On the electoral crisis in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is in the middle of a political crisis. Recently the Awami League (AL) regime deployed the army to several election precincts under the pretense of preventing violence during the elections. In response, the main opposition, the Bangladeshi Nationalist Party (BNP) and BNP’s ally Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) boycotted the elections. The opposition has stated that it will not participate in the elections and demands that a new, “caretaker government” be placed into power. The BNP makes this demand even though the AL had previously created a multi-party coalition and had offered Khaleda Zia of the BNP any post in the coalition regime. In addition to the boycott, the opposition is marching in opposition to the regime. The contradiction between the Awami League regime and opposition led by the BNP and JI has become more acute in recent days. The contradiction is not new. The political divisions that exist go back to the Bangladesh liberation struggle. The AL played a key role in liberating Bangladesh, while the Islamists forces sought to remain part of Pakistan. Recently some of the Islamist leaders were put on trial for their crimes during the liberation struggle. This has heightened the political crisis in Bangladesh.
We must be clear that neither the AL regime nor the BNP and JI opposition have the solution to the problems facing the masses of Bangladesh. Both groups represent the differing factions of the reactionary classes. Both groups are comprador. The current conflict is a conflict amongst the enemy. However, several points should be considered.
The AL is not a revolutionary force. The AL and its Soviet patrons were responsible for ending the social revolution that was connected to the liberation struggle that the AL itself led. Although democratic gains were made, the real revolution was left incomplete. Although formal independence was achieved, the people of Bangladesh were still dominated by foreign imperialist interests. Even so, a victory by the BNP and JI opposition would represent a backward step in terms of democratic gains, especially for women and civil rights like the freedom of speech. In addition, Islamist compradors coming to power at this juncture would make it more difficult for the revolutionary forces to organize. The reactionary opposition coming to power would also mean a step back in terms of Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan. The Pakistani state and its ISI are working to manipulate the political situation in Bangladesh. It is important to safeguard the Bangla Zone from the influence of reactionary states, Pakistan in particular. Although the AL is not seriously hostile to imperialists, including the United States, the BNP and JI opposition has advocated for even closer relations to imperialism, the United States especially. It is important to safeguard what remains of the democratic gains achieved in the context of the liberation struggle against Pakistan.
The correct line under these circumstances is to oppose both the reactionary regime and the reactionary opposition. We should point out the problems of both. However, we should place an emphasis on the disaster the country would face if the reactionary opposition wins. The only real solution for the problems we face is complete, total revolution: Global People’s War of the Leading Light, New Democracy, New Socialism, Leading Light Communism. Only the masses armed with the most advanced science of Leading Light Communism can create a new future. Follow the Leading Light! Be the Leading Light! Our sun is rising, our day will come!