- Posted March 4, 2014 by
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Jamaat-e-Islami’s outstanding result in Bangladesh local election; stern reply against government’s propaganda
After forming the Awami League led government for consecutive second term, the nation started to witness a series of blame game in the political arena. Awami League started to color BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami as terrorist force. The allegation against these two parties was causing damage of public property. Continuing the trend of suppressing the opponents by filing and conducting cases, Awami League also sentenced several political leaders and former defense officials with death penalty. Then the issue of militancy came in forth once again. Without any reasonable cause, 3 death penalty awarded member of banned militant outfit JMB were transferred from jail to another with inadequate security. The detained JMB men were snatched away by some miscreants. One of them later had been nabbed by the law enforcers who ultimately faced a extra judicial killing in the following morning.
The ruling party leaders and the incumbent ministers also blamed BNP and Jamaat for the incident. Awami League also bolstered its demonization campaign against Jamaat-e-Islami this time. The Islamic political party had been accused of collaborating with the Pakistani army during the war of independence of the country. Some 7 top leaders of the party including two former ministers had been sentenced to death by a tribunal that had been formed by the Awami League just immediate after they came to office in the first tenure. Since the inception of the tribunal, Jamaat-e-Islami defined the tribunal as a government machinery to subdue the political opponents. Many international legal experts also preferred to improve the proceedings of the tribunal in order to meet the international standard. But the tribunal proceeded ultimately according to its course.
Media also played a hostile role against the opposition parties. Most of the media which are functioning now are being owned by the ruling party lawmakers. There are some dissident platforms as well. But those media had been shut down in the previous term of Awami League in line with the allegation of telecasting opposition program live. In the television programs ruling party leaders and their nurtured intellectuals are taking part most of the times. They recommended the government to ban Jamaat-e-Islami terming it terrorist. They also urged the people to leave their side, as they supported the anti-liberation forces.
This situation has been going on in Bangladesh for last couple of years. As a common man, we could not understand the impact of those long lasting campaigns amid the people. National election could be a process to assess that but it was not happened as the opposition boycotted the polls. As the election commission declared the schedule of the Upazila election (local level polls), like the people, I also became curious to see the result.
Already two phases of Upazila election has been completed. The result is very vivid. Opposition secured landslide victory. In total in the two phases of election, BNP got 97 chairman posts, 60 Vice-chairman and 88 Vice-chairman (female). While ruling Awami League secured 77 chairman posts, 52 Vice Chairman and 52 female Vice Chairman. Jamaat-e-Islami scored outstanding and stunning results in this election. Breaking all speculation and substantiating all propaganda wrong, they secured 21 Chairman Post and 53 Vice Chairman Posts. In the second phase of the Upazila election, they secured maximum Vice chairman posts and the number is 30. Though most of the secular media claim that Jamaat-e-Islami has hostility against the women section and they are not that much concerned about holding the rights of the women. But the people perhaps did not accept the campaign as the Islamic party won 18 female Vice chairman posts.
Many intellectuals have come up with their view following the election and they claimed that, people have chosen Jamaat candidates for their modesty. I met a rickshaw puller couple of days back. He claimed that, Jamaat had played a pivotal role in the anti-government movement in recent times. Even the former main opposition BNP had outlined all the movement strategies on the basis of the activity of the Jamaat activists. Then why would we dare to cast vote for them? Jamaat claimed that, this is nothing but a silent revolution of the people as they became fed up with the incumbent government and they do not like the suppression against the top leaders of Jamaat anymore. Some religious corner viewed that, people are no more inclined to watch the humiliation of the religious leaders and this is why they have made a good reply in the local election. Former President A QM Badruddoza Chowdhury stated in a recent program that, the local election was not fair absolutely. If it would so, Jamaat would secure more victory even than the ruling Awami League.
To me, this result is not expected. I did not think that, people could have such a distinctive view about Jamaat-e-Islami even after such a massive propaganda against the party. I think, media in Bangladesh should alter their policy as it failed successfully. Instead of opposing or demonizing a party relentlessly, they should try to read the pulse of the general masses. On the other hand, the government should consider their policy of subduing the opponents after this election. If they continue their stubbornness, they would have faced more disastrous consequence. Western country should assess their pre-conceived idea about the political trend of Bangladesh as well. Why the people are taking position against the ruling alliance or the main stream media campaign? Do they experience as different truth in the grassroots level? This surprising result is tending all of us to evaluate the entire socio-political situation in Bangladesh.