Dr Q M Jalal Khan
(This opinion article argues for a new and neutral Caretaker Government (CTG) and a revamped, overhauled and unbiased Election Commission to hold a free, fair, credible and participatory national or parliamentary election in Bangladesh. Such an election is absolutely impossible, a far cry under the current fascist regime indescribably notorious and nihilistic for stealing people’s money and votes, spilling their blood, and unleashing tsunami oppression, repression, persecution, discrimination, and terror and torture on the nation, to an unlimited degree, for years and years, at least since 2009, as the same party, a party of crooks and criminals of exceedingly atrocious and monstrous nature, did the same during 1972-1975. The CTG system was there before, for at least two times, from 1996-2006, but it was tyrannically cancelled by this despotic and dictatorial regime with dark and devilish intentions. The article ends with a few credible names suggested to be on the CTG and EC, if any, to be constituted and reconstituted in the near future. Hence the article, of exceptional interest, is about the necessity of an impartial, yet patriotic CTG and EC prominently touting/featuring the suggested names of those who the author thinks could possibly be on those bodies, brilliantly rationalizing the formation and reconstitution of those bodies in the greatest interest of the entire Bangladeshi nation at the moment.)
When, about two weeks ago, I initiated, through a few WhatsApp and email groups, the list of a few names for a possible Care-Taker Government CTG (to be reinstated after the sane and sensible system for the sake of a free and fair parliamentary election was dictatorially and despotically thrown out by tyrant Hasina via a dark and devilish backdoor channel about a decade ago) and a reconstituted Election Commission (EC) in the near future as part of a political revamp to correct and clean up the Modi-fied and Hinduized mess (caused by the recklessly fascist Hasina, dubbed as a ‘crime minister’ and ‘prime monster’ by Sr Engr Mohammad Gani of Boston, and her police regime’s endless oppression and repression, widespread persecution and discrimination, draconian suppression of free speech, wholesale loot and corruption, and massive vote rigging in a series of both national and local elections -– all of which have been of overwhelming proportion and upending and unheard-of scale destroying the entire range of state apparatus as well as private institutions since 2009), there were many such as Shamsul Alam Liton of Surma (London), Mahboob Shareef, Engr Mohammad Aleem (Boston) and others who hailed the move to be positive, practical and forward-looking.
Though very like-minded, one great friend of us, however, thought the move was still too early and premature: “We are putting the cart before the horse. First thing first. Let the fascists leave the scene. That is the task of the hour. There will be enough time to make the CTG.” There was hardly any disagreement concerning the removal of the fascist and predatory Awami locusts and legions and their crooked and clownish cadres all full of deadly venom and vitriol for the democratic political opposition and patriotic nationalists. They are all full of terribly toxic infatuation with the communal, fanatical and fundamentalist Hindutva Hindustan, even at the expense of violation of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bangladesh. Their ouster, no doubt, should definitely be the first and foremost concern bearing the urgency and priority of immediate necessity. However, there was some difference as to the argument that once that goal was achieved, the process of CTG could be put in place right away. I said it was not the question of putting the cart before or after the horse. If you had the cart, you got to get the horse ready too and the vice versa. Also, no goal post could be far away across the field where all players play with the nearby goal post set on the either side in focus. I argued that planning and preparation were half the battle urging the great friend to think ahead what others might think later, think today rather than tomorrow. Didn’t the late Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury do the same when he, considered to be a 50-50 mind between the BAL and the BNP, suggested some names for a possible, though unwise and infeasible “national government” about a year ago?
Removing the fascist regime first is automatically a prerequisite for CTG, which we have always insisted upon. All these must come in the same package. There is naturally no question of CTG without the ouster of the mafia Awami fascists. People of Bangladesh need to mount pressure for both the fascists’ ouster and the possible CTG simultaneously with the demand for one paving the way for the other. They do not have to come in separate packages. They are the two sides of the same dime or nickel. We are all together in the same battle doing the talk with the rest of tons of other talks and contributing our two cents to the constructive discourse aimed at the overthrow of the Awami fascists and terrorists of beastly force and fraud to save the Bangladeshi nation from further political turmoil of which they have had enough for the last about 15 years.
Dr Muazzam Kazi (Boston) was one of the first to come forward with this supporting comment through email groups: “We can’t live without a dream. Human achievement is based on a dream. Expectation of a CTG is real, it may take time but it will happen, for sure. That day is not far, Bangladeshi people will vote under a caretaker government.” Dr Fatima Ashrafi (Australia) also was one of the first to come out in support of such a move to launch the CTG talk. She began with the following quote: “So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal “– Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr Ashrafi continues to say that we also have similar dreams for the Bangladeshi nation:
“That dream is severely injured by this lady Sheikh Hasina and her associates. There is no justice, no freedom of speech, literally one can’t utter a thing, they are jailed and murdered, and the largest political party members have been tortured, killed, imprisoned, humiliated, and maimed. We all know this. On the surface, there are some developments. But, ‘All that glitters is not gold,’ as Shakespeare said. Some of the development is a natural evolution. I understand the idea of Padma Bridge was President Ayub Khan’s to connect the distant parts of East Pakistan. Also, much of our development and progress is our own hard work, no political party had any role in it. If any role the Awami League has and had, it is creating corruption, lack of morality, and hunger for money. Personally, I have lost my flats and property in Dhaka and village that I bought with money saved from my youth working in the Middle East. There is so much corruption and immorality — education has been compromised, attempts are made to undermine Islam at every stage, minorities are actually unsafe and the list is endless.
“So, we can hope for positive change and momentum is building, In Shaa Allah. Our brother, out of that wish for the nation and patriotism, has proposed a few names. That is a very good thing. Obviously, it is only the thinking stage and I am sure, after discussion, more names can be added. It is only thinking, nothing formative, as the nation is waking up, we are hoping something like this will happen. My utmost thanks to Dr Khan for thinking of me, if possible, I of course would like to serve my nation, I know there are many other more suitable people. We will prove that Bangladesh is one of the best countries in the world, let us work on the common goal of ousting this monstrous Government and her cronies from power.”
“In the removal of the detested and despised autocratic rule of Hasina and the AL”, writes Barrister M B I Munshi in support of CTG, through a number of email groups, “everyone has their role to play. While the Bangladeshis in Bangladesh will eventually determine whether Hasina remains in power or not, Bangladeshi expats in various countries that are discussing and sharing their views on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, WhatsApp and E-mail groups also have an important role in this. The reason for this is that the elite Bangladeshis have for decades failed the people of the country and are generally distrusted. None of them are seen as honest or trustable and so none of them can move the people to confrontation with the government. This is where the expat Bangladeshis come in. Many of them are considered far more favorably than the elites in Bangladesh and they get huge viewership and responses. [….] The only way to overcome all these problems is a united and coordinated action where everyone has a role to play none of which is too small or insignificant and everyone needs to put away their selfish and greedy personal interests and work towards the removal of the Hasina regime. The demand for a CTG is something that everyone can get behind and support and so discussing and raising the issue is an important first step. There are also other issues that may be raised. Judiciary is wholly corrupt and politicized where justice can no longer be expected. Serious and scathing criticism may also be made about the police force, army, and administration, which are all acting in collusion with the AL government against the interests of the people and country.”
In a back-to-back email blog, Barrister Munshi continues:
“The reason for raising issues like the CTG or other possible administrative set up is that people in Bangladesh want something to aim for. An objective of sorts. The natural question in everyone’s minds in Bangladesh is, once Hasina is toppled, then what? What are we fighting for and why? Is it simply to replace one corrupt party with another? If people are going to risk everything, they need to know what will happen next and what to aim for. Because politicians are generally distrusted and not believed and are considered wholly self-serving, the people are not interested to get behind them. By talking about the CTG and the issues currently plaguing the country, a kind of ground work is being established. This process has been ongoing for more than 2 years but nothing has happened because of the dithering of the BNP and that other parties are all trying to take power all by themselves thinking they are the only ones that can provide leadership and bring down the government. The main problem, however, has been a lack of leadership as well as infighting and sabotage by government and foreign elements.
“To think of possible scenarios on the fall of Hasina is not actually a far-away goal because once she is toppled, you will have only a matter of hours to present the new set up to the people. If this takes days there is the risk of a violent and bloody counter move by the AL. Is it not better to think of possible scenarios beforehand and be prepared?
“The situations of 2014 and 2018 are certainly pertinent today but there are important considerations here as well. In 2014 the BNP did wage a massive nationwide movement against the AL which lasted for about 3 months and was brutally suppressed but could have succeeded had it continued but elements in the BNP forced Khaleda Zia to back down. She, nevertheless, boycotted the election resulting in an AL victory for which KZ was heavily criticized. But did she have any other choice? Looking back now I think everyone will agree that there was no option that would have made a difference. The international powers were also not behind the BNP with nearly all opposed to a return of TR.
“In 2018 the BNP did participate in the elections but as we know the whole process was heavily rigged and manipulated by the AL. An outcome that would have happened in 2014 had the BNP participated. The BNP then claimed the government was illegal but nevertheless participated in parliament which made no sense. The BNP had also filed a dozen cases in the High Court alleging rigging and manipulation in dozens of constituencies but for some reason did not pursue the matter possibly because they had decided to join parliament.
“Now we are heading into the 2024 elections. The situation is now vastly different from 2009, 2014 and 2018 with the international situation changed and America apparently considering regime change in Bangladesh and the economy heading for economic crisis later in the year. According to the IMF, Bangladesh will have $19 billion in reserves by June 2023, so by the end of the year, that could go below $10 billion, which is less than one month in import bills. This may possibly be the last chance for the BNP to unseat the government and so they are pushing for a free and fair election but still not completely clear on a CTG and who would be part of it. The BNP street movement has also lost steam and TR is not providing any guidance on what should be done, although his recent speeches are considerably more aggressive but not exactly to the point. Time is running out and it is important we think ahead and so considering possible scenarios is important regardless of whether America or anyone else is interested. A nationalist agenda means we think for ourselves and our national interest rather than selling out our country to the Americans, Indians, Chinese or Russians as nearly all our politicians are doing. It is important to engage with external powers but not to follow their prescriptions slavishly.”
Dr Fatima Ashrafi returns again with the following comment in support: “Back home, our fellow countrymen dare not open their mouths or pens to express their opinion for fear of Goom Khoon; at least in the West we are free from this fear and can dream of liberating the country from the fascists and put some structure forward — it is a dream now maybe, hoping it won’t be long before it becomes a reality.”
Responding in the positive to Barrister Munshi’s excellent summation of the whole scenario, Quazi Nuruzzaman (Boston), a former UNDP official of international experience, comments: “Admirable. You have very correctly depicted my state of mind all through. This is what we all should embark on, strive for, and continue until victory is achieved. United and dedicated. Deviation will make us weak and lead us to failure. So be serious and mean business, instead of gossip or blame. It’s high time. Not much time left before us.”
It is in light of all the above views and opinions that I suggest that we should continue to build pressure for a neutral CTG and a neutral EC in order to save the people of Bangladesh from the claws and clutches of the fascist Hasina and her BALs full of crooks and clowns and sycophants and scoundrels. Let’s continue to mount pressure for CTG and EC the possible members of which could perhaps be as suggested below. Once again, let’s float the names of those who could possibly serve in the future neutral CTG and also the reconstituted EC, if any, to hold free and fair elections to oust the Modi-fied and Hinduized fascist Hasina and her BAL and their lackeys and loonies in the best interest of the country and the most democratic and peaceful way possible.
The proposed list is as follows:
Q M Jalal Khan, PhD (USA)
Author, co-author and lead editor:
1. Bangladesh: Social Media Outcries Against the Awami Fascism ($20.00 only)
2. Bangladesh: Political and Literary Reflections on a Divided Country (New York: Peter Lang, 2018).
3. Bangladesh Divided: Reflections on a Corrupt Police and Prison State (New York: Peter Lang, 2019).
4. Bangladesh: A Suffering People Under State Terrorism (New York: Peter Lang, 2020). www.amazon.com/Bangladesh-Suffering-People-Under-Terrorism/dp/1433176580
5. Bangladesh in Bondage: Tarique Rahman, SQC, LB, and Other Essays (Palgrave Macmillan),
6. Begum Khaleda Zia: People’s Leader of Bangladesh ($30.00 only)
7. Bangladesh Under Awami Tyranny (WR, February 2022), $20.00 only
8. President Ziaur Rahman: Legendary Leader of Bangladesh (WR, 2021), $25.00 only
9. India’s Hegemonic Design in Bangladesh (WR, 2020)
10. আওয়ামী ফ্যাসিবাদ: দেশপ্রেমের বিদ্রোহী পংক্তিমালা (Awami Fascism in Bangladesh: Patriotic Verses of Rebellion) $16.00 only
www.amazon.com/gp/product/1800682638/ref=cx_skuctr_share?smid=A3GP44ZNKGHSAQ%20 (for USA/Canada)
www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1800682638/ref=cm_sw_r_wa_apa_i_3CZSDNYATN21NVMGS0QR%20 (for UK and Europe).