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democracy and us

justice and people

my rights, my life




Why are we still continuing with a 'viceregal' political system? - Rounaq Jahan

Eroding democratic values and Constitution - Dr. M Zahir

Democracy: An unfinished agenda - Dr Kamal Hossain

A case for proportional representation - Rashed Khan Menon

Is majority rule same as democratic rule? - Kazi Anwarul Masud

Responsibilities of majority rule - Muhammad Zamir

The issue is democratic culture - Emajuddin Ahamed

Leaders and politicians - Mohammad Badrul Ahsan

Black money in electioneering - Inam Ahmed

Party nomination on sale - Rezaul Karim

The tale of limping parliament - Reaz Ahmed

Politicians hindering progress - AH Jaffor Ullah

Whither parliamentary standing committees - Shakhawat Liton

Politicians must take blame for failures - Syed Ashfaqul Haque


Antagonism takes precedence over understanding Shakhawat Liton

Thirteen years of democratic experience: Strengths and weaknesses Reaz Ahmad

Distorted political culture Shameem Mahmud

Party constitutions: Rarely followed Rezaul Karim



Politicians must take blame for failures

Syed Ashfaqul Haque

God must have very special blessings for Bangladesh. If not, we should have long perished from this beautiful earth.

Does one need to tell how the country is making its days against all the odds in the world? We have been managing to survive miraculously, living our lives in all possible adversities. Even when a country like Maldives has made significant progress both economically and socially in few years, Bangladesh keeps its journey downward, thanks to the lack of sincerity and commitment of our politicians who dictate the fate of the country in one way or the other.

Look at the sorry state of governance, politics, economics, health, environment, education, socio-cultural values and ever-deteriorating law and order. Crisis is everywhere but no sign of solution could be seen in the horizon.

People always wish for a change in the vicious cycle, to get themselves on the track of prosperity and happiness like citizens of other countries. But that is not to happen. We are so very worn out with so many problems and crises we neither have the time nor the energy to blame anyone but ourselves, our fates. Interestingly though, we live in a society where everything is politicised yet we keep the politicians out of our blame loop.

People have little choice except for voting against a miserable political party in power in the next elections. The Awami League (AL) got people's vote of rejection in the general election of 1991 after its government gave people too little to cheer about. Crime, corruption, grave governance, myopic leadership contributed to the doom of the AL. Ironically, the AL leaders did never blame themselves at all but were quick to point finger at the election manipulation by then opposition BNP through a state mechanism that was at its mercy for five years.

The ruling BNP roared back into the power pairing with three other fundamentalist parties, promising to free people from webs of crime, corruption and frustration to the world of democracy which can ensure peace, progress and freedom.

Despite having an awe-striking majority in parliament, the ruling coalition virtually did nothing to keep its promises to the people. Crime trend hits its lowest ebb, corruption goes even higher and governance takes tumbles in three years. Carefully oblivious of the grave reality, the politicians in power are now blasting everybody for not singing praises of the government for the unseen achievements in every sector of the state. They have been blaming all but themselves for the failures, not even the media was spared. In the run to the media-bashing, the ruling BNP is now contemplating to frame laws to 'chasten' the fourth estate.

The AL, main opposition in parliament-- ornamentally though, was also not any different when in power. Whoever took a stand against any decision of the AL government had to pay dear.

Our politicians have never given our hard-earned democracy a fair chance to grow. Mostly so because democracy ensures people's rights but our brand of politics makes sure politicians' right for not to be held accountable for anything. In our culture, politicians can get away with any crime, not the public.

People don't dare even to blame politicians for their failures, corruptions and crimes. Politicians can only play the blame game.

Should not we compel the government to hold its policymakers accountable for good or bad jobs? Why doesn't the government act on the failure of its cabinet ministers in checking crimes, repression on minorities, and extortion of business community, and in boosting the economy?

Why can't we blame the opposition for not getting parliament functional? Why the opposition lawmakers should not be blamed for boycotting Sangsad?

Why don't we slam the political parties for giving
election nomination to criminals and black-marketeers? Do we have to see the culture of harbouring criminals in party for political stronghold when people should be the core of all politics?

Is this the democracy we have for which so many people embraced martyrdom? Isn't it about time we learned to start asking all these questions to our politicians?

We no way can escape our responsibility for keeping democracy work. No matter one likes politics or not, we've to rely on politicians for the sake of our democracy, as politics remains the most dominating aspect in the Bangalee culture.

So, come the next election, let's not let the politicians fool with us again. Let's make our elected representatives feel sorry for their failures in keeping their election pledges by franchising our vote of rejection against them.
The author is joint news editor of The Daily Star.

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