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20th-Sep-2014

I would very much like to be proved wrong

By MAINUL HOSEIN

My view as expressed in a recent television talk show was that a politician has to know how to engage in constructive dialogues and make compromises best for peace and wellbeing of the people.If one disagrees, it is welcome. It is an academic assertion about the qualities essential to be a good politician. By that standard my conclusion was that none of the two lady leaders could be regarded politically prepared and others are taking full advantage in creating the mess. I thought I was relieving them from all the blames for the wrong decisions taken on their behalf.  But to say, though without mentioning my name, that I went to somebody for the job of Adviser is not only a distortion not to be believed by anybody. Allah has been very kind and I was never unemployed searching for a job from anybody. Such a vain claim from a person holding public office by sheer luck shows not only how small minded one is but also one's lack of awareness of the prestige that goes with a high position in public life. About other lies I do not have to answer. May be this government needs an Orwellian kind of Ministry of Truth to dispense lies and crass lies.  If merely holding of a state position makes one a politician then General Ayub Khan and General Yeahia Khan who ruled Pakistan for a long time were both great politicians. Not only that the government servants who are described collectively as the permanent government should also be seen as among the most experienced politicians.The simple test of political foresight and truthfulness of the purpose that the constitutional amendment will strengthen the judiciary will be revealed if like in India supremacy of the judiciary is protected when the new law is passed. It will further add to the credibility of the government if it shows the honesty of holding a free and fair election to prove its legitimacy. But Sixteenth amend to the Constitution was made hurriedly as a warning to the judges about what is coming. That is not good and cannot be welcome for the justice system of the country.Under the Indian system of impeachment of the judges the issue of whether a judge is guilty or not is decided by the Chief Justice and other judges. The requirement of the Judges Act 1968 is that after both the houses have passed the resolution it is the President who sends the matter to the Chief Justice. So the Parliament in India does not determine whether a judge should be finally removed or not. Some kind of judicial council like ours is the final authority in India. In fact, removing a judge is more difficult and more complicated in India because the two houses must agree. Nowhere in a democracy, one-house parliament has been trusted with the power of removing the judges. What is most objectionable and most worrisome is that an unelected parliament wants to try for dishonesty among the judges of the highest court.   The clear and determined intention of the government, as it appears to all others, is to go every step of the way unconstitutionally to organize an autocracy where the election will be voter-less, the unelected parliament will try the judges and the diktat of the government   will be the supreme law. There will be no Constitution as the supreme law and no judicial supremacy to declare any law or act of the government illegal or unconstitutional. All in all, there will be nothing called the people's sovereignty. The upshot of all the exercises is not to have democracy or the rule of law.  All our sufferings and sacrifices  including our twenty years of struggle for democracy and finally the liberation war will be proved wrong and of no value. To treat the whole nation as self-seekers and unfit for democracy is most humiliating for a respectable nation, the idea is being to put us under communist kind of dictatorship or worse.The crisis is real as to how to save the independence of the judiciary for the indispensable requirement of the rule of law and democracy institutionally. The indications are clear that the press freedom is to be suppressed, people's participation in the election will not be necessary to be elected. Now steps are being taken to deny independence of the judiciary. In reality, denying independence of the judiciary means denying all freedoms and rights to the people. Though the Liberation War was people's war, still some freedom fighters are being used as a class for starting a class struggle among our own people. Bangabandhu went for one-party system in 1975 saying he needed to do so for the time being to fight corruption. This time, no such reason was necessary because democracy is to be killed so that the corrupt ones can live safe and well. It is a great tragedy to see Awami League-a born fighter for democracy becoming a communist party of no democracy.