Connecting Regions of Asia.

Hasina Legalizes Gen Zia’s ”Madrasah Ordinance 1978″


Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s cabinet , dominated by lieutenants of a pro-Pakistani adviser , has  approved the draft of the “Bangladesh Madrasah Education Board Act, 2020″ at its regular weekly meeting.

This is a slightly reworked version of the ‘Madrasah Ordinance 1978’ effected by Bangladesh’s first military ruler Lt General Ziaur Rahman. who has been accused of undoing the secular polity created by her father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his lieutenants who led the Liberation War . 

Zia and his military successor Ershad has been blamed by Bangladesh-watchers like Lawrence Lifschultz (Bangladesh : The Unfinished Revolution) betrayed the values of the 1971 Liberation War vision of a ‘Sonar Bangla’ which would be liberal, secular, democratic and one that would be develop on the rich legacy of undivided Bengal’s social modernity rather than the Islamist obscurantism promoted by Pakistan.

 Sheikh Hasina joined the virtual meeting from her official residence Ganabhaban while ministers and secretaries joined the meeting from the Bangladesh Secretariat through a video conferencing.

The proposed law made some amendments to the existing Madrasah Education Ordinance, 1978 to make it “meet the current perspectives”  in accordance with the Supreme Court order that had declared all laws enforced during the military rule as illegal.

The draft law incorporated article 28 to give the Madrasah Education Board’s prior functioning under the 1978 ordinance complete legal protection, so that none of it can be challenged as ‘illegal’ said the cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam.

Besides, the cabinet approved a draft of an agreement to be signed between the government of Bangladesh and Lumbini Development Trust to set up a Buddhist Temple at Lumbini in Nepal with the finance of Bangladesh. This Lumbini project to develop a Buddhist site rivalling Bodh Gaya in India is financed and sponsored by China.

 Following the meeting on Monday afternoon the cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam in a news briefing at his Secretariat office said that the cabinet has given give “its final consent” to the draft of the ‘Bangladesh Madrasah Education Board Act, 2020.

Two major changes have been made to the proposed law, he said, adding that the draft has suggested making the board employees as ‘public servants’ and fixing their retirement age at 60 likewise other education boards.

The meeting was told about the joining the 76th assembly of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) by a high level Bangladesh delegation led by the Prime Minister through a video conference on May 21 last.

A total of 20 decisions out of 28 have been executed during this period while remaining others are being implemented. In April to June quarter 71.43 percent decisions of the cabinet have so far been implemented, the cabinet secretary added

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