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    Posted December 29, 2013 by
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    Bangladesh on the edge: Barring the “march” or burying “democracy”?(!)


    A time was when a country within Asiatic region was branded as a ‘land evergreen’ with most appealing natural landscape to the world. Most probably, that land is no longer ‘green’; it turned ‘red’ with blood of innocent men, women and children; ‘blood’ which has never been after anybody else’s blood; ‘blood’ which is never meant to be restored; neither actually nor in virtual terms. Yes, you guessed right! We are talking about Bangladesh!!


    Since the very birth, this little country has been undergoing multiple challenges in each sphere of its administration and its journey was never smooth. Crisis in her political arena has always principally influenced the overall nasty developments that took place in other sectors whether economic, societal or religious in nature. Most recently, good governance is exiled, democracy is throttled and corruption is seen to triumph all over the land. Amid the longer lasting crisis in mutual trust among the political outfits, which of course increased these days to a critical extent, the Awami party designed to hold a one-party election overlooking suggestions of civil society, national bigwigs and international organizations like UN, European Union and other human rights watchdogs [] []. This is why European Union, Commonwealth and the US have declined to send polls observers in Bangladesh’s upcoming January 5 election and, amazingly, Russia has also followed suit [].


    As the Awami government is unrepentantly walking the undemocratic way and trying to hold a one-party snap as well as sham election on next 5th January, the Opposition alliance has gone hard-line. As a result, the Opposition called “March for Democracy” towards Dhaka today on 29 December. Though to hold rallies and stage protests is a democratic right of the citizens, the government with the help of law enforcement agencies and state-oriented forces got pledge-bound to foil the march of the Opposition by resisting as well nabbing the marchers towards Dhaka []. With a view to barring the Opposition’s march towards Dhaka meant to revive democracy in the country, the Awami League-led government showed its utmost envy, stubbornness, cowardice and cruelty. Hundreds of people are just suspiciously picked up by cops together with joint forces [] [], Dhaka has been delinked from the rest of the country [], movement of buses and launches have been forcibly stopped leaving thousands of passengers stranded here and there [], people have been nabbed even from the launch terminals [], The Opposition chief and former PM of the country Khaleda Zia has been confined to her residence [] and her security protocol has also been withdrawn []. Even the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) went to the severe extent of adopting ‘arrest on sight’ policy [].


    The ill attempts made by Sheikh Hasina are dubbed as ‘A COUP by installments’ by a European diplomat, as aired by an ‘Economist’ report []. But, this time, we’d like to say that barring the Opposition’s ‘march’ program is tantamount to burying ‘democracy’ already killed by the government. The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is vividly seen to call on the countrymen to exercise their right to vote [] but she is yet to clarify to them as to how they should probably exercise their voting right in an opposition-boycotted election!! What a mockery!!! A true democracy emphasizes on the Opposition inasmuch as it does on the government and no democratic order can be built by jettisoning the Opposition from the ground. Furthermore, it made the situation go from bad to worse by hurriedly hanging a top Jamaat leader named Abdul Quader Molla through a sham trial under a farcical tribunal on last 12 December whereby a fierce controversy is caused all over the world.


    The Awami government indeed blockaded the whole country. Recently, it killed about 21 Jamaat-Shibir men inclusive of women, children and the old by joint forces together with its party thugs in many places of the country including Satkhira, Joypurhat, Nilphamari etc. Hundreds of houses were torched and leveled with bulldozers and thousands of cattle were burnt alive at that time. Even the Holy Quran as well as Hadith books and other essential commodities were not left out from the attack. Of late, Jubo League and Chhatra League men were caught red-handed while torching houses of the minority people in many places of the country including Satkhira, Ramu, Feni etc. Meanwhile, the bizarre one-party election effort of the ruling Awami party has turned into a humorous issue in national as well as international arena. Awami League is now daydreaming to hold on power at the cost of people’s blood and, ergo, it is going on with killing, arson, looting etc by its party cadres and so-called joint forces.


    So, the way the government is currently treading is really deadly! We shouldn’t forget that a stitch in time saves nine. The government should mend its policies in light of democratic values and professional ethics before time expires; otherwise, nine stitches may be required in the long run or the revised move may not hold water at all if it’s too late!! No matter even if a U-turn is made at the eleventh hour!!!


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