As a result of the attack on Dhaka university students by law enforcement agencies, the student community in the country and the general people took to the streets demonstrating against the government. The mass protests lasted for three days and there were violent clashes across the country between the people and the law enforcement agencies. The government responded by declaring an indefinite curfew from 22 August. Bangladesh is once again facing another crisis since the 3 month long crisis towards the end of last year.
The aware people of the country know that the current caretaker government led by Fakhruddin Ahmed came to power at a time when both AL and BNP led alliances’ were engaged in destructive politics and the foreign powers were actively trying to shape the political landscape according to their interests. The government of Fakhruddin Ahmed pledged to bring the country out of the severe crisis facing the country and give it a new direction. But in the face of the current crisis we have to consider how much the government has actually delivered on those pledges.
In the past seven months since coming to power the government has undertaken the much talked about anti-corruption drive putting behind bars those AL-BNP leaders who increased their riches at the expense of the people. However while the government is busy with the politics of reform, it did not take any steps to improve the lives of the people. The government has failed to curb the rising prices of essentials. Poor slum dwellers have been evicted from their homes. Thousands of day laborers and street vendors have been made unemployed. Entire markets have been razed to the ground without providing alternative means of income to the shop owners. Small business owners are on the verge of closing down their businesses.
In such a situation whenever the people demanded that their rights be secured, the government responded with repressive measures. When the farmers demanded fertilizers, the government filed cases against entire villages. Factory workers demanding their wages have been put behind bars. When workers in the jute industry protested the closure of jute mills, the government has forced them to live in hiding by filing cases against them. In summary, the government has become a government of brute force.
At the same time, whilst taking such anti-people stance, the government has continued the trend of pleasing the IMF, WB and ADB. We have also seen continued foreign interference. The government’s anti-people decisions and repressive measures naturally call for angry reaction. The unity of students and the common people in protesting against the government after the Dhaka University incident is a show of this anger. However the government once again resorted to repression and decided to ignore the demands of the people.
Hizb ut-Tahrir Bangladesh condemns such a stance, stands by the people in their protest against repression and makes the following demands to the government:
- The government must immediately stop its repressive measures against the people and refrain from taking anti-people decisions which affect the livelihood of the people.
- Immediate steps must be taken to reduce the price hike of essentials and to improve the economic conditions of slum dwellers, street vendors, day laborers, factory workers, small business owners and the general people.
- The government must not allow a stand off between the people and the army. The military is a respected institution and its role is to defend the security of the nation. The military must not be placed in controversial position by forcing its presence in political affairs.
Hizb ut-Tahrir Bangladesh calls upon the people to continue their struggle through peaceful means. In addition we advise the people to remain vigilant against attempts by various local and foreign quarters from diverting the legitimate struggle of the people to achieve their vested interests. Furthermore the people must unite against repressive measures and anti-people decisions of the government and reject the “politics of reform”. The current government’s “politics of reform” has by now turned into a game to achieve the interests of opportunist politicians and diplomats. It is no longer representative of the feelings of the people. We urge the people to join the “politics of KHILAFAH.” Only the “politics of KHILAFAH” can give the country correct direction because it emanates from our deeply held aqeedah i.e. Islam.
“O you who believe! answer the call of Allah and His Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life” [8:24]