November 23, 2005


Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina, inset, addresses the grand rally of the 14-party opposition alliance at Paltan Maidan in the city yesterday
(Picture courtesy: The daily Star)

Yesterday can be a turning point of Bangladesh politics, which is bound to shape up the 2006 election. As the Daily Star reports:

Despite the government's last-ditch attempts to prevent people from joining the 14-party opposition grand rally, the city's Paltan Maidan yesterday turned into a human sea, where top opposition leaders pledged to establish a secular democratic government after dislodging the BNP-Jamaat-led coalition through a mass upsurge.

Amidst thunderous claps and repeated slogans rising from the mammoth gathering, the opposition line-up spelled out a 23-point common minimum national programme, which is virtually its election manifesto.
Addabaj comments on these 23 points:
Their 23 points basically outline establishing secular democratic government, holding free and fair election, freeing communal forces and militants from government and society, ensuring speedy trial of war criminals, alleviating poverty, ending corruption and increasing accountability of the elected representatives, strengthening uniform educational system etc. All these demands don’t hold any surprise/secret as they reflect the popular view points and demands of the common people in Bangladesh.
This is certainly a headway for the confused people who are rattled by the way the Bangladesh politics is heading. Even as we speak, the JMB threats continue and the government is failing to protect the establishments let alone the common people.

Meanwhile the governments attempts to tackle this opposition rally proved to be a fiasco. Nearly 10,000 people were detained mostly for no reason. Salaam writes:
The whole transport strike on the day before the grand rally was a joke. First of all, everyone knows what happened and who did it and why. To arrest a transport worker and use that as an excuse and then let him free at 6pm after the rally was laughable, to put it mildly. To put it more seriously, it was a total abuse of system and power. Someone needs to teach strategy to Nazmul Huda. To stop 50,000 activists he pissed of millions of stranded people.
The law makers are constantly trying to stop the voices of the media as they are breaking the true news. They forget that there are other voices too who does not have any interest to defame the government. This is not unexpected from the people who fear the truth and another example is this news: "president Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar".

The BNP and Jamaat coalition's failure is apparent because they could not expell their bad apples, the accused lawmakers and punish the culprits who bear the party identity. And If you not take measures against one failure it starts to contaminate the successes and lead to more failures.

I expected Bodruddoza Chowdhury's Bikolpo Dhara and other small political parties to join opposition hands too. I am not fully confident about the 14 party opposition partnership. Because they also have some hypocrates and bad apples. I think we can break away from the polarizations of our politics if we have a coalition government of many parties. BNP & Awami League can be deemed as two sides of the same coin. A functional multi-opinionated parliament and accountability of the lawmakers are badly required in Bangladesh.


Post a Comment