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Photo: bdnews24.com
Photo: bdnews24.com

The current politicians in Bangladesh with some exceptions are no longer trusted and respected by the common people who are the ultimate source of power as the country truly belongs to them. They are the real patriots as they are hardworking, honest, sincere and dedicated. The economy draws enormous strength from them. They want good governance and peace. Both are far distant to their great disappointment. Politicians use them in the name of democracy for power and money. A combination of both minus transparency is corruption. No doubt, corruption is endemic.

What about the future of politics in Bangladesh? The newly released UNICEF survey results of fully literate children in Bangladesh reveal a bleak picture. Children (under 18 years of age) represent near 40% of total population in Bangladesh. Among the children surveyed from a random sample of at least 4,200, over 70% have no interest in politics. They are de-motivated by the prevailing rampant corruption and violence almost everywhere on a daily basis. Only 37% show interest in active politics. Either money or power motivates them. It tells a lot for the future course of politics in Bangladesh. Perhaps, they learned so by observing the bad political behaviour of their family members, relatives and neighbours. No surprise in it. In old days, our forefathers used to say that charity/good deed begins at home. Now, corruption begins at home. However, 90% of them are aware of rights. What about responsibilities? They must understand, at the same time, rights must accompany responsibilities.

Paradoxically, politicians in Bangladesh think that it is their right to mislead common people and to exploit them for amassing wealth. They care less for responsibilities to serve people as they promise to win in election. They mislead us by justifying the means of violence for restoration of democracy and for protection of life of the common people. Only emotional fools and greedy fall prey to it. There is no dearth of them. It should not need a genius to understand this nefarious political game.

Spells of violent blockades and hartals are taking away innocent lives, clogging economic life-lines and disrupting the daily life. Can these be any democratic right of any political party/parties? These are undemocratic means. How can undemocratic means save democracy? The current political climate is revengeful. This is nothing more than staying in power and going back to power, again. Is it not just to make money through corruption? Human lives have no values any more in the current political anarchy.

The so called jihadists and zealots on both political spectra are on a killing spree. Some places of the country seem to have become killing fields with concentration of jihadists and zealots. Who are they killing? The innocent and the poor are the victims. The so called politicians and their very own ones are not being affected. They are even nowhere to be seen on the streets. What kind of leadership is it? Both warring sides in this unholy game must to be blamed.

Common people are now terrified and traumatised. They are becoming growingly impatient. They may rise up against this tyranny as they did to fight for independence against the then West Pakistani colonialists. The external aggressors are gone, but the internal ones have grown. The latter can change colour and it is even harder to identify them. The common people may have to rise again to free themselves from the home-grown aggressors and exploiters. If not, they may have to embrace some other bitter pill(s) at least for temporary relief. None must discount or discard the ultimate power of the common people. In them, we must trust. Politicians may not have enough time left for self-correction. They are digging a path to disaster.

The revival of the so called jihadists started with their rehabilitation after the brutal assassination of the Father of the Nation. It has made politics very difficult in Bangladesh. What a colossal mistake it was! The subsequent progression of the jihadists has been made possible through incentivisation by both the AL and BNP in their rotating battles for power and to oust H.M. Ershad who deserves no discussion any further. They might have won their own battles, but both lost a big war. It is costing the entire nation very dearly both materially and psychologically. Today, we pay for misdeeds of the AL and BNP.

Institutions are failing. But are we ready to see the country failing like Pakistan or Afghanistan? If not, what to do? Rise up spontaneously to resist the identified political culprits on both sides or be ready to embrace national emergency? A pile of sands will collapse. Get out of the trap set by both the AL and BNP. As a note of caution, popular upsurge without proper directions from bold, dedicated and visionary leadership will add further to chaos and confusions. Is such leadership in the offing? Only Allah knows the best.

The country is burning. Niros are blushing. Voluble politicians are still out to confuse. A Great World Leader (Nelson Mandela) is no more in the world resting in eternal peace. Why can’t the so called leaders draw lessons of forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, freedom and justice for all from his life? Selfishness was always a choice for him. He refused to make this choice. So, he has been able to make a better world. He practiced what he promised and preached. In closing, can we even dare to hold any of our so called leaders up to any of these standards?

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Matiur Rahman is the MBA Director and JP Morgan Chase Endowed Professor of finance at McNeese State University, USA.

22 Responses to “The ultimate source of power”

  1. Snr Citizen

    Our politicians have used this word people a thousands time to invoke ‘trust’ and HOPE in them! Yet, NEVER really and sincerely had done anything for them directly. We are now seeing and experiencing that general people are ignored, by-passed, denied and thrown aside so as not to exercise any basic right of voting. So, we do seek votes and shut them when it comes to rights.
    Your write-up is fine as usual and very topical. Many do comment here and in so many other responses. Yet not a blink of eye by the ‘people-lovers’.

  2. Akteruzzaman

    The greatest Human Resource of Nepal are the Gurkha soldiers. They have served in the British colonial armies, the present UK army and the Indian army. They are very good soldiers and faithful to their military masters. They have made a mark during Indian mutiny, in colonial Burma, Hongkong, south Africa, two World wars and in the Falkland Wars. They are citizen soldiers of Nepal but they have not served their motherland very seriously. Do you get the relevance.

  3. Golam Arshad

    Professor Motiur Rahman: You have deeply touched my heart! Reconciliation! Peace and Amity today defined as as cohorts and conduits to: JI and Razakar! or siding with “War Criminal” Hasina injected to the Young Liberal Mind, the “Seed of Discord”!What more you can expect? A Nation is DIVIDED, feasting on BLOOD of INNOCENT! In all admiration to your thoughtful mind. Thank you!

    • qasim

      It is so sad that a prosperous united BGD is on the road to an emotionally divided BGD. Even you kill thousands of these so called Rajakars etc, will this cure the greed of some politicians to rule for ever and call it democracy. Wish the guys in control have learned some thing from Prophet at the time of Capture of Makkah or if some don’t believe in that then the most recent example of Nelson Mendella at the time of end of white rule in South Africa, where he introduced the process of truth and reconciliation and forgave and forgot.
      I suppose we are not that smart.

      • Nasima Hoque

        Please don’t say “these so-called Rajakars etc.” They are not “so-called” as you said. They are the real genocide committers using the name of Islam.

        The country was once united but it is wicked Gen. Zia who has divided the nation by rehabilitating those mass killers in the country utterly disregarding the people’s wish and since then, the country has been bleeding.

        After executing the verdicts delivered by ICTs for a few war crime criminals now in the jails, we can unite the nation which Zia divided; close this chapter and work for reconciliation.

      • Golam Arshad

        It’s all in Bond in color of Love! Peace and Amity! Thank you for your kind compliment!

      • Alhaj Fazar Aly

        We have hanged only one war criminal. Let us hang the rest of them (only a few) now in the jails and thereafter, we may work for reconciliation, peace, amity, forgiveness….

    • Students Group

      Honourable Writer and Commentators :

      We have checked thoroughly almost all comments made by many honourable commentators in this opinion column and found no one has ever commented against peace, amity, and reconciliation.

      The war crime criminals belonged to Jamaat-e-Islami, are mostly mass murderers and so, they deserve highest punishment. Since long, they have been enjoying impunity; they didn’t beg pardon for their grave misdeeds as yet. Rather, they have been shown audacities that whatever they committed in 1971 were all right. Every commentator wanted that THOSE FEW who are now in the cages be duly punished and the judgements delivered by the ICTs must be executed. This is the minimum requirement to initiate the theorem for peace, amity, reconciliation and the like and we think this is quite justifiable and unless and until it happens, we can’t get out of the long overdue impunity culture in this regard.

      Mr. Golam Arshad has long been deadly against the trials of war criminals. He rather has been propagating a theorem for forgiveness to those mass murderers and proposing for peace, amity and reconciliation with those brutal killers for a long time. Look, how an inconsiderate man he is! Who will consider this type of unrealistic proposal? Like many other commentators, we can’t even think of such a proposal of Golam Arshad. Let us punish at least those war crime criminals now under lock up and then we may only go for that type of peace, amity and reconciliation plan.

      If you go through his so many comments in this opnion column, you will also find that he always resorts to lies, tries to confuse the readers, says half truth, suppresses the truth, and makes comment covertly. We quote his present comment which he has made in a very clever and tricky way : “Reconciliation! Peace and Amity today defined as as cohorts and conduits to: JI and Razakar! or siding with “War Criminal” Hasina injected to the Young Liberal Mind, the “Seed of Discord”!What more you can expect?” whereas his opinion is fully baseless. In fact, his conduct and nature of comments he has so far made fully bears testimony to the fact that he belongs to the war criminals party or their very good friend. We strongly denounce his stance in this respect.

      Rini Abdullah, Nahid Pasha, Mukul Ahmed, George Basak, Motiul Islam, Niloy Chowdhury, Amrita Sarkar, Deepak Barua, Nandini Chakraborty, Monira Islam, Senjuti Karmakar, Mollicka Amrin, Shahid Hamid, Mohsin Ahmed, Abanti Sarkar, Priscilla Parveen, Noman Ahmed, Shamsul Arefin, David Gomes, Ashalata Sarker, Niru Mohsin, Sanjit Khisa, Dipankar Chakma, Manashi Khan, Nitish Garo, Ritu Rahman, Aanika Haque, Bashir Ahmed, Monalisa Islam and Ashique Farzan.

      • Golam Arshad

        Bravo! Distinguished friends Saluting you all from the podium of Peace and Amity. Clarify: Peace and Amity in the Golden Arch dome of celestial pride! Thank you for your warm compliment. Happy ! Happy New Year!! May the Lord Almighty showers in st ringlets bonds of LOVE!AMITY AND PEACE!!

      • Zamir

        Messrs Golam Arshad and Qasim : My father and elder brother were brutally bayonetted and shot to death by the Al-Badrs belonged to Jamaat-e-Islami in 1971. Their ring leader is now in jail and facing trial as a war criminal. I pray to Allah so that he is handed-down death sentence and execution of the verdict is happened.

        Now my question to them: Shall I take the above trial as “avenge, revenge and cobra bite”?. Shall I “forgive him and make peace, amity with him” to live together? What will you do if any such sad incident would have happened in your lives?

      • Rhidita Chowdury

        Zamir, I am sure both Golam Arshad and Qasim are very kind and broad-hearted persons and they would have forgiven the killer long time back if any such situation occurred in their lives and made peace and amity with the killer to live a normal life with him!!!

      • Khan

        Our youth is not convinced with the example of the holy prophet, not convinced with the example of Nelson Mandela, not convinced with the arguments of Mahatma Gandhi then let us believe on “Survival of the fittest” theory and let people kill each other and at the end we will get a very pure Bengali nation.

    • Mufti Jalaluddin Isamotpuri

      Dear Students,

      Your are absolutely correct.

      Golam Arshad is a Jamaati product and a shameless liar. He frequently makes comment that all dari and tupiwalas will be exterminated if Hasina remains in power. I am a dari and tupiwala Maulana always wearing payjama and Punjabi and I do not belong to any political party or of any social organization. I did never find or face any problem during my 65 years of life. So, it is clear that he is a communal force and tries to spread communal venom to create riot in the country. He has many ugly faces but with an ulterior motive to protect and save the war criminals.

      • Golam Arshad

        My Respected and Distinguish Brother Mufti thank you for your warm compliment! You are The Man in robes of sparkling disposition. Thank you!

    • Nandita Rahman

      Dear All,

      The on-going war crimes trial is unbearable to Mr. Golam Arshad. We read his many unjustified and unreasonable comments throughout this opinion column and responded to him correctly. He vents anger against those who ask for trial for the mass killers of 1971 and advises us to makke peace treaty with them. He strongly advocates not to try them and considers the trial of them as avenge, revenge and cobra bite. If you browse through his comments here and there, you will find that truth. Those who did never beg pardon or apologise for the grave misdeeds they committed, rather, who boastfully say whatever they did during our liberation war in 1971, they committed the right thing, and in that case how can we think of forgiving them?. Alas! Words fail to condemn him because of his stance in support of the war criminals.

      Regards.

      All Students :
      Zinat, Nabendu Chakma, David Das, Srabanty Barua, Nikhil, Masum, Animesh Khisha, Sanjit, Shakil, Minu, Moriom, Shushil Garo, Rea, Jakir, Badrul, Samir Barua, Antony, Jalal, Bashar, Shisir Shaozal, Nandita, Mahmud, Nasir, Bernard Sarkar, Ashish, Mohiuddin, Amalendu Khisha, Rajib Ali, Reza, Arunima Dutta, Shuvashis Dewan, Munir Mohiuddin, Jhony Gupta, Masuma Khaled, Apurba Khan, Nishita Chowdhury and Chitra Sengupta, Nishita Hoque, Abir Ahmed, Zoglul Ahmed, Nuria Hosein, Abida Islam, Nandini Maria, Jhinuk Rahman, Shipla Roy and Rita Rahman.

      • Golam Arshad

        In to the Petal of Roses, sinks the nectar of Countless-Color Ray a Bond of Love and Peace! Thank you All for your kind and warm compliment. A Happy New Year in Joy of endless Hearts! Thank you!

      • MAK

        What else can one say ” lagay raho Munna bhai”. Go after them generation to generation and you will find more of them because you cant forgive you learned to hate which will burn you in the end. So lage raho Munna bhai.

  4. Akhtar Shah

    The article started with a promise , it some what frizzled out. People are the owners of the country but since independence all leaders when in power ( especially) have thought that they are the ONLY people who exclusively knew what is good for ‘Janogan’ . In this process , sycophancy, lack of consensus on basic national interests and total absence of transparency have offered plum opportunity to the unsavoury, trigger happy people ( some domestic and some international) to point of even killing Sheik Mujib.
    There are plenty more examples of this necrosis , numerous in fact.
    Pushing people to the limits without any compromise and without a conflict resolving mindset will only continue this barbaric destructive behaviour .
    Current political machinery belonging to both parties (who could not give two hoots about the people) are hardwired to violence , with deep rooted hatred are extremely monied and powerful . They will fight tooth and nail to maintain status quo.
    As for the hapless, sizeable , silent wealth creating , and non partisan majority only some divine intervention is the only hope. I apologise for sounding so despondent !

  5. mazedul

    First of all thanks for your concern on our country.
    It is not seen any single line analysis on how an Autocratic government would carry the democratic system.

    Our way of looking needs to be corrected first then we can expect others to be on the right track.

    We are not judgemental enough but emotional.

  6. Md Z Islam

    Mr. Matiur Rahman, You have chosen the words in your writing which many people desire to say. Yes you are right We are in a brink of political crisis and this has be washed out by us (us means we general people). Corrupt politicians had taken enough advantage from our hard earned resources. Now its time to put a full stop in.
    Also you mentioned about Nelson Mandela to learn form his life about forgiveness. I have also mentioned this in a recent conversation where one of our famous actor Aly Zaker replyed “Because Nelson Mandela’s adversaries bowed to his leadership and went by ANC’s dictates. Pakistanis never reconciled with East Pakistan becoming Bangladesh.”
    I think this time is not about looking back what Pakistan did in past but to look forward and build our nation. #Bangladesh #WeBuildTogether

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