Monday, 26 March 2018

Six Point Movement and Its Importance & Consequences

It was in 1966 (at Lahore on 6 February) when Bangabondhu announced his historic 6-point program aimed at removing the disparity between the two wings of Pakistan. Six point demands are: 

1. Pakistan should be a Federation based on the Lahore Resolution, and it would be a direct election system on the basis of the universal adult franchise for the parliamentary form of government (with the supremacy of a Legislature).

2. Only 2 matters (Defense and Foreign Affairs) should be dealt by the federal government (central government). The federating states will be responsible for other subjects.

3. Two separate, but easily convertible currencies for 2 areas would be introduced; or if this is not possible, there would be 1 currency for Pakistan, but proper systems would be brought to ban the flight of capital from East Pakistan to West Pakistan. Moreover, a separate Federal Bank would be established, and effective fiscal and monetary policy be applied for East Pakistan.

4. The provinces will have authority to levy and collect taxes & other revenues. There will be a mechanism for paying the state a portion of the revenues collected.

5. The two provinces will have 2 separate accounts for foreign exchange earnings; these earnings will be managed and controlled by the respective province. The regional government can send representatives (trade agents) and make treaties without disrupting the foreign policy. 

6. For ensuring security & protection, provinces can build militia or paramilitary forces.
Bangabondhu six point 

Its Importance & Consequences
6-point movement is widely regarded as the "charter of freedom" for the people of Bangladesh. It is the ‘Magna Carta’ of Bengalis.  It has been credited as the stepping stone of the liberation war.

The six-point demand was proclaimed for attaining greater autonomy and to put an end to the internal colonial rule of West Pakistan in East Pakistan. At that time, West Pakistani leaders termed Bangabondhu as a separatist. Moreover, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was charged (Agartala Conspiracy case) with conspiring with India to make East Pakistan independent. He was thrown in jail.

But our people were not sitting at home and they were protesting. An anti-Ayub mass movement (in late 1968 and early 1969) spread like wildfire throughout East Pakistan. The government had to drop the charges in 1969 and released him unconditionally.

He returned East Pakistan as a national hero. He was given a big reception at Suhrawardy Udyan and given the title Bangabandhu (Friend of the Bengal).

Ayub Khan passed responsibility to General Yahya Khan. Furthermore, it was announced that general elections would be held on the universal adult franchise basis.

The crisis after the general election (1970) led to the liberation war (1971) and the birth of a new nation, Bangladesh.