Enemy’s war never ends: only changes its strategies and frontiers. India’s war against the subcontinents’ Muslims did not end in 1947 or 1971.
It still continues. And Bangladesh is the perpetual battleground. The Muslims of Bangladesh are given no time to relax. They can only survive such on-going onslaught if they can identify and defeat the enemy strategies, and purge their foot-soldiers. A body cannot live a long life with killer bugs inside. And Bangladesh has enough of them. The political border between Bangladesh and India still exist -even after the break-up of Pakistan in 1971. But Bangladesh Awami League (BAL) and their ally have been very successful to remove the country’s cultural boundary –especially between the BAL followers and the Indians. And culture has a dominant and defining role on politics. Hence, the vision of BAL leaders is seldom different from that of a Bengali Hindu. Bangladesh’s international border has been made irrelevant to belittle such mutual cultural and political bondage. Recent 3 days’ official visit of Mr. Pranab Mukharjee –the Indian President, to Dhaka amidst 3 days’ dawn to dusk wheel-jam strike was primarily arranged to demonstrate India’s commitment to such bondage. Mr. Mukharjee directly delivered the promise of India’s unrelenting support to the troubled Prime Minister Mrs. Hasina Wajed.
Like an Indian Hindu, the BAL people too, attribute Bangladesh’s independent entity on the world map as a legacy of Pakistan and its Muslim heritage. This map itself reminds them the unwanted division of 1947. Such Pakistani legacy is hindering BAL and it ally to fully fall into Indian lap. However the political map of 1947 is so much deeply rooted in the Bengali Muslims’ psyche that India could not change it in 1971 –even after a full military occupation. They realised, they can undo such legacy only through deleting it from Muslims’ mind-set-only possible through a complete de-Islamisation. And that needs a full cultural conversion. Hence, they brought a full-fledged cultural war in Bangladesh. They consider it a key strategy, and the sure way of isolating its 150 million Bengali Muslims from the whole Muslim Ummah; and thereby to bring their total subjugation to Indian hegemony. Their worry, if Islam survives in Bangladesh, not only the border will survive, rather will get strengthened to build a citadel of Islam on her eastern flank. One on her western flank is already giving her a lot of troubles; hence can hardly afford another one on her eastern border. Therefore, dismantling such a possibility in Bangladesh is India’s most important priority. As a part of the same coalition, India’s crony government in Bangladesh has already launched on her behalf an all-inclusive war against the Islamists. Recent events in Bangladesh must be studied with such holistic perspectives.
Pakistan’s division in 1971 was not the endgame. Rather starting point of the next phase of Nehru doctrine – the Indianisation of the separated East Pakistan. India’s vision is clear. Pakistan has disappeared from its eastern border. But Bangladesh didn’t, and still survives. They believe, if Bangladesh with its 160 million populations sustains as an independent Islamic state, it will work as India’s security threat for ever. The country’s rapidly resurging Islamists can take over at any point of time. That will pose against India not only a strategic threat, rather a civilizational challenge. Threat to mighty Roman and Persian empires did not come from mighty kingdoms, rather came from the poor people of Arabia. Hence they argue, if USA and the Western Europe could consider an emerging Islamic Afghanistan -with less than 30 million people in another part of the glove, a security threat, why Islamic Bangladesh on her border cannot be the same for India? If USA and her European ally can massively bomb and occupy Afghanistan, why can’t India do the same in Bangladesh? India is selling this view to the anti-Islamic coalition of the west and getting a full support -as evidenced by their support for India’s extremely brutal occupation of Kashmir. India has deployed more than 600,000 forces to suppress the Kashmiri up-rise. India is speculating the same scenario in Bangladesh. Hence, India is getting more aggressive towards her anti-Indian Bangladeshi neighbours. Its Border Security Force (BSF) has killed more than 400 Bangladeshis only in last 4 years. They did not kill even a quarter of that on its Pakistan border in last 60 years. Bangladesh’s weaker military power might have contributed to make her people more vulnerable. Moreover, the crony government of Hasina paid blind eye to that.
The Cultural War
India’s current war is not for physical occupation of Bangladesh; rather occupation of the people’s conceptual and cultural territory. India wants to mould Bengali Muslims’ mind and mentality prior to any all invasive war. That is through cultural conversion. India is working day and night on such scheme. It has deployed thousands of foot-soldiers on Bangladeshi soil to launch a huge cultural war. Thousands of them are working as music teachers, dance teachers, art teachers and in many other forms in almost all over the country. Highly paid Indian agents are working as university teachers, newspaper editors, TV presenters, columnists, reporters in almost all government and non-government TV channels and newspapers. Most of the country’s media organisations are indeed the Indian occupied territories. They are the real Trojan horses inside Bangladesh. Recently they launched an aggressive media and internet warfare against Islam and the Islamists. Their real picture came to the forefront while the Shahbag drama unfolded against the Islamists. When the huge number of the cultural war foot-soldiers demonstrated the strength in Dhaka’s Shahbag roundabout, these Indian agents cum professionals could not remain hidden in their holes. They came out with their real colour as warrior activists –especially while playing their role as reporters, news casters, talk-show presenters and newspaper columnists. Their colleagues in the internet blogs became so much emboldened by the government support that they did not hesitate to cross the red line. They not only raised slogans for total annihilation of Islamic parties and their leaders, but also started huge abusive campaign against the Almighty Allah Subhana Wa Taala, His great prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the prophet’s wives and his great companions. To their surprise, this caused a huge Islamic resurgence in the silent majority. Millions of people came to the street. As a consequence, their bubbles quickly fizzled out. They retreated back to their workplaces under the government’s security shield.
The Bengali people are indeed divided into two nations since day one of Muslim advent in this land. Hence, after the end of British rule, both the Hindus and the Muslims are pursuing two incompatible political visions. In 1947, Bengal’s Muslim leaders tried to create an undivided greater Bengal -separated from greater India. But the Hindu Bengali watered down such a nationalist project with a fear that it would bring dominance of the majority Bengali Muslims. In 1947, in Bengal’s parliament in Calcutta, the Hindu members opted for joining greater Hindu India with a pan-Hindu vision. The Bengali Muslims had two options: either to form independent East Bengal or to join Pakistan. In those days, the East Bengal Muslims were known for its non-existent military power and poor economy. If separated as an independent state in 1947, its army would have been much weaker than that of Nizam of Hyderabad. The Bengali Muslims’ presence in civil administration and other areas was also very scanty. Hence the wise Bengali Muslim leaders of 1947 could clearly anticipate Kashmir or Hyderabad-like Indian invasion of an independent East Bengal, thereby quick accession to India. That invasion and accession of East Bengal too, like invasion and accession of Kashmir and Hyderabad could go unnoticed by the world powers. India could have found hundreds of reasons to justify that. Even to catch a thief, one needs to invest huge energy, even endanger his life. Therefore, who would have come to invest their lives and money to save Independent Bengal from such Indian invasion? Did anyone come to save Hyderabad or Kashmir? In those days, the zeal of pan-Islamism in Muslim youths in Bengal was very high, hence inspired to work for Pakistan. This was indeed the background that led the Bengali Muslims to join Pakistan. Indeed, in the making of the greatest Muslim country in the world, the Bengali Muslims’ contribution was the greatest. Even All India Muslim League –the organisation which led Indian Muslims to make Pakistan was born in Dhaka. In 1946 election on Pakistan issue, Muslim League got the strongest support from Bengal –not from any other province of India. But BAL’s thoughtless jingoists have little strategic depth in their thought or intellectual calibre to understand such crucial survival interests of Islam and the Muslims in Bengal. Hence they detest the Bengali Muslims’ decision of 1947. With such a distance from Islamic belief and non-commitment for the Muslim interests, these BAL’s cultural and intellectual converts now sing the same song with the Indian Hindus.
The Hindu Vision & the Lie
The Hindu Bengalis had a vision. They wanted a united Bengal only if merged with India. That way, the Bengali Muslims were offered the slavery of Hindu majority rule in undivided India. The British left in 1947. But since then, the slavery under the Hindu rule has proved to be much worse than the slavery under the British. The brutality has already been much revealing in systematic anti-Muslim genocide in Kashmir, Gujarat, Assam, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Meerut, Aligarh, Allahabad and many other Indian states and cities. So the anticipation of Allama Iqbal and the Muslim League leaders about the danger of Hindu rule against Muslims proved to be 100% true. So with such anticipation, in 1947, the Hindu project of united Bengal under Indian Hindu majority rule was out-rightly rejected by the Muslims.
But still the Hindu protagonists of undivided India did not move a single inch from their pre-1947 idea, rather they working day and night on the same project. The whole paradigm of India’s current cold war in Bangladesh –even in the remaining part of Pakistan, is based on that pre-1947 Hindu concept. The Indian Hindu accepted the division of Bengal and creation of Pakistan in 1947 for the time being; their next move was to divide Pakistan and then engulf the weaker half –the East Pakistan. This is India’s much proclaimed Nehru doctrine. So far, India has taken every calculated move to pursue that strategy. Since 1947, they were waiting for a right opportunity, and even Nehru himself made a move to annex East Pakistan in his life time. But that failed. The real opportunity came in 1971. India skillfully manipulated Pakistan’s internal political crisis to manufacture a full-fledged war to invade and occupy East Pakistan. But in 1972, India had to withdraw its occupying troops under tremendous international pressure. Moreover in 1972, the cultural and political situation of Bangladesh was not ripe enough for India to go further for a full annexation. India needed to do much home works to make the ground quite ripe for a full harvest.
Since the political map of Bangladesh draws its legitimacy from 1947’s division of India, the Indian agents are doing concerted propaganda against the sanity of such division. Even Dr. Zakir Naik –the famous Muslim preacher of India argues openly in his speech that the division of India in 1947 was wrong. It indeed owes to his tunnel vision and gross inadequacy in his political understanding. With such personal constraints, people cannot see a bigger picture. In his public speech, he boasts India as the fast growing superpower and rejoices that India will go far superior to the USA. As if, the Indian Muslims are going to gain much from India’s super-power status. Like an average Hindu Indian, here he turns to a nationalist chauvinist. Such speeches are getting huge audience all over the subcontinent. This way he is doing a great job as India’s cold war warrior against Bangladesh and Pakistan. In fact, India’s such relentless cold war has made millions of such converts not only in India, but also in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The Blessing of a Muslim State
But the truth is different. The creation of Pakistan in 1947 brought enormous blessing –both material and spiritual, not only to Pakistan, but also to the people of Bangladesh. India’s Muslim Population is larger than that of Bangladesh. But the number of Muslim doctors, engineers, scientists, academics, lawyers, army and police men, religious scholars, industrialists and big businessman living in only one city of Bangladesh like Dhaka is much larger than the total number of such value-added people in India’s whole Muslim population. Indian Muslims are almost invisible amidst the overwhelming Hindus in the overseas, where as the overseas Bangladeshi are almost ten million. The success of Pakistani Muslims is much higher, because the creation of this largest Muslim country with a pan-Islamic vision worked with much better image among the world’s Muslim population. The middle-eastern rulers, developers and business establishments helped Pakistan in many ways. After 1971’s debacle, they not only opened gates for millions of Pakistani workers to their countries and built hospitals and mosques in Pakistani cities, but also financed Pakistan’s costly nuclear projects. Whereas Bangladesh had to carry the status tag of India-midwifed vassal state for many years.
These are only few material gifts of an independent Muslim majority state. More blessings come in other ways. The Muslims build states not for mere raising homes and businesses, nor for growing cattle and crops. They can do such things even in non-Muslim countries. In life time, Muslims must play the most important role to fulfil the Divine obligation as Allah’s viceroy on earth. That is to bring ultimate supremacy of His law in His land, and contribute his own share to raise an Islamic civilisation. If the land is grabbed by the enemies, a Muslim must do something to end such occupation. The early Muslims made most of their sacrifices not in raising homes or businesses, rather to establish and defend such Islamic state. Indeed, this is the greatest teaching of the prophet (peace be upon him). The Muslims of other times and other lands have a duty to follow such an indispensable prophetic tradition. Living in a non-Muslim state, a Muslim does not enjoy any space to practise such tradition. This is why migration to a non-Muslim state never got appreciation from a true believer. It has been only justified for security reasons; like the migration of early Muslims to Ethiopia. Hence, all Muslims are faith-bound to establish Muslim majority states; then move on to convert those into Islamic state. Indeed, in 1947, the creation of Pakistan was deemed as an obligation to address such a basic Muslim political as well as a spiritual need.
The Muslim majority Bangladesh and Pakistan are not still Islamic; but the opportunities for such change are still profound. The Muslims in these two countries can still dream about that. But such dream is unthinkable in Hindu majority India -even in coming thousand years. At best, the Indian Muslims can practise Islam as devout follower of Tabligh jamaat. But Tabligh jamaat does not replicate Prophet’s complete Islam. They cannot practise Islam as a full Muslim with all the dimensions of prophetic teachings. For that, a Muslim needs to enter into full sharia rule, into Islamic culture, into full Islamic education, into Islamic administration, into jihad, into Muslim brotherhood, so on and so forth. Hence, for such a full Islamic practice, Muslims need an Islamic state. The prophet of Islam and his great companions needed that. Hence today, how a Muslim can be full Muslim without that?
The Indian Hindus may enough reasons to tell a lot of lies against 1947’s division of India. They blame it a British ploy in conjugation with Muslim communalists! But how a Muslim can repeat the same lie? Muslims can commit to such lie only with intense ignorance. This owes to their ignorance of Islamic vision of a true believer. The enemies have a motive. They want to take the Muslims out of the Divine mission; hence they relentlessly tell lies against Islam and the Muslim history. Bangladesh is the home of more than 150 Million Muslims. So the enemies cannot be oblivious of such huge Muslim populations. Indeed they have an agenda. So the country has turned not only to homes of thousands of anti-Islamic NGOs, but also breeding ground for thousands of anti-Islamic bloggers and cultural warriors. They have gained so much strength under the current government that they are now demanding the prohibition of all Islamic parties and their activities. For the Islamists, the life was not so difficult even in British rule. It was unthinkable even 60 years ago.
India’s political investment in Bangladesh has always been massive. In 2008 election, it went to a diabolic proportion. London’s weekly “the Economist” gave a testimony to that. So far, India’s key strategy has been to replicate its successfully executed Sikkim strategy: that entails buying the political leaders as well as the players in the key positions in the army, media, police and civil administration. In 2006, after the end of Khalida Zia’s BNP rule, India worked with other anti-Islamic foreign stakeholders to install a pro-Indian proxy-military government to manipulate the forthcoming election results in 2008. Their plan worked very well and their stooges won a landslide victory. After the election victory and quick installation of a coalition government, the AL and its 14 party-alliance were entrusted with the second phase of the work. This time, India and her cronies in Bangladesh did not want to miss this hard-earned opportunity in any way. After analysing the past 4 years’ BAL administration, it is now clear that the government has worked with two-pronged main objectives. These are: a). Rapid de-Islamisation of the people –especially Muslim youths and the school-going children, and b). Breaking down the backbones of the Islamic organisations and their Islamist leaders.
To fulfil the stipulated objectives, BAL and its ally are working on some planned strategies. These can be easily understood from the last four years’ activities. These are as follows:
Strategy 1: Re-framing a secular education policy at all level and re-writing all text books with a special emphasis on curtailing the amount of Islamic knowledge and infusing sentiments against country’s Islamic values and personalities. Raising acceptability and compatibility with India’s Hindu worldviews has been other strategic goal. The Hindu political, intellectual and literary figures like Gandhi, Nehru, Tagore and others were placed in limelight as the figure of highness to be followed by the students. Whereas Islam’s great prophet like Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) and other prophets, the great companions of the prophet, the great Muslim rulers, the thinkers and the reformers who contributed decisively to Islamise Bengal’s landscape were given very little or no importance in the education policy. For eyewash, they added some Islamic flavour by incorporating some stories of folklore fakirs and sufi saints in the textbooks.
Strategy 2: Reducing and restricting the learning of the Holy Qur’an, the prophetic tradition and Islam’s history in both the state run secular schools and in the religious madrasas. With such an objective against Islam, the government reduced the emphasis of learning Arabic language in religious madrasas: made it optional from its previous compulsory status. Moreover, the amount of dis-information on fundamentals of Islam that are passed on to the students through the text books is also huge. Recently it came to the press that it is written in year 9’s text book that meats of animals sacrificed in the name of other deities are also halal.
Strategy 3: Projecting Shaikh Mujib as the greatest personality in thousands of years’ Bengal history. “Bangla academy” and other government bodies run by the tax-payers money were entrusted to publish hundreds of books on Mujib and his family –both for adults and for the youths. Millions of Taka was granted to public libraries to purchase those books. TV, radio and other mass media were used to publicise Mujib’s life and his speeches. Whereas, publishing books on Qur’anic teachings, the prophet’s life, great Muslim personalities and Islamic history were much restricted.
Strategy 4: Keeping constant vigilance on religious sermons in mosques, prohibiting and restricting Quranic tafsirs classes in open-field mass gatherings by the scholars, and prohibiting publication and circulation of books on jihad and sharia. The police and the Rapid Action Battalions (RAB) were the key tools for suppression of any Islamic propagation. They raided houses, offices and bookshops to confiscate Islamic books –especially on jihad and Islamic movement. The books written by Moulana Syed Maudoodi and Syed Qutb are the special target. In Bangladesh, it is a common practice that the people form committees to organise Quranic tafseer sessions in open fields. These happen in almost every nook and corner of the country around the year. In such gatherings, the eminent religious scholars are invited to deliver long speeches on Islamic teaching. Indeed, the Qur’anic knowledge and prophetic tradition survived among people through such public speeches for ages; and thus Islam reached to the doorsteps of the common people in Bengal. But Hasina’s regime has turned its government machinery against such popular tradition. She and her political ally rebuke it as a tool of spreading fundamentalism. Moulana Dilawar Hussain Sayeedi is widely known as the most famous religious speaker that Bangladesh has ever produced. His speech inspired scores of non-Muslims to accept Islam. But such extraordinary skill and Islamic knowledge of Moulana Sayeedi did not impress the government. He was put him behind the bar for more than two years. The government alleged him as murderer, arsonist, rapist and above all anti-liberationist in the war of independence in 1971. Recently the subservient judiciary of the government has passed a verdict to hang him. After such pronouncement, the country has entered into a virtual civil war like state. Already more than 100 people are killed by the police; several thousands are wounded and tens of thousands of people are imprisoned.
Strategy 5: Annihilation of Islamic parties by banning their organisation, killing their leaders, imprisoning their workers, closing their offices and confiscating financial resources. The BAL government has already banned Hezbut Tahrir as a part of the strategy. In Bangladesh, people are dying every day by terrorist attacks. BAL’s student cadres openly carry firearms; they kill people in front of the police. But the police do not touch them; let alone arresting them and putting them behind the bar. Although there is no proof that Hezbut Tahrir has taken part in any terrorist activities, the Government has disbanded them. At Shahbag roundabout of Dhaka, the BAL cadres are openly raising slogan to kill every razakar without any trail, instigating people to destroy the Islamists’ banks and other financial institutions. They have clogged the busy roads for more than a month. In a civilized country, all these are punishable criminal crimes. But in Bangladesh, they are getting government’s blessing. The government not only asked the local schools to supply children to continuously feed Shahbag’s gathering, but also deployed hundred police constables to protect these hooligans day and night from public anger. The government and non-government TV channels have been asked to show day-long live casts to spread their venomous speech. One the other hand, if Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) or Shibir (JI’s student force) or any other Islamic party bring out any peaceful procession, police would apply every possible means to dismantle them. In several occasions, they even opened fire arms to kill the protesters. The Home Minister has ordered the police to resist JI and Shibir where ever found – even if found in peaceful rally or procession. Dhaka’s Metropolitan Police Commissioner has been reported to ask his police to shoot JI and Shibir worker instantly if found anywhere. In a civilised country, a police constable is never given the authority to kill any man or woman on the street. Even Bangladesh’s own law does not allow even a district judge to hang a worst criminal; his judgement needs to be ratified by the high court. But the current government has given such power to political foot soldiers on the street. So the war like situation had returned to Bangladesh’s street. So JI is not allowed to hold any rally in any part of the country. Already police has killed more than 100 people, and tens of thousands of JI and Shibir workers are arrested. The government is not still happy with such brutal suppression; they now want to ban JI.
Strategy 6: Using cultural activities like open air concerts, dance show, drama show, film festivals, village theatres, TV shows to deflect people away from Islamic belief and practices. To make this cultural war a big success, India’s investment is huge. It has extensively deployed its cultural foot-soldiers in every nook and corner of the country. India’s film stars, singers, dancers are making continuous visits to Bangladeshi cities. Thousands of people attend those shows. Bangladesh is a country of foreign-funded NGOs. Thousands of these NGOs are working exclusively to train boys and girls in dancing and singing. Along with hundreds of Bangladeshi Hindu girls, thousands of Muslim girls from secular families have joined this huge army of cultural warriors against Islamic faith and practices. All these are happening in the name of cultural activities.
The Imminent Danger
The enemy of Islam understand that the full conversion of Bengali Muslims to non-Islam is difficult. But they also understand that it is very easy make them cultural converts. It is no less harmful either. Indeed, this way they are pulling the Muslims away from Islam’s fundamental belief and practice, and making easy inroads into Muslims’ inner circles of politics and other activities. Since culture itself is the expression of Muslim faith; and many Bengali Muslims are indeed mere cultural Muslim with little Islamic knowledge and aqeeda, such cultural conversion will be highly detrimental to Islam in Bangladesh. Ultimately, that will lead to massive de-Islamisation. And such de-Islamisation would adequately serve the enemy’s political and strategic purpose.
In the past, the Muslims have experienced the calamities caused by this de-Islamised brand of the Muslims. They worked as the most obedient collaborators of the enemies. They fought with the British colonial army to extend their rule in most of the Muslim lands. Like any non-Muslim army, they did not hesitate to slaughter the fellow Muslims. The same brand of people joined British army in World War-I to snatch the Muslim Iraq and Palestine from Muslim Khelafa and placed them in the alter of the British Empire. In 1971, the same de-Islamised brand went to India to get training and arms to dismember Pakistan and slaughter both Bengali and non-Bengali Muslims in Bangladesh. Now they want to hang the remaining Islamists. India still wants the same lot of collaborators with same anti-Islamic zeal. They are working very hard to get them in enough number. The gathering in Shahbag, indeed gave a vivid display of these products. This is the core point of India’s current cold war in Bangladesh. If India continues to win the war with current pace, she will not need any conventional war to colonise this Muslim land. The time will come when these Bangladesh converts, like Bengali Hindu, will ask for the merger. India is cunningly waiting for such a moment.
By: Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal ::
Written on 17/03/2013