Banner Advertiser

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Re: [mukto-mona] Nice article by Dr. Jafor Iqbal

Dr. Mushrafi,
I face such nicely wrapped vision of Bangladeshi democracy as you have espoused here. As if, Awami League will announce an election, and BNP will join it without a question. What about the demand for a nonpolitical (whatever that means) care-taker government before the election?
You said – both parties should meet at the middle ground. Fine, Awami League offered a middle-ground, which was to form a non-partisan interim cabinet, under Sheikh Hasina, and BNP was offered to choose any other positions; Khaleda Zia asked for her resignation. I am sure you remember all these. What could be the middle ground now?
If you listen to Khaleda Zia's speech, you must have heard that she wants to topple Awami government; BNP is not looking for a middle ground to hold and election. If they did, election would have occurred by now.  
Do you still think BNP will agree to a midterm election? If you think so, what will be the middle ground that will make this possible now? I can't figure it out. As I understand, talks without a middle ground will be a waste of time.  
You said – 138 or so seats went uncontested in the last election. While number of uncontested seats was large, but, that does not make those seats democratically illegitimate. You cannot punish a candidate for the reason that no one contested his/her seat. If you do, it will be undemocratic demand.
Now, may be, as a middle ground, BNP can demand for re-election in those parliamentary seats. Do you think they will go for it? I don't think so, because it will not topple Awami government.
As I said before, just another election, before the end of a term, will not stop ceaseless Hartals and demonstrations in the country, because Awami League will also use it when BNP will be in power. Don't you want to come out of this vicious cycle?  I can't understand, why people like you cannot see this vicious cycle.
We must learn to wait until the end of the term; just like any civilized country does.
I know when interim election is justified; it's only justified after the failure of a government, due to inaptness, not to fulfill the demand of the opposition political party. What you all are asking for is unjust. Why people should care to bring BNP in power in the middle of the term? Do you have - any good reasons?
You said, Hashina said she will call for interim election when things get settled. She could do that before, not now; but who could guarantee BNP would join.
Jiten Roy


From: "Mohammad Mushrafi [mukto-mona]" <>
Sent: Thursday, February 5, 2015 2:12 AM
Subject: RE: [mukto-mona] Nice article by Dr. Jafor Iqbal



Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2015 00:15:16 +0000
Subject: [mukto-mona] Nice article by Dr. Jafor Iqbal
I haven't read Dr.Iqbals article. But Jiten babu agreed Dr. Iqbal's view that "Bangladesh is not ready for democracy". It reminded me the old time of Pakistan. In my school life I read the book "The friends, not Master" (Provu noy, Bondhu") written by the Field Marshal General Ayub Khan, the then President of Pakistan.  Mr. Ayub's view was the same about the preparedness of democracy of the Pakistani people about 50 years ago. His view was the country people are not ready for democracy. That's the reason he introduced "Basic Democracy" in Pakistan at that time.
In fact that is the real truth in Bangladesh. If I am a peasant, who I have no literacy and exposure to intellectual activities, how do I understand the role of a MP or president or a PM. Therefore, how do I decide who would be the fit person to be elected for any position I am voting for, when I don't have any idea of the mechanism of function of that position.
To be frank Dr. Iqbal is known as the intellectual of Awami camp. There is no wrong in it. Particularly, at the time when in fact the entire nation is polarised on one side or the other. But his above view on current political situation is no help to the solution for the current mad atrocities or neither helpful to democratic process in the country. 
Any sensible person will condemn the current political behaviour of BNP. BNP is desperate and damaging for herself.  But please remember, the AL said to the nation just prior to election that the election of 5 January 2014 was to save the continuity of the democratic process in Bangladesh. After the election thorough dialogue another proper election will be organised sooner. The reason was that BNP, being the biggest political party other then AL, has failed itself to participate in the election. BNP themselves now realised that that was a blunder in politics. As a result 168 or so MPs could not be elected. They got the positions because of the situation. Therefore, they are not tested by the litmus paper of democratic choice by the voters/people.
The current wrong or right activities (we may debate in cool and safe office room of the "intellectuals") the country is now in a deadlock. Smell of burnt flesh, Molotov cocktail cricket in the street, a huge amount of loss of earning, fear and uncertainty among every person in the country is a unbelievable situation.  If we look for solution then both sides of the conflict have to come forward on a middle ground. 
By not keeping the word given to the people is undemocratic. A election before the end of the term to test the popularity is not uncommon in the world of democracy. Just recent poll on 31 Jan 2015 in QLD, Australia is an example of it).  Keeping the aim of solution in mind any kind of ideology could be reshaped and reorganised. 
The country now needs a constructive action to solve the current problem without much blaming each others. An election to return to people's verdict is a must to do that.  If AL has full confidence on people's support it should not be fearful to face that. After a competitive election those 168 PM positions will be much stronger in terms of democracy. AL will have stronger base to serve the nation and that will well suit AL, given its long struggle for democracy in the past many years. Calling an election prematurely now will not hurt the democracy, rather it will reinforce the power of democracy in the country.
Dr. Mushrafi/Australia
I have the same understanding about the democratic environment of Bangladesh, as stated by Dr. Jafor Iqbal in the article at the end.
My view also is - Bangladesh is not ready for democracy yet. So, there is no rush to hold interim election, because it will not change anything, especially when BNP/Jamat is no angel compared to Awami League. So, let's wait for the end of the term of this government to hold another election.
Those who think - BNP/Jamat is trying to restore democratic system, do not understand the political situation in Bangladesh. When demonstrations bring down government, it becomes a norm for changing power.
Let's say, BNP/Jamat succeed and midterm election happens, and, this time, BNP/Jamat wins. Then what? Do you think - Awami League will chew thumbs, standing on the curve? Not at all. Rest assured, demonstrations will be the daily feature to bring down BNP/Jamat government again. There goes your "stupid" democracy in Bangladesh.
I can't understand – why people, especially so called literate people, do not tell BNP unequivocally that they do not want power change through demonstrations; they need to wait until the end of the term of this government. Power change through demonstrations can be justified only if Awami League does not give election at the end of the term, not before that.
Nice article by Dr. Jafor Iqbal; have a look:
Jiten Roy


Posted by: Jiten Roy <>

Mukto Mona plans for a Grand Darwin Day Celebration: 
Call For Articles:




"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
               -Beatrice Hall [pseudonym: S.G. Tallentyre], 190