Identifying Priorities in Nation-building
Ground Realities of Bangladesh-India’s Sugar-coated Relations
Wednesday May 23 2012 18:56:59 PM BDT
By Major Faruk (Retd)
Bangladesh has been subjected to exploitation and domination even since before its Independence. During the Liberation War, signing of 7 point treaty with India by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Govt-in-exile Mr Tajuddin Ahmed demonstrates the motive of India towards Bangladesh which are:
"(1) A para-military armed force for Bangladesh will be raised under supervision of the Indian military experts; this force shall be stronger and more active than the regular armed forces of Bangladesh.
(2) Bangladesh shall procure all military equipment from India and under planned supervision of the Indian military experts.
(3) Bangladesh shall direct her foreign trade under supervision and control of the Indian government.
(4) Yearly and five-yearly development plans for Bangladesh shall conform to Indian development plans.
(5) Foreign policy of Bangladesh must be compatible with and conform to that of India.
(6) Bangladesh shall not unilaterally rescind any of the treaties without prior approval of the Indian government.
(7) In accordance with the treaties signed before December (1971) war of Pakistan and India, Indian force shall enter into Bangladesh at any time and shall crush any resistance that may erupt there." 
Our Freedom Fighters inflicted heavy casualties on the occupation forces and shattered their morale to fight. Anticipating the unavoidable defeat of the West Pakistani Forces, India obliged Tajuddin to sign the above treaty with the aim of making way for India’s direct military intervention in Bangladesh . As a result, our victory earned at the cost of 3 million Martyrs was hijacked by India on 16th December 1971 by not allowing General Osmani, C-in-C of the Bangladesh Freedom Fighters to sign the Instrument of Surrender with General Niazi of Pakistan’s Eastern Command.
Now our hard-earned victory is being claimed as India’s victory. The auxiliary role of Indian Forces at the very last phase of our Liberation War (10th to 15th December 1971) facilitated India to emerge as the sole victor over West Pakistani Forces in 1971. India’s claim of ‘creating Bangladesh’ denies the military achievement and sacrifice of our nation in the Liberation War and the acceptance of India’s claim by the current ruling regime of Bangladesh is shown as the justification of giving corridor and other facilities to India surrendering national interests.
Since our Independence, India has continued her hostility towards Bangladesh by:
(1) unilaterally withdrawing international river waters from 52 rivers that entered into Bangladesh causing grave environmental disaster in Bangladesh,
(2) armed Chakma tribal separatists of CHT to fight an insurgency against Bangladesh,
(3) did not hand over 3 Bigha Corridor to Bangladesh in exchange of Berubary enclave,
(4) Indian BSF killed more than 1000 Bangladeshi citizens at border areas in last 10 years,
(5) demanded and achieved corridor facility through Bangladesh territory as per Framework Agreement for Cooperation signed by Monmohan Singh and Sheikh Hasina in September 2011,
(6) planning to construct Tipaimukh Dam at the grave concern of Bangladesh,
(7) captured our Talpotti Island,
(8) occupied vast land at border areas,
(9) imposed restrictions on export of Bangladeshi products thus maintaining a trade deficit of more than 3 billion US Dollar and
(10) conducting anti-Bangladesh propaganda terming Bangladesh a failed state and home of Islamic terrorists etc.
Based on above and also the socio-economic and political situation in Bangladesh, our nation is facing a serious crisis of existence and we must come out from this menace which demands national unity on certain programmes.
Main Objectives for Nation-building are:
1. Defending national security and sovereignty.
2. Economic development and emancipation from poverty.
3. Achieving development in science and technology.
4. Industrial and agricultural development.
5. Establishing rule of law.
6. Establishing political-influence-free professional Administration.
7. Introducing modern educational system.
8. Upholding Human Rights and protecting every citizen’s security and dignity.
9. Protecting own culture and religion.
10. Institutionalizing democracy.
11. Ending corruption and ensuring transparency.
12. Protection and preservation of natural resources.
13. Protection and preservation of the environment.
14. Human resource development.
15. Development of social service and national health.
16. Establishing good governance and ensuring social security.
How to achieve above Objectives:
1.Defending national security and sovereignty. Suggested measures are: a. Ensuring protection of our border at land and sea. b. No to leasing of own roads, rails, rivers, ports etc for corridor. c. Modernizing defence and developing combat efficiency, establishing own Defence Research Institute for achieving self-reliance in producing military hardware. d. Countering armed terrorism and racism in CHT; stopping surrendering of own land –CHT to anti-Bangladesh foreign trained agents, establishing equal citizenship rights for all CHT dwellers irrespective of tribal and Bengalees. e. Pursuing Independent foreign policy based on national interests and mutual respect between the neighbor and other nations. f. Protection of own citizen’s lives and honour from foreign hands by strengthening security at border areas. Zero tolerance to BSF’s killing our citizens. g. Eliminating foreign-sponsored terrorists and extremists. h. National resistance against anti-state policies adopted by any regime affiliated with aggressive power. i. Countering HIS (Hostile Intelligence Service) activities sabotage, subversion and hostile propaganda. j. Guarding and protecting own leaderships, people, defence and security forces from subversion and brain wash in order to avoid losses such as Peelkhana massacre. k. Controlling smuggle of Indian goods through border to protect our own industries and market.
2.Economic development and emancipation from poverty. Suggested measures are: a. Distribution of land among landless persons. b. Skill development. c. Creating employment and self-employment opportunities. d. Rehabilitation of slam dwellers. e. Stopping human trafficking.
3.Achieving development in science and technology. Suggested measures are: a. Establishing own Research and Development Institute. b. ntering into technological cooperation pact with developed countries. c. Introduction of road and traffic system. d. Producing engines, machineries and equipment within own country. e. Producing transport vehicles such as motor bikes, taxies, cars, jeeps, buses, trucks, lorries, water transports and agricultural machines such as – power tillers, tractors, pump machines for irrigation etc.
4.Industrial and agricultural development. Suggested measures are: a. Achieving self-reliance in producing basic machineries in transport and agricultural sectors. b. Increasing export capacities and reducing trade deficit. c. Cottage industry. d. Ban on strike.
5.Establishing rule of law. Suggested measures are: a. Unbiased and political influence-free judiciary. b. End of extra-judicial killings by crossfire and disappearances. c. Citizen’s equal and easy access to judiciary. d. Effective Anti-corruption Commission.
6.Establishing political-influence-free professional Administration. Suggested measures are: a. Ending influencing in recruitment of officials. b. Allowing the civil authorities to function without Govt’s influence. c. Skill training and development of professionalism. d. Changing attitudes from lords to tax-payers’ servants.
7.Introducing modern educational system. Suggested measures are: a. Upgrading educational system. b. End of discrimination in educational system. c. Violence free educational institutes- banning political activities within the perimeter of educational institutes. d. IT development. e. Foreign language.
8.Upholding Human Rights and protecting every citizen’s security and dignity. Suggested measures are: a. Freedom of organization and freedom of speech. b. Freedom of media. c. Ending discrimination among citizens based on gender, religion, ethnicity and political affiliation. d. Protection of every citizen’s lives and honour from political or state-sponsored violence; ending extra-judicial killings by crossfire and enforced disappearances. e. End of abuse against women. f. End of minority repression. g. End of Acid Attack. h. End of Eve-teasing. i. End of dowry. j. End of child abuse. k. End of child labour. l. Ban on torture in Police custody. m. Protection of civil rights against forced entry, search, arrest, humiliation and torture in remand by state agencies. n. Establishing anti-discrimination policy in education and job sectors. o. Establishing equal opportunity for handicapped citizens.
9.Protecting own culture and religion. Suggested measures are: a. Religious freedom and interfaith tolerance. b. Constitutional recognition of people’s belief on the Almighty as followers of all religions believe in the Almighty Allah, the Creator of the universe.
10.Institutionalizing democracy. Suggested measures are: a. Active and effective parliament (time distr for ruling and opposition parties). b. Caretaker Govt system for holding free and fare election. c. Non-partisan Election Commission and transparent electoral system. d. Ensuring trial for 1/11 coup plotters.
11.Ending corruption and ensuring transparency. Suggested measures are: a. Empowering Anti-corruption Commission in terms of resource and freedom in investigation. b. Ensuring trail for share-market looters and return of capitals to 33 lac victims.
12.Protection and preservation of natural resources. Suggested measures are: a. Exploration of natural resources by own skills. b. Protection, preservation and judicial use of own natural resources.
13.Protection and preservation of the environment. Suggested measures are: a. Ensuring due water-share from Farakka Barrage. b. Resisting construction of Tipaimukh Dam. c. Resisting construction of obstruction on 52 international common rivers and taking the issue to the UN. d. Implementing anti-pollution rules in industrial sector. e. Saving Burigonga River water from massive pollution and contamination. f. Waste management in city and towns.
14.Human resource development. Suggested measures are: a. Providing skill-development training in mass scale. b. Increasing employment at home and abroad.
15.Development of social service and national health. Suggested measures are: a. Rehabilitation of slam dwellers and river-affected people. b. Access to free medical service for maternity cases with effect from conception up to 3 years age of the child.
16.Establishing good governance and ensuring social security. Suggested measures are: a. Establishing Govt for all irrespective of citizen’s political affiliation. b. Ending exploitation of cheap labour. c. Controlling drug abuse. d. Establishing rule of law and freedom of expression. e. Ending corruption and violence. f. Tolerance to opposition’s democratic rights of protest.
The subject matter requires in-depth research and study by political leaders, intellectuals and professionals in respective field(s).
National unity can only be achieved based on identification of issues of national interests.
We have much to do in order to materialize the spirit of the War of Independence, earn real freedom and economic emancipation. A nation of 160 million populations can no longer be dominated by any imperialist power or kept under subjugation, deprivation, exploitation, domination and poverty by the fortunate 1%.
Writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dated: May 22, 2012
1. Oli Ahad, Jatio Rajniti (1945 to 1975), 2nd Ed., Bangladesh Cooperative Book Society, Dhaka, p. 450.
2. Dr K M A Malik, The Sugar-coated Poison India’s offer of ‘help’ to restructure BDR.