Critical Analysis of Sheikh Hasina’s interview in BBC’s HARD talk


The paper examines the conversation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s interview with BBC’s HARD talk as well as her ideology. It also justifies the published newspaper article which is based on the conversation and it shows the difference between the published copies with the original conversation. Our endeavor is to explain and analyze the hidden agenda with textual references. The analysis is mainly grounded in Norman Fair Clough’s norms in Critical Discourse Analysis.

              Textual Analysis:

Outline of the inaugural speech:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s interview with BBC’s HARD talk can be internally divided into the following parts:

Beginning: Showing greetings (interviewer) and thanking the interviewer (Hasina)

Hasina: Addressing the election he explains about fair election, social and political relation, political, democratic and constitutional rights of the common people. (Paragraph 1)

Interviewer: He tries to show the power individualism and envious relationship between Khaleda Zia and Hasina by comparing the past with the present.  He also raises the interrogation to heal and re-council for the betterment of the country. (Paragraph 2)

Hasina: She directly opposed the concept by indicating care taker government to avoid the issue and to oppose the blame which has been implemented. (Paragraph 2-3)

Interviewer: He asked Hasina, Desperate informal attitude, “Do you believe in democracy?” (Paragraph 4-5)

Hasina: Trying to hide the political clash between her and Khaleda and make it neutral. She raises the ideological conflict between the two parties (democratic and military dictator) (Paragraph 5-6)

Interviewer: He raises the issue of the power abuse by killing and torturing people. (Paragraph 7)

Hasina: Denying the issue (directly). Abuse has been reduced, taking the help of USA, UK (Paragraph 8)

Interviewer: In a brief parenthesis he attempts to discuss about violence (22 people disappeared). He also addresses the report of World Bank and Points out the contribution of Younus to remove poverty. He also explains the enmity of Hasina with Khaleda and Yunus (Paragraph 8-14, published article on the Daily Star).

Hasina: Finally, she explains about the mission of her party. (Paragraph 23, published article on the Daily Star).

Main Features of the Interview:

Progresses of the government (According to PM):

  • Within ten years they reduced poverty by 10%
  • Success regarding unifying the country
  • Ensuring people’s democratic right and fundamental right
  • They cannot capture power illegally/ corruption free government
  • Making surety in the constitution
  • Adopting mitigation plans. They did not wait for foreign assistance. they have taken
  • Having taken many steps with their own budget for mitigation
  • Taking action plans
  • Having started implementing their commitment
  • For saving people, they have started building green belt, dredging rivers, building cyclone and flood shelters for the people.
  • Many works have been started in the southern part
  • Having taken action plans, long-term, short-term plans
  • Targeting the mission until 2021
  • Adopting the program for economic development
  • Mission to develop the nation
  • Their policies for the people
  • She does politics not only to bring changes to their politics but also she wants to make sure the basic needs, fundamental rights, for the people.


Faults of the government (According to BBC):

  • Lack of human rights, fundamental integrity, honesty amongst public servants
  • Losing confidence of the World Bank
  • Corrupted govt. (The Padma Bridge issue)
  • World Bank is unsatisfied with the actions of the govt.
  • Abuse of power (refused to publish the letter of W.B.)
  • Bad relationship with Yunus and Khaleda
  • Forced Yunus to out his role in Grameen Bank
  • Envious relationship with Khaleda Zia
  • Fundamentally threatened the democracy


                                                  Discourse Analysis:

Comparison between published Hard talk interview and the original video clip:

In the published interview of the Daily Star includes headline (“I can bring change because my politics is for people.”)  In the video clip, there is no headline. In one hand, the reporter inserts only the image of Sheikh Hasina. On the other hand, in the video clip we can see the movement of both Sheikh Hasina and Stephen Sucker. The reporter deletes the half of the conversation between Sheikh Hasina and Khalada Zia. Even in the published report the reporter change and delete some words. For example, he writes dynamic development instead of economic development (Paragraph 23), different political view instead of New Generation (Paragraph 24) and he omits the name of Muhammad Yunus while writing (Paragraph 20) etc. The reporter omits the welcome tone while writing the report. The first important question is about the election which held under Awami League government is omitted by the reporter. Furthermore, the question of Stephen Sucker about the relationship between Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina is ignored by the reporter which is a conflicting issue. According to Sheikh Hasina, the conflict between Awami League and BNP is absolutely ideological not personal. The question about the    implementation of zero tolerance policy is not mentioned by the reporter which is about violence, abasement and cruelty. In general, the internal news of the political condition of Bangladesh is not given emphasized by the reporter. The issue of RAB is discussed in the main conversation but the reporter does not mention it.  However, the reporter highlights the political relationship between Bangladesh and other foreign countries including the issues of  construction of  the Padma Bridge,  World banks opinion regarding corruption, the issues   of poverty reduction, the contradictory news about the  Nobel  laureate Mohammed Yunus.  Furthermore, the reporter does not mention death news of the labor activist Aminul Islam which is one of the most significant questions of Stephen Sucker.


Paralinguistic Features of the Hardtalk Interview:

According to Brown and Levinson, politeness strategies are developed in order to save listeners’ face.

Face: Face refers to the respect that an individual has for him or herself and maintaining that self-esteem in public or in private situations. In the situation of social distance or closeness it is divided into two parts:


  1. Face Threatening Act
  2. Face Saving Act
  3. Face Threatening Act: If a speaker says something that represents a threat to other individual’s expectations regarding self-image, it’s described as face threatening act.
  4. Face Saving Act: It is given the possibility that some actions might be interpreted as a threat to another’s face; the speaker cannot say something to lessen the possible threat. This is called face saving act.

Voice quality: In case of spoken discourse, voice quality plays an important role which includes facial expression, gesture, posture etc.

In this video clip, we can observe different paralinguistic features of both speakers which are given below:

  • Hasina: Thank you- smiling face of Hasina
  • Sucker: “seems” raising questions with confusing voice
  • Hasina: “I think you have misconception.” At the beginning she politely answers but at the end she shows her annoyance regarding the question.
  • Sucker: Asking question slowly, “Listen, I am telling you one thing.” It indicates face threatening act.
  • Hasina: Delivering answer slowly “No! No! No” Here, she directly opposed with strong voice.
  • Hasina: “Off course. We have done it. But you don’t see it.” Here, ‘of course’ indicates her confidential voice. ‘Well, it’s nothing personal’ face threatening act. ‘No! Of course not. You cannot say that’ face threaten act.
  • Sucker: Face saving act, ‘You are so different…. So…..’ Sucker asks the question by looking at the paper.
  • Hasina: ‘Yes ……. Now the point is…….’ Strong voice ‘It’s not true. May I ask one question?’ Face threatening act, throwing question one by one
  • Sucker: ‘What do you think? Who killed him?’ express suspension pointing out finger.
  • Hasina: ‘I do not know. I do not know.Face threatening act, directly opposed the responsibility.
  • Hasina: ‘Of course… we are operating and we believe in zero …. zero tolerance policy to this kind of killing.’ She feels hesitation while uttering the speech ‘zero tolerance policy’
  • Sucker: ‘Sorry, let’ be clear about this.’ Face saving act ….. make apology.
  • Hasina: ‘Of course, I will do, if my party permits me.Giving stress and confidential voice.


Ideological analysis and Biasness:

The purpose of our analysis is to link the inaugural discourse with the social process and to decipher covert ideology of this text.

“I think you have miss concept.” 

In this speech, the word ‘miss-concept’ indicates that she tries to reject the question of Sucker. In her speech miss conception indicates the confusion of interviewer regarding the questions he asks.

“Well, nothing is personal.”

Here hidden agenda comes out. Sucker does directly mention about the envious relationship between her and Khaleda. Hasina tries to defend Sucker by delivering general answer by saying that people enjoy their constitutional rights, fundamental rights and democratic rights.

“Well, it’s personal”

At last Sucker confesses that he wants to know about the personal envious relationship between her and Khaleda.

“No, of course not, you cannot say that. It’s absolutely ideological.”

In this speech, Hasina directly tells the difference between Awami League and BNP. Furthermore, she says that her party believes in democracy. On the other hand, BNP is a ‘military dictators’ party. Therefore, the struggle between two parties is ideological. Hasina also tries to say that only her government can promote democratic power. If BNP forms government, the country will lose democracy. Therefore, it is necessary for Awami League to rule the country. She indirectly conveys the idea.

“22 people who have killed …….. labor parties Aminul Islam ”

Here Hasina rejects that Aminul Islamwas a labor activist who was killed during the rule of her government. Sucker aspects Awami League regarding the death of Aminul Islam while asking question what she thinks. Who killed him? Hasina rejects death by saying that their police found the dead body of him. As the Prime Minister she cannot deny the murder of any person. In this way, she tries to blame the other parties regarding the murder of Aminul Islam. Here we also find her biasness in the speech.

The weakness of the interviewer expresses when he changed the topic because Sucker did not get any satisfactory answer from Hasina. In the same way, she did not give any satisfactory answer regarding the question.

“If that’s true …… let’s be clear what we were clear ….. talking about.”

In Sucker’s speech, it’s clear that Hasina did not focus the point which the interviewer actually wants to know. Hasina tries to make all issues neutral.

“Then we ……. my finance ……..”

Here personal pronoun “my” indicates that finance minister is chosen by her. Finance Minister is under her control.

“Blood sucker of the poor”

Biasness: She does not utter the name of other party called Awami League. She always says “my party, my government, our government etc.” she defends everything individually and the activity of the party.


Keyword words Report for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s interview with BBC’s HARD talk


Keyword                       Repeats

Listen                            17

Look                             12

Of course                      10

Democracy                    06


My party                      05

My people                    05

Zero tolerance               04

Blood sucker                 02



The interview of HARD talk fails to give the specific solution of the present political crisis in Bangladesh. However, Sheikh Hasina tries to focus the different development sectors in Bangladesh during her government but she cannot provide authentic evidence regarding political, social  and cultural progresses.