January 02, 2018, marks the 43rd death anniversary of the "East Bengal" Maoist Siraj Sikder (27 October 1944 – 2 January 1975)...

Siraj Sikder's Work Continues to Remain Generally Ignored || Azfar Hussain

5:16 PM Editor 0 Comments

January 02, 2018, marks the 43rd death anniversary of the "East Bengal" Maoist Siraj Sikder (27 October 1944 – 2 January 1975).

I vividly recall my conversations with Ahmed Sofa in the mid-nineties about this historically significant revolutionary figure in Bangladesh. It was apparent in our conversations that his work was yet to be fully explored. I'm not with those who uncritically idealize or even idolize Siraj Sikder. Nor am I with those who glibly and gruffly dismiss him in the name of his "destructive Maoism." Further, I think it would be utterly dishonest and dangerously ahistorical if one erases the invaluable contributions of Bengali Maoists--Siraj Sikder included for sure--to our National Liberation War of 1971.

I come from, and grew up in, an area--Atrai--that was once an exemplary and explosive site of Maoist activism. Indeed, that area was declared "independent"--before Bangladesh as a whole achieved its independence--by none other than those Maoist freedom fighters who continue to be consigned to a massive blank in "nationalist," anti-people historiography in Bangladesh.

Indeed, the ways in which Siraj Sikder was brutally killed by the fascist Awami League government mark a significant event in the history of Bangladesh. And it is an event--to the extent that "events are the real dialectics of history," as Gramsci once put it--that immediately points to the ways in which the very mainstream political culture in Bangladesh was evolving at that heavily crisis-ridden conjuncture that led to different forms and forces of post-"liberation" dictatorship in the country.

No doubt Siraj Sikder's work continues to remain generally ignored. We're yet to see a rigorous, comprehensive study of his work. It's time that we revisit his work and see where Bangladesh stands vis-a-vis his work today, and see what we can DO to overthrow the very system Siraj Sikder sought to overthrow in the interest of establishing a real democracy in the country.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.