The Plot to Build a Christian State vs. the Politics of the Future

Benazir Ahmed is the hot topic of discussion in the country now. Where did this former chief of police get Aladdin’s miracle lamp, how did he become the owner of so much wealth, there are many questions and curiosity in people’s minds. Who sponsored him, what is their role now – these questions are on the lips. The Awami League government under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina has on the one hand made many visible improvements in the country, on the other hand it has also created some miscreants like Benazir Ahmed. The question is, is there no way to catch the Benazirs before they retire?

BNP, the main opposition party, is lying on its face due to wrong political strategies and is not able to create any pressure on the government. Again, Awami League seems to be eating food while continuing to compromise with corruption and irregularities after being in power for four consecutive terms. Even if the political opposition is unable to dislodge the government, it seems that the government is in the process of decaying from within. There are various kinds of gossip about what is actually happening in the country.

I think those who are interested in the government like me are in an embarrassing situation. Those who are critics of the government also criticize us and say that it is because of our unconditional support that the government is keeping pace with the bad without trying to be good. The government has taken it for granted that non-communal minded people like us who are in favor of the liberation war will never support the BNP-Jamaat political line. That is why there is a kind of reckless attitude in the government. But those who are running the government should remember that today is not the last day. There are more days ahead. And day by day people are turning away from the government, it is understood by the voter turnout rate in the elections.

However, I want to limit today’s discussion to one particular issue. This matter is no less important if we consider the aspect of larger national interest. Due to the daily hot issues, the plot to make a Christian state like East Timor with a part of Bangladesh and Myanmar is not being discussed in that way. But Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself has brought this topic forward.

There is no less curiosity in the public mind as to why the head of government suddenly raised the accusation of making a ‘Christian state’. Those who look down on everything of the government think that the government is embarrassed by the breaking of pots in markets one after another. So this new claim to divert people’s attention. However, due to the Prime Minister’s statement, the house burnings of the Christian community of Bangladesh have reached an extreme. They even gave counter statements.

Those concerned said that the plan to form a country by combining Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts, parts of Myanmar, India’s Manipur and Mizoram started in the 1980s. Currently, due to the civil war in Myanmar, this process has started again. However, they think that the idea of ​​making a Christian state in this process is not realistic.

A retired army officer and security analyst of the rank of major told a daily newspaper that the prime minister made the comment seeing that there was definitely a movement. This movement was already there. Bangladesh is not the only one in this plot; There are attempts to include India’s Manipur and Mizoram with Myanmar. In response to the question whether India will leave its two provinces Manipur and Mizoram for a new country, he said that there is a movement to form a Christian country across the border region. But what will be the border of the new country cannot be said now. Not everything is clear yet. There is a movement – just know that.

It is known to many that East Timor is an independent sovereign state in Southeast Asia. This eastern part of the Indonesian island of Timor was a Portuguese colony in the 16th century. At that time it was called Portuguese Timor. They declared independence in November 1975. However, within 9 days, Indonesia occupied East Timor. It was declared as the 27th province of Indonesia. After that, several separatist groups in East Timor fought with the Indonesian army for decades.

On May 20, 2002, East Timor emerged as the first independent country of the 21st century. The country gained independence mainly under the supervision of the United Nations. United Nations peacekeeping forces are stationed in East Timor. East Timor is one of the poorest countries in Asia. Dependent to a large extent on foreign aid. The infrastructure of the drought-prone country is not well developed. The discovery of oil and gas fields further offshore has opened up new possibilities.

If the BJP comes to power for the third time under the leadership of Narendra Modi in the Indian elections, if the Russia-China relationship continues to grow and if Trump becomes the president of the United States despite all the obstacles, then what will happen in Bangladesh in line with world politics, and where will Bangladesh stand in the future world politics, undoubtedly. Will be one to watch.

In view of the recent allegations made by Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina that there is a conspiracy to make a Christian country like East Timor with a part of Bangladesh and Myanmar, the president of Nagrik Oikya Mahmudur Rahman Manna has asked to know who or who made such a proposal? In a program in front of the National Press Club on May 25, Manna said that when the condition of the country and the government is bad, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina started a new story that she got a proposal to make Rakhine and Chittagong Hill Tracts a Christian state like Saint Martin. However, the professor of International Relations Department of Dhaka University. Imtiaz Ahmed said that the Prime Minister has said these things several times before. Now clarifying a bit. He must have the information, otherwise he wouldn’t have said it.

From the news published in the newspaper, it is known that the part of Bangladesh that is being broken and annexed to the Christian country – basically there is almost no Christian population there. Myanmar, Mizoram and Manipur in India have large Christian populations. But what would India want to leave its two provinces in the hands of others? Analysts say that preventing Rohingya repatriation by prolonging the turmoil in Myanmar in the name of creating a separate Christian state could be one of the reasons.

Besides, the separatist groups that are now in Myanmar are working for the interests of China. They want to form a federal government in the country with the help of China rather than with the Myanmar military. Thailand is known to have an influence with this process. Myanmar separatists held a meeting with former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinwatra. Later another meeting was held in Malaysia under the leadership of Thaksin Shinwatra. Where ASEAN’s current chairman Laos, future chairman Indonesia and the relevant representatives of Malaysia and Thailand joined the meeting.

A newspaper quoted a diplomatic analyst as saying that any momentum on Rohingya repatriation was lost soon after that meeting. When asked about repatriation, on the contrary, Bangladesh was told that Myanmar is falling apart and you (Bangladesh) are talking about Rohingya repatriation. Explaining the matter, he said that steps are being taken to manage the state of Myanmar through provincial governments like India.

That is, the federal government will be at the crossroads of democracy. This government will also include the party of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi with the separatists. He said that China is also putting pressure on Myanmar’s military government. They want to remove the army and install a democratic government there and this government will be called federal government. Due to this, the Indian project in Arakan does not see the light of hope. But those who have taken up arms do not want independence in Myanmar, they want autonomy.

Diplomatic analyst and former foreign secretary Shamser Mobin Chowdhury said that the Christian population is more in Manipur and Mizoram in India. What would India want to have another Christian state in its lap? He thinks that Bangladesh needs to keep a close eye on what will happen and what is happening.

In the opening speech of the 14-party meeting at Ganabhaban on May 23, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that there is a conspiracy to make a Christian state with a part of Bangladesh. Referring to the United States, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on that day that a part of Bangladesh, like Palestine, will form a Christian state with Chittagong and Myanmar. A base will be established in the Bay of Bengal. The reason for that is that the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean have been traded since ancient times, and there is no controversy in this place, no one has any conflict.

Bay of Bengal is a bay within the Indian Ocean, it has been used since ancient times. Many eyes on this place. I will not allow it to happen, it is also my crime. Although a country is shown, but I know where they will attack, I know that. That’s why we have some problems, I know we have to, but I don’t care. The people of the country are my strength, if the people are right then we are. Many people do not like the development of the country. In short, the Prime Minister indicated many things. He has information on everything. But I don’t think at least that he published this information to scare people or divert attention.

If the BJP comes to power for the third time under the leadership of Narendra Modi in the Indian elections, if the Russia-China relationship continues to grow and if Trump becomes the president of the United States despite all the obstacles, then what will happen in Bangladesh in line with world politics, and where will Bangladesh stand in the future world politics, undoubtedly. Will be one to watch.

June 03, 2024
Author: Politician, Author and Chairman, Bangladesh Foundation for Development Research.

HR/ Farooq/ GKS