Mukti

The Zia synthesis: foreign policy

Posted in China, foreign policy, India, West Asia by jrahman on June 26, 2012

Updated: 28 June 0950 BDT (the original post was incomplete).

Last May, I started a series on my understanding of the politics of synthesis initiated by Ziaur Rahman.  The first installment was on politics and governance, while the second one was on society and economy.  My main contention is that when things work in Bangladesh, they work along the path set by Zia, and they work because the politics of synthesis crafted by this military strongman turned popular politician had continued from the work of his predecessors, and his successors saw the merit in keeping them.

This theme of continuity is nowhere more present than in the realm of foreign relations.  And yet, the political needs of the present era has resulted in deliberate obfuscation of Zia’s foreign policy by both his political heirs in the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and their opponents in the Awami League.

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The Zia synthesis: society and economy

Posted in economics, history, people, politics by jrahman on January 19, 2012

Had he not been killed in 1981, Ziaur Rahman would have been 76 today.  Despite the twists and turns of politics, over three decades from his death, when things actually work in Bangladesh, they work along the path set by this military strongman turned a very popular politician.  And they work because the politics of synthesis crafted by Zia had continued from the work of his predecessors, and his successors saw the merit in keeping them.

And yet, the discourse about Zia is dominated by lies of various degree.  Even his own political creation, Bangladesh Nationalist Party, doesn’t try to engage in a serious discussion about his synthesis.  In a modest attempt at rectifying this, I started a five-part series last May.  The first part covered politics and governance.  Over the fold is a discussion on various socioeconomic issues.  Future installments will cover sociocultural issues and the foreign policy, while the final post will point out how along one crucial dimension, the Zia synthesis has completely been abandoned.  Not in all aspects does this blog agree with the synthesis — the disapprovals are also pointed out.

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The politics of synthesis: 30 years on

Posted in history, politics by jrahman on May 30, 2011

Ziaur Rahman, military strongman turned a very popular politician, was killed exactly 30 years ago today.  Despite the twists and turns of politics, three decades from his death, when things actually work in Bangladesh, they work along the path set by Zia.  And they work because the politics of synthesis crafted by Zia had continued from the work of his predecessors, and his successors saw the merit in keeping them.

In a five-part series, I show how the Zia synthesis still defines Bangladesh’s politics and governance, economy, society and culture, and foreign policy.  Not in all aspects does this blog agree with the synthesis — the disapprovals are also pointed out.  Finally, the series points out how along one crucial dimension, the Zia synthesis has completely been abandoned.

The discourse about Zia is dominated by lies of various degree.  This series is a modest attempt at setting the record straight.

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