Friday, 13 Sha'aban 1445 | 2024/02/23
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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

News Right Now: Blackout

Rather than reassuring the people of Bangladesh that the government will make every effort to facilitate power supply to homes and essential public services like hospitals and even businesses. Sheikh Hasina instead urged people to prepare for the use of lamps and lanterns, following the worst blackout since 2014 this week; when 80% of the country lost electricity, causing fear and chaos in towns and cities across the country. Energy adviser Taufiq-e-Elahi later had the audacity to advise people to take a pledge not to use electricity in the daytime!

Blackouts and load shedding are not new to Bangladesh, the Hasina government has historically failed to create the infrastructure necessary to fund and power the nation's homes, services and businesses, of the country’s 168,000,000 people with at least the 14,200 MW of electricity that the nation needs each day. This is because the infamous Washington Consensus signed in the 1980’s has been enforced by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund ever since; which has enabled massive privatization programs placing Bangladesh’s energy sovereignty in the control of the West, and therefore at constant risk of instability, neglect and subject to the West’s benefit driven injustices. Oil and gas fields are fully controlled by the West’s multinational companies, leaving Bangladesh also incapable of generating its own onshore and offshore energy exploration.

Rather than address the route of the problem, which is that Bangladesh’s subservience to India and China via its three way alliance which in particular serves China’s arms industry and ambitions towards Bangladesh’s coal reserves; as well as the international agencies - is what has brought the country to its knees. The Hasina government has now ruled on extreme measures, which include banks and businesses shortening their work days, and that schools are shut an extra day of the week to save electricity.

It’s shameful but an established norm that the Hasina government follows, in prioritizing the interests of foreign investors and the policies of the international agencies, to such a degree that now the payments for the huge amounts of imported goods cannot be paid; which is creating yet another cycle of debt - making predictions of the country’s bankruptcy a looming reality in the upcoming months!

The government is trying to hide the fact that within the last year at least 10 billion USD of reserves were depleted since the government facilitated another 11 billion USD of borrowing. This inevitably negatively impacted foreign exchange rates and of course the overall public debt – and in a ridiculous attempt to push back against this self-inflicted crisis, the Hasina administration ironically believes that public austerity measures are necessary. These of course only hurt the general public the most – and all because of the incredible backwardness and mismanagement of the government in the first place!

The Hasina government has reduced Bangladesh to a poverty stricken nation of corruption and backwardness, despite an abundance of oil and coal reserves; and given Islam is the religion of the country, it can and should be implemented correctly and fully, to allow the nation to flourish under its holistic law of social and economic progress. In light of this government’s catastrophic failure via the flawed Capitalist framework, Muslims must call for Sheikh Hasina to be removed from power immediately, before she steers the country into total collapse and destroys tens of thousands more lives and livelihoods.

Sheikh Hasina’s corruption and mismanagement has certainly destabilised Bangladesh and the need for her removal should be equated to the other matters as serious as life and death in Islam.

Allah (swt) says,

(ظَهَرَ ٱلْفَسَادُ فِى ٱلْبَرِّ وَٱلْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِى ٱلنَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ ٱلَّذِى عَمِلُوا۟ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ)

“Corruption has spread on land and sea as a result of what people’s hands have done, so that Allah may cause them to taste ˹the consequences of˺ some of their deeds and perhaps they might return ˹to the Right Path˺.” [30:41]

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