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18th-Jun-2015

Autocracy is when many become autocrats

By MAINUL HOSEIN

Our educated ones know but may not care to remember that each generation will be judged by whether the critical and consequential issues of human condition were faced by them or shirked to serve their self-interest without thinking what their posterity will have to go through. So we should be ready to be judged how we have faced the grave national issues of our generation to leave behind a better future for our young ones.That our political system is in disorder is the gravest crisis we are facing in our generation securing peace, progress and safety. A political system is not all about how the government is run, it is also, as citizens, how we want to behave among us and with each other. The lawlessness of the authoritarianism does not begin or end with the government, it is followed by the lawlessness of the others. Under autocracy the process of justice is not a judicial process but a political process. So we have to know how to establish an independent and impartial judicial system.If as a system of government democracy is to succeed it is not just for the government to behave democratically but the whole society. The same is true for the autocracy. There is autocracy when many become autocrats.It is a mistake to say that autocracy is a one-man oppression. What is meant is that politics of the country determines not just the nature of the government, but also the general behaviour of the people. Whether peace and stability is secured or the people remain in a state of turmoil and instability. Whether justice system is a political process or a judicial process.Whether it is democracy or autocracy, the system of politics does speak not only of the character of the government, but defines also the way of life for all of those who live under that system of politics.We, in Bangladesh, have been experiencing how  not only the government's attitude to the people has changed over the years as the democratic process is being discarded from our politics, the behaviour  of our people in general has also undergone some changes.When the democratic spirit of tolerance and peaceful compromises are found in a government that evolves into  a general pattern of behaviour of the people  in their public as well as in private life. In the same way, the democratic idea of the rule of law teaches the people that disputes should be settled through an impartial court and not arbitrarily using muscle power. This process will have an influence in shaping the thinking that law not force is the right way of resolving differences if cannot settled through peaceful compromises. This is how the people become more civilized and more law abiding and the country at peace with itself.In a democracy everybody has to be a democrat by conforming to the democratic way of the government. The opposite is true under an autocracy. Everybody tends to behave like an autocrat. As because that is the way public affairs is conducted. Arbitrariness is a national example. As because arbitrariness is the way of government under autocracy, arbitrariness has a way with many in their dealings with others. Peace that is imposed by autocrats is known as peace of deadly silence or lifeless peace of graveyards. We find in every sphere of our national life a very strong tendency of arbitrariness getting more and aggressive to assert that might is right or power makes a man great. And where might is right the concept of impartial justice or sanctity of law has no meaning. Despite all the toughness of police and RAB, crimes and killings are rising. A lawmaker's son does not hesitate to use his weapon to kill two innocent persons for the reason he became incensed for the traffic jam. More crimes are committed by those who claim to be the people's representatives. There is news of a hit list and a general fear of insecurity is increasing. The Chairman of our National Human Rights Commission recently expressed anxiety for police involvement in crimes. We have to look for the political cause to deal with the disturbing issues politically together for peace and harmony.We still have a democratic constitution and democratic institutions though in poor health. So it is not essential that we have to behave like autocrats and cannot build democracy from where it is now. We must have our political system right to deserve how we want to conduct our public affairs and ourselves as political beings. To live dangerously and die ignominiously one does not have to worry about the right system. But surely that is not what we want.