Democracy and our leaders
Md. Joynal Abdin
The Daily Independent on February 19, 2010
After a long colonization (1757 – 1947), this subcontinent got apparent freedom, but a hidden monarchy or autocracy retained in our veins. As a result, we were suffering by the partial and oppressive ruling by the West Pakistani dictators during Pakistan regime. After independence in 1971, some ferocious companions inspired our great leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to introduce one party ruling through BAKSAL. Without much debate, I would like to state that any obstacle towards freedom of speech and providing safeguard to continue ruling of a non-popular party is bad whoever introduced it or whatever its objective was. As soon as BAKSAL regime fell, democracy was again stolen by the military rulers for several times within a short period.
After so many struggles and much blood shedding, democracy was restored in 1991, but we have seen unwillingness of democratic parties to ensure a free, fare and credible election. Whoever was in power wanted to stay forever in power and feared to face free democratic election. System of caretaker government was initiated and also made paralyzed through applying many elections engineering processes. Everything was done to create barriers in front of general people in electing their representatives in the parliament. Our political leaders have a fear to face the truth and to accept peoples’ judgment against them. As a result, every party tries to make us out of the boundary and stay in power forever.
None of our political parties is happy to sit in the opposition, but why? How will democracy be established without an active opposition in the parliament?
After an unusual ruling of the last caretaker government, countrymen were waiting to see their preferred party in power. During last caretaker government, our political leaders suffered more than people from any other profession. So, people were expecting that they would find some qualitative changes in the character of our leaders. But what are we observing today? We see the same scenario-the opposition is avoiding the parliament, the government is showing non-tolerance to the opposition, and the people in power are emphasizing political agenda rather than development agenda of the election manifesto. Day by day, older picture of our politics is becoming clearer. The two chief political parties are not following their vows mentioned in their respective election manifesto.
As a student of business, I used to write on business and development issues, but after some recent activities undertaken by the student wings of different parties, I am very shocked and wish to remind them what they are doing now. What are they thinking about people’s judgment?
Current government has many good achievements, but one major failure may engulf all their achievements. If the political parties fail to control their student and youth wings from doing campus violence, tender massacre, smuggling, mugging, robbery, etc., their other achievements will be of no use. This is extremely unfortunate that Honorable Prime Minister failed to control the activities of her student wing even after taking several initiatives. But why? This is for sure that some mid level leaders/ministers are giving them inspirations. Otherwise, how did the party president’s initiatives fail to control them? Their recent performance on the occasion of admission test at several public universities was excellent! Several innocent lives have been lost but our ministers’ performance during two similar types of occurrence raised questions.
When ruling party student wing killed one student in Dhaka and an opposition party student wing killed another (according to newspaper reports) student in Rajshahi, what was our home minister’s reaction? Again, what did our most powerful police force do? These pictures are sending important messages to the general peoples’ mind and also creating questions. Our political leaders including ruling ministers should not think that people are foolish without any jurisdiction power. Especially I would like to draw attention of our ministers to their actions during these two similar events. You are elected ministers of the republic. You should be impartial to all people at least while using republic’s wealth-the police force. The performance of the police force is already controversial; please do not muddle it anymore. Please do not abuse power. You should remember that silent observers are watching everything you are doing and they may not have power to do anything but time will come up when you have to go to their door to seek their assistance for further continuing of your dominance. But if you do anything you like now, you will find them cruel when you will seek their support.
Without proper investigation, how can minister term someone as ‘killer’ and some other as ‘innocent’? So I hope our minister will be more accountable during providing statement for the sake of impartial justice. We, general people, want to see impartial judicial investigation of both the event and appropriate judgment of the responsible people without harassing mass arrest of opposition political workers. Tolerance to opposition, impartial implementation of law and proper use of police force are important for sustainable democracy.
Today several newspapers reported that our honorable home minister saying that current law and order situation is better than that of previous time. I would like to request her not to judge self-performance but to let the voters judge your performance. Otherwise, your statements may hurt the voters who voted you to be home minister. We do not expect false statement from our leaders, rather we want accountable statements from them. Please do not look into the past. Your responsibility is to shape our future.