The character of democracy is that it shifts from the shoulder of one to another. The term democracy was conceptualized from the long-lasting experience of tyranny, anarchism and social disorder existed in the different ages of the world. People, in all ages of the civilization wanted a better governance, a better life.
However, the case is also akin to our country. We, in the Pakistani regime, struggled against the oppression and discrimination of the then Pakistani rulers. We got independence, but we are yet to get freedom or emancipation as was orated by Bangabondhu on the 7th of March, 1971.
What we are famous for? The party in position will argue for an outsized list of their huge achievements during their tenure while the opposition will allege the government for massive corruption, terrorism, suppression of the opposition and so on. And this sort of criticism and allegation has become the very natural trend in our politics. But the most loathsome of all these is the personal attack and defaming of others. This type of condemnation extends even within the heads of two major political parties. And most lamentable is their personal engagement in those activities. You very rarely have heard that Khaleda Zia, the leader of BNP, has criticized AL or Sheikh Hasina for her role in the national issues while Sheikh Hasina as always is static in her role in doing this with more aversion.
This traditional behavior of humiliating others is also pertinent to the attitude towards the state organs by our political parties. Both the parties have shown their disregard to the Parliament. While AL was in the opposition, it always tried to solicit their issues out of the Parliament. AL has done so from the very first day of the sitting of the Parliament. BNP repeating the same tradition of boycotting the Parliament took up the alternative way to show their antagonism against AL and to meet their demands. Then what is use of the House of the Nation. BNP has been abstaining from joining the Parliament over trifle reasons since the first session of the Parliament. One of their major reasons of nonparticipation in the Parliament was the so-called allocation of seats in the house. This is the mockery of our politics.
There is little space for responsibility in the politics. We could not empower the state institution. There is no positive debate in our politics by the politicians, either in the Parliament or out of it. The interest of the country is no agenda in the deliberations of the Parliament. Many important issues remain unattended in the Parliament. The opposition does not think of the necessity to discuss those in the Parliament. And, AL for very obvious reason does not put those in the agenda. Only a few international treaties, Agreement and MoU have been discussed elaborately in the Parliament since independence. Though, all those documents had to be discussed very elaborately before the nation.
And even more, our constitutional amendments also added to those unattended agenda in the Parliament. The situation is apparently of the fact that if had it been possible; those amendments would have been made without Parliament like those of the ordinances during the non-democratic regime. This is how our house of democracy is treated. Without strengthening the Parliament, how we dare to dream of a flourished democracy in the country?
Like Parliament, our Election Commission is experiencing the same legacy. The Chief Election Commissioner along with other Commissioners has many times denied any interference of the government in the discharge of their duties. But, mere absence of interfere does not denote that a particular organization is independent. We could not empower our Election Commission like that of India or other developed democracies where the political parties (including their heads) follow the code of conduct set by the commission irrespective of the time of election.
Independence in the execution of their statutory duties must be ensured. This sort of independence extends from scheduling of election to financial independence in doing what is required to do. The reason of not holding the Dhaka City Corporation election is not known to us. What is its dependency? Is there any? If yes, what is this? We have to remember that Election Commission is not just an organization for holding election; rather it is a monitoring organization for democratic behavior for all times- after and before the election.
However, it’s time for the election of a new city corporation. Narayangonj, the historic city will observe the polling of their city father in a befitting manner. We have observed the condition of Narayangonj under this government and also under the rule of the last government(s). But, the politics of confrontation, clash and belittling other does not sustain for long. Thus, the people, this time, want to observe their dear city in a different posture. We, beside the residents of Narayangonj, the general people want to see that peace and harmony instead of terrorism and clash will anchor this Bandar City. It will get a true benefit of local governance. We hope that the new city corporation will not only have an office of luxury, create some new posts and create scope for some people, rather it will create an atmosphere of coherence and coexistence in the political firmament of the city. So far till date, all the three top rivals- Selina Hayat Ivy, Shamin Osman and Taimur Alam have shown their utmost respect in their political behavior. This is the beauty of democracy. This is expected to prevail even after the election is completed. There are losers in the election, but there is no loser in the democracy as who is lost may come appear again in power. Unlike autocracy, none goes astray in democracy. The future of the country is always brighter in democracy.
Ershadul Alam is a writer and researcher
BDST 1129 HRS, OCT 24, 2011
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