Far Eastern Economic Review

July 31 1971

Pakistan: Under the Maulana's Umbrella

By Jyoti Sen Gupta

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The history of the communist movement and their sympathisers

in East Pakistan has always been filled with divisions and

dramatic rivalries. Now the crisis has come, only one group

still holds aloof, refusing to put Bengali nationalism

before its revolutionary goals.


THE four hard-line factions of the EPCP-ML (East Pakistan Communist Party - Marxist Leninist) agree armed revolution is the only way to free the 75 million Bengalis from the clutches of the "capitalist-backed" military dictatorship of Pakistan. But they remain factions because of differences among the leaders as to a programme. Some put peasant uprising first and others felt urban workers should give the lead. Another proposal was for joint action by peasants and workers.

There also was some basic difference as to general aims. One group held obsessively to its belief that jotedars (small land-owners) must be eliminated and that the major revolutionary effort should be devoted to this goal. The leadership was sharply divided about this assumption - with most feeling total war against the "capitalists" of West Pakistan who were exploiting the eastern wing through non-Bengali armed forces should be given priority.

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