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Bulletins Bulletin : Published and Discussed
Date: Saturday, September 22, 2001
The New Revolution

For all we cry the glory of our Mother Bangla, the name, Bangladesh, invokes not an image of glory but of disappointment and poverty. Our beloved motherland, today represents to the world a backwater nation left behind by time, destined to beg other nations for her sustenance. Unfortunately for us, the image does not portray us wrongly and only its finality can be vehemently challenged.

Bangladesh has become independent through the people's revolution of 1971, through the blood of 3 million martyrs. However, even today Bangladesh survives on foreign aid while the condition of the majority of the people, despite the towers going up in the capital and the lofty promises of politicians, remains largely unchanged, locked in medieval times.

Corruption, violence and fundamentalism have also increased over the years adding to the misery. So-called leaders of the nation milk the system together with their allies, the corrupt police and bureaucrats, and their aides, the gangsters (gundas) who terrorize the general populace. The progress of Bangladesh is frozen by these intractable forces and this has resulted in massive desensitisation and hopelessness among the people of Bangladesh. The dreams of the martyrs of '71 have been snatched.

Despite all the apparent hopelessness, I have firm belief that Bangladesh and Bangalees (East and West Bengal) have the capability to rise like a phoenix. Bangladesh's ancient history shows that Bangladesh has not always been a backwater nation, as the Library of Congress (US) erroneously claims.

Bangladesh (undivided Bangla in earlier times) has seen her share of glory and greatness, playing a great role in the ancient world. Bangla, one of the earliest sea faring nations and the house of tea, cotton, silk, and Muslin, has spread her culture, thoughts and architecture far and wide from Tibet to Sri Lanka and to the East. From the ancient Bengal princes who fought invaders "riding ocean bred steeds of the hue of the moon" to the legendary Prince Sri Vijay Singh to Gadadhara; from the Gangaridai Empire to the Pal empire to Champa (Bengal kingdom in Laos/Vietnam area); all testify to the glory that was Bangla and boldly testify to what can be achieved from Bangla today.

Can we not regain our lost glory in this new and changed world? The odds are against us but we, Bangalees, can yet prove the world wrong. For that grandiose goal that we have buried deep in our hearts, we need great leadership, and not the corrupt leadership of the different parties that are accepted as sufficient and only real choices.

Who will be that leader? Who will lead the fight to alleviate poverty and the growing disparity in our land? We can not expect such leadership from our political leaders, who like vultures only pick on the bones of mother Bangla. We cannot expect it from teachers who disgrace the hallowed learning centres by their fistfights at the teachers' senate or students who rush out with their "Larelappa Jindabad" slogans at the beckoning of "student" leaders who are no better than armed miscreants.

We can not expect the leadership from trade union leaders who use their position to make deals to their own ends and that of those very same people who cause the suffering of the people and sit at the parliament or in air-conditioned offices both at home and abroad... nor can we expect it from the army which has assumed power and disappointed the country over and over again. Where do these leaders who will bring forth hope exist?

Kingbodonqtir Nayak -- Ernesto Che Guevara said, "Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves." And quite truly the leaders we look for are within us. The new leaders are us, the people who still care: the student, the teacher, the worker, the farmer, the soldier and maybe the guerrilla who fights for a cause even he is not sure of -- every man and woman of Bangladesh who still dream of a better Bangla -- an exploitation free society, booming in economy, academic excellence and culture and who still wish to dedicate their lives for their collective dream despite the desensitisation and hopelessness generated by the status quo.

We, the people who still care and who still dare to dream, can rise as the moral leadership of the nation and once again liberate Mother Bangla from the cycles of misery, oppression and social stratification.

We will create a state that does not merely cater to a democracy that perpetuates exploitation and oppression and is only an illusion of popular participation in the running of a state. We will create an egalitarian society where sharing, rather than hoarding will be the norm -- a Bangla that will be a glowing symbol and leader of a world of the future.

We cannot expect to undo thousands of years of exploitation and oppression overnight. Granted the tasks are enormous, however, let us not be daunted but let us start a new revolution at home. Every one who wishes to change Bangladesh -- make a silent promise in our hearts today -- a small oath that will be the nucleus of our future actions. Band together and swear not to partake in the decadent culture of bribery that has overtaken Bangladesh; swear to lead personal crusades against the culture of bribery by convincing others next to us to abandon that path.

Also, during the heady election season, vow not to partake in any biased partisan games of "Abahoni-Mohamedan" style politics and abandon the so-called leaders of our ailing nation. Take oath not to standby and watch the violence-ridden "Abahoni-Mohamedan" politics repeat its bloody cycle.

Otherwise, our lack of action will only subject our children to a legacy of strife and can only promise a future where misery will be synonymous to life. Send forth a message to the politicians and the razakars of '71, let them know that the time has come for their dishonourable exit.

Henceforth will come other crusades against other forms of corruption and exploitation, in the government, the cities and countryside and finally a massive people's revolution to realize the dream that has been snatched from the martyrs. If we fail then we may as well have lost the war of '71, for as long as there is corruption, injustice, exploitation, poverty and social stratification, we are not truly liberated.

The time has come to claim our lost dream, the dream of the martyrs – to create a new revolution to finish the "unfinished" revolution of 1971. Who will rise to the challenge?

People Discussion
(Sunday, September 23, 2001)

RAQTA ... name's very familiar. Man ... are you from Ireland?

(Thursday, September 27, 2001)


(Thursday, September 27, 2001)

You are thinking of one other... my brother...


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