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Greed without patriotism has brought us where we are

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By MAINUL HOSEIN
25th-Sep-2016       
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There is no pride for our Liberation War without democracy. To live in fear of insecurity is neither democracy nor freedom. We have to blame ourselves before we blame others for our helplessness. No people can be helped if they are not willing to help themselves. Our weakness is our punishment.

Bangladesh was born to be an ideal democracy instead our system is clawing back to the authoritarianism of the past, we rejected. While the number of democracies in the world has doubled in recent times, our democracy is falling apart piece by piece. Only democratic institution, showing life and strength, is struggling to survive is the judiciary.

For greed without pride of patriotism, we are poised to live in servitude. Hope to have a government elected by the people looks hopeless. So to be free and live in freedom the voices of patriotism have to be raised jointly.
If there is no problem in accepting that the country belongs to all of it's people then we shall have no difficulty to live together in peace and prosperity. For the arrogance of the few and silence of the many we are forced to suffer insecurity of violence and use of arbitrary power.

It must be stressed that as conscious citizens of a free country it is our prime responsibility to preserve and uphold the police strictly as law enforcers. Because, it is by abusing police power that a government is empowered to abuse human rights and subvert the rule of law as well as the democratic process if some remnants  are still left. Unless freedom is protected freedom ceases.

Every day media is filled with heart-breaking tales of grief- stricken families weeping for their loved ones killed in violence of local politics or accidents while traveling on unsafe roads or rivers. During Eid holidays the number of people lost their lives in such accidents stood at 265, besides 1153 were injured in 12 days.

Death in police custody and patients dying in hospitals due to negligence are a regular tragedy we live with. We cannot have our country to be such where life is cheap and killing does not matter.

The threat of terrorism however genuine cannot be the justification for the government not to guarantee protection of law for the safety of one's life and property. If that is not so then why fight terrorism?
The power to arrest anybody as terrorist on mere suspicion does not value the people's fundamental right to personal protection and liberty. To arrest a person in the act of terrorism   is different from arresting a person on mere suspicion.
According to The New York Times unlawful detention and disappearances have become routine in Bangladesh. At one stage recently some 15000 people were arrested on suspicion in the context of militant attacks. As if the restraint of law or the Constitution has no meaning.

When the police can arrest a person on their own without a court's warrant then they are placed above the law and their role as enforcers of law is badly compromised. Law is rendered helpless to protect the basic freedom of personal liberty, and both the rule of law and the judiciary become a mockery.

Trial by police remand or crossfire is systemic anarchy and cannot be encouraged. Such acts are against civilised living because of denial of the due process of law as enshrined in our Constitution.

What is most disappointing and potentially too dangerous is the use of Liberation War to create division, dissension and enmity among our own people for establishing dominance  of the few  over the whelming others. Here lies all the motivation for distortion of the facts and history.

The Supreme Court is insisting not to arrest anybody and interfere with the individual liberty without a court warrant. When a person is to be arrested on suspicion of terrorism it is all the more necessary that a warrant should be taken out from the court.

Let the court be satisfied about how strong is the suspicion. The role of the police cannot be that of prosecutor and judge combined.

The court also disapproved plainclothes men to harass individuals. It is necessary so that the people are saved from false ones claiming to be police officials.
Every sensible person has reason to feel deeply concerned for the lack of humanity, breach of human rights and waste of public money in our national affairs. The lack of coordination within the government explains the lawlessness outside. The government is helpless in controlling even the extortionists among its party workers.
The development politics, in contrast to election politics that the government is highlighting, has mostly benefited the few corrupt ones at the top. What is going on is the celebration of joint venture corruption. Most of the projects are vanity projects unconnected with immediate needs of the people. The specter of economic hardship being borne by the mass people is going unnoticed and uncared for.

Although our view is that terrorism is not yet strong enough in our country. But coming of weapons in the country via India is a strong indication that terrorism is being attracted and violent confrontation with emerging terrorism is a real possibility. Serious terrorism grows within the country if the ground is prepared for it. Without the people's participatory democracy and the rule of law firmly in place there will be fight between terrorism and counter terrorism. Guns against guns. Terrorism will not be ended, but of the two more vicious one will prevail.
So our appeal to those who can afford to make their voices heard must do so before it is too late. We must have control over our police as well as the government to ensure freedom under good governance. We have to prove that we can preserve and protect our existence as a free people.

What we are currently going through is the humiliation of our own failings. Our crisis is that of leadership and we have to rely on ourselves collectively for saving our dignity as a nation. Let us not join others to be the cause of the problem. Let us be the solution.

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