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From left: Gen. Moeen U. Ahmed, Brig-Gen. Fazlul Bari, Maj-Gen. A.T.M Amin, Lt-Gen. Masud Uddin Chowdhury

From left: Gen. Moeen U. Ahmed, Brig-Gen. Fazlul Bari, Maj-Gen. A.T.M Amin, Lt-Gen. Masud Uddin Chowdhury

Although Gen. Moeen U. Ahmed claimed his 11 January, 2007 unlawful intervention to be something other than a typical coup d’état, the significance of his acts have been too crudely typical. Almost all of the initiatives he took were typical; saving the nation from a nearing ‘civil war’, proposition of all out political reformation, crackdown over corruption etc. Actually there don’t remain a lot more cover-ups that a military ruler can use to defend his outspoken unlawfulness. So the mentioned lollypops were the instruments Gen. Moeen used to form up a façade of his unconstitutional and unlawful regime, suspending the fundamental rights those the people of an independent sovereign state can expect to have.

I’ve heard many people to claim the events of early January 2007 could have triggered a civil war in Bangladesh. It’s highly arguable that whether crying out the imminence of a civil war was really a substantial speculation or was just an excuse to overthrow a uniform government. Such excuses can eventually leave us skeptical because although adversary political activists took the streets no matter whatever ratio they had, no parts of the belligerents were recognized to have ‘military’ wings to drive through a ‘civil war’. At least Gen. Moeen U. Ahmed surely was not a Patton or a Monty to ‘give a chop’ to everything within a night that could have instrumented a countrywide civil war. So probably it was just an excuse to be used to form the public image of the setup that Moeen U. Ahmed with his errand men appeared to have done.

Moeen, Horse and Kapoor

Moeen, however, had to be at good terms with the Indian authority. To mention, his relationship with India has been considerably better than any other military leaders of Bangladesh, becoming the only Bangladesh Army Chief of Staff to be befriended by India's far-right political masterminds.

Now for sake of arguments, I can be looked for to be asked, should Moeen have waited for the civil war getting truly imminent? Well I like to rule out the issue of a civil war, because for a country like Bangladesh which took less than 20 years from her birth to take the track of a consistent democracy, which in fact has had democracy smoothly and praiseworthily running for 16 long years, a civil war just for two conflicting political parties happens to be too fictitious. In fact as a country recognized to have moderate political and religious views, the civil war issue should have been taken as an insult to Bangladesh.

It’s arguable that whether the sudden intervention, or let me say the 1/11 coup d’état can be justified considering the then situation. Some or many people haven’t been disappointed after completely unlawful and unconstitutional sudden intervention of a man and suspension of people’s fundamental rights for indefinite period of time. People haven’t been disappointed at once because they were confused that whether they had lived better in past couple of months in the then atmosphere. Series of street agitations and two party’s being distant everyday turned Bangladeshi politics to severe disarray. Senior leaders of both the parties were set to negotiate and work a solution out but they could give nothing but smiles after they met. So the series of violence and an almost stalemate of Bangladesh, they have been failure of politicians, not politics. But after taking over the state machine what Gen. Moeen U. Ahmed was after has not been just politicians, he was after politics along with all the apparatuses he could have had a control over, legitimately or else.

We often see commentators among us who appear to have allergies of a system other than democracy, especially if it comes as a subject to military takeover of the state machine. Certain class of people now suddenly appear to be looking for rooms to thank Gen. Moeen at for least something he did. After considerably a protracted quest, its told that whatsoever Moeen U. Ahmed once initiated, have come to an end by resuming the democratic process, so he is to be thanked. In fact a military ruler who overthrew a uniform authority which was a party to state’s democratic process, if can be that fortunate ending up by resuming the democratic process, righteously can be considered as something better than just money lending, thus deserves a Novel Peace Prize.

However the Sheikh Hasina government does contain some of Awami League personalities who will like to give these kingpins real hard time.

However the Sheikh Hasina government does contain some of Awami League personalities who will like to give these kingpins real hard time.

But the immediate next democratic government of Moeen’s 1/11 rule didn’t act in the way that of a Novel Peace Prize contender should have acted. Ordinances the 1/11 cabinet once passed, the democratic government turned them into laws. Breaching of the constitutions the 1/11 regime frequently did, the democratic government desperately avoids to sue those matters. Not only has this, a cabinet member at the government of Moeen’s ‘resumed’ democracy, stated that Moeen U. Ahmed has been an Abraham Lincoln in the context of Bangladesh. It’s merely unbelievable that how a person under whose command politicians were tortured, university teachers were jailed and tortured, under whose command the fundamental rights of people were suspended, under whose command journalist was beaten half to death for criticizing him, can be compared with Abraham Lincoln. And it appears things won’t remain up to just comparison with great statesmen. Instead of dealing with the allegations, instead of suing for ousting democracy and hundred more criminal offenses at least attributed to have been done, there have been authoritative talks that there can be rewards for. And eventually this reward part, though haven’t taken place yet, explains everything.


This post has also been published in The Weekly Economic Times, 21 June, 2009 issue.


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June 2009
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