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19th-May-2016

BNP is a victim of oppression yet a roadblock to change

By MAINUL HOSEIN

BNP is desperately seeking help of world leaders for democratic change, yet the party itself is most unwilling to rise above family considerations. If BNP cannot be democratic under democratic leadership it has no justification for seeking help from others.To Begum Khaleda Zia her motherly claim for her son prevailed over the political demands for the national interest. This decision has not made BNP strong but more vulnerable politically. One wonders what the political elements in BNP are doing. Cannot they see that the party is not now a force of change but a roadblock to change?  When the need is of a democratic party for democratic change, BNP preferred to become absolutely a family affair under the joint leadership of mother and son. The BNP leadership has failed to engage in political reform for taking into consideration the dangerous trends in the political landscape of the country.Many others in BNP frustratingly know but not the leadership, that the easy game of coming to power by rotation without trying to be fit for democratic governance is over. It is true that both  Awami League and BNP came to power by turn in the sure way of rotational change through a kind of election. Though none of the parties offered as democratic alternative. The change most needed is a democratic change for democratic good governance. Awami League too has become an extended family affair to continue in power. We have now in power one party socialism type authoritarian government by denying opposition in the parliament and politicising all the state institutions.Even the London based international weekly The Economist described the politicisation of police, army and civil servants under the present government. It is known to us that the journalists and lawyers were politicised soon after the liberation of Bangladesh.So we tried to say for a long time in one way or the other that we won the liberation but the goal of democratic politics became the casualty. The politicisation of journalists was the beginning of destroying our journey toward democracy in free Bangladesh. In short, the victory of the liberation was eventually a defeat for democracy.The system of automatic way of coming to power in rotation resulted in a clear political vacuum. The people's politics was replaced by bureaucratic dominance over the government. The government is becoming more and more isolated from the people everyday. Thus BNP has been ousted from the rotational power game. It has not become possible for it to reform itself to be a democratic opposition. So BNP does not pose a challenge to the present government on the ground of democracy. BNP is still pipe dreaming that the same rotational game of power change through elections will restore it to power under outside pressure. The calculation is, a free election means sure defeat of the present government making way for BNP to take over by default. So they are appealing to foreign countries for a free and fair election. They cannot  realise that their  demand for democracy lacks credibility. We are making such a long narrative on BNP for the reason that mere slogans for democracy do not make a party democratic fighting for the cause of democracy. The family politics of Awami League and BNP has made the beginning of the end of democracy.Not only us even the outside world fears that the country is fast descending into a terrible chaos and the growing armed extremism is a real threat to safety and security of the country.If the world comes to our help it will be for a democratic change. But BNP stands as a roadblock not being a democratic alternative.  For its own weakness BNP leaders and workers are treated as easy victims of all kinds of harassment. If no reason is there then an excuse is created for taking revenge against the party ceasing to be a force for taking seriously. Even the election victories in local elections are set aside by implicating in false cases.  One can cite the case of Sylhet Pourashava BNP Mayor in this respect. There is no evidence against him. Yet, BNP will not change to be a democratic party under democratic leadership.The frustration is all over the country that there is no democratic alternative for the needed change and violence remains the only alternative. The Awami League coalition government is in no mood to change its ways, but finds conspiracy for its overthrow everywhere.