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20th-Jul-2014

Failed govt under undemocratic dynastic politics is the real crisis

By MAINUL HOSEIN

US Ambassador-designate to Bangladesh Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat put it mildly when she commented before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that the election of January 5 was definitely flawed. While feeling concerned she said she would work hard to support the efforts in Bangladesh to promote human rights and democracy. To say that the parliamentary election of January 5 was flawed is undoubtedly an understatement. The election of last January brought into focus the endgame of dynastic politics to take it to different level of dictatorship. So the Ambassador designate has to know that behind the election crisis lies the larger and more sinister crisis of imposing socialism in the guise of dynastic rule. Destroying the election system was not a simple matter of keeping Awami League in power in the face of massive defeat.
Socialism has no popular support in a religious country like Bangladesh. The leftists on their own cannot win a single seat in the parliament. The helpless leftists and communists have chosen Awami League to hide their true self from the people. Election-less parliament suits the unelectable leftists.
In terms of immediate gain the unpopular Awami League government find socialist politics a marriage of convenience forgetting that godless politics of socialism will never be acceptable to the people of Bangladesh. Pursuit of the socialist dictatorship in Bangladesh is possible only through voter less election. By making the people not to have a say in the affairs of the country. So the game is dangerous fraught with bloodshed and violence.
Taking advantage of the liberation war fought with the help of India and in the leadership void that followed the assassination of Bangabandhu,  India, as our closest neighbour, has become  a factor in our internal politics. The Congress government abused its influence. We expected  democratic India to help us build democracy.
If she is confirmed by the Senate Committee and if we get her as US Ambassador then she will find it most difficult as how to initiate dialogue among the party leaders especially the two ladies of Awami League and BNP which are the major parties. Because the two ladies see each other as dynastic rivals for only one to survive to rule.
It has been established most clearly that for our hereditary leaders dialogue is not their cup of tea. They understand election as power sharing  arrangement between two of them. Only political leaders would have known how to make compromises for overcoming a crisis.
Now Awami League think and think very strongly that their plan to subvert election politics to save their kind of dynastic rule has been successful. They are taking steps to make both the press and the judiciary submissive to their will. A new law is under consideration for  assuming power to politically punish Supreme Court judges by unelected and fully controlled parliament  as we have now.  Awami  League also feels sure that the election  arrangement controlled by them is unchangeable. They are also confident that their unelected government has been accepted as a legitimate government. It is not a matter of concern that the government is failing every way. Such illusions are inherently wrong and does not show political foresight.  
What is needed is political leadership for knowing how to make  democracy work and how to make compromises. Under a working democracy Bangladesh will be a peaceful and prosperous country. Only conspiracy around the dynastic  leadership of the two ladies has done so much damage to this country. Ours is a moderate Muslim country where religious harmony is broken to suit undemocratic politics.
We are stuck in a situation where political leadership is not effective and politically unfit dynastic leadership is in the grip of self-seekers. The people are angry and disappointed but helpless victims, waiting chaos to engulf them all.