Bangladesh’s Jamaat alter ego of India’s BJP: media reportDecember 18th, 2008 - 1:55 pm ICT by IANS
Dhaka, Dec 18 (IANS) Bangladesh’s Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) is the “politico-ideological alter ego” of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a Dhaka newspaper said Thursday, cautioning against their brand of religion-based politics in South Asia. The New Age newspaper attacked the Indian party, but made no reference in an editorial to other religious bodies and political parties at home or in Pakistan that were created on the basis of the “two-nation theory” reinforced by JeI chief, Motiur Rahman Nizami.
While politicians engaged in poll campaign for the Dec 29 parliamentary elections have been silent on this issue so far, Bangladesh’s media has joined the controversy triggered by Nizami. They have trashed his argument that the theory propounded by Pakistan’s founding father Mohammed Ali Jinnah was valid even after Bangladesh’s independence.
Attacking the BJP, the newspaper alleged: “It is because of its relentless pursuit of Hindutva ideology that millions of Muslims and people of other faiths suffer from a sense of insecurity.”
“The ‘two-nation theory’ may have been thrown into the garbage bin of history but its loyalists are very much alive, which makes it imperative that the politically conscious and democratically oriented sections of society remain ever vigilant,” the editorial said.
“The panegyric that he (Nizami) unreeled on Jinnah and the ‘two-nation theory’ appears to us a recantation to revive the spectre of the pre-1971 religion-based Pakistan,” the newspaper observed.
Nizami attacked India for its role in the 1971 movement and alleged that India had remained ‘hostile’ to Bangladesh, “because we are Muslims”.
While not joining issues with Nizami on India’s role, sections of the media have said that he had “hurt Bangladeshi sentiments” by speaking on the “Bijoy Diwas” - the commemoration day of Dhaka being liberated and 93,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendering to the India-led forces Dec 16, 1971.
The Daily Star said that Nizami and the JeI had sworn allegiance to Bangladesh only to meet the legal requirements to be able to contest the forthcoming poll.
“The changes brought about in their constitution were to hoodwink the people, and did not signal any change of heart or mind.”
They were “unrepentant” about their having “collaborated” with the authorities in erstwhile East Pakistan to kill unarmed civilians, the newspaper observed.
Bangladesh Today, another English language daily, said in its editorial: “Mohammad Ali Jinnah had founded Pakistan on the basis of Hindu-Muslim divide. But history has proved that Pakistan was a ‘historical fallacy and a geographical absurdity’ as the two wings of Pakistan was divided by the vast Indian territory.
“Moreover, grave injustice, exploitation and disparity meted out to the people of majority eastern wing made the disintegration of the country inevitable,” the editorial said.