November 03, 2007

Guest Post: Jamaat's Sudden Shift

While the blogosphere puzzles over Jamaat's sudden and vocal shift from "national reconciliation" into complete denial of any crimes committed in 1971, Mahmud Farooque bhai made some interesting comments on the same thread, which I'm reproducing below. So far we Kremlin-watchers bloggers have speculated that Jamaat's increased boldness was thanks to regime support, either because the regime is also Jamaati (highly implausible) or because the regime wanted to create a diversion while taking over BNP (more probable). Mahmud bhai provides a fresh perspective, especially his linking of the "midnight coup" within BNP and Jamaat's sudden boldness.


A mere speculation on my part would lead me to think that perhaps in the game of high stake poker, Jamaat took a calculated gamble to force the General to show his hand. The anti-AL vote has been up for grabs ever since BNP supporters deserted the Tareq Zia camp in favor of the Moinuddin bandwagon. Jamaat could be trying to establish itself as an alternative to AL. The effort to shore up BNP could then be an attempt to counter Jamaat. This may have been in the books, but Jamaat’s well orchestrated media blitz triggered the backup plan into immediate action, providing us with all the drama and the theatrics! DS and PA did not hold back any punches this time around, although they have been absolutely mum about the CTG/Army's misadventures. One would then imagine that they have the administration's blessings in having a cleansed BNP appear as a counter weight to Jamaat as opposed to having Jamaat solidify its role as a default alternative to AL.

I don’t think the audience for Jamaat’s current disinformation campaign is the elite or civil society constituency that is vocal in the general media and the Internet. Jamaat would be ecstatic to be able to simply run out the clock in that particular game, because they are more interested in winning the war.

What they get to do here is frame the debate and draw their opposition into an argument that they firmly believe will not see a resolution in the courts. That would be enough for them to win the war through their non-elite constituency by feeding the anti-AL block just enough disinformation to accept them as the default opposition to all things Indian, non-Muslim, US, NGO, Women empowerment, progressive, democratic, etc.

Now let me elaborate why I think that despite the favorable comments from the CA in the media, no trial for the war criminals will be allowed to happen at least under its watch. You know some of us have been growing crazy during the last ten months trying to figure out the ideological and political leanings of the Army backed CTG. I guess instead of looking at them through those lenses, an alternate approach could be to view them simply as the “serious gondogol (conflict, unrest, agitation, etc.) avoidance cooperative”. The continuation of the emergency, the stifling of any voice of dissent either in the media or in the public domain, the dismantling of the ‘gondogol-wing’ of the two major political parties, the DU crackdown, Arif arrest, snooping and eavesdropping into private conversations, etc. do not necessarily reveal a consistent ideology or principle except for the desire to diffuse or preempt any developing situation of possible conflict and exercise control to stave off any possibility of widespread unrests that could bring about a change in the government.

I believe someone mentioned that Jamaat hardly does anything by impulse. If that is true, their decision to seize the moment, perhaps, could be taking into account something similar to what I have elaborated above.


A similar analysis is tacit's post, which speculates that Jamaat might be asked to be the loyal opposition against some sort of centre-left King's party.

319 comments:

1 – 200 of 319   Newer›   Newest»
Tasneem Khalil said...

Dear Kremlin-watcher:

The latest from Pravda seeks your attention:

http://www.amadershomoy.com/news.php?id=208652&sys=1

DhakaShohor said...

Dear Fellow Kremlin-watcher,

Where exactly does Amader Shomoy fit into this scheme? How much of this editorial/report is "real reporting", and how much is part of the very struggle they are describing?

I'm going to discount force 3 as a very simple-minded playing of the India-card. The government itself said that India's decision to stop exporting rice would have very little effect:

http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=7627

Now, the Pravda or the Izvestia are contradicting each other! Heavens, what awful paradoxes command politics produces.

Jyoti said...

Mahmud bhai,

I think you've hit on something when you say that Jamaat is angling for the ideological space that the right-faction of BNP used to fill. If the regime ends up being centre-right (what BNP used to be in 1979 or 1991), or even centrist - ek chimti muktijeddher chetona, ek mutha Bangabandhu jatir pita... - then this ideological space will need a new home. A linked possibility is that Jamaat may be angling for political legitimacy from the anti-regime forces. Jamaat may be hoping to pose as the main rightwing opposition party (assuming that there is no regime-AL deal - if that deal happens, then Jamaat may aim for the main opposition role).

When it comes to tactical alliance with Jamaat for short-term gains, everyone in our politics is guilty. In the 1980s, it gained legitimacy because anti-Ershad opposition allowed it to join their rank. In the mid-1990s, Hasina allowed Nizami a seat at the table. Then Khaleda gave Ghulam Azam a seat at the stage and Nizami a post in the cabinet. It's important that opponents of the regime don't fall in that trap again.

J said...

Tasneem:
Been wondering the same since I read the AS article, and here is our analysis

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