When this government came to power, on January 11 2007, everything initially was great. Indoor politics was allowed without restriction. Press freedom was protected. Senior political leadership as well the ex prime ministers of the country were getting due protocols. Indoor politics were going on. Khaleda Zia was holding nightly meeting at hawa Bhavan to address the problems and plan necessary reform and punitive measures. Sheikh Hasina was also meeting grassroots activists daily to know and learn of their daily problems. All other political entities were talking within themselves to learn from the downfall of recent past. There was no plan, open or covert to destabilize the government. Students were aloof as before, teachers were not dismisisve of the government. Reform was going on in Election commission, anti-corruption commsssion as well as in the judiciary. people were eagerly waiting for an elction and were supporting the government with all their heart.
Later, some senior leadership got arrested that including former PMs son/cousines etc. Military started getting more visible in the streets, hawkers and slum dwellers were being evicted into homelessness and joblessness. Students and public still held the hope and waited for elections and a clear exit plan.
Later, as the days went by, things started getting fuzzier. Both ex PMs got into trouble. One will be forced out of the country and the other would not be allowed to return back home. Politicians started getting arrested selectively with reason being shown as anti-state activity. A new bunch of turncoats arrived, who were apparently immune to all kind of corruption charges and were allowed to break all the rule to promote their politics of division and treachery.
Days went from bad to worse. Indoor politics was banned so was many more rights. Failing to keep the two political leaders out of the country, government resorted to harrassing them. After month of internment and restrictive mobility, both of them finally got arrested. People still supported the government. Still helped high hopes for a better future.
Things eventually started getting worse further. Our generals started lecture tours lecturing nation about all the bad things about politics and politicians. Young army officers continued to harrass the thana and district level officials, professionals and politicioans. At the same time the voices of the handful of turncoat political somersaulters started getting loud and louder.
The exit plan remained fuzzy and fuzzier. Sycophants started requesting the army chief to be the president and also started giving out army dictated so called reform proposals.
Thre students as well as the poor people finally got a bit frustrated, they dared to protest. As a result, the hell broke loose. University professors have been arrested, students and street people have been tortured savagely. Schools, colleges and universities were closed down. Tecahers have been suspended and arrested. The limited press freedom was also killed.
And finally, making the nation go through all these kosher hell, they are now showing some goodwill. They took away a lot but gave us back only a few. Indoor politics have been allowed only in Dhaka in a very limited capacity. Lots of restrictions and rquirements to indoor politicshave been imposed.
And the main question comes, how to react to this questionable goodwill gesture? Should we all rejoice or be very very cautious?
I’ll be cautious, I can tell that.
I feel this government had to relax the ban for,
1. Have EC stick to the timeline they have promoted. .
2. Help the turncoats form new parties and finalize the breakdown of the mainstream parties. The recent gesture of not meeting the BNP mainstream delegation at all and then meeting of all the Election commsiioners for 2 hours cordial chitchat with some turncoats warns me of an serious misstep of this EC and the government. Patronizing the turncoats will disenfranchize the mainstream political supporters and will be the last nail in the coffin of a respectable exit of this rich mens’ government. I, however, still believe the CEC will rise up to this occassion and stop working as a cohort of the government or as a tool to implement an evil exit plan.
We all wanted a fair all participated elction. We still want that. Let the people, not some prophet like great men or women, decide about their fate .