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Two uncompromising leaders: BNP Leader Khaleda Zia and PM Sheikh Hasina
Two uncompromising leaders: BNP Leader Khaleda Zia and PM Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladesh is undergoing severe political crisis, with innocent people losing their lives almost every single day. The rolling strikes and blockades not only cause death, but destroy the country’s economy, education, and makes life intolerable. Recently, the education minister has had to reschedule the SSC exam timetables on multiple occasions due to non-stop Hartals called by the BNP-led 20-party alliance. Nobody knows exactly how many more reschedules like this will take place in the recent future. This unexpected rescheduling is completely demoralising for students sitting for the examination.

Yet, the most reprehensible aspect of our present times is not the rescheduling of exams, but the burning alive of people by petrol bombings. On February 3, 2015, at least seven people were killed and 16 burnt after miscreants petrol-bombed a bus on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Chouddagram upazila of Comilla. This is perhaps not the latest example of cruel activity, with many more struggling with death in hospital burn units. The life of people is not secure outside their homes, but the population living on daily incomes to survive with their families, must go out to work no matter what – be they strikes, blockades, or any other political agendas. This general populace is the victim of violence and serious physical injury. This political crisis is largely destroying our economy and significantly reducing foreign investment.

Many political researchers, diplomats, and other concerned institutions have been suggesting since the crisis arose, that this situation can only be solved through political dialogue between the two major political parties. Political dialogue referring to the wide range of activities, from high-level negotiations to mediation to community attempts at reconciliation, are all complementary processes and normally run in parallel. Political dialogue is flexible, but the parameters necessitate that dialogue must be political in nature and aimed at addressing threats in a country which can cause a lapse or relapse into violent conflict. The objective of political dialogue is to achieve practical and peaceful solutions to problems. Recently the UN has facilitated political dialogue between political parties in Libya which seems to mitigated political and security crises. However, Libya is not the only example of working to resolve political problems, as many crossed border political issues have in the past, been solved successfully through political dialogue.

After analysing the various characteristics of Bangladeshi political parties and the limitations of political dialogue, I am convinced that such a dialogue will bring no political solution to the ongoing crisis, and can possibly bring more catastrophic violence in Bangladesh. The main limitation of dialogue is that all participants must have the intention to solve the problem by sacrificing for the greater good. Without this intention, the dialogue would end without positive results, ushering in more severe violence. In Bangladesh, the prime directive of the main political parties is to remain in power. By summarising the various speeches and statements of Bangladesh Awami League’s spokespersons, it is clear that they are not in a position to give up their power until the legal validation of present parliament expires by 2019. On the other hand, the present inimitable objective of the BNP-led 20 parties alliance is to bring down the government first and then facilitate a new national election by a caretaker government which is banned by the latest reformation of the Bangladesh Constitution.

No parties care about the life or security of its people or what happens to education or the economy of the country. Coming to power at any cost is the only objective of major political parties. In such a situation, political dialogue could end with more destructive anger, fatal to the citizens of the country.

So if a dialogue is not useful, what else would be effective? Many people are thinking about a military takeover, which could solve the problem, but due to Bangladesh’s strong and brilliant foreign policy and international relations, a military takeover of the present government is not possible nor credible in Bangladesh. So it is now a question of whether there is any solution at all.

Will we continue to lose our lives for no reason? Will the economy be buried under for the recent future? Is the country moving towards its darkest period? These questions do not have any practical answer. But our increased awareness can reduce public casualty. What if we refuse to tolerate this? What if the student does not accept reschedulings? Or the businessman does not tolerate economic losses for political conflict? Massive public awareness and reaction is the only quickest practical solution to this crisis. The UN should come forward to assist in solving the problem. Political casualty should affect politicians in the political arena, and not the public.

ATM Haidar Khan is a researcher on South Asian Politics and Political Economy, and is a graduate of the University of Greenwhich, UK.

12 Responses to “Political solution impossible through dialogue!”

  1. Syed Imtiaz Ali

    As state machinery is in Govt. control, Govt must use it to the benefit of the people and order and ensure full STOP to the current mayhem. This can not go on one more day that is DESTROYING the economy, LIFE, society, Education et al!
    But before the ‘danger’ is reduced, to order campuses open on ‘troubled’ days is scary for reasons well known. Let the political thinkers thrash out a modus-operandi for a SOLUTION to this stalemate. For that only a civilized move (CONDITIONAL) is needed.

  2. Noman Ahmed

    BNP is an illegitimate and miscreants’ organization born in the cantonment using funds from the people’s exchequer, using different government spy organisations; so, this is not a political party, at all; the so-called fallen political prostitutes from different organizations have flocked together in that organization to rule us. The vast majority of people this country has become bad this way or that way. Since BNP is an organization of bad people, they support it, make hue and cry for it, wish to sympathise with it. It has got no identity of its own!

    Jamaati killing squad has swallowed BNP and almost all the killings of inncent people by petrol bombs and other ways are being carried out brutally by these sub-humans like the situation they created for mass murdering , arsoning, rampant looting of houses, forcefully driving out of the innocent people from homes in 1971. Their current movements- hartals, blockade…. can’t be termed as political movements; these can be named as criminal activities in the name of politics. All these miscreants’ on-going activities of Jamaat + Shibir must be iron-handedly dealt with to make them finally crippled so that they do not stand up any longer but suffer for the rest of their lives.

    The magnitude of crimes being conducted by these criminals in the name of politics sounds incredible; but the government seems smoking hookas in a relaxing mood and uttering only big big words but no stern action against them is visible. But the government is duty-bound to protect its citizens from all wraths of these murderers. We can say for sure that if the government takes a strong crash programme to crush these cruel animals, this abnormal situation will soon come under their full control and normalcy will also return to the society in no time. Take such actions agains them and we, as citizens, students, want to see it straightway; nothing else! The government must establish its full authority throughout the country; otherwise they should immediately step down from power.

    There should not be any dialogue with the miscreants and their accomplices; first their ring leaders including BKZ must be made flat straightway, give due punishment to them and when these criminals’ group becomes a little one and can’t do no wrongs to us, then a process of parley can begin with them + other smaller political parties to work out a suitable solution for a fresh and new election at a later stage where all political parties can can participate but without the Jamaati brutal sub-humans. Because as the old adage says :”Black will take no other hue.”

  3. Mehmud Rafique

    I couldn’t thank more for such a candid and pragmatic and unprejudiced farsightedness and well-perceived inference on the longstanding power politics of Bangladesh. Indeed undeniable that Bangladesh has since been a fertile power grasping land by two self-proclaimed power dynasties and their malaise, half-educated, ill-bred, power-craziest, and corrupted by-products: accompanied by a bunch of opportunists in disguise from different segments of the elite groups.
    A flagrant example is the most heinous and barbarous assassination of Roy the other day, I’m tempted to remind the neatly-orchestrated trump-card played by the Bangladesh Leader just prior to long-graphed Game (!) of 2014 National Election. There couldn’t be anything more laughing when the Leader persistently outcries that 2014 election was solely to salvage the constitution–as if the lone political philosopher next to Plato! The Leader didn’t even care to listen to anyone; since, the Country has been under LEASE to the excellency for an indefinite period. May be the same game is being played now. Poor Roy could be only option at this tempestuous political violence to distract once again the modest, innocent, and secular mass of Bangladesh. A humble advise to another self-proclaimed political offshoot of the same dynasty: While making any remark against your political nemeses–of course, another political dam ague and power-monger– evaluate yourself and your Leader first, You all are birds of the same nest!
    Again, there is another self-titled political aspirant of same rotten breed from another dynasty throwing water in the hottest from his far-flung self-exiled location! Nevertheless, the long prevalent power-duet between the two power stalwarts,flattered and fueled by many a domestic surrogates, has been the root cause for such abysmal and absolute socio-economic, political, and moral collapse in Bangladesh! Time is running up before the nation wakes up once again as was in 1970 and 1971!
    Last but not the least, the nation and her open-hearted teeming millions must bring back the globally recognized two power craziest of Bangladesh and their surrogates into open justice like those of 1971 national criminals on the same grounds: killing innocent people, damaging and looting the common people’s property and peace, impeding the national growth, creating political violence and terror, leading the entire bureaucracy, armed forces and justice hierarchy into a dismal disorder attuned to corruption and irregularities, demonizing and polluting national culture and ethics, draining out hard-earned national treasury for retaining power, and cultivating a through-put autocracy in politics and governance, and establishing a paradigm of fear and uncertainty all over the country.

  4. Anwar A. Khan

    A highly deceptive coloured politician Mahmudur Rahman Manna has been caught red handed because of his grave misdeeds. The government must take stern action against him. The government should also find out such wicked and dangerous serpents in the arenas of politics and other fields to infict them due punishment to stop all ongoing deadly violences being made to the general people.

    In no time Ghoseti Begum should be arrested, put her into strong remand by police and other concerned agencies to expose all conspiracies which she and her gangsters so far committed to the general public and prosecute them as per law of the land to award them the appropriate punishment to bring peace back in the country. Remember the old proverb : “Jest with an ass, and he will flap you in the face with his tail”. So, make haste so that it does not happen.

  5. Naila Nadi Judith

    I do not see any better days in the coming days. Because most of the people of this land (achieved the country through so much supreme sacrifices) have gone astray. They do not even care for the acts to derive logically from ethical or moral principles that govern a person’s thoughts and actions and this is hold good to the vast majority of people irrespective of literate or illiterate people (in the present days time, mostly literate people). One Begum is in power, a very skilled player in politics; the other one looks like a full monty with no education – a full-fledged heroine, at least, in her dresses with pomp and grandeur; apparently looks very modern by heart and mind always sitting on a throne-lke chair; the stooges address her “Madam”, wants to rule us again but surrounded by the fallen political stooges from different other political parties and Jamaati like miscreant and criminal politicians; craftfully can use religion uttering Islam is being harmed or Islam is being going out of the window to reach India.

    With loosing the state governance, she has now become a mad dog; by hook or crook, she wants to come back to power again to exercise the authority over us treating as slaves. Her every action inciuding the so-called “Blockade” and “Hartals” are not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society and it is entirely meant for her own personal purposes but at the cruel costs of our generenal public. Why that should be? Why shall we accept them? Instead, the government should chase after them vigorously to bring them to stringent justice to get out of this deadly violent situation. We shall welcome this move if the government takes such an initiative without losing any further time!

  6. Anwar A. Khan

    On 17th February, 2015, a man, whom I am really taken aback is a foreign Ph.D holder, suddenly barked : “ What exam?” This guy seems to have lost everything to reman a human-being any longer. To him petrol bombing, killing of human-beings by some miscreants, sub-humans are all very important to capture power. What an audacity! The government should immediately put him behind the bar to prosecute him and to hand-down the appropriate punishment.

  7. Saiful Karim

    Hi dears! What a shame for us to the human community of this beautiful world,else where things go forward and are we ? some times feel very sorry for the innocent people who are in the middle. How to end this saga? We all have to be transparent, respect to each other and if we think it is one Bangladesh then I think we can solve the crisis.
    Still I have hope against hope things will change and we will out come from these days.

  8. Md. Masum Billaha

    Awareness! What awareness progressing in the populace is we not go out of thinking whether it is Hartal today or not except a grim thought if there any petrol bomb may not fly on us, whenever it sounds it haunt us that would happen on us, what Government is doing is lay our lives aside at the mercy of those miscreants, ill-fated consequent we being bengali bear on that we still thinking that opposition ought to have been given infinity space to conduct their activity otherwise we are easy prey to count by them.

  9. Redwan Iskandar

    Haidar Bhai
    You know I am big fan of your write-up. I am agreeing with you that dialogue will end up with no positive result as they do not want political stability they only want them in the power , but you know united nations also failed , what else citizen could do here, I hope to see more ways of practical in your coming write –up


  10. Golam Arshad

    The buck stops with PM! She can take the lead in resolving this unfortunate and painful political crisis! BNP Chief must call off the Blockade NOW. The next Election may be one year from NOW, Under a Caretaker Government will be a Win Win situation from both sides!

    • Redwan Iskandar

      Dear Mr Arshad
      Election Under a Caretaker Govt. Will be WIN WIN for for both sides, It will be win for BNP! however, to stop the crisis, this measure could be taken, but can we really expect that will happen ?

      • Golam Arshad

        …Will it happen? That is the Six Million Dollar Question! Unconstitutional means is unacceptable! A Mediation from any side is possible, should we want NOT that unconstitutional step to happen. I hope all the stakeholders are aware of this curt reality! What next that has to carefully seen! Thank you for your kind comment!!

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