Sunday, October 1, 2017 12:31:08 AM
We need not be told what is a democratic election. It is not all about
observing formalities of any kind of Constitution. In the case of
Bangladesh, the Constitution was changed unilaterally to suit the
convenience of an unpopular government to remain in power.
The people of Bangladesh can rightly feel that they are being let down in their fight for democracy. As there cannot be voter less election so there cannot be democracy through controlled election.
Though the international community was highly critical of holding the election unilaterally it is beyond belief that it could so easily be disregarded. The election was completed as planned the day the Constitution was changed making way for unilateral election. Democracy was thus denied through a controlled election thrust on them defying all pleas for an inclusive election.
India's claim that it knows best what is good for this region cannot be the whole
truth in respect of all other countries of the region. It is certainly a failure of Indian policy that India is not seen as a trusted friend by many in the region. We, on our part, have been hoping all along of India's cooperation in building democracy and peace in Bangladesh because of its help in our liberation war. We are not sure if our faith is well founded.
If India believes that it can force its ideas on us about what is good for us then it will not take long to see how frightfully wrong India is. Through this fake election Sheikh Hasina's government has become weaker and not stronger for dealing with any crisis. To be sure she will confront new and more graver problems than the existing ones. Besides, the competence of a government cannot come from outside.
The wise men who planned and worked hard not to fail in implementing the blueprint for establishing a government with absolute power went about it under the pretext of bolstering democracy. But the method followed has been most shamefully undemocratic. The new election arrangement the government introduced by changing the Constitution has made free and fair election anything but impossible. It denied any opportunity to the opposition to win the election as because the election is to be held under the management of the sitting government.
The wise men needed some outside stimulation to be so brazen about bulldozing the election victory despite the disapproval as expressed by the UN, the United States and others including the European Union.
The BJP which is expected to come to power in India next has criticized the Congress government for sabotaging the election in Bangladesh.
The leader of the opposition Begum Khaleda Zia was kept confined during the whole election time. The leader of the third largest party, former President HM Ershad was taken to military hospital allegedly for medical treatment denying him free movement just because he declined to take part in the unacceptable election. He was refused outside access for the purpose of dividing his party by offering them ministries and parliamentary seats uncontested.
In the style of communist countries the election was held on 5th January only to reconfirm the pre-arranged one-sided victory for the government. The victory was guaranteed before the so-called election of 5th January by bagging 153 seats out 300 just by declaring them uncontested through distribution of seats among their own coalition partners.
In the absence of the major opposition party BNP, the election for the remaining 147 seats conducted as mere formality in the midst of boycott by the opposition and violence that ended in the death of 22 persons. Admittedly 148 poling stations had to be shuttered for reason of security.
By all accounts the voters' turn out in the election so held was the lowest ever. Not a single vote was cast in many centers. The usual election time festive mood was totally absent. It was truly an election minus the people.
All earlier predictions were that in a free and fair election the Awami League government would sure to loose by a wide margin. But in the way the election was manipulated the government has won more than two-third seats in the parliament.
The government that wants to continue in power relying on outside help and denying people the voting right cannot be honest with any plan to remain democratic. As it has won the election against the wishes of it own people, so it will have to rule the country against the wishes of its own people. Winning an election against popular wish means fighting the people all the way. Such a situation does not bode well for peace and stability.
To those who hold out hopes that once the election is over both the major political parties will have no choice but to come to a compromise for holding a fresh election soon, we say they have no idea about the political complication involved.
In our view the fight is not just between the Awami League and the BNP, the real fight is over the identity of Bangladesh and who shall have the legitimacy to rule the country. There is the method of buying loyalty through corruption and such corruption must be protected. There are also elements who believe that they and not the people who won the liberation war and only they have the legitimacy to decide what is good for our people. So the crisis our people are facing is much deeper and a long term one. This may lead to a terrible situation like civil war raising issues not yet discussed.
But solution through a free and fair election is not the plan of the government and surely this is most worrying when democratic solution is not available constitutionally as an option.
No nation's identity can be decided from outside and nowhere a particular class or section can assume legitimacy to govern people in this age of peoples' power. It has to be the people's decision who will be allowed to do politics in the country and which alliance with which party is acceptable to the people. Such a decision cannot be acceptable as dictated by any party.
Our appeal to all is that Bangladesh must not be let down in its struggle for democracy.
Bangladesh trailed by 188 runs with 2 wickets in hand at tea on day three in the 1st innings against South Africa 496/3-d in the first Test at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday.Mehedi Hasan Miraz (8*) at the crease at tea while Shafiul Islam (0*) pairing him in the ...
Blessed by the royal and Kapoor genes, Taimur Ali Khan has been grabbing attention and holds the title of being the cutest starkid at the moment. Kareena Kapoor Khan's son recently visited Delhi along with mommy on the sets of Veer De Wedding, in which she stars alongside Sonam Kapoor, ...
AP, Brussels :Across Europe, people are watching the independence referendum Spain's Catalonia region plans to hold Sunday closely and nervously, but quietly.A strong turnout that results in a majority vote for the "yes" side could embolden other breakaway-minded regions. A secession trend on the continent would put new strains on ...
TODAY is the Holy Ashura, the day of noble sacrifice of Imam Husein, the grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SM) on the 10th Muharram 61AH (October 11th 680 AD). The Muslim Ummah observes the day remembering his great sacrifice with solemnity all over the world. On this day Imam ...
THE Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Iqbal Mahmood on Thursday mentioned their incapability of bringing influential people to justice as they could hold back the documents related to alleged corruption. He was responding to questions from journalists on why the Commission could not probe corruption allegations against Ministers, lawmakers and government high-ups ...
Sheikh Arif Bulbon :After winning the crown of Lux-Channel i Superstar Jakia Bari Momo started her acting career by Tauquir Ahmed’s movie Daruchini Dwip on August 31, 2007. She got the National Film Award to act in that movie. Momo has already passed one decade of her acting career. During ...
AP, Brussels : Britain's Brexit negotiator David Davis says talks with the European Union on his country's departure from the bloc are making progress, following a fourth round of negotiations in Brussels.Davis told reporters Thursday that "we are making decisive steps forward."He said that, in particular, a lot of progress has ...
FORMER Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is convicted and sentenced by Thailand's Supreme Court in absentia to five years in prison on Wednesday for mismanaging a rice subsidy scheme that cost the country billions of dollars. Under the rice scheme, Yingluck's government bought rice from farmers at above-market prices, leading to ...
Kriti Sanon has been keeping up her tryst with fashion lately. The actress has kept us intrigued with her style games giving us some major goals. Pulling off the best outfits is every girl’s dream and we have certainly got Kriti Sanon on our mind when it comes to carrying ...
THE UN Security Council is scheduled to sit today to discuss the ongoing violence and ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. The member states will also hear a briefing from the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in this regard. Britain, France, the United States and four other countries have been requested to participate ...