go on from all corners for army crackdown on alleged criminals.
People of Bangladesh are having a sigh of sudden relief - "oh
finally the mastans are gone". The media and int
are unanimously clubbing the army and madam Zia. What an action!
what an action! Bravo madam! Bravo army! Nobody raises the basic
question. Are we chopping the heart to show-off cleaning?
would like to have a look at the beginning. The government took
in power hand in hand with religious extremists. It failed to
control or dismantle its own student wing. Like Frankenstein's
monster this wing set a record of killing student in BUET; the
echo of "ban student politics" was resounding in the
air. Then Dhaka University became a mass, a VC termed his own
students as "outsiders and garments workers"; the echo
of "ban" was again resounding in the air. I could not
follow the crowed to sing the same chorus- "ban student politics"
(Daily Star, July 25, 2002). I could see "the whole marsh
was full of mosses, we could not have kept just the campuses clean
forever". No matter what measures would have been taken,
the mosses would have gradually taken over. I see politics gave
rise to Nazism, Fascism, religious extremism, World Wars, and
so many mass killings. My alternative thinking was to sing "why
not ban all politics?"!
bare sights politics itself has caused all evils. We like to blame
politicians for every evil in the country, be it crime be it corruption.
We have voted godfathers and murky millionaires to the parliament
in last three elections under the caretaker governments. Dozens
of "mastans" have defeated their relative compassionate
opponents. The psychology was "he is a better mastan, he
can protect us best". Dozens of murky millionaires have defeated
relatively more honest opponents. The psychology was "he
is rich, he can spend more and do more for us". We ourselves
have promoted crime and corruption sending them to the parliaments.
Our intelligentsia have sullied and failed to warn the voter of
potential danger. We failed to think of long term consequences.
Our bureaucracy is reputed as the most corrupt in the world, so
is our police department. More than 90% people support open talks
about corruption in our judiciary system (Prothom Alo opinion
poll, October 23, 2002). One retired justice claims that corruption
has taken the judiciary system. We still blame the politicians.
is on the street, the mastans are in hiding. When army goes back
they will come out again. People will see army on the street was
better. The echo of "Martial Law" will resound high
on the atmosphere. More and more army involvement in the civil
administration will gain a ground. Politicians will be inclined
more and more to the uniform. The possibility of a military coup
can't be ruled out either. We will keep blaming the politicians.
The spirit of 1990's mass revolution will fade away. Are we following
the footsteps of Pakistan?
religion traders are stronger than ever. They can dream of sharing
power in Bangladesh. They can dream of uprooting the minority.
Now they are on the shoulder of politicians, tomorrow they will
hike on army. In Bangladesh they can't dream of a total control
under electoral system. They would very much like to see a coup.
Oil giants would also like to export the last bubble off gas to
maximize their profit. India would be happy to import cheaper
gas from Bangladesh and expand their largest export market. It
will be easier for them to manipulate few generals than all those
politicians, bureaucrats, and above all voters.
International is concerned about the human rights violation and
politicization of army. Many are concerned about deaths in army
custody, and the arrest of opposition leaders. The arrest of a
gentleman like Saber Hossain Chowdhury, who has a godfather opponent
in his constituency, pose a big question of using army. Many started
suspecting that BNP goons will be released soon, but Awami League
goons will be mingled with leaders and kept longer in the jail
for longer. Most people like to see the surface, tend to overlook
this aspect lying beneath. They are praising the government for
arresting BNP people, ward commissioners, even MPs. Why were these
goons nominated for a parliament or city councils? Does their
arrest glorify our democratic system or respect people's mandate?
How can a party run a civil administration in the whole country
who even can't rule its own workers and leaders without army?
Will they ask army to run country in the future?
of these- human rights issue, deaths in custody, and politicization
are relatively short run. We should be looking beyond, what happens
in the long run. The use of army in traffic control in late nineties
legitimized army interference with police job under a democratic
system. The use of army to fight crime has been legitimized now.
Next we may use army to stop student opposition on campuses, then
fight corruption in bureaucracy, then to set martial law court,
then to run the whole administration. We will no longer need electoral
systems. That is where I am concerned. I am concerned as the echo
of "army coup" is being heard in the air, legitimize
army rule in civil administration. I am concerned about the control
of religion traders and vested interest groups home and abroad
on generals taking over power. I am concerned about the gradual
destruction of all democratic institutions. Politics is becoming
more difficult for politicians.
am concerned about the destruction of documents from Awami League's
research wing. The establishment of research wing was a major
step towards modernization of politics. Our politicians are blamed
for lack of knowledge, this research wing could at least bring
the light to some. This destruction and seizure will discourage
others to set a research wing. Is this destruction and closure
just bigotry or a conspiracy? As a reason, it's easy to feed Bangladehsi
voters with a theory of "Awami-Indian conspiracy". However,
this is a setback for the nation, which will hunt our politics
and consequently the nation for long. This "will make politics
difficult for politicians". Easy for military dictators,
thugs, goons, murky millionaires, war criminals, etc. Are we moving
toward dark ages?
traders have targeted our intelligentsia, they would like to see
it as much divided and chaotic as possible. They will reap the
benefits of any chaos or lack of control by civil administration
or secular forces. The weaker the secular civil society, the stronger
are those religion traders and vested interest groups. What we
could do was a massive overhauling in our police, administration,
and judiciary system. All we needed was a real good intention
from Madam Zia, not a show-off. Instead we invited army to clean
the mass to make army's hand dirty! To destroy the democratic
institutions one by one.
are too confident about prevailing secularism that we criticize
warnings by FEER or Time Asia instead of inquiring the allegation.
We just get satisfied with the US ambassadors rebuttal forgetting
that this is a diplomatic practice. We are too satisfied about
1990's mass upraise that we rule out any possibility of army takeover.
What we need is build awareness among people, the voters, let
them believe that a secular civil society should prevail. We should
keep looking so that the heart dose not get so filthy.