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  • HRW responds to ICT contempt notice
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  • One killed in city ‘shootout’
  • Jamaat activist killed in clash with AL men in Sirajganj
  • IO testified against Mir Quasem Ali
  • India poll favourite 'bachelor' Modi admits he is married
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HOME  VICTORY DAY SPECIAL 2013

Independence and sovereignty

Editor’s note

THE idea of ‘sovereignty’, national sovereignty in particular, is a philosophically loaded political phrase with multidimensional meanings that, again, takes shape in the collective consciousness of a particular populace in accordance with the political perspective/s developed through particular historical experiences the particular populace has gone through, the level of intellectual understanding  of the global systems  that it has attained, the collective cultural aspiration that it nurtures,  the economic development that it dreams of, et cetera. It is, indeed, a huge discourse, involving territorial, political, economic as well as cultural thoughts and actions that a populace undertakes for its dignity and independence in the age of imperialist globalisation with asymmetric balance of powers. Bangladesh’s intelligentsia has not discussed the important issue much since the people of the country organised itself into a ‘nation state’ on this day 42 years  ago, in 1971, by way of ensuring a decisive politico-military victory over the  occupation forces of Pakistan.
However, the issue of ‘national sovereignty’ has started entering the public discourse these days, understandably due to the fact that the country’s rival political camps governing, or misgoverning, the country for the past few decades no longer hesitate to seek foreign assistance, and that too publicly, to help resolve the political crises they themselves create out of their often illegitimate hunger for power. In the process, the people painfully witness the bitter fact that different foreign missions in Dhaka making frequent statements on the country’s internal political, economic and cultural affairs in clear violation of the universally recognised diplomatic norms.  Besides, the political parties in power have been seen signing unfair business deals with—and the parties outside power promising the same, too—the foreign states and companies not only for their unfair partisan financial interests but also to secure help at the time of their difficulties vis-à-vis the struggle for power with the political opponents at home. The phenomena definitely hurt the ‘nationalist’ sentiments of those who are aware of the country’s past political struggles for the right to self-determination that led our freedom fighters to wage the war of liberation, in which thousands of patriotic lives were sacrificed. Also, the tiny section of the critically thinking intelligentsia, which is aware of the contents of education curricula particularly at the higher education, has additional reason to be worried about the future of the country, for the educational institutions hardly produce graduates with critical minds capable of questioning the existing political and economic development models, foreign or indigenous, which is very important to ensure pervasive pro-people development independently of ‘imported’ ideas generated in the West for their own purposes. These are, perhaps, some of the reasons why the question of sovereignty has started making its way into public discussions — be it in the private parlours or public talk-shows.
In order to do justice to those who have laid down their lives for the independence of the country, and to advance the country based on the spirit of the liberation war, the right to self-determination being a core spirit, the issue of ‘national sovereignty’ needs to be discussed and debated more vigorously in public forums. We believe that the 43rd anniversary of the country’s military victory over the invading forces of neo-colonial Pakistan is the right time to start the process, particularly when the ruling party and its political opponents outside power are knocking at the doors of foreign nations for help to retain and return to power respectively; hence the Victory Day special on ‘independence and sovereignty’. We would definitely involve our critical writers to deliberate on the nationally important issue in the days to come.
Meanwhile, we extend best wishes to our valued readers, supporters and sympathisers on the grand occasion of Victory Day.

 
 

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