Sunday, December 15, 2019 10:13:53 PM
BNP's over-anxiousness to meet the Prime Minister of India Mr Narendra Modi during his visit to Bangladesh as if to prove its pro-India allegiance looked embarrassing and revealed its own political weakness. It was not necessary for BNP to show so much eagerness to meet Mr Modi to tell what kind of politics we have in Bangladesh either. Surely, he knows exactly what is going on here in the name of democracy.
As a friend of Bangladesh and a democrat it was for the Indian Prime Minister to have been keen to meet the leaders of second largest party BNP to understand the crisis of democracy in Bangladesh. Our present crisis is so fraught with dangers that our friends cannot ignore.
Mr Modi made it clear that he and Sheikh Hasina think exactly the same way. Mr Modi should not be misunderstood about what he really meant as we do not know the issues that the two Prime Ministers discussed exclusively. About his support against terrorism Mr Modi must know that autocracy is often the cause of terrorism and it exploits the fear of terrorism to deny democracy to the people. A news item came out in the media when Mr Modi was still in Bangladesh exposing that the police arrested 26 followers of an Awami League Lawmaker in a motorcade with 36 firearms and weapons in Feni. We refrain from making any comment.
The problem with BNP is that it has not built itself as a party of democratic alternative. So when the leaders speak in support of democracy it does not sound convincing. To expect democracy without democratic parties is the contradiction we have been living with for too long. As a result politics has become mostly an unprincipled self-serving business.
After elections have been made redundant in Bangladesh to remain in power now there is unseemly a competition between Awami League and BNP to curry favour with India as if India's support is essential to be in the government.
After the budget announcement it has become clear how isolated the government has become in its claim of politics of development and growth. Any government working for development needs public support and corruption-free good governance. Experts are vocal now to show the hollowness of the government's confidence. They are insisting on good governance and public support and good governance cannot be supplied by outside powers.
To hope that if the Prime Minister of India can be convinced of BNP's pro-Indian position then BNP has a chance to come to power is embarrassing. Why BNP has to show its loyalty to India uncalled for when it does not make any political sense for any political party of Bangladesh to be pathologically anti-Indian.
For the sake of democracy, it has to be said that the best thing for BNP would be to organize itself as an alternative democratic party. BNP needs to go through change in a big way because politics has been changed surgically. The idea of family leadership on a permanent basis is not democracy.
It has to be admitted that the election politics has been ended and Awami League would not care to hold free elections to go out of power.
It is true that BNP has negative popularity as against Awami League and that is why Awami League is not going to hold election to facilitate BNP to come to power. That is clear to all.
But BNP has no positive support for its democratic image because both Awami League and BNP practiced exactly the same politics of destroying democracy slowly, systemically but surely.
It will be a positive force for democracy if BNP can organize itself with positive democratic image. BNP has to discuss seriously among themselves and dissect it deeply to know its weaknesses if it is to be a powerful democratic force as against an undemocratic government. India and others will then be anxious to take BNP into account in its own right. In politics between countries sympathy or kindness has no place. Each has to uphold its dignity and self-interest.
No country enjoys freedom or democracy relying on the help of another country. We, as Bangladeshis, have to earn the same.
The Indian Prime Minister said one thing very clearly and said it more than once that he wants India and Bangladesh must walk together on the path of progress. But that is possible only when the people of Bangladesh and the people of India have a relationship of strong bond and trust in terms of sovereign equality. The two countries can walk together only when the people of the two countries want to walk together.