Let’s start with USA, the icon of democracy. The president of this country was initially elected by a Supreme Court decision, not by publics vote. And although it was face to face election, the person bagging more votes did not get the power. And over the last six years, on the plea of war against terrorism, basic principles of democracy and liberty are trampled one after one.
Then Go to UK, the birth place of this industrialized democratic civilization. The elected prime minister is more influenced by a leader of a different country on the other side of the Atlantic than his own constituency, his own colleagues in the parliament.
In the rest of the democratic Europe, conservative, more authoritative hawkish parties are winning the election one after another.
A man is ruling a continent called Australia and he is also apparently more inclined to appease the king of world than his own people.
Democracy in the rest of the world, Africa, Asia is nothing but a joke. Most cases there are monarchy running in the name of democracy, notable among these dynasty are the Nehru Dynasty of India, Lee dynasty of Singapore, the Chakri dynasty of Thailand, Sukorno dynasty of Indonesia, with here and there some half hearted experiments of democracy ( Japan, Korea, New Zealand, south Africa etc.)
And now zoom in to Bangladesh.
The options people have are either, Hasina and Joy- the daughter and the grandson: Khaleda and Tareque-widow and the son or an ambitious army general.
In the middle ages, ruler used to be decided by palace politics and usually at the cost of some royal blood. Now a days, rulers and ruling family are decided by street politics and at the cost of some subjects’ life.
And at the end of the day, be it Tareque, Joy or Ershad, there is basically no different in the life of people except a handful.
Malaysia and Mahathir is probably the most frequently quoted words in our political tea cup storm. Mahathir himself was never an icon of democracy, he was an authoritarian leader.
In fact there is no moral high ground in supporting a corrupt son or a disconnected grandson than a general or an authoritative ruler.
But there is definitely a moral high ground in supporting democracy. This democracy is not about selecting the family who will occupy the palace and exploit the subjects. This democracy is about social justice, the freedom of speech. Because we have democracy, I can write this blog without fear, because there is democracy, I can watch what I watch in TV news, because there is democracy, there is finally an agreement about the garments workers minimum wages, because there is democracy 4th largest national Bank, Rupali goes to the real highest bidder, because there is democracy poeple like Anu Muhamamd can speak out loud against Fulbari oppression, becasue there is democracy Golam Rabbani finally comes out victorious in Kansat, because there is democracy, people in Bangladesh have a hope, the hope for better days. People under communist regime in East Europe didn’t even have any hope.
There are many reasons to be hopeful of my friends.
Failure of leadership does not make the system a failure. Islam is in the wrong hands now a days, it does not mean that Islam is all bad. Similarly, there is no reason to denounce democracy because the custodians have failed to perform.
Let’s try to separate democracy from the people who abuse it.