Follow palashbiswaskl on Twitter

Friday, February 27, 2015

Call for Bangladesh and West Bengal to unite!

Call for Bangladesh and West Bengal to unite! 
M. Serajul Islam
The visit of Mamata Banarjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, was billed as a very important one in the Bangladesh media. The media described the visit as such as it expected that it would facilitate and lead to, first, India ratifying the land boundary agreement (LBA) and second, signing the agreement for the sharing of the water of the Teesta. In the end, Bangladesh got one more round of promises but no guarantee as when Bangladesh's waiting and hoping for these two illusive deals would end.
Of course, no one inquired that Mamata Banerjee as Chief Minister of an Indian state and that too, none too powerful, does not have the power politically or under the Indian Constitution to stop the central government to conclude the two deals with Bangladesh if the latter sincerely wanted to. True, water is a provincial subject in the Indian Constitution but only in case of conflicts between and among the states. However, in case of distribution of water of an Indian river that runs across its international border, then it is the Centre that has the authority to decide the sharing of such a river unilaterally under powers entrusted to it by the Constitution to maintain foreign relations. States may be consulted in sharing water of an international river but that is not mandatorybecause states have no constitutional authority to stop the Centre from reaching agreement with another country on an international river.
Mamata blackmailed Manmohan in '11
Mamata Banerjee nevertheless had stopped the Centre from signing the deal with Bangladesh on the Teesta. She was able to do so because she had the political handle over the Congress led UPA Government of the time. She could then with the 20 seats that her party the Trinamool had in Lok Sabha bring down the  Congress led UPA coalition in which her party was a partner if she had wanted. Mamata Banarjee also used the same political trick to stop the ratification of the LBA. Mamata Banarjee thus used political blackmail to extract political advantage that the Congress led UPA Government was in no position to ignore.

Mamata Banarjee's political blackmail had embarrassed the Congress led UPA government that had taken great advantages from the AL Led government in terms of India's critical security interests. It was also greatly disadvantaged by what Mamata Banarjee did because had she not only stopped the two deals, she also forced Bangladesh to deny in retaliation giving India the land transit on a permanent basis that with its security are two of India's main interests in Bangladesh. The Congress led government conveniently placed the blame for the failure to hand the deals to Bangladesh on Mamata Banarjee and gave Bangladesh the misconception that its hands were tied because the Constitution was in her favour. Mamata Banarjee's ability to blackmail the Centre has been now reduced to zero because of dramatic changes in New Delhi. Thus on her visit to Bangladesh, she was all smiles and expressed love and affection for Bangladesh banking on the shortness of the memory its people. She banked correctly and her hosts went into denial about her role in 2011. Cultural giants from Bangladesh joined the cultural giants she brought with her and the two sides sang and made merry.
Mamata's useless promises
Her hosts failed to remember that her anti-Bangladesh role in 2011 had derailed Bangladesh-India relations from a paradigm shift for the betterment of both the countries and their peoples that would have allowed the Awami League to face the opposition since 2011 leading to the January 5 elections politically much more confident than it did. New Delhi's failure to deny the deals, thanks to Mamata, was a factor that had weakened AL leading to the January 5 elections

Mamata Banarjee talked about the Teesta and LBA deals in the midst of the fun and frolic with the cultural activists of the country. She talked with them in a manner like the key to the two deals is with her. She asked Bangladesh to have faith in her on Teesta and she said that on the LBA, she had withdrawn her earlier objection. She also offered to become the bridge between Dhaka and New Delhi not just for the two deals but also for the host of other thorny issues in Bangladesh-India relations. She met the President and the Prime Minister.The Foreign Minister who had invited the Chief Minister for reasons of protocol was unable to host the tea party for her and the Finance Minister took his place.Mamata Banarjee assured the Prime Minister that the Teesta agreement would be signed "soon" and the LBA would be ratified "this month". She made similar assurances to the President.
Assessments in the Bangladesh on Mamata Banarjee's visit have been positive. A leading English daily's editorial view that it will pave for warmer ties with India. These assessments have been grossly misplaced. In making the assessments, they have failed to be critical of her anti-Bangladesh stance of 2011 for her own political benefits; the reasons behind her present 180 degree swing for Bangladesh and whether she has any political weight in New Delhi to make the promises she made to Bangladesh during her visit.
A bad investment hosting Mamata
Today the BJP is in power with a massive mandate that it won in the May 2014 elections that makes Mamata Banarjee and her Trinamool of no importance in national politics. Furthermore, the Indian Constitution gives the Centre enough powers to dominate the states. In fact, constitutionally India is a quasi-federation where the Centre with its power over finance and other critical areas of governance can literally dictate terms with the states at will. The quasi-federal nature of India changed with the emergence of regional parties when, first, the Congress' hold over India as "one party democracy" disintegrated in the late 1960s and 1970s and, second, when small and regional parties started to play role in forming coalition governments in the Centre. Thus for the last two decades or more, India has had coalition governments at the Centre where the mainstream national parties, the Congress and the BJP, has had to depend on regional parties to go to power.
That situation no longer exists in New Delhi, not at the moment at least. Therefore whether Bangladesh gets or does not get the two deals depends 100% on Narendra Modi where Mamata Banarjee is not even a small factor. The 20 Trinamool Lok Sabha seats that have given Mamata Banarjee a stranglehold on the weak Congress led UPA Government have now increased to 34 but against the BJP's massive majority in the current Lok Sabha, these are useless. Therefore the Bangladesh Government can do itself a favour and forget whatever Mamata Banarjee promised and consider it's hosting the West Bengal Chief Minister and her large entourage a bad investment.
Mamata, Delhi & many questions
Mamata Banarjee came to Bangladesh fishing for a strategy to deal with the Centre and Bangladesh, under misplaced expectations about her ability to get it the two deals, gave her that opportunity. Not too long ago, she came under the wrath and the spanner of New Delhi for dilly-dallying with the Islamic fundamentalists of Bangladesh. Under New Delhi's pressure, she was forced to leave out Trinamool's Rajya Sabha parliamentarian Ahmed Hasan Imran who was the Trinamool politician at the center of the allegation from her entourage for the Dhaka visit. One of her entourage members Shivaji Panja was arrested from Kolkata Airport on instruction of Delhi Police for "economic crime" and is now being grilled. These facts underlined that to New Delhi she is not just a lightweight at the moment but  the Bangladesh Government gave her such a red carpet treatment and wasted public money.
The hair raising incident of the Chief Minister'svisit came when a film actor and director and a member in her entourage named in the media as Dev only (apparently because he is famous by that name and not Deepak Adhikari as he was born) appealed to the Governments of India and Bangladesh to take necessary steps to unite West Bengal and Bangladesh! It was unbelievable that a guest invited to Bangladesh, a country for whose independence millions had sacrificed their lives would have the audacity or the stupidity or a mixture of both to suggest that Bangladesh should unite with West Bengal and become a part of India and no Bangladeshi from among the audience said anything about this atrocious appeal. Mind you there were many individuals in the event, the organizers, who claim for themselves to be the flag bearers of the spirit of 1971 and question at will everybody else's patriotism.What was more absurd was that the mainstream media went into denial over this atrocious incident that surely made the spirits of the martyrs of 1971 cry out in anguish.
Seek apology from Mamata  
The actor Dev's appeal went viral on the social media. Comments posted there put to shame the mainstream media and the Bangladeshis in whose midst the appeal was made. The social media offered Mamata Banarjee to join Bangladesh for the taste of freedom and independence that her state does not enjoy. On a serious note, if Mamata Banarjee was not being hypocritical about her change of heart for Bangladesh, she should immediately close down the factories that produce phensydyl in her State that are smuggled to Bangladesh and is now a major problem for the country, particularly its youth. She should also take up with New Delhi the issue of innocent Bangladeshis who are gunned down regularly by the BSF in the West Bengal-Bangladesh border. And since she had said that the two sides of the former Bengal are one in spirit to her, she should take up with New Delhi to bring down the "tar kata" on the Bangladesh-India border that unfairly tarnishes the image of Bangladesh.
Post script: Actor Dev, Mamata Banarjee, her entourage and the "patriotic" Bangladeshis who were present to hear Dev's appeal need a crash course in history; about the Partition of Bengal and West Bengal's anti-Muslim role in its annulment; about the war of liberation of 1971 when for the country's sovereignty and independence, millions became martyrs. The Government of Bangladesh should seek an apology from Mamata Banarjee for Dev's atrocious call.

The writer is a former career Ambassador and his contact
Weekly Holiday
February 27, 2015

From: Zoglul Husain <>
Date: Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 6:30 PM
Subject: RE: Call for Bangladesh and West Bengal to unite!
To: Isha Khan <>

Many thanks to Amb. Serajul Islam Sabuj Bhai, for his excellent article. 

Mamata's shift from her stand in 2011 was only a wily political convenience and stunt, rather than any reliability. Presently her aim was her election next year, also capturing the film market in Bangladesh, expressing total support for Mujib, Hasina and BKSAL and showing antagonism to Khaleda and the 20-party alliance (she didn't meet any of the opposition members), and conducting psywar in preparation for future annexation of Bangladesh. 
In the Lahore resolution of 1940, moved by AK Fazlul Huq, it was stated: "That the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign." The original plan of 'states' was, however, later dropped for 'state'. Also in the original plan, the 'Eastern zone' was conceived as, according to some reports, whole of Bengal, whole of Assam and the Purnia district of Bihar. This plan was defeated by the Hindu Mahasabha and the Congress. Even when Gandhi was approached for  joint Bengal, he said he would not be able to approach Nehru with this proposition, unless the  Muslims (overwhelming majority) agreed to accept 2/3 majority of Hindu MPs in the joint Bengal parliament, such was Gandhi's most wondrous political acumen! And we had the moth-eaten Eastern Zone in the form of East Bengal.   
Presently we need to look at all the problems between Bangladesh and India, of which Amb. Sabuj Bhai has given powerful references and indications. The media is under control of BKSAL-India.
We are now in a very serious political crisis, to which Mamata did not make any reference. As  all the patriots know, the present govt. is a puppet of India. It has surrendered sovereignty and sold out national interest to India. It has been systematically and most brutally crushing the opposition under instructions from India, its aim being total destruction of Bangladesh and turning Bangladesh into a colony of India. In this sinister design of theirs, the obsequious minions are having a field day. 

Our answer is: uniting, organising and mobilising the patriots to defeat the BKSAL devils and their mentors, the Indian hegemonists, in order for our freedom, democracy, justice, human rights and harmonious development. This will need systematic planning, logistics and coordination, and may be a long-drawn struggle. The people will certainly win in the end.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Website counter


Blog Archive