Yes, this is a stage of our politics, not sure if it is primitive or it is advanced, where most of the youngsters, the age group our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said to have counted the most, prior to the 2008 election which she won with a landslide- feels good to post their ‘political views’ in the social networks as ‘I hate politics’, ‘not interested’, ‘BD politics dirty’ etc.
But eventually politics is about the people. The less you see most of them involved in it means it has a long way to go, perhaps longer than the people associated practically perceive.
What is happening inside the powerful governing party Awami League about the Narayanganj City Corporation polls, it is hard to figure out how well even the party supporters and activists of the city is involved in it.
Officially city corporation polls are not supposed to have a candidate with ceremonial party backing. But what we have in these polls now, as the chief election commissioner said, the parties as well as the public are maintain a gross duality about city polls. CEC, sitting with all is EC colleagues before the press on Thursday, also suggested the house to amend the law to give up the duality.
Yes, Awami League leader Abdul Jalil, ally H.M. Ershad, leaked US diplomatic cables by whistleblower Wikileaks and some top leaders by mistake, gave hints on how the 2008 general poll happened and how Awami League won it. Despite all these however, Awami League’s campaign for that poll was impressively vibrant, which had one key part- ‘grass-root opinion polls’.
This ‘opinion poll’ somewhat was a hurdle for Awami League hopefuls before that election. Grass root, comprising Awami League supporters and activists in a constituency, suggested two or three candidates among whom one was chosen by the high command in Dhanmondi or Bangabandhu Avenue in Dhaka.
What happened (or is happening) in Narayanganj?
Two leaders- Selina Hayat Ivy and Shamim Osman. One is acclaimed generally for his terrible records as an MP and recently for his strong denial of his past. The other is acclaimed for a much cleaner image and especially for her role amid an apparent political vacuum in the district during the undemocratic 2007-08 ‘one-eleven’ rule which jailed or chased almost all of today’s ‘powerful’ politicians of the area. This was just how Manzur Alam rose to fame as well as the ultimate mayoral triumph with BNP’s backing in Chittagong.
The number of the meetings senior and semi senior Awami League leaders set up with Ivy and Shamim over the last few weeks is unknown. But media reported they happened sometimes in Sajeda Chowdhury’s residence, sometimes in Hanif’s office, sometimes at Dhanmondi and others at disclosed locations, all with Ivy and Shamim jointly or separately. The final one took place in official Prime Ministerial complex ‘Ganabhaban’.
But a single Awami League candidate was never settled, rather a political game was (perhaps is) being played which very minimally associated the local people- supporters and activists.
The final stunt to the date happened on Thursday when Shamim Osman rallied a number of previously not well known Awami League ‘organizing secretaries’, who were seated inside Narayanganj AL headquarters and described how a good, capable and statesmanlike politician Shamim Osman is.
But Shamim Osman’s attempt to acquire the party backing by his assumptive ‘quorum support’ eventually failed, not because Ivy said ‘Shamim rallied a ‘herd of friends’ to fake a party backing before the public’, but because Awami League leaders Hanif and Suranjit Sengupta, the latter being less known to have been involved in NCC issues, clarified the party supported none- neither Ivy, nor Shamim.
So, Narayanganj election, in the much greater context of national politics, has been dealt by a number of senior party leaders including Sheikh Hasina herself. But the party eventually came inconclusive about naming a single aspirant for its supporters to feel comfortable to vote for. It also decided to pose less dynamically than its pre-2009 campaign, thus chose not to seek ‘grass root opinions’.
What the Narayanganj polls will eventually stand to be, it is in fact for the Narayanganj people to decide on 30 October. But what began to come clear is- Awami League does not enjoy the control it had on its own party, perhaps worse than how it controls the government now.
A democratic government is meant to be run by a very healthy collaboration between the governing party associates and the career bureaucrats. Both BNP and Awami League are very large organizations. Proper and systematic mobilization of their supporters, workers and leaders of all tiers may give results those many of the country’s large social organizations and non-government organizations cannot expect or handle.
Now, a bureaucrat, to whom it is a job, will not disobey the government’s call. But repeated refusal of the party associates to comply by their leaders’ serious orders or efforts, indeed indicates somewhat an imbalance in this present government’s bureaucratic and political authorities that does not only exist, it is getting bigger as this regime is aging.
Author: Blogger. email@example.com
BDST 2040 HRS, OCT 18, 2011
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