The pro-Chinese communist movement in Bangladesh-1985


Nurul Amin


The Communists in the Indian sub-continent started their political journey
quite early, founding the Communist Party of India (CPI) in 1920. 1 After the
Partition of India a section of young CPI members under the leadership of
Sajjad Zahir established the Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) in 1948. 2 By
1954 the CPP had been banned all over Pakistan. As a result, CPP started
working through the Awami League (AL) and other popular organisations.

The AL witnessed its first split in 1957 when it was in power. Assuming the
post of Prime Minister in Pakistan, S.H. Suhrawardy pursued a pro-Western
foreign policy and discarded the demand for “full provincial autonomy ” for
East Pakistan (Bangladesh). The Awami League Chief Maulana Bhasani did
not agree with the policy of the Prime Minister. On this ground, Maulana
Bhasani left the AL and formed the National Awami Party (NAP) in 1957
with progressive forces. The NAP was born at a time when there was no bridge
between the communists of East and West Pakistan. So the coming of the
NAP was the watermark of the Communist Party. But ironically the NAP was
not basically equipped for class struggle. It was far from becoming a Party of
the proletariat. Rashiduzzaman said, ” The NAP did not originate with a
Marxist ideology. Maulana Bhasani, the NAP leader, was never a Marxist
although his ideas would bring him near to that particular camp. ”3 There is no
denying that the N A P was a sort of banian tree under which various kinds of
politicians took shelter. 4

In 1962 the International Communist Movement was divided into two
separate camps. The division of the International Communist Movement split
the NAP and Communist Party of Pakistan. In 1966 the CPP became divided
into ‘Pro-Peking’ and ‘Pro-Moscow’ factions. The Pro-Moscow faction led by
Moni Singh argued that socialism should be established through a
parliamentary process, while the Pro-Peking faction led by Mohammad Tosha
and Sukhendu Dastidar advocated class struggle for bringing about socialism.

By the end of 1967, the NAP itself also was divided into Pro-Moscow and Pro-
Peking factions. The Pro-Moscow wing of the NAP was led by Wali Khan and
Pro-Peking faction was led by Maulana Bhasani. The next split of the NAP(B)
came about in 1970 when the Yahya Khan regime announced the date of an
election. But this was not the end of the matter. The Pro-Peking N A P and the
Communist Party were divided into more than a dozen factions during and
after liberation war. The main purpose of this article is to show the role of the
Maoists (Pro-Peking groups) in the politics of Bangladesh.

The East Pakistan Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)

The East Pakistan Communist Party (Marxist) was formed in 1967 under the
leadership of Huq, Toaha and Sukhendu Dastidar. The theoreticians of this
Party argued that Pakistan was a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country. The
main contradiction was between the people of East Pakistan and imperialism
on the one hand and bureaucratic comprador capitalism and feudalism on the
other hand.

Being influenced by the Naxalbari Peasants’ Movement in India the Party
imported the term ‘Leninist’ and added it to Marxist. So the East Pakistan
Communist Party (M) was renamed the East Pakistan Communist Party
(M-L). Like the C P I-M L (Naxalites), this group also urged the people of East
Pakistan to overthrow the semi-feudal and semi-colonial system through
“people’s democratic revolution”. They worked through the NAP(B) until

During the period of the ‘non-co-operation movement ‘ the E P C P (M-L)
came forward with the thesis that the conflict between Yahya and Bhutto on
the one hand and Sheikh Mujib and his lieutenants on the other, was a struggle
between the ” two boot-licking dogs of the American imperialists”. 5 The
EPCP(M-L), therefore, urged the people of East Bengal to fight against both
these groups.

On 16 December 1971, Bangladesh emerged as an independent state. After
independence the E P C P (M-L) was divided into two factions on the question
of the recognition of Bangladesh. One group led by A. Huq, Ajay and
Surdendu denied the existence of Bangladesh and left the Party. Another
group led by M ohammad Toaha and Bashir recognised the existence of
Bangladesh and changed the name of the Party into Purbo Banglar
Sammobadi Dal (M-L). Analysing the socio-economic conditions of
Bangladesh, they argued that it was a new colonial country of “Soviet social
imperialism” through the medium of expansionist India. So the principal
contradiction now was between the people of Bangladesh and Indo-Soviet

When Ziaur Rahman came to power, Mohammad Toaha lent support to
him in order to resist “Indo-Soviet aggression”. During this time Purbo
Banglar Sammobadi Dal (M-L) changed the name of the Party into
Bangladesher Sammobadi Dal (M-L) and left behind the line of class struggle.
Addressing a meeting at the W A P D A auditorium, Mohammad Toaha said,
“Killing national enemy in the name of Maoist politics, we have done
wrong”. 6

By 1977 Sammobadi Dal was again divided into two factions viz: Toaha-
Bashir faction, and Nagen Sarker-Ali Abbas faction. Toaha-Bashir faction
advocated participation for elections and open politics. Nagen Sarker-Ali
Abbas faction supported open politics rejecting the idea of participation in
election. In the international field Toaha supported Deng Xiaoping and
” Three World Theory ” coming out of China, where Nagen Sarker adopted
neutral policy on this issue.

In 1979 Mahfuz Bhuyain disassociated himself from the Sammobadi Dal led
by Mohammad Toaha and formed Bangladesher Jano Mukti Party.
According to Bhuyain and his comrades, “Bangladesh is a neo-colonial
country”. The interesting thing is that they neither supported Mao Tse Tung’s
‘Thought’ and Deng Xiaoping’s ideas, nor opposed them.

On 13 June 1983, Mohammad Toaha, President of the Sammobadi Dal,
expressed his desires to re-establish relation with the Communist Party of the
USSR, whereas Mohammad Yahkub All, Secretary of the Party, vehemently
criticised Mohammad Toaha for this statement. 7

The EPCP (M-L) Led by Huq

After independence, the EPCP (M-L) split into two factions on the question of
recognition of Bangladesh. One faction under the leadership of Abdul Huq,
Ajoy and Surdendu Dastidar disassociated themselves from Sammobadi Dal
and retained the old name of the Party, i.e. E P C P (M-L). This faction did not
recognise the existence of Bangladesh till 1978.

The theoreticians of this faction argued that Soviet Social Imperialism
dismembered Pakistan throughthe help of Indian expansionism and
established a social colony in EastPakistan. So the principal contradiction in
East Pakistan is between the peopleand Soviet social imperialism.
East Pakistan should be joined with people’s democratic forces of Pakistan
after liberation from the hand of Soviet social imperialism and national problem of
all nationalities including Bengali should be solved within the jurisdiction of undivided Pakistan.
In this way A. Huq, Ajoy and Surdendu Dastidar tried to re-establish one united Pakistan.
However, in 1976, one section led by Surdendu Dastidar quit the Party and
formed Bangladesher Marxbadi Leninbadi Party rejecting the line of class
struggle. They had supported the Ziaur Rahman regime in the name of
opposing the ‘Indo-Soviet axis’.

In 1978 the Huq-Amjad group recognised the existence of Bangladesh and
changed the name of the Party to Bangladesher Biplobi Communist Party
(M-L) instead of ‘East Pakistan Communist Party (M-L)’. They argued that
the principal contradiction now was between the people of Bangladesh and
feudalism. They also evaluated Ziaur Rahman as a paid agent of US
imperialism. One small section led by Rashid disagreed with Huq-Amjad on
the question of recognition of Bangladesh and retained the old name of the
Party i.e. East Pakistan Communist Party (M-L).

In 1980 the Huq-Amjad group again split into two camps on the question of
‘Three World Theory’ of China without changing the name of the Party.
Abdul Huq and his comrades rejected the ‘Three World Theory’ of China as
revisionist. They adopted the line of ‘class struggle’ as the ‘core’ of Marxism,
but regarding Mao’s ‘Thought’ they have recently taken up a ‘wait and see’
policy, which was criticised by Albanian Labour (Communist) Party and
its leader Envor Hoxa. The Amjad, Jibon Mukherjee and Bimal Biswas group
adopted the line of open politics supporting the ‘Three World Theory’ of
China. According to them, the principal contradiction is between the poor
peasants and feudalism.

The East Bengal Communist Party (M-L)

The East Bengal Communist Party (M-L) was formed in 1969 under the
leadership of Motin, Alauddin, Deben Sikder and Abdul Basher. The EBCP
(M-L) theoreticians argued that Pakistan was a bourgeois state with a
capitalist economy. The establishment of Pakistan was itself only a bourgeois
revolution. 8 They raised the slogan “Swadhin Jono Gonotantrik Purbo Bangla
(Independent People’s Democratic East Bengal)”. In order to materialise this
objective they launched a “people’s democratic revolution under the
leadership of the Communist Party”, i.e. the East Bengal Communist Party.

During the period of ‘liberation war’, the EBCP (M-L) became divided into
three groups. By mid-1971, Deben Sikder and Abdul Basher took shelter in
India and joined the “Bangladesh Jatio Mukti Sangram Sommonnoy
Committee”. At the end of the same year they separated themselves from the
EBCP (M-L). A small section under the leadership of Ohidur Rahman formed
the Attrai Communist Party and participated in the liberation struggle. This
group established a hold on several thanas of Rajshahi district.

The third group, led by Motin and Alauddin, saw the liberation war as a
fight between the two ‘bourgeois dogs’ and adopted the line of killing all class
enemies from the Pakistani army through feudal landlords to the Mukti
Bahini. They blindly followed the line of the Indian Naxalite leader Charu
Mazumdar and raised the slogan, “Chairman Mao is our Chairman, Charu
Mazumdar is the leader of the EBCP (M-L)”. 9 After the independence of
Bangladesh, Motin-Alauddin faction retained the old name of the Party and,
analysing the socio-economic conditions of Bangladesh, came to the
conclusion that East Bengal, “is a semi-colonial, semi-feudal country and the
principal contradiction is between the poor peasants of East Bengal and

In 1974, EBCP (M-L) again became divided into two factions over the
question of the “Teaching of Charu Mazumdar ” and the line of armed
struggle. One faction, headed by Moniruzzaman Tara (alias Haider), blindly
followed the teaching of Charu Mazumdar adopted earlier by the Party and
Motin-Alauddin faction advocated open politics rejecting the teaching of
Charu Mazumdar. Moniruzzaman Tara and his group argued that after
finishing East Bengal’s revolution, people’s democratic East Bengal should be
first united with people’s democratic West Bengal, then with the people’s
democratic India. They proclaimed themselves as followers of Charu

So this group was commonly known as Pro-Charu Mazumder
(Pro-CM). In 1976 Alauddin Ahmed left EBCP (M-L) and joined the
Sammobadi Dal led by Mohammad Toaha. In 1977 Motin, Tipu Biswas and
Ohidur Rahman were released from jail and in 1979 formed Bangladesher
Communist League (M-L) in collaboration with Bangladesher Marxbadi
Leninbadi Communist Party led by Surdendu Dastidar. According to them,
“Bangladesh is a semi-feudal, semi-colonial country and the principal
contradiction is between the poor peasants and feudalism”. They neither
support nor oppose Mao’s thought and Deng Xiaoping’s ideas.

In 1982, leaders of the Bangladesher Communist League (M-L) abolished
the Party and formed Bangladesh Biplobi Communist League (Revolutionary
Communist League of Bangladesh) in collaboration with Bimal Biswas, Jibon
Mukherjee and Amjad. According to them, “Bangladesh is a semi-colonial
and semi-feudal country”. They sought to form a patriotic democratic
government and an “anti-Russian, anti-American patriotic front ” .

The Co-ordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (CCCR)

In 1969, Kazi Zafar Ahmed, Haider Akbar Khan Rono and Rashed Khan
Menon formed an East Bengal Co-ordination Committee of Communist
Revolutionaries. They opined that Pakistan was a semi-feudal, semi-colonial
and semi-capitalist country; that the main contradiction was between the
landless and lower class peasants on the one hand and feudalism on the other.

They also put forward a programme for “Swadhin Purbo Bongla
(Independent East Bengal) through a peasants’ revolution”. 10
During the period of liberation war Zafar, Rono and Menon had found
shelter in India and joined the ‘Bangladesh Jatio Mukti Sangram Sommonnoy
Committee”, patronised by Jyoti Basu, leader of the Communist Party of
India Marxist (CPM). After independence they formed Bangladesher
Communist Party (Leninbadi) in collaboration with Amal Sen and Nasim Ali.
Recognising an independent Bangladesh and adopting the line of open politics
they first worked, through the NAP(B) and, later, formed the United People’s
Party (UPP). In 1977 the UPP became divided into two groups on the question
of forming a front with Ziaur Rahman (ex-President of Bangladesh).

Opposing the idea of such a Front with Ziaur Rahman, Rono, Menon and
Amal Sen left the UPP and formed a separate organisation under the name of
the Workers’ Party and adopting a pro-Soviet political line. On the other
hand, Kazi Zafar joined the front of Ziaur Rahman to resist the Baksalite
elements. After elections, Ziaur Rahman awarded him the portfolio of
education ministry for a short-term tenure.

The East Bengal Sarbohara Party (EBSP)

In 1967 a group of young communists in East Bengal under the leadership of
Siraj Sikder came in contact with the teaching of Mao Tse Tung. The same
year this group founded ” Mao Tse Tung Thought Research Centre” at
Malibag in Dhaka. 11 By the middle of 1968, Mao Thought Research Centre
was abolished. On 8 January 1968, Siraj Sikder formed the East Bengal
Workers Movement (EBWM). The EBWM was the first organisation that
declared East Bengal as a colony of Pakistan and called for a national
liberation struggle against Pakistani ruling class. They advocated a national
democratic revolution through armed struggle under the leadership of the
proletarian Party (the Communist Party), because in the epoch of
‘imperialism’ and ‘social imperialism’ the bourgeoisie has no right to lead the
revolution. The EBWM also chalked out a programme for establishing
Sovereign, Democratic Peaceful Neutral Progressive Republic of East Bengal,
uprooting imperialism, social imperialism, expansionism, feudalism and all
kinds of exploitation.

The EBWM opened its guerrilla activities through wall writings at various
places in Dhaka city, quoting Mao’s famous dictum, ” Power comes from the
barrels of guns”. 12 From 1968-70 the EBWM intensified underground
activities in the countryside of East Bengal. During the period of the non-co-
operation movement, the EBWM mobilized its organizational strength at
Peara Began in Barisal district. Soon Peara Began became a mini-battlefield.
From this base, the EBWM launched a guerrilla war against the Pakistani
army. On 3 June 1971, the EBWM was transformed into the East Bengal
Sarbohara Party (EBSP) at the battlefield of Peara Began. Siraj Sikder was
elected its convener.

By mid-August 1971, the freedom fighters close to the Awami League
returned to Bangladesh equipped with sophisticated arms and weapons and the
EBSP proposed to them that they fight jointly against Pakistan Army. The
Awami League rejected this proposal and started killing the Sarbohara Party
guerrilla workers. 13 As a result, direct conflict started between these two
groups. In October 1971, the Sarbohara Party circulated a document that
called the people of East Bengal to fight against the Awami League, Indian
Army and Pakistan Army.

After the independence of Bangladesh, the EBSP theoretically, militarily
and organizationally became the main challenge to the Awami League
authority. The EBSP led by Siraj Sikder formulated a new political thesis
evaluating the then socio-economic conditions of East Bengal. In this thesis,
Siraj Sikder identified the various contradictions. These contradictions were:

-between the people of East Bengal and the Indian expansionism;
-between the people of East Bengal and Soviet social imperialism;
-between the people of East Bengal and imperialism;
-between imperialism, agents of imperialism and Soviet social
imperialism, Indian expansionism and their agents;
-between the people of East Bengal and feudalism; and
-between the bourgeoisie and the workers of East Bengal.14

The EBSP determined as the principal contradiction that between the people
of East Bengal and the Indian expansionism. During the Mujib Regime, the
Sarbohara Party launched massive operations in different parts of the
country. The Party troops established their hold on Dhaka, Barisal, Faridpur,
Mymensingh, Tangail, Chittagong, Sylhet and Comilla districts. From 1972 to
early 1975, the Sarbohara Party shook the foundation of the Awami League
government by looting thanas and killing national enemies. The year 1975 came
with a bad signal to the EBSP. The first day of the year, Siraj Sikder was
arrested and a day after arrest he was killed brutally by the Mujib’s Rakhi
Bahini. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the then Prime Minister of Bangladesh,
indirectly claimed the responsibility of Siraj Sikder’s killing, publicly
declaring, ” Where is your Siraj Sikder?”

After the death of Siraj Sikder, a tragic phase started in the history of the
Sarbohara Party. During this period the Party became divided into two
factions due to personal conflicts and lack of proper communication among
the top ranking members. By mid-February, 1976, Kamal Haidir (alias ‘Probir
Nyogi’) formed the ‘Sarboccho Biplobi Parishad (Supreme Revolutionary
Council – – SBP). On the other hand, a small section of the Party formed the
Asthaye Parichalona Committee (Temporary Managing Committee – – APC)
in March 1976, under the leadership of Arif and Ziauddin. 15

On 6 December 1976, Kamal Haider was arrested by the Police in Dhaka;
Anowar Kabir became the Secretary of the Party by the decision of the
congress in 1977. In 1980, the EBSP (SBP) led by Anowar Kabir rejected the
‘Three World Theory of China’. In 1982, the Sarbohara Party (SBP)
formulated a constitution on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tse
Tung’s ‘Thought’. The Sarbohara Party (SBP) determined the principal
contradiction as that between the people of East Bengal and imperialism led by
the USA. According to the constitution of the Party, “East Bengal is a new
colony of US imperialism”. The EBSP (SBP) believes in peasant revolution
through armed struggle. The Sarbohara Party (SBP) bitterly criticised the
activities of the Ziaur Rahman’s regime through leaflets, pamphlets and
circulars. In March 1980, they participated in the prisoners’ movements in
various jails) 16

The EBSP (SBP) is active in several thanas in Faridpur District, i.e.
Madaripur Sadar, Shibchar, Jajira, Bhedargong, Kalkini, Damudia, Naria
and Mymensingh Sader and Muktagacha thana in Mymensingh District. On 9
September 1980 guerrilla troops occupied the Barirhat Police Camp in
Shariatpur sub-division. In this area the Sarbohara Party had to face JSD-
affiliated underground workers i.e. followers of Gono Bahini as well as the
combined police and military operations. 17

After the death of Ziaur Rahman, Justice Sattar came to power with the
blessing of the army generals. Immediately after coming to power, he legalised
his post through the presidential elections. But a few months after the election
on 24 March 1982, H.M. Ershad, the Chief of the Armed Forces, took over
power from Justice Sattar and declared Martial Law throughout the country.
The subsequent military junta banned all political activities. The East Bengal
Sarbohara Party (SBP) vehemently criticised the activities of the military
regime and urged the people of East Bengal to overthrow this government
through armed struggle as well as mass movement.

The East Bengal Sarbohara Party (Asthaye Parichalona Committee)

The Asthaye Parichalona Committee (Temporary Managing Committee) was
formed in March 1976 under the leadership of Arif and Ziauddin. In July
1977, Arif and Rana, the Secretary and a member of the Central Committee,
respectively, were arrested by the police. As a result, Ziauddin became the
active secretary of the Party. By mid-1978, Arif and Rana were released from
jail. After being released from jail they advocated an open mass Party line.

For this reason the Party ousted them and elected Ziauddin as the secretary. At
the early stage of its formation, it did not differ from Sarboccho Biplobi
Parishad on ideology. Both these factions upheld the political line of Siraj
Sikder i.e. Marxism-Leninism-Mao-Tse-Tung Thought . Ideological
differences between these two factions came to surface however, in 1977, when
the Deng moderate group took over power in China. This group tactfully
avoided the line of class struggle, and adopted the line of ‘Three World
s Theory’ attributed to Mao Tse Tung. The Albanian Labour Party, headed by
Enver Hoxha rejected the ‘Three World Theory of China’ as anti-Marxist,
anti-Leninist. Following the road of Albanian Labour Party, the A P C also
rejected the ‘Three World Theory of China’ at its sixth session held on 30 July

In 1981, the Sarbohara Party (APC) evaluated Siraj Sikder as a ‘petty
bourgeois nationalist’. This group also rejected the importance of the historic
Language Movement of 1952 on nationalistic grounds. They decided to
abstain from observing ‘Shahid Day’ (21 February). 19

In 1982, the Sarbohara Party (APC) rejected Mao’s thought considering it
to be an anti-Marxist, anti-Leninist theory. According to them, “the
philosophy of Mao’s thought is mechanical, logical and empirical, his politics
is revolutionary-nationalist and his political economy is haphazard and
aimless”, 20 They evaluated Mao as a nationalist and not a communist. It
should be noted here that Enver Hoxha and his Labour Party had evaluated
Mao’s thought as anti-Marxist, anti-Leninist in 1978. Recently the Asthaye
Parichalona Committee (Temporary Managing Committee) led by Ziauddin
has decided to evaluate Stalin’s contribution to Marxism and Leninism.

On 20 January 1983, Abdus Salam, a member of the central committee
disassociated himself from the Sarbohara Party (APC) led by Ziauddin on the
question of the present political line. By the end of 1983, the Sarbohara Party
(APC) led by Ziauddin had changed the name of the party to Bangladesher
Sarbohara Party.

Guerrilla Activities

The Sarbohara Party (APC) led by Ziauddin has established some footholds in
several thanas of Faridpur, Chittagong, Chittagong Hill Tract, Jessore,
Kushtia and Bogra districts. On 25 January 1979, the guerrilla troops launched
an operation at Kalkini thana in Faridpur district. By 1983, guerrilla troops
had intensified their activities in several pockets of Bogura, Pubna, Barisal
and Chittagong districts. They are now trying to overthrow this military
regime through armed struggle but with weak organisational strength.

Minor-Pro-Peking Communist Parties

(i) The Mythi Group

The Mythi Group was formed in 1968 under the leadership of Agni Prove
Mythi with the programme of socialist revolution in East Bengal through a
national liberation struggle. They argued that East Bengal was a colony of
Pakistani imperialism. This group collapsed in 1970.

(ii) The Hatiar Group

By the early ’70s Nasim Ali and Subo Rahman had disassociated themselves
from the pro-Moscow Communist Party and formed a new group. It was
commonly known as the Hatiar Group. During the period of the liberation
movement they fled to India and joined the Jatio Mukti Sangram Sommonnoy

(iii) After the independence of Bangladesh pro-Peking Communists were split
into several groups viz:

-Bangler Communist Party;
-Gono Biplobi Party;
-Bangladesher Communist Party (M-L);
-Communist Kormi Sangha;
-Bangladesh Gono Mukti Union;
-East Bengal Communist Andolon; and
-Purbaoncholio Communist Party (Eastern Communist Party).

Adopting the line of open politics Deben Sikder and Abdul Basher formed
the Banglar Communist Party immediately after independence. Later, this
Party was known as Gono Biplobi Party. In 1976 the Gono Biplobi Party, led
by Deben-Basher, the Bangladesher Communist Party (M-L) led by Badruddin
Umar – – Shahriar Kabir, and the Communist Kormi Sangha (Communist
Workers Association) led by Dr. Syfuddahar decided to work jointly. Later,
they formed the Bangladesher Communist Party (M-L). After a few days,
Deben-Basher left this organisation and joined the Bangladesh Gono Mukti
Union. In the meantime, two groups (BCP and CWA) jointly came forward
with a new thesis that the character of agrarian economy of Bangladesh is
backward capitalism rather than semi-feudalism.

In 1980, the Bangladesh Gono Mukti Union divided into two camps. One
group led by Sirajul Hossain Khan joined the Jatio Gonotantrik Party. On the
other hand, the Basher group formed Bangladesher Mozdur Party. According
to them “the principal contradiction is between the working people and
bureaucratic comprador capitalism.”

By the early ’70s Ayuh Reza Chowdhury of Mymensingh and Nurul Huq
Chowdhury (Mehdhi) of Noakhali formed Purbo Bangla Communist
Andolon (East Bengal Communist Movement) and Purbancholio Communist
Party respectively. Later, both these parties were abolished. Now the Nurul
Huq Chowdhury (Mehdhi) of Noakhali is working through the Gonotantrik
Karmi Shibir (Democratic Workers Camp). By the mid-’70s the Biplobi
Sarbohara Party (Revolutionary Proletarian Party), Lal Banglar Communist
Party (Red Bengal Communist Party), Biplobi Somajtantrik Party
(Revolutionary Socialist Party), Arakan Communist Party came to the
surface. By the end of 1983, Jahangir Alam, a former member of the
Bangladesher Communist Party, formed the Bangladesher Sammobadi
Tadonto Andolon (Communist inquiry Movement of Bangladesh). 21


The Communists openly raised the demand of “full provincial autonomy” for
East Pakistan for the first time under the leadership of Maulana Bhasani in
1957. This demand for provincial autonomy later gave birth to Bangladesh led
by the Awami League. There were many reasons why the Marxist Parties
failed to lead this liberation movement. The first was that the pro-Peking
Marxists under the leadership of Maulana Bhasani played an incorrect game,
making an alliance with Ayub Khan, a military dictator. The second reason
was that when the Awami League articulated the politics of East Pakistan
through the six-point programme, the NAP(B) isolated itself from the people
of East Pakistan by vehemently criticising it rather than offering a correct
alternative programme. They also failed to understand the depth of public
sentiment. In 1971, they were organisationally unprepared to lead the
liberation struggle. At that time, Marxist Parties were divided into many
factions and sub-factions and lost their organisational strength. They also lost
their goodwill among the people of East Pakistan because of their strategy of
killing Awami League affiliated Freedom Fighters. The older leadership were
also unable to realise a new revolutionary situation. Their theories and
methods were outdated.

After the independence of Bangladesh, pro-Peking Marxist Parties became
vocal and active in moves to overthrow the Sheikh Mujib regime through
armed struggle. The period 1972 to 1975 was the most creative one for them.
But when Ziaur Rahman came to power the pro-Peking Communists again
suffered a severe organisational setback. Almost all of them belonging to this
camp reduced the line of armed struggle as a means to an end. At present only
three Parties viz: Bangladesher Biplobi Communist Party led by Abdul Huq,
East Bengal Sarbohara Party (SBP) led by Anwar Kabir and Bangladesher
Sarbohara Party led by Col. Ziauddin are trying to overthrow the military
government headed by Ershad through armed struggle. For this purpose they
have created some small pockets in various parts of the countryside. Most of
the members of these Parties are younger in age, well-educated having middle-
class family background.

Naturally the question arises regarding the future of the Communist
Movement in Bangladesh. My impression is that no military government will
be able to solve the deep-rooted economic and political problems of
Bangladesh. They will be compelled to use force to maintain this system. If
such situation continues for a long time there is the possibility of a great
upheaval that may bring about a new system of government in the country


1.See, Muzaffar Ahmed, Amar Jivan 0 Bharater Communist Party: 1920-29. (My Life and the
Communist Party of India: 1920-29.) Khan Brothers and Company, Dhaka-1, 1977, p.42.

2. Talukder Moniruzzaman, Radical Politics and the Emergence o f Bangladesh Dhaks,
Bangladesh Books International Limited, 1975.

3. M. Rashiduzzaman, “The National Awami Party of Pakistan: Leftist Politics in Crisis” in
Pacific Affairs. An International Review o f Asia and Pacific. University of California Press.
Vol.XLIII No.3. Fall 1970, p.395.

4. M. Ayoob & K. Subrahmanyan, The Liberation War, S. Chand & Co. (Pvt) Ltd. Ram
Nagar, New Delhi, 1972.

5. Talukder Moniruzzaman, Bangladesh Revolution and its Aftermath, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Books International Limited 1980, p.144.

6. The author was present at the WAPDA Auditorium.

7. See, The Daily Ittefaque (Dhaka), 14 June 1983.

8. See, Abdul Samad, Hasan All Mollah, Alauddin Ahmed, and Abdul Motin, The Character
of the National Economy: Capitalistic, Sirajganj: Tamizul Islam, 1967.

9. See, Talukder Moniruzzman, op. cit., pp.146-47.

10. See, The Spark (special issue), The East Bengal Sarbohara Party (SBP), May 1981, p.58.

11. See, The Spark (special issue) op. cit. pp.19-20.

12. Siraj Sikder, Collected Works Vol.l, Dhaka, Chalomika Books House, 1980, pp.27-33.

13. Siraj Sikder, op. cit. pp.58-76.

14. Siraj Sikder, op. cit. p.87.

15. For detailed discussion, see, The Spark (special issue), op. cit. p.37.

16. For Prisoners Movement see, Holiday (a weekly paper), Dhaka, 13 April 1980.

17. See, The Spark, The East Bengal Sarbohara Party (SBP), No.9 (September-October 1980).

18. See “The Three World Theory” in the Light o f Marxism, The East Bengal Sarbohara Party
(APC), August 1979.

19. See, The Spark, No.5 (May 1982), pp.14-16.

20. See, The Spark, No.6 (November 1982), p.20.

21. See, Md. Nurul Amin, Marxist Politics in Bangladesh: A Case Study o f the East Bengal
Sarbohara Party. An unpublished M. Phil dissertation, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh,

The pro-Chinese communist movement in Bangladesh, Journal of Contemporary Asia, 15:3, 349-360,

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