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Bangladesh an Unfinished Revolution

Bangladesh an Unfinished Revolution

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Published by: আজাদ মাস্টার on Nov 26, 2011
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Bangladesh: An Unfinished Revolution?Author(s): Talukder ManiruzzamanReviewed work(s):Source:
The Journal of Asian Studies,
Vol. 34, No. 4 (Aug., 1975), pp. 891-911Published by:
Stable URL:
Accessed: 26/11/2011 05:25
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VOL.
XXXIV,No. 4
JOURNALOF ASIANSTUDIESAUGUST
1975
Bangladesh:AnUnfinishedevolution?
TALUKDERMANIRUZZAMAN
R
VOLUTIONARYmassupheavalgenerallyweakens thepeople'srespectorauthority,aw, anddiscipline; nd itbringsn itswakesocial,conomic,ndpoliticaldisorders,acilitating heestablishmentf anauthoritarianegime.TheFrenchRevolutionwasbased onthedeals ofliberty,quality,ndfraternity;utthedestructionftheoldsocialandpoliticalabric, ndthefailure onstitutionalizethenewideas, edFrenchmen osearchor theman ofgeniusdestinedt oncetocarry nand toabolishtherevolution."heRussianRevolution fIgI7wasalsofollowed yseveralyearsf civilwar,which edto theestablishmentftheruthlesstotalitarianegimeofStalin,tselfeminiscentf theThermidorianeaction. nAlgeria,Cuba,China, andNorthVietnam,uccessfulmassarmedrevolutionsavebeenconsolidatednlybecauseoftheirne-partyictatorships.InBangladesh,henationalistevolutionsalsofoundering.roupsthatwereunitedbythewaragainstPakistanrenowsplinteredlongpersonal ndideologicallines;andtheAwamiLeague itselfs fullffactions.ven thedeologyf Mujibba'd("Mujibism")cannotkeepthefactionsogether,lthoughheeniormembers fthegovernmentillnot vieopenlywithoneanother slong asMujibisalive. Theappearancefstability ivenb!yheAwamiLeague'soverwhelmingictorynthe
I973
electionssbelied bytheneed forrepressivepecialpowersndtheestablish-mentoftheRakhiBahini, thegovernment-armedigilanteswhoopposeanyonenotsupportingheAwamiLeagueor itsassociatedarties.Whatare theforces hatwillshapethepoliticsfBangladeshnthe nearfuture?Will there estability;illtheoft-proclaimedoals ofnationalism,ocialism,ecularism,nddemocracyeachieved?Thebulkofthisssaypresents etailshatwillallowthereaderoassessBengalipolitics orhimself. fewremarksntheuthor'swn viewsreappended.'HistoricalBackground2ThejubilationxperiencedythepeopleofBangladeshttheformal urrenderof thePakistanforces othendianArmyonDecember
6,
Ig7I
wastemperedyfearfabitterowerstrugglemong themanyeadersf therevolution-guerillas,communists,ndAwamiLeague workers.However,theprospectf aprolongedperiodfanarchynBangladeshwas relievedy therapidreturnfSheikhMujibur
TalukderManiruzzamanas ProfessorndHeadof theDepartment fPolitical cience tRajshahiUniversitytthetimehewrote hisrticle.He isnowProfessorf Politicalcience t DaccaUniver-sity.Much of thematerial ontainedhere is notavailable rom ther ources.heEditors re grate-fulto the uthor orpermissionoedit nd abridgehisoriginalmanuscript,nd to SusanHadden forcarryingut thistask.
1
In thepresentersionfthisaper,he uthor'sevaluation of thecurrentpolitical situation spresentednlyntheconcludingection.iographi-cal noteson prominent oliticiansregivenn theAppendix.
2
For a detaileddiscussionf theBangladeshrevolutionf
I97I,
see T. Maniruzzaman,RadicalPolitics nd theEmergence f Bangladesh"n P.R.Brass and M. F. Franda (eds.),RadicalPolitics nSouth Asia(Cambridge:The MITPress,
973),
pp. 223-277.
891
 
892 TALUKDER MANIRUZZAMAN
Rahman-known as the Father f the Nation-fromhis prison n West PakistannJanuaryo,
I972.3
In an impressive how of loyalty, he variousguerrilla nitsoftheMuktiBahinithe Liberation rmy) surrenderedrms t ceremonieshroughoutBangladeshwithin he ten-day imit et by SheikhMujib. It was, of course,-widelysuspected hat largeportion f their rms nd ammunition ad been keptback bythemany guerrilla roups.But the support f the nation clearlybelongedto the Awami League governmentnderMujib. Most of thepopularguerrillaeaders. ere loyaltohim; moreover,helegend of Sheikh Mujib, his. harismatic.ppeal,andhis hypnotic old over the masses were enormous ssetsfor the government. heextent f Mujib's success n establishing is authorityll overBangladesh s indicatedbythewithdrawal f all Indian troops rom he country y March
2, I972.
Onthe day following is arrivalnDacca, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman-asPresi- dentofBangladesh-promulgated Provisionalonstitutionalrder providingoraparliamentaryormof governmentn Bangladesh.He then steppeddown fromtheoffice f president. ustice bu Sayeed Choudhury, formerudgeof the DaccaHigh Court and Vice-Chancellor f Dacca University,ecame thenew President.Atwelve-memberabinet,which ncluded hefive.membersftheexilegovernmentinCalcutta,was sworn n on the same day,withMujib as PrimeMinister.4 Bangladeshrequired formal onstitution;nd Sheikh Mujib acted quicklyofacilitate he framing f one. Presidential rder
2
was promulgated n March 23;it provided or heestablishmentf a Constituent ssemblymade up of themembers formerlylected o theNationalAssembly f Pakistan nd to theProvincial ssembly of East Pakistan n theelections eld n
I970.
The Constituent ssembly nactedheConstitutionnly evenmonths ater.6TheConstitution rovidesforaunitary arliamentaryovernmentorBang-ladesh. tspreamble eclareshat thehigh deals ofnationalism,ocialism,emoc-racy, nd secularism hich nspired ur heroic eople to dedicate hemselveso,andto sacrificeheirives n, the national iberation truggle,hallbethefundamentalprinciplesf theConstitution."heConstitutionttemptsofacilitatehe transitiontosocialism hrough arliamentaryemocracy.orexample, taffirmsherightoholdprivateproperty ubjecttorestrictionsmposed by law, and.allowsforna-tionalization ndrequisitioningfproperty,hich cannotbechallengednacourtoflaw.6
3Sheikh
Mujibur Rahmanwas arrested n thenightof
25
March
1971.
He was taken to WestPakistan nd kept n detentionn a solitary risoncell in a district own.Later he was triedby aspecialmilitary ourtfor"waging war againsthePakistanGovernmentnd other reasonablectivi- ties' and given thedeath sentence. he sentencewas approvedbyGeneral Yahya Khan, as ChiefMartial aw Administrator;ut before he sentencecould be carried ut, GeneralYahyawasreplacedby ZulfikarliBhuttos Presidentnd ChiefMar-tial Law Administratorf Pakistan. Bhutto re-leased SheikhMujib andsenthim to London by aspecial plane; from therehe flew to Bangladeshvia India. Seetheproceedingsf the pressconfer-enceofSheikhMujibinLondonon 8January
I972,
published n the MorningNews (Dacca),9
January
972.
4The
Cabinetwas later expandedto
23
mem-bers.Of these,8were in theirarly
5o's,
13
intheir 0's,and one in his
30's
in age.The oldestMinister,ndtheonly Hindu intheCabinet,was70.The groupconsistedf
13
lawyers,business-men, 3 professionaloliticians,collegeprofessor,a landholder,nda former akistanArmyfficer.Onewas a relativefSheikhMujib.All but fourof the Ministersere associatedwith the AwamiLeague since the
I950's.
Biographicalketches fthe Ministerswere publishednThe BangladeshObserver ndotherdailynewspapersf Daccaon
20
and
29
Januarynd
I4
and
I5
April
972.
5
For a detaileddiscussionftheconstitution-makingn Bangladesh,ee A. F.Huq, "Constitu-tion-MakingnBangladesh,"acificAfairs,Vol.
46(I,I973),pp.59-76.6
Sectionof Article
2
in PartII.

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