Wednesday, July 1, 2009

BDR REVOLT- THREAT TO DEMOCRACY IN BANGLADESH

Democracy in Bangladesh faced a serious challenge as BDR, country's paramilitary force entrusted with the maintenance of security of the border areas revolted in February, killing many senior army officials as well as civilians.The government headed by Sheikh Hasina showed tremendous ability in handling the pressure situation.The army, too showed remarkable poise in quelling the revolt.However, the threat posed by the revolt is not yet extinguished and the government has a huge task ahead to make it sure that democracy in Bangladesh remains safe.

The demand of the BDR jawans were many.Removal of the deputed army officials from high ranks of BDR,promotion of the BDR personnel to higher posts,equal treatment to them,introduction of the jawans in peacekeeping missions, overall improvement of the BDR members are some of the key demands.It is true that most of the demands are reasonable and sound.However, the murderous way that the BDR personnel adopted was unjustified.The mass graves revealed that as many as fourty nine senior army officials including the Director General of BDR and his wife along with many other civilians were massacred in the heinous revolt by the BDR.It was only when the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina promised general amnesty of the mutineers in return of surrendering arms, peace returned in Bangladesh after days of bloodbath.

The surprise revolt is being seen as a result of many cohesive currents acting in Bangladesh politics.Firstly,the landslide victory of the Awami League in the November, 2008 election and the promise of Sheikh Hasina to combat Islamic terrorists operating on the soil of Bangladesh to consolidate democracy in Bangladesh was not taken well by the fundamentalist organisations especially Jamaat-e-Islam.Moreover, the unfulfilled promise of the government to begin the trial of the war criminals of 1971 war also made the war criminals potential foes of the government.The possibility of ISI involvement with the hope of overthrowing the democratically elected government can not be overruled as well.

The revolt was an eye opener to the government for which the honeymoon period after achieving a thumping public mandate lasted very short.Proper investigation to find out the agents working behind the mutiny,carrying out reforms in the BDR and finding out the avenues to avert such incident in future are the tasks ahead for the government to sustain the public mandate and democracy in Bangladesh.

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