Skip to main content

The Crocodiles Are Closing in: Everyday Life for a Local BNP Leader

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Masks of Authoritarianism
  • 235 Accesses


Over the past decade the rank and file of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have faced severe and sustained repression at the hands of the ruling party’s cadre and state security agencies. Morale, finances and organizational capacity have been desperately weakened, while a new generation of activists is reported to be few and far between. Despite the magnitude of political change, little has been written on how these dynamics are experienced in the daily lives of the opposition. This chapter examines this through the case of Shumon, a Union Parishad member living on the outskirts of Dhaka and one of the ever-decreasing number of opposition members regularly found on the frontlines of protests in the capital. The case reveals how intense political risk and pressure have seeped into the daily lives of political opponents. Top-down political directives implemented by security agencies are undermining the informal norms and arrangements between local politicians which often provide a degree of protection to opposition members. There is little recourse in the face of state intimidation, threatening the financial, familial and political stability of opposition leaders. This leaves such figures with few options but to either comply, or resist, crafting ways of maintaining a following, while avoiding the eyes of the state.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 89.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Jackman, D. (2019) Dominating Dhaka. Effectives States and Inclusive Development Research Centre, University of Manchester, Working Paper 127.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jackman, D. Maitrot, M. (2021) Allies Among Enemies: Political Authority and Party (Dis)Loyalty in Bangladesh. Modern Asian Studies. First View, pp1-25. DOI:

    Google Scholar 

  • Lewis, D. Hossain, A. (2019) Local Political Consolidation in Bangladesh: Power, Informality and Patronage. Development and Change, Early View.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ruud, A.E. (2020) The Mohol: The Hidden Power Structure of Bangladesh Local Politics. Contributions to Indian Sociology, 54(2): 173–192.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ruud, A.E. Islam, M.M. (2016) Political Dynasty Formation in Bangladesh. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 39(2): 401–414.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to David Jackman .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Jackman, D. (2022). The Crocodiles Are Closing in: Everyday Life for a Local BNP Leader. In: Ruud, A.E., Hasan, M. (eds) Masks of Authoritarianism. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics