Why still VOTE for Awami League?

Mahfuz Chy

Mahfuz Chy


Photo:Shafiqul Islam Kajol, DRIK NEWS.

Why BNP must survive?

For proper practice of democracy in the near future in Bangladesh, it is absolutely important that Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) survives and becomes a strong opponent of Awami League (AL). The question of AL’s extinction doesn’t arise because AL has proved time and again that it can undergo harsh times and can strike back. If AL represents the leftists and central-leftists, then BNP can be assumed to represent the rightists and central-rightists (It is not black and white, I know, but the overlap is not that significant here). If BNP becomes extinct, Allah forbids, the rightists will not vote for AL. Rather they will vote for Jamaat, not because they share same ideologies with Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, but because their hatred for AL often surpasses that for Jamaat. Agreed, BNP has major support from people with modern outlook and they strongly hate Jamaat but they also dislike AL.

They may vote for AL, given BNP’s extinction, or may opt to stay at home, i.e., vote for none! But if BNP becomes non-existent or very weak, then Jamaat is the prime beneficiary, as their share of votes will keep jumping upward. In fact, if BNP remains strong, Jamaat can never hope to clinch power on its own. Traditionally, Bangladesh has always seen a very few ultra-rightists who are die-hard fans of Jamaat. Thus, for the sake of our country’s future, it is mandatory that BNP survives. Granted, the very birth of BNP is tainted and Major Zia’s rehabilitation of the collaborators is very clear. Still, it can’t be denied that BNP enjoys a great support in Bangladesh, matched only by AL. These voters must not fall in the hands of Jamaat. If that happens, all hopes and expectations about the future of Bangladesh will be over. If BNP led four- party alliance (referred to as “Alliance” henceforth) wins the election this time, then Jamaat is sure to swallow up BNP in its entirety in next five years. In five years, BNP-Jamaat alliance will become Jamaat-BNP alliance and BNP will have to ask for mercy from Jamaat, not the other way round. The sympathizers of BNP and those who wish to see a prosperous democracy in near future in Bangladesh must align and voice against Jamaat’s gradual but steady swallowing-up of BNP. The winning of Alliance this time will define a characteristic moment in the history of Bangladesh, the death of BNP and the ascendancy of Jamaat in its place.

If Jamaat clinches power once again:

If the Alliance wins election this time, Jamaati sympathizers will prevail in all over the administration, from the lowest level to the highest level. The Army will systematically be Jamaatized, all public universities and colleges will be Jamaat majority institutions. Mass changes will be brought to the syllabi of Alia Madrassas and their brain-washing will be completed. Judiciary will completely belong to Jamaat. The history of independence will be rewritten in its entirety, giving complete immunity to the Rajakars and the war of freedom will just be a war between India and Pakistan. “The freedom fighters will be conspirators against Bangladesh and Islam, the Rajakars will be the true patriots. Some unknown attackers (Hanadars) attacked Bangladesh and 26000 Bangladeshis died in fighting the Hanadars.” It is worth mentioning here that students in Bangladesh learn about the history of independence only in school. Majority never goes to the universities and even if they do, they don’t study anything about the history of independence in universities and colleges. So, if Jamaat can change the history of independence in school texts, the project of brainwashing the next generation will be complete. The new generation will be completely ignorant of the actual history of independence war. Moreover, since the colleges and universities will be the fertile ground for Jamaat, students will just have the distorted history ingrained in their brain forever.

Before 2001, Jamaat didn’t have significant presence in mainstream media. But between 2001 and 2006, they vehemently made their presence felt in the media. If they go to power this time, they will make sure that the media is completely under their control. So, in sum, if Jamaat clinches power this time:

  • i) the history of the school and college texts will be completely rewritten so as to erase the killings, rapes and genocide of Rajakars, Al-Badr, Al-Shams.
  • ii) Administration-Army-Judiciary and Colleges-Universities will be completely Jamaatized.
  • iii) They will make sure that all Alia Madrassa students graduate after becoming devoted Shibir workers.
  • iv) Jamaat will take full control of mainstream media so that no-one can ever know the true history of our independence war and the involvement of Jamaat in the genocide.

If AL goes to power:
If AL-led grand alliance goes to power, what will change? Will people get anything better? May be or May be not. Those who expect some radical changes in Bangladeshi politics and the mentality of our politicians are living in fool’s paradise. Nothing is going to change much. The same old story will be repeated again. Will they try the war criminals? The answer is a big “NO”. They won’t. But the godfather culture will not prevail anymore. AL had to pay its price for its godfather culture. So, they will not repeat the same mistake again. The list of nominations shows some promise in this regard. Moreover, since the leftists are with AL this time, they will keep pressure on AL as to not give in to World Bank or IMF and create policies that go against the very interest of Bangladesh.

One thing is sure to happen. If AL goes to power, Joy will be brought in to the Bangladeshi politics. Personally I don’t have anything against politicians’ children coming to politics. If doctors’ kids can become doctors and CAs’ kids can become CAs, then why can’t politicians’ kids become politicians? But doctors’ kids will have to become doctors by virtue of their own hard work and talents, which is apparently not the case when politicians’ kids become politicians. But the fault is ours. I can vouch that if the people of AL and BNP are allowed to vote to choose who their leader should be, they will choose Joy and Tareq.

Why still vote for AL?

Let me repeat it that those who expect that AL will do some miracles if they go to power are dreaming too much. Very little, if at all, will change. With or without AL, the economy will show good signs starting from June 2009, mainly due to the overall recovery of the world economy from recession. AL will try to capitalize on this, even though they won’t have anything to do whatsoever with the good performance of economy! But still you must vote for AL because we must save the country from the claws of Jamaat. You must vote for AL because we need BNP to survive. If the Alliance goes to power, we will see the skeleton of BNP in five years. Even though AL may not try the war criminals, Jamaat will lose its power in many fronts if AL goes to power. This will also give BNP an incentive to look into the mirror and see what they are doing to their own party by aligning with the Jamaat. If we can keep Jamaat away from power, the history of independence will be protected from distortion. Countrywide anti-Jamaat sentiment will form and anti-fundamentalism will prevail. Jamaatization of colleges, universities, Army, Judiciary and Administration will stop. Jamaat’s gradual control of the media will cease to increase.

Imagine living in a country where Jamaat has the final say in everything. Imagine sending your kids to the universities where they will be brainwashed by Shibir. Imagine not being able to participate in the Victory day procession. Stop and think for a moment that you are not allowed to share the joys of Pahela Boishak. Contemplate deeply what happens if you are forced to listen to Ghulam Azam’s speeches on 21st February. Close your eyes and try to imagine yourself in a position when you will not be able to show your utmost respect for the martyrs on 26th March. Imagine being forced not to listen to Rabindrashangeet. I don’t claim that all these things will happen if Alliance goes to power this year, but these things will gradually happen over time. Keep in mind that if you vote Jamaat to power this time, you will be responsible for creating a crippled generation that will forget all the things that we hold dear. You will be part of the reason for Jamaatization of the country and the death of free thinking if you intend to vote for Jamaat. If you love Islam, then know that Jamaat is the biggest enemy of Islam in Bangladesh. Please verify the basic anti-Islamic tenets of Jamaat from any knowledgeable Islamic scholar. In the name of Islamic bank, they have been violating the sanctity of Islam by way of offering interest and re-branding it as just profit.

This is our moment to define history:

This is the moment that will define our history for the next generation. In this month of victory you will have to decide whether you want to betray the blood of three million martyrs and the chastity of half-a- million sisters who gave their own lives and chastity so that we can live in a happy and prosperous Bangladesh. This may well be the most important cross-road in your life to decide your country’s fate. You may have to regret all your life for a wrong decision that will put Jamaat in power. Close your eyes for a moment and ask yourself whether you want to see the flag of Bangladesh shining high on the cars of war criminals. Decide for yourself whether you would like your children to live in a Jamaatized country. If you are a BNP supporter, think for yourself whether you want BNP to be in power this time and be extinct for ever or you would like your party to survive and be saved from the claws of Jamaat.

As Shakespeare’s saying goes “sometimes you have to be cruel only to be kind”. Be kind to your party BNP by being cruel enough not to vote for them. Save your party and save Bangladesh. The ball is in your court and you have to make the right decision, for your chance may never again come in life to choose who and what you want to be if Jamaat is in power. Wake up, brothers and sisters, at this defining moment of history, in these turbulent times and in this month of the greatest accomplishment of our beloved country, let’s unite for once and for all, irrespective of party affiliations, region, religion and gender, to make our voices heard that we want a country where the war criminals will not go unpunished, where true history will be taught and practiced and where the greatest sacrifices of our martyrs come before our allegiance to petty politics. Let’s take the course of history in our hands and let’s stop Jamaat. Let’s vote for AL not because we like AL but because we hate Jamaat. Let’s shout high above the clouds of the sky that we want justice for the martyrs. Let’s rise once again and say a big “NO” to Jamaat and war criminals. This is our time and we must make sure that we get it right this time.


Mahfuz Chy, a prominent blogger in Bengali blogsphere lives in USA for higher study. He loves to analyse politics in Bangladesh.


15 Responses to “Why still VOTE for Awami League?”

  1. Mahfuz Chy

    Sushanta daa, thnx……sure!
    Mozommil Ali and Shibli Saleheen, thanks a lot!

  2. sadeek sobhan

    if we want to save our country from the hand of anti-libeartion forces, if we dont want to see the era of corruption and terrorism, we have to think, think and think again whom we want to be elected.

    thank you Mr Maffuz for his excellent analysis

  3. Munira

    Please tell me…how does voting for BNP NOT put the vote in favour for murderer and rapists like Jamaat e Islam??

    Analyse this then: BNP took Jamaat under its wing and during their reign ENSURED that Jamaat has seaped into every nook and corner of the administration, the army and even the judiciary.

    Think BEFORE you vote for someone please.

    Gone are the days of simplicity and innocence. Every move counts now, and ask yourself in which direction you are helping push your own country.

    And please, vote for anyone, BUT not someone who has blood on his hands, someone who has raped ( JUST THINK OF THAT) an aunt or sister or neighbour of yours..and not only THAT, after such a HEINOUS crime, now tries to hide that faking the name of Almighty Allah himself. just think of how lowly they are, and how dangerous…..

  4. Aly Zaker

    It is indeed healthy to have a sound by-partisan electorate, one party acting as a counter balance to the other by pointing out the wrong doings. And needless to say that there should be a consencus among these two parties to thawrt the extremists and religion traders. Therefore, as said, let BNP survive. But the point is, in pro-Bangladesh polity is BNP the party that can play the role? A little digration. When Obama got elected and Maccain gave a most generous consessional speech many in Bangladesh said, see how civil they are? I had asked them pray why not? Do Obama and Maccain differ on who the founding father of the USA was? Do any of them not recognise the declaration of independence made before/during their war of liberation? Do they have any difference of opininon regarding the British forces of occupation of the Americas? The answer is a big NO. And BNP differes on each of these counts with the AL. With such difference of opinion on the very basic issues relating to our birth how these two parties can ever see eye to eye? Much of what Jamat believes today is also BNP’s belief. If there has to be an understanding BNP will have to be first mover. Alternatively, if the basic issues have to change then we will have to change the history of our birth and, may be, name of the country as well.

  5. Shahriar Hossain

    Am I in 2001? I am a bit confused as I heard same type of reasoning back then also! Still number of seats allocated to Jamaat in this election is more or less the same as in 2001: the prediction that Jamaat will devour BNP in five years did not come true. I predict that Mr Mahfuz’s prediction will not come true if alliance wins this time also.
    To Sadeek Sobhan & Munira: If Awami League had put war criminals in trial between 1996-2001and punished them, will punishment of war criminals be an issue to attract voters like you in this election also? The answer is No. Be certain that AL will do absolutely nothing in this regard if they got elected this time also. Again, why? To attract voters like you in the next election! Simply put, trial of war criminals will never be possible in Bangladesh as long as politics gets involved with it. Let us not wait for any government to get remedy for this. Let us collect evidence and present these to a court of law within the existing legal framework.
    To Aly Zaker: Let’s not divide the country any more. Let’s unite to move the country forward.

  6. Mahfuz Chy

    Hi, thank you all for your kind comments.

    Shahrar Hossain, if read the article, you will notice that I DID say AL wouldn’t try the war criminals. It’s NOT in their own interest.

    But if you think that Jamaat didn’t devour BNP at least to some extent in last five years, obviously you don’t know what is going on with Jamaati politics. How many shibir cadres were killed by RAB as opposed to BNP cadres? How many shibir terrorists were killed in Operation Clean Heart? Or you think Shibir doesn’t have cadres? The fact that Jamaat was not given more seats doesn’t say anything. It’s not how many seats they get, rather how much influence they have on the affairs of teh govt. In almostall public universities, they recruited shibir activists as teachers and they put lots of their people in administration. What do you think about Justice Modassar hossain? How come he was more sympathetic to jamaat than to BNP? Brother, these are just some of the pictures. Their goal is much more far-sighted than any other party can possibly think of.

  7. Jahir

    Rethink Now Who is Dangerous Jamaat or Chatraleague , Who is Rapist Jamaat or Chatra League – Nowadays when open TV or paper media what we see – FB blocked for somedays – Channel one closed – 5 PSTN company closed – Daily Amardesh closed . If you are blind supporter of any party you can never able to see the reality. Can anyone tell me why 5 PSTN company closed….
    This Government is not creating Job they are destroying. They are destroying
    autonomous authorities like Anti corruptoin and BTRC telecom authorities
    Think about Ministers of awamileague from where they come and how they being Minister. Who make them minister are they from Awamileague or some unseen authority choose them. Think about law and order situation now – I think you will never feel safe in bangladesh now . See how RAB attack a home as chatraleague attackes colleges – universities or their anti groupes.
    Now all the business and tender controlling by Awamileague and chatraleague
    Police station also controlled by chatraligue . Police need to take permission from chatraleague leaders to file a case. If you still like to vote Awamileague – who have no control themselves and may be controlling by foreign unseen power – you can – but think again………

  8. Zaher

    Does Awami League have plans at the operational and strategic levels?

    There has to be more dynamism and field level interaction by senior party leaders. Time is running out fast. Too much confidence and complacency will hurt the party’s future aspirations.

    It is alarming to see total absence and silence of the GS of AL at a critical time when he should have been vocal and shuttling around every nook and corner of Bangladesh.

    We are yet to see the fugitive assassins of Bangabandhu brought back.

    There has been development of Dhaka city under AL but this may be eclipsed by Khoka’s bid to get reelected. There’s no visible contender from AL against Khoka.

    Law and order has improved but it should have been far better. In a country like Bangladesh the Home minister needs to travel a lot. He or she should be visiting trouble spots on a daily basis. He should have a police chopper ready for him all the time.

    The Chattra League and Jubo League must be disciplined.

    There should be a vision made simple for commoners and the objectives clearly spelled out. There should be Gantt charts to see the progress of the objectives on a quarterly basis.

  9. Ariana Zaman

    It has enough time left to put its house in order.

    The AL is our only hope. Otherwise, we would again be subjected to repression, terrorism and fascism by the BNP and its heinous allies the war criminals Jamaat-e-Islami.

    I heard that BNP’s trips to the US and UK has been arranged by the defamed shrewd Yunus. The BNP is also spending millions of dollars from its money-laundered booty taken out of the country by Tareq Zia and gang to hire lobbyists in the US to portray the Awami League as a anti-democratic party. Recent visits by a former US diplomat and Gen.Stackpole is part of the deal.

    The government must push forward with the grenade blasts investigation and other acts of terrorism by the BNP-Jamaat terrorists and also find out the money trails of the funds used by Islamic terrorists. Tarek’s money trails may expose his links with international terrorist networks hunted down by the FBI and CIA.

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