuating myths indeed serve the interests of the ruling elite on either side. It is all the more more evident in the context of neo liberal globalization and its mendacious ideology of ‘clash of civilization’.

  3. John Civillo permalink
    July 6, 2011 6:11 PM

    Jamaaet Islami in the undivided India was against partition of India. But when it got divided, they also agreed with the fact. Jamaaet Islami in undivided pakistan was against partition of Pakistan also. When it also became a geo-political fact, they agreed with the fact. Now, if Bangladesh or any other country is again going to be divided, I do understand from the historical pattern that they will be against it also. Any patritic person will be so and has to be so.

    Any act of a Muslim in India should not be taken to label a Muslim in Pakistan or vice sersa. This applies to the parties also since all of them are indipendant parties. This applies for and between Pakistan and Bangladesh as well since they are independant countries. Bangladeshi Jamaat has nothing to do with the alleged support given by Pak JI to Zia. Al-Bader and Al-Shams death squads are just a fabrication and concoction created by Awami League. Definitely thousands of Bangladeshis were killed by Pak military. Killing and murder is not the culture Jamaat inculcates among its cadres. Rather what it inculcates int he hearts and minds fo the people is kindness, humanity and mercy. That’s why we don’t see any Jamaat cadre getting involved in such cases in the subcontinent before or after the partitions of Inida and Pakistan. That’s why these kinds of allegations did hold water even among Bangladeshis despite vehement anti-Jamaat propanganda carried out by Awami league and the media. Regardign Jamaat’s strength, Manmohan Singh definitely exaggerated. However, when you look into the schools, colleges and universities of Bangladesh, they constitute much more than 25%. this proves where the coming generation is diriected to.. That’s why Awami League goverment is trying its best to stop growth of Jamaat by putting their leaders in prisons. Jamaat enters into the hearts and minds of the people through sincere services that it extends based on humanity.

    • Sadman29 permalink
      July 12, 2011 2:50 PM

      Mr.Civillo, You are correct people to people relationship is important but when the respective government(s) have another notion, can the relationship move in normal course? In this case fear as well as apprehension about another Government is being .injected by not a X, Y and Z but the Prime Minister of India.

  4. July 7, 2011 3:15 AM

    Sadman29,

    India’s role in 1971, particularly the sacrifices made by ordinary Indian citizens for the liberation of Bangladesh, is recollected in this series of articles published in the now defunct Far Eastern Economic Review:

    http://unheardvoice.net/blog/tag/feers-1971/

    More articles will be posted throughout the year. These articles are the closest we have to a live blog of 1971.

    John,

    Al Badr and Al Shams are not propaganda. They were very much real. Motiur Rahman Nizami, the current Amir of Bangladeshi Jamaat, was the commander of Al Badr, which was composed primarily of student wing of Jamaat. Vali Nasr’s Vanguard of Islamic Revolution provides a detailed account.

    Jamaat’s electoral strength (or lack thereof) are further analysed here:

    http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=70862

    • Sadman29 permalink
      July 8, 2011 10:23 AM

      Ms.Jyoti,

      Thanks. Mr.Singh’s “off the record” conversation in the foothill of American Ambassador’s statement, American policy in Bangladesh would be in line with India’s. Did Mr.Singh outlined the Indian Government’s assessment for USA?

  5. Sadman29 permalink
    July 7, 2011 8:44 AM

    I guess its Jamat-e-Islam Politics is not an issue here. Whether their stand is pro-people or not, leave that on to the respective people to decide. To the best of knowledge and statistics , Jamat-e-Islam has a support base between 1.5% – 4.8% at the hike of any anti-establishment movement. When a prime Minister of a country and particularly Dr.Manmohon Singh who is known as a widely regarded figure in international politics misleads the people, its not without any significance. I am wondering if he is working for the Neocons?

  6. Harsha permalink
    July 7, 2011 4:58 PM

    John Civillo comments seem quite interesting . In India Jamaat e Islami (JI) is most active supposrt base in kerala , it runs a daily which do have some influence among the community in malabar and expatriates in middle east. The daily spaced columns from ex – naxallites and other liberal intellectuals. The irony is this : during the last local body election Jamaat tried to test the waters by fielding candidates and the same intellectual lauded and supported the same , but the muslim relegious leadership (Both Sufi and Salafi)came forward exposing Jamaat’s founding principles through seminars and publications before the Kerala public. Founding principles of JI could be understood from the following treatise of its founding father
    1. hukumat-e-ilahi.
    2. Qadiani Kashmakash
    The Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt and Neo – Islamist intellectuals like Sayyid Quttab are said to be significantly influenced by Maulana maudoodi

  7. July 8, 2011 8:58 AM

    Most positing don’t do their homework. Best is a Mumbai boy has to read about terrorism. Be it Dr Singh or whoever in Bangladesh. My city has been brutalized since 12 March, 1993. And for God’s sake, don’t use religion angle. Communal divide lives in pseudo-intellectuals’’ minds not us. Bangladesh BDR is notorious to give cover fire and send poor Bangladeshis into India. Many illegal migrants said that elite of Bangladesh don’t bother about us or why would we leave our motherland? Dr Mammohan Singh of course is the worst leader in India’s history. As a schoolboy my images of Bangladesh was joyful people celebrating Liberation in 1971 Indo-Pak War and applauding and dancing as Lt Gen Niazi surrendered 90,000 troops to Lt Gen Aurora. George Harrison’s’ Bangladesh Music Concert Years later I danced as a teenager to the great Runa Laila ‘s songs.
    Ms Jyoti Rahman is doing her best to obliterate happy memories of Bangladesh . Ms Rahman has lost her humanity by living in an ivory tower. What vicious pleasure she gets by showing a photo of child hung on a barbed wire? Has she understood why the boy is on the border in the first place? Or why there is a fence ? If Bangladesh had a great economy would the young boy even bother try scaling the fence ? Unless he was an Indian trying to enter Bangladesh. Or our BSF went into Dacca and pulled him out to string the poor boy on the barbed wire.
    Finally Kafila “ concerned” scholars, activists, writers and journalists should concern the true sense of the word.
    Kafila team people are dishonest to themselves.

    Sunil Shibad
    Mumbai, India.

  8. John Civillo permalink
    July 11, 2011 1:33 PM

    Dear Jyoti,

    What I intended and wanted to mention is the alleged murder and massacre done by JI in Bangladeshi Liberation war is just a fabrication and concotion to tarnish a movement that actually works throughout the subcontinent very peacefully. I never have come across any record subversive or sabotageous activities carried out by Ji either in Indian partition or at any other time in any of the country. True, they are an ideological movement. We may agree or disagree with their ideology. But that does not mean that we have to agree with all the allegations usually the enemies put on them. JI and the movements like Ikhwan that we have seen in Thahreer Square are from a seed that is totally different from that of extremism, terrorism, communalism who usually get involved in such massacres and murders, sabatoges and subversive activities. We don’t need to eat the rice in the pot completely to know if it is cooked or not. The activities that is carried out by JI in Bangladesh and othe countries itself speak volumes about the nature of this organization.

    Historically, JI looks to be against divisions and fragmentations. That’s why it was against partition of India. But when it became true, it also adapted with the truth. Even India and all the political parties of India had to agree with the fact. Jamaaet Islami in undivided pakistan was against partition of Pakistan also. When it also became a geo-political fact, they agreed with the fact. Even Pakistan itself had to agree with this fact. Now, if Bangladesh or any other country is again going to be divided, I do understand from the historical pattern that Bangla JI will be against it also. Any patriotic person will be so and has to be so.

    Harsha, there is no such principle called Qadiani kashmakash. There is book/treatise written by Maudoodi before the partition of India with the title of “Musalmanon aur mawjooda siyaasi kashmakash”. This book reflects Maudoodi’s thoughts on the pre-partitition India in terms of political parties, their principles, political policies and positions, paritition of India ect. Hukoomathe Ilaahi was the initial goal of JI. Later during the time of Maudoodi himself, they changed the wording into Iqamatudheen as the latter is more comprehensive and corresponds to the Koranic terminology. This goal makes JI an Ideological movement different and distinctive from other parties. There is nothing to blame a party for having a goal to achieve and attain as long as they do work peacefully to achieve this goal. That does not mean such goals should not be critically analyzed, evaluated or asessed. JI’s goal also can be critically evaluated and analysed from all angles including moral, philosophical, political and socio-economic perspectives.

    • Harsha permalink
      July 11, 2011 6:41 PM

      First of all i made a mistake in typing the second work of maudoodi. its actualy the Urdu equivalent of the title ‘The Qadiani question/ problem’ (Qadiani Ma’asala or something similar ). The book is much about the finality of the Prophet vis a vis Ahamediya philosephy. Justice Munir commission which enquired the massacre of Ahmediyas of Pakistan has indicted Maudoodi as a prime instigater.

      ” We don’t need to eat the rice in the pot completely to know if it is cooked or not”. you feel fully impressed by Madhyamam / Solidarity/IPH etc . what about Motiur Rahman Nizami which Jyoti has mentioned as well as the then Islamic chathra Shibir leaders who are now facing prosecution in Dhaka.

      I suggest you gather some information about the book
      ‘Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within ‘ by Shuja Nawaz which talks about the fervent Islamisation of Pakistan and the role played Jamaat e Islami in the same. Even in Kerala JI owned IPH (Islamic Publishing House) was the first to come with Malayalam translation of Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s fatwa which explains why it has become the duty of Muslims to wage an ‘ARMED’ jihad against communism in the wake of Soviet Afghan war (1979-89).

      To an extent I agree with your view on JI’s kerala unit but Mathematical induction principle cannot be used to generalise the Organisation

      • Harsha permalink
        July 13, 2011 7:42 PM

        ” Now, if Bangladesh or any other country is again going to be divided, I do understand from the historical pattern that Bangla JI will be against it also. Any patriotic person will be so and has to be so.

        John Civillo , here the issue is quite relative. In J&K , jamaat is in favour of JK’s annexation to Pakistan so here how can you differentiate Pan- Islamism/ Patriotism.JI was quite instrumental in the setup of Hizbul Mujahideen in kashmir whose goal is the annexation of kashmir to pakistan

        • John Civillo permalink
          July 14, 2011 10:43 AM

          Dear Harsha,

          This is a valid question raised by many and needs to be addressed. In Kashmir there myriad organizations fighting for different causes. So, it is very easy to get consfused who stands for what. Kashmir is a different topic both in nature and content. It is an unfinsihed part of the unfortunate partition of Indian Subcontinent. Indian JI is against JKLF’s and others who are fighting for independance of Kashmir. There are some other organizations who want Kashmir to be annexed with pakistan. Kashmir JI had to expel its leader Ali Shaa Gilani from the party for his support to secessionist movement. That does not mean Kashmir JI does not have any grievance against Indian Government and military. All parties in Kashmir has got such grievances in common. They all are against the atrocities meted to Kashmiris by Indian Military adn paramilitary forces. For that reason, they are forced to resist Indian military. As far as I know, Kasmir JI wants India to consider Kashmiri’s opinion through a plebecite as it had committed it to UN. Even though it is against annexation of Kasmir to pakistan, it wants that to be decided by Kashmiris through a plebecite as it was promised to them by Indian Government. Fir India, it is matter of walking the talk. For the solution of Kashmir’s problem, Kashmir JI proposes plebecite. Plebecite does not mean annexation to Pakistan.. It means whatever be the decision, it has to be through Kashmiris’ opinion and not through the brutal military force. For this, Indian approach to Kashmir needs to change. As of now, India is concerned only about the land and not about the people… India needs to understand Kashmir is both land and people.

  9. Sadman29 permalink
    July 12, 2011 8:17 AM

    Ms.Jyoti you are on the track. I could not understand why Kadiani issue was brought in here? Jamat-e-Islami was a party with the Pakistani occupation forces and were instrumental in the formation of Al-Badr, Al-Shams, Raakar, etc to give helping hand to the Pakistanis during the 1971 massacre. Jamat along with the bodies mentioned above directly killed Bangalee Intelligentsia at the fag end of the war. Those part part of history.

  10. John Civillo permalink
    July 12, 2011 3:12 PM

    Dear Harsha, Thank you for your input. Well appreciated. I am sorry to note that I cannot take the prosecution by an enemy goverment granted as a proof. If so, you will have to qualify many innocents in the history prosecuted by the enemy goverments as criminals. Nelson Mandela was prosecuted by South African aparthied governement. Our Mahatma Gandhi, Subash Chandra Bose, Bagath Singh ect. were prosecuted by the British.. Looking into the personality and integrity of Muteeurahman and Ghulaam Azam, I don’t think they can be culprits in such murders and massacres, rapes and robberies. They were not before and they are not after. The literatures that they propagage among their cadres don’t teach or inculcate such ideas. As an organization, you won’t be able to command your cadres something totally different and contradictory to what you have taught your cadres so far. That will trigger disobedience, division and split in any organization. ( JI in Pakistan or Bangladesh did not have such splits at all). Even most of the Bangladeshis who don’t agree with the ideology of JI don’t agree with this. After getting the power again, AL publicly vowed to exterminate JI from Bangladesh. The‘war crime’ tribunal drama is wrought, directed and staged by AL as part of this agenda. AL is not confident to try any of JI’s leader under ordinary judicial system. That’s why, AL’s had to revive an Act, namely the Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, which denies basic human rights of the accused. Under this Act anyone can be prosecuted and convicted without proper evidence or on the basis of false and fabricated evidence (you can compare it with what is going on in India under our POTA). Why International Bar Association has already declared this Act as outdated, fraught with injustices and against fundamental human rights does not surprise me at all. Nevertheless, AL government is adamant in prosecuting the so called ‘war criminals’ through this Act, and accordingly started a massive media campaign against the leaders of Jamaat.

    EVen before forming the tribunal and appointing the investigators and prosecutors, the ultra secularissts AL ( like that of former Kemalist Turkey) and the media loyal to them had included all top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders in the list of ‘war criminals’ and started seriously defaming and defiling them. Their list even includes some of JI’s leaders who were only 4 years old at the time of the liberation war (!). On 19th March 2010, AL’s State Minister of Law said that the top leaders of Jamaat including its Ameer Mr. Mawlana Motiur Rahman Nizami, Secretary General Mr. Ali Ahsan Mujaheed, Deputy Ameer Mr. Mawlana Delwar Hossain Sayeedi and others will be prosecuted first as ‘war criminals.’ ( He has laready judged even before trial!) On 20th March 2010, a top policy-maker of the AL government and the Agriculture Minister Mrs. Motia Chawdhury said that the JI will be hanged to death as ‘war criminals.’ (Even Verdict also is given!) The Law Minister of Bangladesh, (a known communist comrade since his student life, as part of his government’s campaign to get international support, visited some countries including the United States and realized that the ‘war crime’ drama to execute Jamaat leaders. He even ignored the trial of the real identified 195 war criminals and prisoners of war from the then Pakistani army who were exonerated under a tri-partite treaty between Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, may not be accepted internationally. Therefore, since the trial of war criminals requires monitoring and involvement of international community, and hence in order to avoid external intervention, he came up with a tricky alternative new idea of so called ‘trial of crimes against humanity.’ They are now propagating that they will not try the ‘war criminals’ but those who committed the ‘crimes against humanity’ during the time of liberation war in 1971.

    On 26th March 2010, the government appointed judges, prosecutors and investigators for the trial under the notorious Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973. All of them are involved with and loyal to the AL regime. Even though government has expressed its wish to finish the ‘war crime’ tribunal by the end of this year, I don’t think they will do it. They will drag till the next election after two and half years. (Here AL is trying to make something out “Bangla Patriotism” like that of Ram temple of our BJP to make maximum political capital out of it without considering the changes that Bangladesh is undergoing). The international and regional anti-Islamic forces and their local agents like the ruling AL and and its communist allies consider Jamaat as the main obstacle in fulfilling their dream of an ‘Islam free Bangladesh.’ If they can successfully convict the entire leadership of Jamaat, the next step will be banning Islam based political parties and associations, (a kind of Kemalist “Democracy” is going to be implemented in Bangladesh under AL’s reign. It has failed in Turkey. will it succeed in Bangladesh? – Let us wait and see!. They have already taken steps to de-Islamize the education system which will be easily done if there is no opposition from JI.

    But, as Manmohan Singh has been afraid of, Jamaat is now deeply rooted in Bangladesh and is capable of facing the challenge both politically and legally. Sometimes, democratic process fails to reflect the true strength of a party, espcially in a multi party parliamentary system based on number of constituencies rather than proportional votes. Manmohan Singh is a far sighted leader. He had a very strong feeling of Bangladesh JI’s strength even though it was little bit exaggerated. There is no wonder why AL government has turned very hard and heavy on Bangla JI. If you want to know Bnagla JI’s strength among younger generation, you need to measure it from the schools, colleges and universities.. That will give you an idea on where future generation of Bangladesh is directed to and why Manmohan Singh had to express his apprehensions..

    Regarding Qadiani Problem, it is a pamphlet written by Maudoodi. Its demand was to declare Qadianis in Pakistan as a religious minority and give them all their due rights as a minority community. Qadianess wanted to be acknowledged as Muslims which was baseless. Qadiaanism is a different religion just like Islam is different from Christianity. This is not only JI’s position but it is the position accpted by all Muslims all over the world. Regardless of whether it is true or false, Qadianis believe in the prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Qadiani which is diametrically contradictory to what Muslims believe in the finality of prophethood with the mission of Mohammad. This belief qualifies Qadianism to be considered as a separate religion. Since they are minority in Pakistan, they need to be given all the rights of Minority religious community. Period!

  11. Sadman29 permalink
    July 13, 2011 8:26 AM

    Mr. Civillo there are two distinct issues here. One Commitment of crime against humanity and the undergoing trial. Any one right to may have comments in a globalized world. As regards the commitment of crime by Jamat-e – Islami and other so called Islamist parties during the 1971 occupation period is concerned, many of us are alive to recount those unfortunate days and how Jamat-e-Islami, Muslim League,Nijam-e-Islami party top leadership were directly involved in the wanton killings, arsons, rapes, etc . Many of these leaders who are still alive and some of them are in custody awaiting trial in the Tribunal. Lets wait to see. Whatever be the outcome, We those had the misfortune of going through the carnage are aware who did what in 1971? Certificates from outside wont change us.

  12. John Civillo permalink
    July 13, 2011 1:50 PM

    Our is a world where ruthless plain cloth police, soldiers and others come in the attire of the people whom they oppose and hate.. and do the carnage. Then they put the blame on the such organizations to tarnish their image.. Media also support it. Laymen and other people without analysing the issue usually believe. We have seen it in Algeria, we have seen it very recently in Egypt. We know what usually are done by the State’s intelligence agencies… We have seen a lot of such episodes in India as well..

    I am used to look into the culture of the organization.. character and integrity of the people accused, what do they teach their cadres.. How they do work among the people.. Then I do try to corelate the issue with antecednts and postecedents and try to reach into a conclusion from analytical viewpoint… Here, I think JI, Brotherhood and similar ideological organizations are from a seed different from that of murder and masacre. I cannot believe mandrake root has produced pomegranate, nor otherway around.. They definitely have opposed the division of the state and fragmentation of the society. We may disagree with their ideology. But that does not mean that we have to believe whatever the state, media and the enemies propagage against them.. In this case, I would rather go back to their fundamental literatures and the culture that they inculcate among their cadres…

  13. Sadman29 permalink
    July 13, 2011 2:14 PM

    It better to say Indian Government’s Bangladeshfobia. What Bangladeshis point out is the raw treatment it has received from India over the years. One wonders if the Indian Power lobby wanted to see Bangladesh after it had helped us in our war of liberation? Is it that frustration at times creeping out?

  14. July 14, 2011 9:27 AM

    John,

    Other Islamist parties elsewhere in the subcontinent may or may not be peaceful, but Jamaat in 1971 was anything but peaceful.

    In any war of national liberation or resistance against foreign occupation, there are people who side with the occupiers, and Bangladesh in 1971 was no exception. Some of those opposing Bangladesh’s liberation did so because of ideological reasons, others were opportunists who thought the Pakistanis would win, and yet others found themselves victim of the circumstances. Jamaat-e-Islam not only collaborated with the Pak army, they formed militias that fought the Mukti Bahini in the battlefield. In December 1971, when the collapse of the Pakistani occupation was imminent, Al-Badr and Al-Shams, the Jamaati militias, murdered a number of key intellectuals in order to leave the new country bereft of thinkers.

    One can argue whether these armed actions constituted war crimes or not. And one can definitely debate the origin and fall out of the 1971 war. But the contention that Jamaat was peaceful in 1971 is simply wrong.

    Jamaat was banned after the war until the early 1980s. It has worked hard to re-establish itself as a political force in the past three decades. In this, it has not eschewed violence. Far from it. Its student cadres have been just as violent as the cadres of the mainstream parties like the Awami League and BNP.

    And for all that violence, it doesn’t really have all that much to show. It is not as strong in the campus as you say. More analysis on Jamaat’s politics is here:

    http://jrahman.wordpress.com/2010/04/11/civil-war-in-jamaat/

  15. John Civillo permalink
    July 14, 2011 11:48 AM

    Dear Jyoti Rahman,

    Thanks for your input. I am sorry to disagree with some of your points. First of all, I am against manipulating the old history based on the later day incidents. History is always the song sung by the vitorious. There, you won’t see anything in favour of the defeated. Historically, Bangladesh was not occupied by Pakistan just like Pakistan was not occupied by India. Post nation creation history cannot and should not change the pre-nation creation history. Of course, ZA Bhutto and Yahya Khan had made blatantly gross mistakes. That resulted in the civil war ( it is not a war against occupation – If so, JI also would have stood against the occupation forces as all Islamic movements all over the world definitely will be any occupying force at any time). As an all Pak organization, JI in undivided pakistan was against partition of Pakistan just like it was against partition of India. We need to read and understand the issue from the background of the context for the content discussed herein is closely related to the context therein. In a civil war like situation people always take sides. As an all pak organization based on Islamic ideology, JI Bangla couldn’t have any stand different from all Pak JI. So, it was logical and natural at that time that Bngla JI sided against partition. That doesn’t mean whatever atrocities meted to Mukthi Bahini by Pak military is supported by Jamaat. Antecedents and postecedents do not support it. The culture, the content and the haracter of the organization do not corroborate it. The literatures that they propagage among their cadres don’t teach or inculcate such mad ideas. As an organization, it cannot command its cadres something totally different and diametrically contradictory to what it has been teaching its cadres. That would have triggered disobedience, division and split in the organization itself. Looking into the personality and integrity of Muteeurahman, Delawar Hussain and Ghulaam Azam, I don’t think they can be culprits in such murders and massacres, rapes and robberies as accused by AL. ( Here let us conveniently forget what atrocities Mukti Bahini had meted to the people who were against the division of Pakistan). They were not before and they are not after. In a world like that of us, wee need to think looking into the issue holistically. I am sure Pak military too unde advantage out of Jamaat’s support. Jamaat was not in a position to negate it because of the situation that prevailed at that time. In a world like that of ours where ruthless plain cloth police, soldiers, para military forces and others come in the attire of the civilian people whom they oppose and hate.. and do the carnage. Then they put the blame on the such organizations to tarnish their image.. Media also support it. Laymen and other people without analysing the issue usually believe it as it is. And teh conventinal history also is made accordingly. people fail to see the real history behind the written history. We have seen it in Algeria, we have seen it very recently in Egypt. We know what usually are done by the State’s military forces and intelligence agencies… We have seen a lot of such episodes in India as well..

    Here, I think JI, Brotherhood and similar ideological organizations are from a seed different from that of murder and masacre in its origin and growth. I still don’t and cannot believe mandrake root has produced pomegranate, nor otherway around.. They definitely have opposed the division of the state and fragmentation of the society. They, as an all Pak organization based on Islamic Ideology definitely had sided with Pakistan. (Just imagine, how they would be able to work in the remaining pakistan if they had supported division of Pakistan !. If Chittagong has got a local party and it wants a separate and independant state of Chittagong, Can Chittagong branch of JI as part of all Bangla JI support such a movement!?) We may disagree with their ideology. But that does not mean that we have to believe whatever the state, media and the enemies propagage against them.. In this case, I would rather go back to their fundamental literatures and the culture that they inculcate among their cadres… I would corelate the said history with postecedents and anticedents and will try to reach into a conclusion analytically rather than parroting what is said by others especially by ideological enemies of an organization.

  16. July 14, 2011 4:12 PM

    John, articles and editorials in the contemporary editions of Shangram, Jamaat’s newspaper, strongly urge its members to fight the Mukti Bahini rebels, and commends various battlefield victories by its members in such combat operations.

    Here are a few contemporary news reports about Jamaat’s role in 1971:

    http://www.docstrangelove.com/uploads/1971/bo/19711219_bo_intellectuals_murdered_in_cold_blood.pdf

    http://www.docstrangelove.com/uploads/1971/po/19711103_po_seven_indian_agents_killed_by_razakars.pdf

    http://www.docstrangelove.com/uploads/1971/po/19711104_po_five_indian_agents_killed_by_razakars.pdf

    http://www.docstrangelove.com/uploads/1971/po/19711108_po_badr_day_rally_in_city.pdf

    Again, we can debate about what acts of violence in 1971 constitute war crimes. But the fact that Jamaat members participated in violent actions in 1971 is beyond dispute.

  17. Free bird permalink
    December 18, 2011 10:18 PM

    Dear All,
    Issue is the present crisis made by India. How cruel Indians that made Farakka barrage and made Ganges dried? Now same will do with Tipai Mukh.
    In Bangladesh now 99% people are against India. But India had opportunity to win the hearts of Bangladeshis and to increase business if they come out from crimes like opening Farakka barrage, not building Tipai Mukh barrage, stop killing by BSF.

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