Thursday, January 31, 2013

Khaleda Zia's Article in The Washington Times - Observation

The contents in Khaleda Zia's article in The Wasington Times have some merits. Who would in right mind want a democracy to be turned into a kleptocracy, where erosion of people's democratic rights in favor of a family dynasty and supporting cohorts based system that can bring only more miseries for vast majority of Bangladeshis?

Historically speaking, Bangladesh Awami League is widely considered as the left leaning progressive political party, whereas Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), is considered as slightly right leaning centrist party. Their respective founding leaders, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, first Prime Minister of Bangladesh after the brutal 1971 war who is revered in the nation by many as its founding father, and Ziaur Rahman, once a popular president of Bangladesh, was respected by many as a freedom fighter. Both of their violent deaths in the hands of disgruntled military men, in 1975 for Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and in 1981 for Ziaur Rahman, are still remembered as two of the most dark and tragic episodes in the history of Bangladesh. Even there are skeptics who point toward a darker conspiracy in the deaths of these two men within a short decade after the independence.

The current Prime Minister of Bangladesh is Sheikh Hasina Wazed, who is the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. And the current opposition leader and former Prime Minister of Bangladesh is Khaleda Zia who has written this article in The Washington Times, is the widow of late President Ziaur Rahman. For Bangladeshis, these are well known facts, but many in other parts of the world may not have the slightest clue of the complexity in elitist political strata in Bangladesh.

After the 1971 war, in the last 42 years, Bangladesh has many governments, including the elected ones, and the small and long dictatorship by military strongmen. From my childhood, I still have distinct memories, seeing processions after processions of many thousands of people in the crowded streets of Dhaka, demanding real democracy, urging for justice and fairness in the political and wider society. Many had lost their lives or limbs, imprisoned, tortured, and at last forgotten.

Most of the Bangladeshi elections, except a possible few exceptions in recent times, especially after the collapse of last military dictatorship of Hussain Muhammad Ershad, are marred with widespread fraud and predetermined results. That was the reason that both Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia were united together when they were struggling against the military ruler of 1980s. They both supported the idea of an independent caretaker government that can neutrally oversee the electoral process so that the people of Bangladesh can peacefully cast their votes and their votes do get counted. Backing away from this system would be a political blunder.

Some may counter argue that in US, Great Britain, India and many other nations, this type of independent caretaker government does not exist. True. But we need to understand that all these nations have a longer and stabler history of democracy than in Bangladesh. This is not the right time to abandon the independent caretaker government system.

No nation in the world is devoid of corruptions. This is a fact of human life, and perhaps is part of human frailty. Bangladesh is no exception. The recent alarming news of corruptions, like Padma Bridge construction related briberies, giant company like SNC Lavalin's involvements, World Bank's denial of loan to Bangladesh, etc. are not unique in history. Like the corruptions in current Awami League government run by Sheikh Hasina, the previous government run by Khaleda Zia of Bangladesh Nationalist Party were full of deceitful corruptions as well. None of them were flowery saints and each of them have scary skeletons to hide in the closets!

Literate population in Bangladesh is vast. There are many intelligent people who can run this nation wisely and better if given chance through a free and fair election. Being a part of a decorated family is no excuse to bar anyone from the political process as that would be violation of their human rights, however, getting fatter, literally and metaphorically, both the politicians and their joyful relatives while remaining in the power's pulpits, may only prevent Bangladesh and millions of Bangladeshis achieving their full potentials through their democratic rights.




2 comments:

  1. But don't you think that Khaleda Zia should write an article to United Nations. Not to USA or a particular country.

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  2. I reckon we'd have to wait around 10 years for both the big-mouths to shut up for good! Neither deserves a third term after they both failed GOV 101 & GOV 102 and they failed with merit, along with their supportive mass!!! Practising democracy in their own household, teaching the cadres etiquette & manners and how to respect, practice and develop democracy would be truly their benevolent service to the nation. With high hopes, I remain in vain!

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