Saturday, September 22, 2018 08:06:42 PM
When not being a party activist but a highly respectable Professor Emeritus of Dhaka University Serajul Islam Choudhury says in careful words that what is being practised in Bangladesh is not democracy it should be taken seriously to know the kind of a political mess we are living in.Talking to BBC's Bangla Service broadcast last Sunday and as published in this daily yesterday Professor Choudhury could not have described the situation more bluntly and said: "although it seemed that the country would make journey towards a new era after the fall of HM Ershad, it has not been possible after 25 years. An autocratic ruler (Gen. Ershad) was dethroned but the autocratic system has remained".Professor Choudhury was expressing views in the context of the mass upsurge against the autocratic rule of General HM Ershad in late 1980s.The movement against General Ershad was more of an intellectual movement for democracy than just for change of persons in power. The famous statement of 31 intellectuals under the initiative of late Professor Khan Sarwar Murshid the most forceful message was delivered for the need of democratic change. The lawyers and journalists joined the movement encouraging a popular uprising against autocracy. If the people are not getting democracy we cannot all see ourselves as not guilty for cooperating.Our fight against autocracy of Pakistan days also failed although our liberation war had been for the people's right to vote and elect their own government. Like the autocratic system of Gen Ershad Pakistani system of autocracy also remained to be followed. But the courage comes from the greed of those in power and slavishness of others who cooperate.Our educated ones wherever they are must do their soul searching to find out the root cause why our sacrifices for democracy ended up in failure every time at the hands of few selfish ones. Why autocracy found it easy to make a come back again and again.Our reasoning is, that it is the slavishness to self-interest of the few in high positions responsible for creating a slavish atmosphere for the whole nation. To have a government not accountable to the people cannot be a government fit for people's freedom.No class is unwilling to submit to greed, be they lawyers, journalists or public functionaries and forget national interest. It is always the people who bear the cost of their sins of greed.A country preserves it freedom and independence by the government as a whole consciously advancing the cause of freedom. The ministers do not own the country for themselves, the country belongs to us all and it is the responsibility of us to ensure that our government does not become our masters.The situation will not improve by blaming the few ministers or politicians. Like in the past we shall have one autocracy replaced by another.It does not matter whether we have the presence of ISIS. What matters is violence and killings are increasing in our country. We are increasingly becoming heartless and cruel. There is fearful uncertainty about safety of life and property. The people are victims of cruelty everyday both at the hands of the government party and the opposition. The Government being guided bureaucratically is unable to think of any political solution.To be deprived of democratic good governance and freedom is bound to be our fate as long as we tolerate slavishness of the greedy ones in public life. This is a collective fault and we have to save ourselves through collective determination not to be slavishly selfish in public life.