Fairness of criticism:

Our leaders (Current and past) always invoke the name of nation when indeed they themselves do or want something. Distancing myself from that tradition, I’ll say I do not probably reflect the voices of the majority in my criticism of this CTG. I have no hesitation to say that this government is wildly popular to all the social classes of Bangladesh.

However, I believe that the majority endorsement does not make everything sacred. It is something like extra judicial killing of RAB. That policy is also wildly popular and effective. Or if we look at US experience, we will see, when President Bush decided to invade Iraq, it was very popular move and resident Bush’s approval rating was sky high. Whatever popular Iraq invasion was, it ultimately turned out to be a very wrong move.

Being a critique of the government does not mean being an enemy of the government. An unelected government ruling a country with emergency rules, needs some critique to grab the bigger picture. Otherwise, absolute un-contested power will corrupt absolutely.

A Different Caretaker Government:

This unforeseen entity called interim caretaker government AKA military backed government AKA civil society government has completed its 6 month today. That means this government has spent double the time Justice Shahabuddin led government had in 1991. In 3 months, justice Shahabuddin successfully,

1. Reformed the administration and got rid of the dictatorial stooges.

2. Reformed the EC.

3. Kept the two feuding political parties happy and in a peaceful coexistence.

4. Started a transparent and fair trial of Ershad.

5. Conducted the most fair election in the history of Bangladesh.

6. Handed over the power to an elected government.

7. Kept the government free of any human rights abuses.

In contrast in 3 X2 months, our current ICTG has

1. not done anything significant sans some transfers here and there that could be called massive reform or total deBNPization of administration.

2. reset an election commission which has, so far, done nothing but

a. Experimenting with the voter roll.

b. in keeping with the tradition of previous EC, talked too much and occasionally gave contradictory messages.

c. rather being independent, tried to be part of a government’s plan to depoliticize Bangladesh politics by encouraging splits in the parties.

d. not given any election dateline yet.

3. Rather keeping the two party political tradition steady and in a peaceful coexistence, has involved itself in dirty politics of backing one faction to dethrone the other faction.

4. Started trial of some politicians with some sham justice being served like Mamun’s 13 yrs for possessing arm, Manju’s 5 years for having wine at home etc.

5. An election is being promised at least 18 months from now. The excuse is national photo ID card. Justice Shahabuddin didn’t need any photo ID to conduct a fair election. The question is what the government will do in next 18 months while EC keeps on making national photo ID.

6. People have started suspecting the intention of this caretaker government about their power handover plan. There is a strong suggestion that the CTG wants to leave a stooge government behind and these stooges are being groomed now a day.

7. This government’s tenure has alreday been marred with gross human rights violations.

A Double Standard

After the issues of spiraling price of essentials, power supply; the most dangerous credibility issue that this government faces is it’s handling of Bangladesh political parties. While people like Brig Gen Hannan Shah and his son or Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir land in jail with corruption charge; suspected corrupts like Amu, Mannan, Razzak, Tofael, Hafiz etc keep on doing politics publicly defying the ban on indoor politics.

The C word:

In the early days of cold war, U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, used the word Communist to keep the whole country in fear. In his typical intense anti-communist fear mongering and witch-hunt called McCarthyism, political opposition, journalists have been subjected to undue persecution. Recent George Cloony movie, ” Good Night, And good Luck” immortalized legendary TV broadcaster/journalist Ed Murrow’s bold stand against McCarthyism. These are his famous lines which still carry significant meaning to our current situation,

“We will not walk in fear, one or another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine; and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular. This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our
heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it — and
rather successfully. Cassius was right. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Good night, and good luck.”

At this time, 60 years later, we are still dogged by another C word, corruption. In the name of corruption, our current rulers are getting a rather free ride through all the inroads of our national and democratic integrity. The word corruption is being used to silence political opponents, journalists are being hushed as they are obstructing actions against corruption. An un-elected government is occupying ruling power for years in the name of fighting corruption.

A New Age
As Ed Murrow dared stand against all powerful senator Jo McCarthy, I feel we finally have another Ed Murrow among ourselves. I want to take this opportunity to complement the newspaper, New Age on their bold and truthful stand about the state of current affairs. Today’s New Age, especially the commentary by editor Nurul Kabir, editorial, op -ed by Shameran Abed and this, this , this, this, this and this articles draws the most undaunted and correct picture of our current ruling entity. We look forward to this New Age to bring Bangladesh back.