Puneet Varma (Editor)

Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League

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Leader  Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Dissolved  15 August 1975
Founded  24 February 1975
Headquarters  Dhaka, Bangladesh
Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League
Merger of  Awami League, Communist Party of Bangladesh, National Awami Party (Mozaffar) and Jatiyo League
Ideology  Bengali nationalism, Socialism

The Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League (BAKSAL) (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ কৃষক শ্রমিক আওয়ামী লীগ Bangladesh Krishôk Sromik Aoami League) was a political front comprising Bangladesh Awami League, Communist Party of Bangladesh, National Awami Party (Mozaffar) and Jatiyo League.

Contents

The political platform was floated as the national party of Bangladesh with an announcement made by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 24 February 1975, after the theory of Second Revolution was placed and the fourth amendment of the constitution was made on 25 January 1975. In addition, with the presidential order, all other political parties were outlawed with the formation of BAKSAL.

The party advocated state socialism as a part of the group of reforms under the theory of Second Revolution. BAKSAL was the decision making council to achieve the objectives of the Second Revolution.

BAKSAL was dissolved after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

With the end of BAKSAL, all the political parties who merged themselves with BAKSAL including Awami League became independent political parties.

Background

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his Awami League won a landslide victory in the 1973 election. Backing for the government waned, however, as supporters became disillusioned by widespread corruption. In the face of growing unrest, on 28 December 1974 Mujibur Rahman declared a state of emergency, which gave him the power to ban any political group. He pushed the Fourth Amendment to the constitution through parliament on 25 January 1975. It dissolved all political parties and gave him the authority to institute one-party rule.

Formation

On 24 February 1975, Mujib formed a new party, Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League (BAKSAL), which all MPs were required to join. Any MP who missed a parliamentary session, abstained, or failed to vote with the party would lose their seat. All civilian government employees, professionals, and trade union leaders were pressed to join the party. All other political organizations were banned. Most Awami League politicians and many from other parties joined BAKSAL, seeing no other way to retain any political power. The Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal, Purba Banglar Sarbahara Party, Purbo Bangla Sammobadi Dal-Marxbadi-Leninbadi (East Bengal Communist Party Marxist–Leninist), East Pakistan Communist Party (Marxist–Leninist), and Bangladesh Communist Party (Leninist) did not join BAKSAL. According to political science professor Talukder Maniruzzaman, BASKSAL was in practice "the Awami League under a different name".

BAKSAL, the new national party, was scheduled to replace officially the nation's other political organizations, whether those political parties agreed or not, and associations on 1 September 1975.

Organizationally, President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the BAKSAL chairman, appointed for the national party a fifteen-member executive committee, a 115-member central committee, and five front organisations, namely, Jatiya Krishak League, Jatiya Sramik League, Jatiya Mahila League, Jatiya Juba League and Jatiya Chhatra League (peasants, workers, women, youth, and students respectively). All members of the executive committee and central committee were to enjoy the status of ministers. BAKSAL was also designed to overhaul the administrative system of the country in order to make it people-oriented.

Activities

Many restrictive regulations coming from the BAKSAL included the promulgation of the Newspaper Ordinance (June 1975; Annulment of Declaration) under which the declarations of all but four state owned newspapers were annulled. The Fourth Amendment was a direct attack on the press freedom which allowed only four newspapers (Dainik Bangla, Bangladesh Observer, Ittefaq & Bangladesh Times - these four newspapers were, in fact, owned and managed by the State) to continue their publication and banned the rest of the press and newspaper industries. It brought the whole news media completely under the absolute control of the government.

Dissolution

The party carried out independently until 1991, when almost all of its party leaders deserted the organization to merge with the Bangladesh Awami League.

Legacy

The Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League remains the epitome of one party rule in Bangladesh, marked by widespread censorship and abuse of the judiciary. Lawrence Lifschultz wrote in the Far Eastern Economic Review in 1974 that Bangladeshis thought that “the corruption and malpractices and plunder of national wealth" was "unprecedented".

References

Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League Wikipedia


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