It is only in the fitness of things that at the demise of the head of state the opposition should show their last respect to him. Particularly in the backdrop of the current political atmosphere, it has been redeeming and heartening.
The president in his death has again demonstrated beyond all doubt that he was a universally accepted symbol of national unity. His death has been an immense loss to the nation as his potential remained largely unused in resolving the ongoing stalemate in national politics.
In common democratic parlance in a civilised society, paying tribute to a national leader upon his death is only expected. But in the recent context of Bangladesh, it has touched a responsive chord in the people.
The prevailing politics of confrontation poisoned by vitriolic exchanges between leaders of the opposing political camps is to blame for this unfortunate situation where courtesy and decorum have become a rarity.
Hopefully, the opposition leader’s gesture will not be lost on the ruling Awami League, its leaders and the PM, and that it will have a salubrious impact on the general political environment and culture of the country.
It is further with appreciation that the opposition leader and her senior party colleagues have not stopped at only paying last respect to the dead president. Going a step further, her party has been observing three days’ national mourning declared by the government. What is more, she has postponed her scheduled visit to Bogra and Joypurhat for a day at the sad demise of the president.
Amid the highly tensed atmosphere now obtaining in politics, especially after the wholesale arrest of a large number of opposition politicians from their party office, the opposition BNP and its leader’s gesture shows a flicker hope before us. It has again demonstrated that politicians, if they will, can overcome the barrier they have raised between them.