Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Well-said, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh!

Commentators may interpret Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's 29 June 2011 comment on Bangladeshi people as incautious and politically incorrect. However, my comprehension of Mr Singh forbids me to draw such a conclusion. Firstly, Mr Singh is a highly competent statesman with track record of careful statements and subtle gestures; secondly, this was an important interview of the Prime Minister with senior editors of Indian media outlets and after his meeting with them he made its transcript public through the Internet.

A clever man like Mr Singh with an Oxford PhD in economics under his name, after making an inadvertent mistake, would immediately realize the slip-up and would not imagine posting the text of the interview on his website. The fact that Prime Minister Singh later took away few words from the transcript does suggest that he was hasty and impetuous in making the statement and then in publishing it.

What did he say there? I can deduce two important things from Prime Minister Singh's 29 June 2011 interview with senior Indian journalists: 1. 25% of Bangladeshi population who are affiliated with or support Jamaat-e-Islami are anti-Indian, and the rest are presumably India-lovers. 2. Despite being a poor™ country, India offered Bangladesh Rs. 1 billion debt. Like anyone familiar with South Asian politics, Mr. Singh knows very well that both these two claims are false and fraudulent. For very good reasons, the percentage of anti-Indian people in Bangladesh is much higher than what Mr. Singh was ready to admit. With Indian intelligence agency, RAW, crisscrossing the country, he is fully aware that Jamaat-e-Islami does not have 25% popular support and for Mr, Singh's kind information they are not 75% of Bangladeshi population.

Since the birth of Bangladesh in 1971, India has been hostile to the Bangladesh and Bangladeshis. In the wake of the 1971 war in Bangladesh in which India took part to defeat Pakistan for its own political interests, Indian soldiers plundered many of Bangladesh's cantonments and siphoned many arms and ammunitions to their country. In 1975, India completed the Farakka Barrage across the Ganges River near Chapai Nawabganj District of Bangladesh, which has significantly cut off Bangladesh's legitimate water supply and rendered many areas in the country artificially dry. Now, having a puppet regime in Bangladesh, India is in the process of building a dam (Tipaimukh Dam) unilaterally near the other end of Bangladesh. This proposed dam will affect two major rivers of Bangladesh, Surma and Kushiara, and the life of a great number of people who depend on these for livelihood.

Thanks to the leverage of Indian government and media, much of the international community is in the dark about India's atrocities on the Bangladeshis in the border region. Indian border security personnel have been killing poor Bangladeshis for a very long time, and the number of casualties crossed one thousand some time ago. After Gaza, Bangladeshi border with India is the second such scene of carnage where killings have gone unabated. The difference is that, massacres in Gaza are highlighted in the media, whereas the sufferings of Bangladeshis in the border region are not covered adequately even by a section of Bangladeshi media allegedly funded by the Indian intelligence agency.

Under the auspices of Mr Singh's government, India has built innumerable phensidyl factories around the border, as a result of which the entire Bangladesh is now flooded with this illegal product. Needless to say, since 2009, the puppet government in Dhaka has been lenient in preventing its import in Bangladesh̢۪s black markets. And Bangladesh's border force has been ominously weakened through the Pilkhana carnage of 25-26 February 2009. Some commentators believe that there is a link between the illegal importation of the contraband phensidyl products in Bangladesh and the weakening of Bangladesh's border forces.

A dominant section of Indian media and its intelligentsia have been portraying Bangladesh as a country full of terrorists and
militants. This negative portrayal has terribly hampered the country's economy. Even many Muslim countries now show reluctance to recruit Bangladeshi workers in their country, and thus Indian workers and economy become the beneficiaries. For these and dozens of other genuine reasons, most of the Bangladeshis hate India. Jamaat-e-Islami does not have any monopoly on hatred to India in Bangladesh, as it goes across political parties.

Now, how generous is India that it has promised Rs. 1 billion debt to Bangladesh! Mr. Singh's assertion of generosity is not only false but also hypocritical. He knows very well that the patriots in Bangladesh fiercely opposed the Bangladeshi puppet government's move to take this loan which they feared would make their beloved country hostage to India;s economic power. Many Bangladeshis believe that this loan is a kind of bribe to the puppet regime in Dhaka. Mr. Singh did not mention another mode of his country's ˜generosity to Bangladesh. Its intelligence wing RAW spends huge amount of money in Bangladesh to buy local agents to serve India's interests. The beneficiaries of this generosity are some political leaders, university professors, journalists, and other power wielders who always try to look after India's advantages at the expense of Bangladesh's future. It is mainly this section of Bangladeshis who love India, and for Mr, Singh's kind information they are 75% of Bangladeshi population.

Why did Mr Singh make such a statement? He knows better. But I have my humble interpretation. By this time, it has been crystal clear to him that popular support to his puppet government in Bangladesh is rapidly decreasing. So he may have been advised by his intelligence moguls to intervene in Bangladesh politics more directly if circumstances demand it for the sake of Indian interests. Once his government has to take such a move, he will have to tell the international world that he has done so to rescue Bangladesh from the 25% Islamic fundamentalists of Jamaat-e-Islam. As western powers used the ploy of Taliban in Afghanistan, India may dream to use the slogan of Islamic fundamentalism to interfere more directly in Bangladesh's internal matters. Perhaps, for this to be done, Mr. Singh has to exaggerate Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islam's popular support and to imaginatively reduce Bangladesh's dislike of India to only 25%. What we see in Afghanistan and Iraq makes us dread to think of such a disaster in Bangladesh; but this may be the message India has been trying to convey to us by frequently sending high political and military officials to our country over and over again. May God help Bangladesh!

I have one request to Mr. Singh. Please make no mistake of being overly ambitious with regard to suppressing Bangladeshi people. It is not long ago when they fought against Pakistan to achieve independence which was by no means to be subjugated by your country. You please stop oppressing Bangladeshis and harming our national interests. If you can do that, you do not have to spend money through your intelligence agency on earning our love for your counry. We have a good reason to be grateful to India: you people rescued us in 1971. What discourages us to love India is the ill treatment we have been receiving from the country,