ZIA'S FIFTH AMENDMENT AND THE MULTIPARTY DEMOCRACY IN BANGLADESH
Abid Bahar , Canada
Hasina is poised to change the Fifth Amendment. People question, was Zia, A military Dictator or the Father of Bangladesh's Multiparty Democracy in Bangladesh? Is Zia the Founder of Modern Bangladesh?
Bangabandu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made the Fourth Amendment and President Ziaur Rahman
made the Fifth Amendment is evident in the constitutional amendment bills. The Constitution (Fifth Amendment) Act was passed by the Jatiya Sangsad on 6 April 1979. This Act amended the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution by adding a new Paragraph which is # 18.
The changes: (1) The expression ˜BISMILLAH-AR RAHMAN-AR-RAHIM™ was added before the Preamble of the Constitution. (2) The expression ˜historic struggle for national liberation." in the Preamble was replaced by the expression a historic war for national independence. (3) The one party BKSAL system was replaced by multiparty system. Newspaper freedom was restored. (4) Fundamental principles of state policy were made as 'absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah, nationalism [Bangladeshi nationalism], democracy and socialism meaning economic and social justice. President Ziaur Rahman a man (came from cantonment) came closer to his people by establishing the multi party democracy over BKSAL's one party system and allowed Hasina to enter in politics and he helped to bring order over chaos of Bangabandu's BKSAL.Bangabandu originally fought for democracy all his life but installed the BKSAL one party rule and banned all the opposition party newspapers.Here history tells us that one doesnt always have to be a military leader to become a, we see many of the presidents of USA and UK came from army career dictator and in the same was a civilian leader is not always democrat, as is the case of Bangabandu. Additionally. It is also true about some Russian leaders.
To me the interpretation that Ziaur Rahman (of Bangladesh, not Pakistan) was a dictator is wrong. Ziaur Rahman opened the multi party democratic process where he also helped open a political party. Thus the interpretation that Zia was a military dictator even we see repeated in the Daily Star columns is a distortion of history. It seems that such interpretation is based on the West Bengali and Indian Congress's xenophobic interpretation of South Asian history based on its false moral high ground where they see Bangladesh¨s political development necessarily follows developments similar to Pakistan. Certain AL analysts ignoring facts conveniently copy this type of misleading interpretation. Further Readings:: (1) Abid Bahar, Zia, the Father of Modern Bangladesh (2) Abid Bahar, Claims of Ownership, Politics of Vengeance and Anarchy