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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



DEMOCRACY is our proudest achievement in post independence Bangladesh. So far we have had three reasonably well run elections through which our people had a chance to elect their chosen representatives. But democracy's benefit to the people of this country appears to have remained extremely limited so far. It is the political parties, especially the two leading ones, and groups of vested interest and rent seekers who appear to have gained maximum from our democracy. The political parties get elected and either form the government or the opposition. Then starts the game of one side trying to repress (if in the government) or harass (if in opposition) the other. While the repress/harass game goes on, the vested groups and the rent seekers literally suck the blood out of the ordinary citizens. The result is marginalised voters and filthy rich and autocratic power wielders.

As a result the people, the individual citizens, who are supposed to be the ultimate beneficiary of a democratic system remain almost totally neglected. It is our considered view that ordinary citizens, especially the poor, have received practically no benefit from the freedom and independence that democratic polity is supposed to provide. Our democracy has neglected the very people who are supposed to be the very soul of this system. Services of the State, the attention of the government and the share of resources hardly reach the needy.

In this section of our anniversary supplement, we address the issues of individual rights and privileges in a democracy. We have tried to show through an in-depth examination of the issues that for democracy to be meaningful for our people we need a fundamental change of the present political culture.



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