People welcoming American engagement in Bangladesh

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Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken meets with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abdul Momen at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on April 4, 2022. [State Department photo by Ron Przysucha/http://bit.ly/3wDN6xw.

by Ghulam Suhrawardi    16 October 2023

The Bangladesh Foreign Minister recently took the line from an article by Mihir Sharma of India’s Observer Research Foundation (ORF). Mr. Sharma’s piece in Bloomberg on 9th October was also re-published in the Washington Post, which seemed like a concerted effort to champion the present Awami League regime in Bangladesh. Sharma’s headline, “Biden’s Democracy Crusade Goes Astray in Bangladesh,” is too strong for a think tank member who is supposed to be objective.

ORF is officially a non-partisan organization based in New Delhi. Like major media in India, ORF is financed by the oligarch Ambani family, who tow the BJP politics.

Mr. Sharma showered a glowing sketch about Awami League’s landslide victory in 2009; he avoided comments on the Indian involvement in the 2014 election, followed by a vote theft in 2018. While criticizing American overtures in Bangladeshi politics, his article builds an optimistic scenario for the Awami League to continue ruling Bangladesh.

Like many other Indian media writers, he appears to support a regime brutally ruling Bangladesh for the last 15 years. Indian media has the likes of Ambani and Adani in control that tow the BJP line. They aim to keep the Awami regime of Sheikh Hasina in power to control India’s northeastern territories.

BJP has been championing the Hindu concept both inside and outside India. Bangladesh has a sizable Hindu community that looks forward to India for guidance, especially when the Awami League hoodlums victimize them. The BJP leaders are not concerned about the Bangladeshi Hindus. They want the Awami League Hasina government in power regardless. The equation is having reasonable control of the Northeast is more important than the lives of the Hindus in Bangladesh. They look the other way when Awami League hoodlums grab Hindu properties and victimize them. The Bangladeshi Hindu leaders like Gobinda Chandra Pramanik and Rana Das Gupta have strongly criticized the Hasina government for her party adherents’ victimization of Hindus and their temples.

The Indian think tanks funded by oligarchs are crafty with their writings supporting the BJP government and finetuning their support for Sheikh Hasina.

Both Indian and Chinese governments have supported the Hasina regime for different reasons. Chinese want her to access the Bay of Bengal and monitor their investment in Bangladesh. It is reported that most investments and loans are riddled with high corruption by the Chinese and Hasina regimes.  Many funds received as loans have been siphoned off to offshore accounts. Many Bangladeshis have become millionaires overnight by undisclosed wealth.

Sheikh Hasina nurtured a few oligarchs and her extended family under massive development as a cover for widespread corruption and political manipulation. All branches of the government, including the judiciary, police, civil servants, and the army, have been politicized. It is said that the Indian secret service has been directing the Bangladeshi administration at every step.

It appears Hasina will have the next election under the machinations of her regime, creating fake opposition parties to show a semblance of democracy. Autocratic China has no qualms about autocratic rule in Bangladesh, while the largest democracy in the world is undermining the people’s fundamental right to vote in Bangladesh.