HT Imam knows too much to be dispensed with20 November 2014 Editorial Desk
The recent remarks of the most powerful bureaucrat-turned-politician and advisor to the Prime Minister HT Imam drew dissatisfaction among the government's top-brass and ruling party's leaders and activists. Imam, who was the Co-chairman of Awami League (AL) Election Steering Committee of the January 5 elections, knows better how the so-called elections were engineered than any other in and out of the party. His remarks on the elections: "They [pro-AL officials] stood by us and sacrificed their lives for us. Nineteen of our policemen were killed brutally by Jamaat-Shibirmen. They all were our men". After almost 10 months later of the one-sided elections HT Imam just confirmed the elections-time news carried in the national and international media.
Actually, the powerful advisor, enjoying status of a minister, committed no wrong but simply confessed the truth about the rigged, partial, manipulated elections without any interrogation, perhaps prompted by his own soul.
In his 50-minute speech at a Chhatra League, student wing of the ruling party, gathering on Dhaka University campus on last Wednesday, HT Imam narrated how the Awami League used the administration to hold the January-5 polls.
What had actually happened during the cooked polls of January 5 has been illustrated by the Co-chair of AL Election Steering Committee HT Imam. With candidates to 153 seats declared elected unopposed, the tenth parliament is composed of people who neither got a true mandate nor an ethical standing to stay in the parliament. This time it has been proved that HT Imam is not wrong although it troubles those who occupy the corridors of power by ignoring the people's demand of participatory elections.
In the same meeting he assured BCL cadres (students comrades of the ruling party) of getting help in BCS viva voce to secure government jobs in the cadre service of public administration. The Advisor said, "We will see how much we can help you with the viva voce." "Whenever I take anyone's curriculum vitae to the Prime Minister or request her to give someone a job, she asks whether the person was involved in Chhatra League politics and also about his or her contribution to politics." "Many of you [BCL activists] often request for a job … is there anyone who cares about you more than our leader and I do? We are trying our best to ensure jobs for you … Our leader has told us to arrange jobs for Awami League's young followers by any means," he said.
Later when he realized that he must not have told the truth HT Imam held a press conference to blame the press for quoting him out of context. It was most unconvincing that all the newspapers were wrong.
HT Imam could not suppress himself in claiming credit openly for engineering the election victory for Awami League. It was natural for him. But the mistake was, news came out in the press that some ministers were angry and demanded the resignation of HT Imam.
In our view he wanted to take all the credit for executing the blueprint for the election-less elected government. Certainly there are others who were no less active in the conspiracy against democracy and people's participation in choosing the government of a free country.
The whole nation has been put to shame by demonstrating that our people do not care about democracy. They can be ignored for their vote in forming a legitimate government of the people. The present government is the government of election engineers. The newspaper reports revealed that the Prime Minister is also embarrassed by the truth exposed by Imam. It was denied by the Prime Minister that Imam held the press conference to clarify his position with her consent. Still we believe that Imam knows too much to be sacked or dispensed with. One thing nobody should ignore the fact that Bangladesh is meant to be a democracy.