Will democracy bounce back in the current year05 March 2021
AS per the Freedom Index in the World 2021 report released on Wednesday by the US-based Freedom House, Bangladesh's status has again fallen into the "partly free" category. The report is based on the population enjoying political rights and civil liberties. Of the 195 countries in 2020, only 42 per cent countries have been labeled as "Free" and 30 per cent "Partly Free", while the rest are under "Not Free" categories.
The think tank, a non-profit and non-partisan organisation, has been publishing the World report annually since 1973 and aims to support democratic change, monitors freedom, and advocates for democracy and human rights. Since then, the country has consistently been named a "Partly Free" on the freedom in the World report. However, in the reports of 1992 and 1993, Bangladesh was categorised as a "Free" country.
Unfortunately, democracy is facing a crisis around the world with the reigns of strict control and restrictions prevailing. The rulers now use democracy as a façade to veil authoritarian "do's and don'ts". In the process, the 'masses' which are the crux of a democratic system, are becoming estranged. Our democracy is also reportedly on decline because the country has continuously fared poorly in assessments of political rights and civil liberties.
According to a news report published in a national daily on Thursday, Bangladesh scored 39 out of 100 points in 2020, registering no change from the previous edition of the report, against the backdrop of an accelerated decline in democracy globally. It achieved 15 points out of 40 in political rights, and 24 out of 60 in civil liberties, as it did a year ago.
On the other hand, neighbouring India was also recognized this year as "Partly Free". Indians' political rights and civil liberties have been eroding since Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014, said the Freedom House.
We live in the country and nobody should know more than we do about our own condition. Even the reading is interesting if not revealing. Freedom is indivisible and a country cannot be partly free and partly not. A country is wholly regimented like Russia and China if it is reminded. Bangladesh certainly is not a wholly regimented country as it is not based communist ideology.
We have facade of democracy but if necessary that facade can be denied.
We have rights but no certainty. Only the judiciary is tolerated to some extent. Our system is based on pleasure of the people in power supported by pillars of corruption. Authoritarianism has become easier in third world countries. Foreign NGOs are for making democracy tolerable. With the help of police and military it is proved easy continue a shortsighted regime. Democracy must be helped for survival by the free world. We have yet to see the strong and collective leadership in favour of democracy.