Home / Feature / IT CANNOT GO ON LIKE THAT – F R Chowdhury


We want an end to the present situation. No more killing, burning and damage to public and private properties. We want to live in peace. We want to live in a civilized democratic society based on human values, equality and justice. We want an effective parliament where national issues will be freely debated and decisions will be taken for betterment of the people. In the words of Abraham Lincoln the essence of democracy lies in the government of the people, by the people and for the people. Only a democratically elected government will have the love for the people to do good for the people.The unfortunate thing is that we do not have an elected government. We have an illegal government that is trying to silence the people with barrels of guns and muscle-power. They want to ensure that nobody can dislodge them. In the name of democracy they want to establish one-party and one-person rule. Any criticism of the government is termed as anti-state activity. Prisons are full with political activists; and criminal are on the streets helped by the government to run a mob rule.No sooner the present government came to power it amended the constitution to remove the provision for general election under non-party impartial care-taker government. This was done with the evil desire to remain in power perpetually. People in general did not accept it. Knowing that 2014 election under the BAL government will only be an eye-wash for the government to remain in power, people boycotted the election. At the peak of anti-government protest the prime minister termed the election as a process of continuity of the constitution and assured all party discussion immediately after the election. As the farcical election was over, the prime minister turned her back to her previous statement and declared that the next election would be held only after five year. She trapped the nation under the conspiracy net of BAKSAL. The BAL will always have more than 2/3 majority in the parliament under the rigged and manipulated election bringing a virtual death of democracy. There is no way that the political stand-still created by BAL can be resolved in the parliament. Only a nation-wide mass movement can force the government to come to good sense.Democracy is the essential requirement for peace, progress and prosperity. People cannot accept the pre-mature death of democracy. They have responded to the call of BNP leader Khaleda Zia for peaceful political movement to bring an end to the illegal government. I call it an illegal government because more than 50% of the MPs were elected unopposed. Rest of the MPs had to face challenge from their friendly opposition parties where less than 5% votes were cast. One of the BAL alliance party is both in the government as well as in the opposition.Since October, 2014 Khaleda Zia has been holding public meetings and rallies in different parts of the country to mobilise public support for her movement to restore democracy. The presence of people in thousands proved support and power behind the movement. The last one was held in Narayanganj; and all of them passed peacefully. The BAL government were shaken-up by the public support for BNP movement for democracy. They prevented the meeting scheduled for Gazipur on 28th December in the so-called public interest for peace and order but allowed their own political party to carryout procession and demonstration on the same day. Dhaka Metropolitan Police promulgated curfew under Section 144 that prohibited all public gathering on 5th January because BNP wanted to hold a public meeting on that day. However, DMP provided full protection to political activities of BAL when its leaders blocked the roads and held street meetings. Without any court order, they put Khaleda Zia under house arrest and put trucks loaded with sands in front of the house. The DMP lifted all restrictions on public gathering on 12th January to facilitate BAL public meeting. Certainly there is nothing known as rule of law.Civil service including law enforcement agencies are supposed to be free of party political influence. Their services are automatically placed at the disposal of the government, no matter whichever party is in power. It is their duty to serve the nation with equal devotion. It is sad that all these state machineries have been made extended wing of the party in power so much so that some of the officials are talking to press in such language that may best be termed as political statements. It puts us in shame to think we are supposed to be living in a civilised and democratic state.The BAL government is also using the judiciary in the same manner. They are referring to court matters that fall within the purview of any democratic government. They even got a court ruling that Sheikh Mujib had declared the independence of Bangladesh. The court order further stated that anyone claiming any other person to have declared the independence of Bangladesh will be a punishable offence. This was an attempt to remove the name of the then Major Zia who was the first person to declare independence of Bangladesh immediately after the Pakistan army crack-down. All such attempts failed as Major Zia is still known for his historic declaration that started our struggle for freedom and independence.The BAL government has embarked on a money-making spree in a manner as if there will be  no tomorrow. Not only they exhausted the budget, they even purchased military hard-ware worth billions of dollars from Russia on loan. The country and its people are fully submerged in loan. Any future government will have no scope to think about any development activity for several years as they have to find ways to repay the debts. Meantime the BAL officials are busy filling their pockets with commission.The muscle power of the party thugs and criminals combined with the full backing of the law enforcement agencies have virtually driven out all peaceful show of public voice for democracy. All BNP leaders have put behind bars and cases are being fabricated against them. It is now more than a police state. People are afraid of writing anything or even talking to each other. With no other option left, Khaleda Zia asked for nation-wide peaceful blockade. The BAL responded with violence. They are looting, burning, killing and destroying in every possible way to terrorise the public. The BAL is trying to blame BNP though it is on record that all BNP meetings and rallies passed peacefully until BAL came on the streets with their muscle power.This time there will be no end to the peaceful movement and blockade unless people get back their right to vote in a free and fair election as done in democratic society. There will never be a free and fair election under BAL. We want it under a non-party, non-political care-taker government. We want it to be a permanent feature – a part of our constitution. We do not want to see street violence every now and then. We want it to be solved once for all.We, the people of this country fought to establish Pakistan in 1947. We gave blood to honour our mother-tongue in 1952. We fought again to liberate Bangladesh in 1971. This year 2015 we will honour the sacrifices already made by the peaceful citizens by restoring our democratic rights. Nobody can cheat and deprive us. We will not allow anyone to perpetuate power by killing people or destroying the economy of the country. Victory will be ours. We are certainly looking forward to a day when the nation will come to know as to why no timely action was taken to prevent the death of the army officers in Peelkhana; who are responsible for disappearance of Ilyas Ali; who murdered Sagar-Runi and what prompted the law enforcement authorities to kill seven innocent citizens of the country in Narayanganj.Once again it is an appeal to the prime minister to kindly give up her adamant attitude and stop killing, looting and burning. You cannot continue to rule the nation through the barrels of the guns. Please agree to the constitutional provision for general elections under non-political, non-party impartial care-taker government and save the nation.