While I agree, mostly, with Asif Saleh’s recent commentary on the key responsibility of ruling BNP for the rise of Islamic Militancy in Bangladesh and I support the demands laid forward by Saleh to the government, lets take a ride around the Bangladesh democracy.
By all basic political science rulings, democracy is always a joint venture of both the ruling and the opposition party. In Bangladesh democracy, while ruling party, whoever they are, are not used to the idea of respecting and listening to the opposition, the opposition, I believe , have been doing a much worse job as the responsible partner.
Since the day after the election, the opposition has been demanding immediate resignation of the government. Now, in the aftermath of the attacks of the militants, apparently the only thing our opposition have to say, ‘ the government has to resign’.
Do our previous and possibly future prime minister and other ex-ministers and national leaders understand the implication of their demand? Don’t they understand what an irresponsible piece of demand is it? Or, responsibility is something that you can’t live with in Bangladesh politics.
Who will be the ultimate winner if the government has to fall after the militant bombing campaign? Why Awami League is so blinded by the lust of power that they simply don’t see that, in the face of fledgling islamic militancy, fall of the current government is the worst thing to happen to Bangladesh at current time. Resignation of government will reward the militants and encourage them to keep on doing their militancy. At the same time, uncertainty after the fall of government, lack of political authority will seriously hamper current anti militant campaign in Bangladesh. And is there any guarantee that fall of BNP will stop the bombing campaign? If AL say so, won’t it justify the BNP-Jamaat allegation that AL is behind the bombings?
There has been a lot of spin with the demands for government-opposition talk. Writer Humayun Ahmed also came under fire for such demand. Let’s put the spin aside, why don’t we understand the real meaning of this demand? When general people ask for such a discussion, they probably don’t mean any dialogue per se. People probably mean a national consensus, a unified effort to tackle a formidable enemy. We had a unified nation in 1971 and same unification paved the way to democracy in 1990 also. With a nation, undivided, i.e BNP not blaming AL for the bombings and AL not blaming Khaleda Zia for the same, there will be real opportunity to focus on the real perpetrators. I wasn’t there to take part in the war of 1971, but I was very much present during 1990s movements. I know what energy can come from a unified political front. If we can regain the energy, in this close-knit society, we will easily be able to identify and root out the extremists from all aspects of the society.
It is true that ruling party has 90% or more responsibility to create the environment towards a unified nation. It is true that the ruling party, so far, did nothing, in fact did the opposite, to create such an environment.
But, it is also true, we need to get united. Divided, our nation, never gained anything. United, we got our independence, we got our democracy, we will be able to eradicate islamic militancy from the soil of Bangladesh if we are united again.