Change that we need! But How? We can bring change through reforming the rules and regulation within existing culture and practices of the state or we can bring change through breaking the all rules and regulations as well as culture and practices of the state for re-building the society in a revolutionary way. Choice is ours!
But while people dream a revolutionary changes acting as reformist, problem occurs from there. Contradiction borns between theories and practices. And action is misleaded due to these contradiction. Consequently we dream as a losser just remembering our glorious history like Tebhaga Andolon, Fakir Bidroho, Sannash Bidroho etc etc etc. Recently we feel complacency from peoples movement at Kansat, Phulbari, Jatrabari and Sumsunnahar Hall. If we calculate the output of these struggles, we never find any positive changes rather strengthening the enemy. It has proved that people have power to generate struggles, but most of the time, these struggles fails due to absent of proper strategy under a visionary leader. So, complacency is not enough, we need integrity to generate people struggle. A leader of people struggle must understand it.
Now, let us give a look on the contemporary situation of people’s struggle like People’s Movement Against Tipaimukh Dam and People’s Movement on Off-shore Gas Exploration. As per available information, I know that People’s have been uniting themselves against Tipaimukh Dam for last more than 8 years. But the issue is captured by some vested political groups after last national election held on 29 December 2008 for only serving their vested political interest. Recently, the government is preparing a package deal with India, and it is the time to submit the position of peoples interest strongly to the government and it is needed a strong negotiation and bargaining strategy of leaders who are facilitating the movement against Tipaimukh Dam. But no such initiative is taken till now. Is it not a stratigical failure? If the government signs a package agreement with India excluding any clause on Tipaimukh Dam, then we could call public meeting, press conference, street gathering including public strike; but what would we achieve from these movement. So, we need a visionary leader in this point who will take initiative before happening the incident. If initiative fails, then we would have a legitamacy to generate stronger people’s movement.
About Off-shore gas exploration, on 07 May 2008 during last interim caretaker government seven oil and gas companies submitted their bids in 15 offshore blocks out of the total 28. Australian oil company Santos International who have joint venture partnership with British company Cairn and Chinese-US joint venture Longwood Resources and Shanghai Zhongman Petroleum (LR & SZP) appeared as the top bidder, making an investment proposal totalling $852 million under three Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) for six blocks.
US oil company ConocoPhillips that submitted offers in common blocks. ConocoPhillips offered to invest $442.63 million under four PSCs in eight blocks. Chinese-US joint venture Longwoods Resources Ltd, in joint venture with LR & SZP, proposed to invest $170 million in three blocks. Cypriot oil company Comtrack Services offered to invest $61 million in two blocks under one PSC, Irish company Tullow Bangladesh $50 million in one shallow water block and Chinese oil giant CNOOC $115 million in one shallow water block. A seventh company, Korea National Oil Corporation of South Korea, submitted, a bid for a block along with a bank-guarantee proposal of $2.5 million without making any investment commitment.
From these seven bidders, Two international oil companies (IOCs) — Conoco Philip and Tullow — were selected as responsive bidders for the nine offshore blocks in the Bay of Bengal by petrobangla during last interim caretaker government. But they could not sign contract with these company during their regime.
The cabinet committee on economic affairs of present government on August 24 approved awarding of three offshore blocks to international oil companies with a provision that would allow the IOCs to export liquefied natural gas. Under the provision, the foreign oil companies would be able to export up to 80 per cent of the gas discovered in their respective blocks.
On 02 September 2009, the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports brought out a procession in the city street raising voice against uneven energy deals with foreign companies for years, when police swooped on the marchers and used clubs, leaving more than 50 people, including the member-secretary of the national committee, Anu Muhammad, injured.
And it is the first time since the present government took office, the committee announced further protest programmes, including hartal in the Dhaka city on Today, 14 September 2009.
I have put here a chronological time period for making our understanding about people’s movement. As like the national committee, most of the people opposes this uneven deal and we want also to denounce the decision. But question is, is it appropriate time to go in a harder movement like Hartal without trying to negotiate with the government. As per newspaper information, some major supporters of this issues and member of national committee also who are now representing the nation as parliament members have opposed Hartal during meeting of national committee. So, why did national committee took the decision of hartal? It shows a mentality as movement for the sack of movement, not for getting any fruitful results. As per political strategy, the leaders try their best level to ensure soliderity of like minded institution and friends; but here it is happening opposite! They never count their own friends.
There had a lot of opportunities to make a negotiation with government and the committee missed it declaring a direct harder movement like hartal. It never get us any fruitful results rather getting some complacency, the committee should remember it.
If the committee want a revolutionary changes in a over night, then it will be ended in nightmare. So, they should try their best level to negotiate with government for capturing maximum level output. If the committee thinks, the government will not negotiate with them, then what will be output. The agreement will be signed and the IOCs will explore the gases from off-shore field and we will just continuing our movement for the sack of movement! And another issues will be come, then another movement will be generating forgetting the previous. How funny the people’s movement is!