BAKSAL: A Significant Chapter of Bangladesh's History

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Published on June 15, 2021
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The 'BAKSAL’ is a significant chapter in the history of the Bengali nation. The founding President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman initiated the system in 1975 to fulfil the historical demands and aspirations of the people of the country. A notable feature of this system was the decentralization of the state system and the practice of democracy even at the local level. The country was divided into 61 districts. The head of each district was a governor, appointed on July 16, 1975. Of the 71 governors, 33 were Members of Parliament (MPs), 13 were government employees, one was a military officer, and the remaining 14 were well-known for their positive social works.

Also, administrative councils were formed at the upazila and district levels. A provision was made to form the district and upazila councils comprising of government and non-government staff, political leaders, MPs, civil society and the local youth community to implement and monitor the development activities in the respective localities. It was even announced that justice would be ensured by reforming the judiciary system and forming tribunals at the upazila level.

Another aspect of this revolution was the introduction of a village-based cooperative production system as part of a long-term plan for economic development. Under the system, multi-purpose cooperatives would be formed in each of the 65,000 villages where a joint production system would be introduced without transferring land ownership. As a result, every working person in the village, other than the landowners, could become a part of the cooperative system and participate in production activities. The government also wanted to provide the cooperatives with adequate funds, fertilizers, test reliefs so that these could reach the marginal people directly, abolishing the presence of the middlemen. Another goal of this initiative was to strengthen the agro-based social structure by distributing the produced crop proportionately among the landowners, cooperatives and the state.

On July 21, 1975, Bangabandhu inaugurated the training for the newly elected governors. Three weeks later, on August 16, they were supposed to take over the administrative roles of their respective districts. That would have been the beginning of materializing the Second Revolution. But this struggle for changing the destiny of the country and its people ended after the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu and his family by the anti-nationalist force on August 15. Trampling the Constitution, the military junta and its allies brought the country under the blanket of darkness. Later, this gang started spreading propaganda about 'management of social change' known as 'BAKSAL' in the greed of enjoying power for a long time, causing immense public miseries.

Through the formation of BAKSAL, Bangabandhu wanted to build a prosperous Bangladesh, based on the four principles of the Constitution, to fulfil the long-standing aspirations of the countrymen. But if it was implemented, it would not have been possible to suppress democracy, social justice and equality would have been achieved, every citizen of Bangladesh, irrespective of religion and caste, would have worked for the country with a strong sense of nationalism; and every single family would enjoy its benefits. But if this initiative was successful, the dictators disguised the ghosts of the Pakistani junta, would not have been able to get privileges, the fanatic group could not have been able to abuse and misinterpret the religion. The defeated Pakistani collaborators would not have slept well if they had seen Bangladesh standing raising its head among other nations in the world. So, all the like-minded groups teamed up together to start a crackdown on the Awami League leaders in absence of Bangabandhu. They spread propaganda about BAKSAL all over the country for years. Due to the propaganda of this evil force, people could not know any accurate information about the idea of BAKSAL. Most of the new generation knows nothing about the philosophy and objectives of the BAKSAL and its connection with the historical aspirations of the country’s people.