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12th-Jan-2015

No easy diversion: Free people must have free election

By MAINUL HOSEIN

One can only feel sorry for the intellectuals who think that a false election is democracy but find it shocking to see the opposition being ruthlessly suppressed. One also feels sorry for those short-sighted businessmen who want peace to prevail for their business activities under a government not having democratic legitimacy. This kind of contradictions and opportunism has been helping the wrong-doers to our people.    Forced peace is no peace for safe living or safe business. Now the judges also do not find themselves unaffected by the prevailing countrywide insecurity of violence. Blinded by power, the government is not in a position to do what needs to be done. It is becoming too obvious that there has to be an arrangement of peacekeeping before any fair election can be held. Dialogue is not possible and also unnecessary for a free people to have a free election. To make the election free and fair, it cannot be held like on 5th January under a party government which was tried and found unworthy of trust.   We must not forget that it is the basic right of a free country that its government shall be elected by the people in a free and fair election. The question is: Those who deny this right to the people what do they think of the people? The simple answer is that they are not ready to treat the people as having the right to choose their government.As the government is claiming to be elected through a farcical election last year it felt unusually disturbed by the news that the BJP president of India talked over phone to enquire about the health condition of Begum Khaleda Zia after police used pepper spray on her.It could have been a courtesy call to be expected from a political leader to another of two friendly neighbours. But the government of Bangladesh took the matter so seriously as if it amounted to withdrawal of India's support from Awami League government as the legitimate government. The supporters of the government created a lot of tension and pressure to prove that no such social exchange of words about one's health condition happened and BNP committed a serious crime of lying. It makes no sense why BNP has to lie over such a non-political social call? Be that as it may be, the fuss raised by the Awami leaders and their supporters to bring allegation of lying against BNP is also absurd. Such a telephone call could be an organised deception. Otherwise also, it was a harmless lie. But Awami League lied about the election to deceive the nation to continue in power. It is such a gigantic lie for which lives are still now being lost and the whole country is bleeding. Who does not know that our politics is mostly about lies, corruption and false cases. So the false pretenders of honesty in politics are not unknown to the people. There was understandable pressure on BJP to "clarify" the position and at last on Saturday BJP Chief Mr. Amit Shah reportedly denied to have spoken with Begum Zia. But Awami League made its nervousness amply clear.At the same time the frenetic statements and counter-statements for and against the telephonic conversation revealed how our political leaders lack confidence in themselves.  They are more dependent on outside support ignoring support of their own people. This is not how leaders of any independent country should behave for their own dignity. Awami League thinks that without election and without dialogue for resolving the crisis any government can survive on the strength of support from any other country. Such a situation is embarrassing for our people seeing the hollowness of the political leadership being exposed.Surely, no responsible leaders will try to show that the people do not deserve to be free for free election.Not only leaders of many outside countries, but also impartial opinion builders of our country have been urging the government about the need of discussions for  arranging a fresh and inclusive election.It should be shameful and heartbreaking for all concerned that our people give blood and face destruction for the use of their vitally important right as a free people to elect a government of their own. An election is no election if not held impartially.Nation must be saved from the power hungry undemocratic elements once for all.