Increasing indulgence in violence in politics will not produce anything good, rather it will endanger life for both the violence-mongers and the innocent people as well.
The BNP activists are seen on the streets with big lethal bamboo sticks and attacking the on-duty members of the law enforcement agencies.
Using violence and creating threat to the life of the common man and destroying the government property, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), founded in the womb of military and nurtured by the military regime, are now crying for democracy.
It is a real surprise to see how BNP people are repeatedly making self- contradictory speech and continuously giving false, fabricated, unfounded and baseless information. It is known to the informed people of the world that after taking over power in 2001, the BNP had started killing the members and supporters of opposition political parties and the people of minority groups. They had let lose a reign of terror in the country the same way as the Pakistani occupation army conducted genocide during the War of Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 and similarly they raped daughters in front of their fathers and sisters in front of brothers. The people of Bangladesh didn’t forget that they burnt houses and property of the opposition parties and minority people.
It was thought that BNP would not make the same mistakes twice, rather they would take country’s latest development work and the prevailing political situation into consideration, as they have a sense of belonging keeping the national interest on their priority list in policy making process. BNP is neither an extremist party nor has it a politically motivated armed wing to fight the state forces. BNP cannot afford any sort of violent activities, as they did in 2014 and 2015 killing scores of people by torching them alive and throwing petrol bombs on them indiscriminately. People in general condemned such brutal activities and totally rejected BNP’s politics of violence. Therefore, Election is the only tool they have before them to get power. But in a surprising move BNP has once again made it clear that they will not take part in the next national elections under the Awami League government headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. And it was announced by Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia herself at a public meeting held in Dhaka on 12 November 2017.
Begum Zia’s announcement came at a time when the nation was enjoying a sort of election wave created with the formation of the election commission and its recent activities. As per the constitutional provision, election will be held under the independent Election Commission (EC) and the incumbent government will do only the routine work as per our Constitution. To go back to the neutral non-party caretaker government system, BNP has to bring all the political parties under one umbrella which can make the present government bow down and thus they can get their demand fulfilled. Only then it may be possible to make a caretaker government.
Meanwhile, the election commission has started its process and with a view to giving a free, fair and credible election, the commission has taken a detailed program for facilitating the smooth and unhindered polling. They have already done a great job in getting opinion of the people and the stakeholders in society.
The EC held talks with different political parties, professional groups, organisations and the NGOs of the country. All the political parties including BNP had participated and gave their suggestions and opinion regarding how a free, fair, and credible election can be held. Two main parties Awami League and BNP have exchanged opinions of their own with the EC and handed over their suggestions to the CEC. Awami League wants the electronic voting machine or EVM system to be introduced in the next election, but BNP continues to vehemently oppose it and moreover, they want the army to be deployed with magisterial power. On the other hand, Awami League finds no reason to use army as there is no prevalence of violent political situation in the country.
Mutual trust and respect to others’ opinion, which someone may not believe in, is the precondition to make democracy a success. But the people of Bangladesh have long been experiencing an ideological contradiction and conflict of interest between the country’s two major political parties, the Bangladesh Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. With the long course of non-cooperation they have brought themselves to a point of no return. With the existing culture of non- cooperation between the two major parties the transition to democracy in Bangladesh has become a far cry.
Because of the political action and the policy pursued by them, BNP has developed a characteristics of their own by which they can be branded as the new version of the then Pakistan Muslim League which had incurred a humiliating defeat in country’s war of independence. They had helped the Pakistan Army in conducting an unprecedented genocide in Bangladesh. On the other hand, the ruling Awami League feels proud to be the champion of Independence and the ideals upon which Bangladesh was founded.
General Ziaur Rahman, beneficiary of the political change over in 1975 when country’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated along with his family members, had formed BNP using the army intelligence. He had changed all the national principles and ideals achieved through the War of Liberation in 1971.
That is why, Bangladesh Awami League cannot accept the politics of Ziaur Rahman. By ignoring the supreme sacrifice of the three million martyrs and more than two hundred thousand women, Zia and his widow Khaleda Zia rehabilitated the Jamaat -e- Islam, which had sided with the Pakistan Army during the country’s liberation war and helped committing genocide in Bangladesh in 1971. Since its inception BNP had been in a wrong trajectory. They have sided with the enemy forces and made them their political ally.
Another blunder BNP had committed in 2013 needs to be mentioned. They had started a nation-wide program to unseat the ruling Awami League by resorting to the path of extreme violence. Avoiding the line of peaceful protest and without showing respect to the democratic norms, they had started mass killing by throwing petrol bombs on the unarmed and innocent people who did not know why they had been made victims. Hundreds of people were killed and thousands of innocent people became arson victims. More than three-month long continuous violence brought the nation to a standstill. Trade and commercial activities at home and abroad were seriously disrupted. All the RMG buyers got returned LCs. Country had incurred a devastating economic loss in the crisis.
BNP’s main objective was to capture state power at any cost. They did not care for practising democracy. They had pushed their organisational force against the mighty state power which has responsibility towards restoring peace and ensuring safety and security of the citizens.
Fulfilling its constitutional obligation, the then government controlled the blockade, which was taking innocent lives, with iron hand. The government was successful in restoring sustainable peace and with the peaceful atmosphere the government had started massive development work across the country. Within the shortest possible time foreign investors found a real investment- friendly climate in Bangladesh and record high foreign investments have begun to pour in the country. Bangladesh has become a development role model to the Western nations. Some of its projects are being copied by other developing countries in Asia and Africa. So, now it will be tough to take back the country to the path of anarchy and destruction by anybody.
The main and real problem of BNP is that they have failed to recognise country’s independence and show due respects to the founding father of the nation. They should not have engaged themselves in negating Sheikh Mujib’s charismatic role as that will be tantamount to a negation of the country’s independence itself. By negating the national causes nobody can achieve its expected goals.