A good government cannot be a blind government13 June 2015 Editorial Desk
Editorial Desk :We do not know what to make of it when the British High Commissioner in Bangladesh Mr Robert W Gibson suddenly expressed surprise for not probing into the allegations of irregularities committed in the recent election of the City Corporations. He finds it a shame. He should have known as a diplomat of high stature that free and fair elections for public offices have been discarded in Bangladesh.If the nationally and internationally questioned general elections of January 5 for forming the government can survive then there should be nothing to be surprised about the election of the City Corporations.Despite their all the good intentions to see democracy at work in Bangladesh, the Western democracies have not yet realised that the election politics has been exiled from Bangladesh. Unknowingly or knowingly, the role of the Western democracies has been disappointing and is seen also contributing to the planned way of crippling democracy in Bangladesh.Many in the government have made it clear that a government of development is more important than elections or democracy.India's physical closeness to Bangladesh is a factor both as weakness and strength of Bangladesh depending on how India wants to see our politics to be developed especially if Bangladesh can be kept internationally alone.It may mean nothing but to many it is significant that Indian Prime Minister Modi did not utter democracy even for once during his visit to Bangladesh when it is hotly debated that democracy is in a serious crisis in Bangladesh. It is no less strange that as the Prime Minister of the largest democracy Mr Modi did not think of addressing the Parliament while visiting Bangladesh. We, on our part, judge it as a carefully considered decision to avoid controversy.The Western democracies appeared watching from the side lines as if the interest they had shown in free elections was only a formality. It did not matter what others were doing. It is left for the people of Bangladesh to fight alone for the cause of democracy if they can. The government also claimed their position to continue in power has been vindicated by the Western countries as well.What is not understood by those who are keeping themselves in power that elections are important for their own good. The elections not only give the government legitimacy, it is essential for the accountability and discipline within the government. It is no incentive for investors when the rule of law is uncertain and the capital city of the country itself is plagued by traffic jams. The whole chaotic picture of the capital is more or less a reflection of the condition in whole of the country. The two Mayors are realising how helpless they are to be helpful. A good government cannot be a blind government. But the nation is in the stranglehold of bureaucrat advisers running the country bureaucratically. The calculations of the bureaucratic way of running a country lies in not facing the truth. To this end such a government relies on suppression of information and oppression of the opposition.It is most unusual for the government that does not bother that it has no answer to the question: When the present government is doing so much good for the people then why it is incurably afraid of free elections when nobody is talking of forcefully ousting the government.