Logo
13th-Sep-2015

For our faltering democracy blame is not all ours: Only suffering is all ours

By MAINUL HOSEIN

The United Nations` Human Rights experts have deplored the increasing erosion of democracy globally ahead of International Democracy Day. They are concerned about the repressive measures in some countries because of increasing influence of vested interests at the expense of public will. Their anxiety is that even tyrants also talk of democracy while reducing it to an empty word.One would think that the UN experts have kept in mind the declining fate of democracy in Bangladesh. But they did not mention any country by name.What the UN experts have not said is that democracy needs international partnership and more positive role of the United Nations. The international partnership and positive role of the United Nations have also been waning for the obsession in the western countries with fighting international terrorism. The reality is that absence of democracy is the ground for terrorism to foster. For blind show of military power terrorism is not ending rather increasing. Our democracy has been faltering for international politics also, blame is not all ours. Since the consequences of failing democracy will be on us it is for us to take full responsibility. Under the influence of self-seekers the politicians have ceased to be in charge of real leadership either in BNP or Awami League. That is at the root of the crisis of our democracy. Behind the scenes manipulators remain unseen. The people are without democratic politics and political leadership.  Serving vested interest is all that counts for the government. There is no other way of saving a country from the vicious clutches of vested interest groups without the empowerment of the people — without democracy. The people who are excluded from the political process are the ones who suffer the most.After more than 42 years of independence, we are not sure that we will have a government elected by the people.We are learning in the most disappointed way that freedom cannot be a matter of gift from others. No country is freed, with or without outside help, for the people to be deprived of freedoms. It should be clear at this late stage when men in power find the government in shambles that democracy ensures safe and good governance.The activities we have been having as party politics are in truth anti-politics and anti-democracy. Now the crisis is not only of democracy but also of governance.The political parties are being run as family businesses and the leaders are like family heads of the family members. Such politics of vested interests has only made political leadership non-existent. It is not appreciated that the conditions of unaccountability and impunity are no help for political leaders to be responsible or be in charge. Corruption and terrorism are going hand in hand. There is no assurance of safety in public life although police have all the freedom of action. The government has become a prosecutorial government suppressing the political opponents by police persecution. The police themselves are becoming problem for the authorities.As the problems are piling, the people's helplessness are also growing into their frustration and fury. Signs are too visible in the streets to ignore. The victims of terrible flooding are crying for help. Violent crimes are being committed freely. Weapons are coming in. The government has become a government of no remedies, only of talks and threats. The capital city is the worst victim of mismanagement for all to see and suffer. No people's government could remain complacent in the midst of such worrying developments.Those who were advising the government about politics of development will not take the responsibility. They survive by switching of loyalty.The foreign funded NGOs may talk of the human rights issues but they are not democratic parties to be anxious for having democracy in the country.We see no way out of the leaderless crisis but we know how potentially dangerous the crisis is. The political leadership is not in charge either as the government or the opposition. The police action has aggravated the crisis. So blaming the police only is not justified.  As responsible citizens, the test we must pass is the test of how selfless and how patriotic we can be.