Opinion

What was the ideology of Zia?


Published : 16 Sep 2021 08:49 PM | Updated : 18 Sep 2021 11:33 PM

Those who killed Major Zia at Chittagong circuit house burned his dead body with petrol. They not only killed him but also destroyed his body out of personal aggrandizement. It is a fact that Zia’s coffin was brought from Chittagong only to hoodwink the people who came from different areas to see him for the last time. But they did not know that the dead body was not in the coffin. The face was not made open for public. It was the worst type of blackmail done with the people who did know little about the matter. Those senior leaders of BNP who were with Zia at the circuit house remained unhurt and safe. It was reported then that they were behind the killing of Zia. It was probably their instruction to destroy the dead body. 

The coffin was brought to Dhaka only to show the popularity of Zia as thousands of people would gather to see his body. It is a fact that the people and even relatives of Zia were not allowed to see the body kept in front of Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban. Generally the people who gather to pay homage to the deceased are allowed to see the face. But, no one was allowed to see his face as they did not open the coffin. It was done because they knew it well that the dead body was not in the coffin. They would have opened the coffin to show it to the people if there was body inside. 

The decision to carry a coffin with no dead body of Zia was the worst political bluff in history. It’s not difficult to understand that bringing an empty coffin from Chittagong to Dhaka was the greatest political fraud of BNP to the people of Bangladesh. Actually BNP’s effort was nothing but to gain people’s sympathy over the killing of Zia to cherish their politics. It is a fact that a large number of people gathered at the airport to receive the empty coffin and it was laid to the place within Sangsad Bhaban area where there is no other grave except that of Zia, the then president of the country. The BNP leaders knew it well that Zia’s body is not in the coffin. But they carried the box making people to show respect to Zia. What a great fun and shrewdness in politics the people have ever seen.

BNP is still crying to 

implement Zia’s ideology. But none could say what was the ideology of Zia and what 

BNP wants to implement?

The image of Zia was the only capital of BNP. Since his death all the BNP leaders started talking to translate Zia’s dream not action. Now what was the image of Zia and what his ideals? The image was there because he did run the country forming a political party with those who were opposite to the War of Liberation i.e., Jamaat, Muslim League and terrorists. These branded anti-liberation elements had no political platform. They were picked by Zia in his political party and allowed them to carry out their evil politics against under BNP’s umbrella. 

The popularity of Zia depended mainly on mass campaign of the religious fundamentalists since he included Bismillah in the constitution. The fundamentalist forces got an opportunity to show Zia’s fascination for Islam. This helped in creating a sentiment that Bangabandhu was a secular Muslim and Zia was a non-secular religious man. This probably attracted a large number of religious fundamentalists behind him although he was not a pious Muslim. He became the leader of the religious bigots. He made his party keeping the fundamentalists as his allies. General Zia also extended support to the non-secular people of the country and as a result they got upper hand to carry out their politics. 

The core principal of Zia was to establish Bangladeshi nationalism instead of Bengali nationalism. When somebody speaks of Zia’s ideology, one cannot explain how does Bengali nationalism could be the nationalism when the country was liberated based on Bengali nationalism. He frequently told `money was no problem’ and allowed the party workers to amass wealth and in no time formed a class as exploiters transforming the poor into poorer and destitute. What was the philosophy of Zia? He had no philosophy at all, but to strengthen his position in governance and create discrimination among the people. BNP is still crying to implement Zia’s ideology. But none could say what was the ideology of Zia and what do they want to implement? In reality he was a military ruler, he formed a party for his own interest and it had no political programme for the common man. He did never speak for the poor and improving their lot. His programme to dig canal was nothing but a hoax. For an independent country, he had no programme in reality. Rather he gave opportunity to a section of people and his party stalwarts and workers to amass wealth and plunder it. He arranged river cruise for the students by Hizbul Bahor to engage them for his party politics and destroyed the career of innumerable number of youths.

Once again the anti-liberation fundamentalist terrorist forces are on the street. Despite corona pandemic these forces are out to create a ground for dislodging Sheikh Hasina government at a time when the government is desperately trying to save the lives of people. They are taking advantage of vaccination crisis and instigating people to be on the street and using abusive language against Sheikh Hasina and her government. 

The enemies of independence have started talking in favour of Jamaat leaders like Ghulam Azam and Nizami. Tarique Rahman and Jamaat leaders who are outside the country are using social media to serve their political interest by launching vile propaganda against the government. 

The branded notorious anti-liberation forces along with BNP have been trying to unite ahead of next election. Their only aim is to unseat Sheikh Hasina’s government. It is time to resist these evil forces before they raise their heads high. The unity of the pro-liberation forces is a must at the moment to face the evil forces. 


Dr S A Malek is the former Political Adviser to the Prime Minister, Member of Parliament, Secretary General of Bangabandhu Parishad and Columnist.