Like many other dictatorships Cuba is also a member of IPU24 October 2014 Editorial Desk
Please do not humiliate the nation any more. The people who fought for democracy, engaged in a liberation war more specifically, for establishing people's government by people's vote know what democracy means. Our teachers are teaching democracy in many well-developed countries. We do not need beneficiary sycophants to tell us what democracy is.
The present government by denying the people their essential democratic right to elect their government is not stopping there. Expensive foreign trips are undertaken to show us pictures with foreign leaders. Nothing could be a greater shame for our nation than the claim by the government that voter-less election is a victory for democracy not only for Bangladesh but also for the world.
It is being claimed that our kind of democracy has become victory for world's democracy because Bangladesh has been elected to be the president of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). We do not know if our election engineers were also available there to declare Bangladesh elected. Yet we are ready to accept that Bangladesh representing the third world countries got genuinely elected. But it is no recognition of Bangladesh government's democracy.
The Commonwealth Press Union or the IPU do not bother to see whether the member of the parliament or the government is democratically elected or not. The IPU works for dialogue and peace among the member countries. Cuba, among many other dictatorships, is also a member of the IPU. On the other hand, the Commonwealth Press Union concerns itself with the press freedom.
As there has been no protest through street violence the government seeks justification that our people have accepted the government. This much is understandable. But a government that is afraid of facing free and fair election should not have been so loud and brazen about its democratic character.
Absence of street violence does not make an unelected government a democratic government. Those who believe in that kind of democracy where people's participation is irrelevant and where there is no street violence then all martial law governments of the past were also democratic. There was no violent protest by the people. When some politicians eagerly welcomed such martial law regimes. Some others too happily joined the martial law governments. When they held election, they managed to win by a large margin. No political party could defeat them.
In our country, the members of martial law government had no difficulty in being recognized as government of Bangladesh. International community has to deal with any government that exists for the time being.
It is a matter of national pride and dignity to live with democratic rights and under a government that is elected by them as their own. It should be a matter of humiliation for us that our government not being ready to face a free and fair election, still happily claims it to be a democratically elected government just because violent protests are absent.
It is true that change for having a BNP government does not inspire a movement against the government, the reason being, none of them is democratic. In both the parties money making consideration is predominant. Both of them are happy with hereditary leadership. So BNP must reform itself in order to make it seen as a democratic alternative.
As the present government has abandoned election politics so by the same stroke it has ended mother and son monarchical politics both for BNP and Awami League. Politics of constitutionalism has ceased. Politics will now be about raw power struggle between police power and people power.
The conclusion is: Whether we are fit for democracy is our affair and it has to be our business to do something about it. We do not want to suffer the shame of Pakistani kind of dictatorship. Searching and begging for misleading support for democracy from outsiders should be an embarrassment for the government itself. We understand the need to be farcical in the world of democracy for taking our government seriously.
Let the government show at least some competence to run the country. No outside movement will be necessary. It will bring its own downfall for chaos within. Dictatorship is the end of rule of law and individual freedoms anywhere. So the worse is yet to come if the government cannot save itself from the grip of the Cuban type democracy.