Monday, March 18, 2013

History of Bangladesh Nationalist Party

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (Bengali:Bangladesh Jatiotabadi Dal), commonly referred to as the BNP, is the mainstream center-right political party in Bangladesh. It is currently the largest opposition party in the Parliament of Bangladesh. The entry of late President Ziaur Rahman in Bangladeshi political stage, was sudden. But it was a must to happen. In order to fill the gap of presence of a righteous and honest leader, Ziaur Rahman entered into Bangladeshi politics as a response to the demand posed by the time and the nation. Ziaur Rahman did not enter into politics from the back door or by any midnight intriguing drama; he entered the politics as all the nation, civilians, armed forces and literally every single living people wanted him to take the charge of political fate of Bangladesh on a shiny morning, November 07, 1975. He became a leader by the people and for the people; and it is none but only the common mass people of Bangladesh - who made him, a leader.

The time when Ziaur Rahman became the leader by the people, there was not a single political party in Bangladesh. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by forming a single party 'Bakshal' had banned all other political activities and parties from Bangladesh and wanted only to run 'one party ruling system' in country. Democratic rights of the people of the country and the democratic practices were forced to put into exile. The legal system, courts and newspaper, all were controlled. Each and every human rights were violated at gross. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, self promoted himself from prime minister to president and became only exerciser of godly power and possessions. He extended his government's tenure to the power for three years without any vote or public referendum. Even after his long and historical records of being active organizer and leader of so many movements for the democracy and independence of the country; Sheikh Mujibur Rahman eventually proved himself only to be the father of all 'autocratic dictatorship' by establishing one party ruling system - Bakshal.

All these activities were against the spirit of our liberation war. The people of the newly independent and liberated country were greatly hurt and shocked to find themselves deprived of their rights. Using this situation to their benefits, an anti-sheikh mujib group lead by Kh. Mushtaq - a close associate of sheikh Mujib and with the help of some misguided army group captured the power by a bloody coup.

A great revolutionary change took place by the joint efforts of army and civilian against these intrigues, on 7TH November 1975. This change was for the seek of the independence and liberty of the country, for multi party democratic system, for human rights, for democracy, for politics and for development and for production. That change was against military ruling and for democratic ruling. Ziaur Rahman, declarer of our liberation war, was at the leading position of this change movement. To make this change possible, Ziaur Rahman allowed politics in Bangladesh, introduced democratic practices in Bangladesh and widened the opportunity to form political parties in Bangladesh. He restored human rights, restored people's right to speech and liberated the newspapers, freed the legal system in the country. To foster the changes to more meaningful one, Ziaur Rahman formed a party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Muslim League was leading the movement to found a country, Pakistan. Later they could not revive up their politics to meet the demand of the time. Awami League was the pioneer in our movement for independence and liberation war of Bangladesh. But later they failed to play positive roles as a political party. BNP was born, on the background of awami failure, as a political party to contribute in the national politics from a independent and sovereign country's perspective. This party has created a new stream in the politics of Bangladesh with long history of struggle, peace and prosperity for last 31 years. The party is seasoned with experiences. Numerous martyr strengthened our oaths. We are walking with the flag of national unity raised above all against all the clashes, chaos and divisions. We created, developed, nurtured a true nationalism irrespective of religion, class, society, ethnic group. colors, landscape and professions. With our respect for religion kept ever flowing, we shall protect and protest all extreme racism. We will always stick to our national interest and prestige. We are not leftist nor rightist. Who stays on our left is leftist, who stays on the right is rightist. Our position is on the left of the rightist and on the right of the leftist. Our position is at the center and we are at the heart of Bangladeshi politics. Bangladesh Nationalist Party is the main stream of Bangladeshi politics. BNP is the national political organization of Bangladesh

Ziaur Rahman

Ziaur Rahman was born at Bogra in 1936. He joined the army in 1953 and was commissioned in 1955. Towards the end of 1969, he went to West Germany for training and later on, spent a few months with the British army. In October 1970, Major Ziaur Rahman was transferred to the newly raised Eighteen East Bengal Regiment at Chittagong. While serving in this regiment and following the crackdown on the un armed civilians, he led the revolt against the Pakistan army and on March 26 & 27, 1971, he made the historic announcement of independendence for the 75 million freedom-loving people of Bangladesh. During this time the "Shadheen Bangla Betar" (Independent Bangla Radio) related the various news of the nine month long war.

In 1971, he was promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel. While in Roumari, he formed the 1st Brigade of the Bangladesh Army with the Jawans of 1st, 2nd and Eighth Bengal Regiments. It later came to be known as "Z" force. In 1972 he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff of the army. He was rapidly promoted from one rank to another and was promoted to the rank of Major General in 1973. In August, 1975 he assumed the responsibility of the Chief of Staff following the change over of the Government. On November 7, 1975, he became the Chief Martial Law Administrator. He attended the non-aligned summit conferance in Colombo in August 1976 and paid an official visit to China in January, 1977 and to Iran in March, 1977.

Major General Ziaur Rahman was sworn as The President of Bangladesh on April 21st, 1977. He attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in London and paid state visits to many countries including Arabia and China. He was sworn in as the First Elected President of Bangladesh on June 12, 1979. Immediately after the election he formed a political party, styled as Bangladesh Nationalist Party. He held general elections on the basis of universal adult franchise in February 1979, and won a landslide victory. Immediately after the general election, he withdrew emergency and Martial law from the country and set the process of restoring democratisation in motion.

In his personal life President Zia was a familyman. He was married to Begum Khaleda Zia, who later became the first woman Prime Minister of Bangladesh between 1991-1995 and 2001-2006 And currently she is oposition ledar.

Begum Khaleda Zia

Begum Zia was born 1945. Prime Minister of Bangladesh (1991-1996, 2001-2006) and the chairperson of bangladesh nationalist party. Begum Khaleda Zia was born on 15 August 1945 at Dinajpur town, where her father Iskandar Majumdar, who hailed from Fulghazi thana of Feni district, was a resident businessman. Khaleda Zia attended Dinajpur Missionary School and did her matriculation from Dinajpur Girls' School in 1960.

In the same year, she was married to the then Captain ziaur rahman, who later became the country's president. Khaleda Zia continued her education at Surendranath College of Dinajpur until 1965, when she went to West Pakistan to join her husband.

At the start of the war of liberation in March 1971, Ziaur Rahman proclaimed independence from the local radio station. Later, the government of Bangladesh in exile made him commander of the 'Z'-force.

The Pakistan occupation army arrested Begum Zia and she was freed after Bangladesh achieved victory on 16 December 1971. After the brutal assassination of President Ziaur Rahman on 30 May 1981, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) faced great crisis. Justice Abdus Sattar, the new chairman of BNP and also the new President of Bangladesh was ousted from the presidency by a military coup staged by the then army chief General hussain muhammad ershad who proclaimed Martial Law on 24 March 1982.

At that time, many BNP leaders left the party and joined the military government. At this critical juncture, Khaleda Zia became the vice-president of BNP and on 10 May 1984, she was elected its chairperson.

Under the leadership of Begum Zia, BNP formed a 7-party alliance in 1983 and launched a relentless struggle against the autocratic regime of General Ershad. During the 9-year-long struggle against Ershad, Begum Zia did not compromise with his autocratic and illegitimate government. For her strict adherence to the principles, the government restricted her movements by using prohibitive laws. She was detained seven times in eight years. But undaunted, Begum Zia continued to provide leadership in the movement for ousting Ershad.

In the face of a mass upsurge spearheaded by alliances led by Begum Zia and Sheikh Hasina, Ershad at last handed over power to a neutral caretaker government on 6 December 1990. In the parliamentary elections held under this government on 27 February 1991, Bangladesh Nationalist Party emerged victorious as a single majority party. Begum Zia contested from five constituencies in three consecutive parliamentary elections and won in all seats. This of course, is a unique feat in the history of elections in the country.

On 20 March 1991, Begum Zia was sworn-in as the first woman prime minister of the country. She piloted the historic 12th constitutional amendment bill that was passed in the Jatiya Sangsad (parliament) on 6 August 1991 to reintroduce the parliamentary form of government in place of the presidential. Begum Khaleda Zia took oath as the prime minister under the new system on 19 September 1991.

While in power, Begum Zia's government made considerable progress in the education sector, including introduction of free and compulsory primary education, tuition-free education for girls up to class ten, stipend for female students and the Food for Education programme. It also goes to the credit of her government that during this period, the tree plantation had become a nationwide social movement. Further, it was in this period. That the construction of the Jamuna Bridge was begun. Khaleda Zia played a commendable role in revitalising the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

Begum Zia became the prime minister for a second consecutive term after BNP emerged victorious in the general elections for the 6th Jatiya Sangsad on 15 February 1996.

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