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The ruling regime keeps claiming that elections held during its tenure, including the April 28, 2015 mayoral elections, have been free and fair. Prior regimes of different colours recited the same mantra too. The truth of the matter is evidently quite the opposite. To fix the overall governance system that is grossly broken we need a package of reforms, as will now be proposed.

The most widely reported failure in the latest mayoral elections was that polling officials were incapacitated by ruling party hooligans operating under direct/indirect orders from influential members of the regime, Members of the Parliament, or senior officials of the public administration.

The officials’ career and personal security were in severe jeopardy if they did not yield to the hooligans. Ground level law enforcement forces had to permit the incursion and mischief, by all likelihood under directions from the hierarchy above.

The EC officials / magistrates didn’t act since either they also feared for their career and personal security, or they had no real recourse to disobedience by the law enforcement forces (constitutionally under the EC’s directive during elections).

The aggregate picture is one of a broken system that permits transgressions with impunity of ruling regime activists, driven by a sense of entitlement that leaves the citizenry disenfranchised, insecure, and helpless.

As previously identified by many, this abyss resulted mainly from the constitutional reforms that overly concentrate governance power in the hands of the PM and an electoral system where the winning party/alliance takes it all. There are no checks and balances, and once elected, a regime can and does operate much like an autocracy. It unfortunately necessitates upheavals to unseat an autocracy, often resulting in undemocratic and violent transitions.

To address these debilitating circumstances on a long-term basis, the following key changes are recommended as a package. Some of these are not new, but the emphasis here is on a package of congruent and mutually reinforcing measures as well as some essential specifics.

Presidential powers

The Presidency should be truly empowered with some key powers transferred from the PM and the Cabinet to the President. These should include governance of the Armed Forces and the BGB, the discretion and power to conduct binding referendums on constitutional changes (proposed by the legislature) or other matters of vital national interest, and appointment and disposal of the members of key constitutional institutions like the Supreme Court, the Election Commission, and the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Presidential elections

To make the newly configured presidency truly effective, the president should be elected by popular vote in a direct national election, not as currently selected by parliament. The presidential election should be held midway through a mandate by parliament. To guard against an abusive presidency, the parliament should be empowered to conduct a binding referendum to remove the president.

Fair proportional representation in parliament

Third, instead of the current constituency level election system for the parliament, number of seats in parliament for a political party should be based upon the percentage of votes received nationally by the party (not electoral alliance).

This will serve several key purposes. It will ensure strong presence of a true opposition (not like the current government selected one) in parliament, reduce incentive as well as opportunity to rig elections at the constituency level, make election alliances less effective thus allowing the major parties to free themselves from their current extremist partners and to be more conciliatory, make an absolute parliamentary majority for a party quite difficult (“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, Lord Acton), and make a ruling party or coalition more accountable (may lose governance power with loss of confidence in the parliament on key legislations including the budget).

Constraining anti-Liberation ideologies

If an individual currently belongs to or previously belonged to a party that opposed the 1971 Liberation Struggle, then the individual cannot be a Member of Parliament, Minister, Supreme Court Judge or the President without a legally binding affidavit that it was a grievous mistake for the party to do so at the time, and that the party unconditionally apologises for its anti-liberation stance and role.

This should help ameliorate, if not bring a closure, to the thorny issue of anti-liberation forces conspiring to thwart elections and restore the sanctity of the key offices of governance under all regimes.

Decentralisation of governance

Very importantly, governance should be meaningfully decentralised by delegating broad powers to a mezzanine local level, such as the district (and Municipal Corporation for major urban centres).

Three key areas of targeted decentralisation should be management and oversight of government contracts and projects / public works including infrastructure under a threshold level, law enforcement (police only, not BGB or Armed Forces), and judicial affairs.

Three key local government offices (governor / city mayor, police chief, and public prosecutor) should be elected based on popular votes. In a similar fashion to the US system, these elections should be spaced out.

For example, the governors should be elected on the same polling date(s) as the presidency of the country, while the local police chief and public prosecutor should be elected at the time of general election for parliament.

Resources / funding allotted to local government should be on a per capita basis to minimise the influence of national politics, and to make local governance transparent and accountable.

Additionally, police forces in the country should have two parallel but congruent / transferable structures, such as national police and local police. To aid quality control, effective coordination and cost control, local police forces should be drawn from the national police force, once again on a per capita basis.

Very importantly, however, the local police force should report to and be under the command of the elected local police chief. The national police force will continue to be centrally administered by the ruling national regime, and will look after national security and intelligence issues, and coordinate law enforcement efforts across the local government jurisdictions.

Together these decentralisation schemes should meaningfully distribute and diversify the countrywide governance powers among competing parties. Due to the local management of public resources, the economic dividends of governance that drive much of the quest for gaining and maintaining governance power by any means, will be better distributed among the competing parties as well as non-party citizens serving their local residents.

Since party activists and hooligans would no longer be able to seek assured refuge along the entire chain of administration, law enforcement, and judiciary, political parties will find it difficult to entice, use, and retain them for perpetrating unlawful acts while in or out of national governance.

In this context, it is worth noting that the judiciary is undone if the proper enforcement of law fails. Thus, strangely enough for Bangladesh, an independent judiciary is neither necessary nor sufficient, but preferred nonetheless.

To conclude, the essence of the package of reforms outlined above is a meaningful and democratic redistribution of the powers involved in governance up to the presidency and down to the mezzanine level (district / major municipality) of local government.

Importantly, this does not require an interim non-partisan / caretaker government – apparently the thorniest divide between the Honourable Jananetri and the Honourable Deshnetri. As such, the two leaders may after all agree to the package of reforms.

Mo Chaudhury, Ph.D., is a Professor of Practice in Finance at McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Mo Chaudhury, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

32 Responses to “Fixing a broken system”

  1. Farida Akhter Kolpona

    Dear Dr. Mo Chaudhury:

    Keeping intact the present large political parties and supporting in one of them will not bring about any good fruits for the peoples’ welfare. An old but a very important adage rightly says : “You can’t make silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”

    Your article sounds like “To cast pearls before swine” because you want to fixate the broken system supporting the present political players hopeful hungrily for power. Your comments thereafter do not have any substance because we are regularly hearing this type of sermon(s) from the Jamaati like war criminals and their intellectual accomplices and the people who belong to or support BNP. Apart from 1971 atrocities, we have seen how much brutal these criminals in the form of human beings belong to Jamaat and BNP in 2013 and January -March2015. 600 educational institutions were destroyed to ashes by these culprits. 200 innocent people were burnt to death in the name of so-called political movements. Shall we not bring them to book for due punishment? Why shall we bear the brunt of vote rigging and other dishonest acts being committed by AL? Why shall not inflict highest punishment to the war criminals? Why shall we not exterminate them? We must punishment them to get out of the awaited impunity culture; otherwise how shall we advance. If we do not punish them, they will not bother to do more harm to our people.

    Mr. Habibur Rahman Sohel has rightly pointed out so many important issues which need to be addressed and those who give us sermons like you people which sound like the an old proverb says: “To make sure of something without risking anything” will not serve any purpose. Write something else which will help us to get out of from the ugly clutches the present big political parties’ aspire for power hungrily. I also strongly believe some pro-people political parties should bring into existence to rule us as our friends, not masters. Write pieces on how to get them occurred.

    Many freedom fighters have left their values of our liberation war which they once strongly hold and have changed their colours. We do not expect this, at all from them. I am a very young girl just passed out from a private University. I am deeply frustrated because of the behaviour of our senior most citizens as well as our age group of people.

    Regards.

    Kolpona

    • Mo Chaudhury

      Dear Ms. Kolpona,

      This would be my last engagement on this op-ed if bdnews24.com publishes this.

      Freedom fighters, inspired and led by the cherished leader (Bangabandhu), fought and many sacrificed their lives for a Bangladesh of some values. Not sure about your age, but I was there, know the contexts of that time and lived through the Liberation War including the atrocities of the local collaborators; so I guess it is not necessary for others to educate me about the Liberation War.

      If you are confused (possibly because how politicians distort them for own benefit), see http://opinion.bdnews24.com/2014/01/16/the-spirit-of-1971/. So, please use utmost restraint the next time you and others describe the leanings of others.

      War criminals must be brought to justice as they are now, but perpetrators of all crimes (petrol bombers, blogger killers, campus killers, those responsible for abductions and extrajudicial killings, killers of ordinary citizens like Touki,..) must be brought to justice too.

      Punishing crime is different from lust for revenge that I see in many Bangaldeshis, especially many young folks. That is NOT what the freedome fighters fought for.

      Regards. -MC

      • Farida Akhter Kolpona

        Dear Dr. Chaudhury:

        “This would be my last engagement on this op-ed if bdnews24.com publishes this.” Why so arrogant? Why are you threating me and other commentators to be restraint? Because I am so young! I do not know anything! You only know everything well! Do you think so? I don’t think so? I am not, at all, confused. Rather, you are trying to confuse us. M. Sophia Newman, an American lady, an op-ed writer and Afsan Chowdhury (an ex-Marxist), another op-ed writer fled away from the page(s) when commentators put forward strong logic and presented the truths. In line with them, you are also taking the same route because we presented the truths only. You do not like the truths! Shame on you!

        You condemn Awami League in the harshest language and I have nothing to say. When you say : “War criminals must be brought to justice as they are now, but perpetrators of all crimes (petrol bombers, blogger killers, campus killers, those responsible for abductions and extrajudicial killings, killers of ordinary citizens like Touki,..) must be brought to justice too” and I am in agreement with you. But still then, perpetrators of all crimes committed by the Jamaati war criminals shall be treated separately because of their very high extent of damages done to our millions of people, dishonouring of innumerable numbers of our mothers and sisters, shelterlessing of hundreds of thousands of our people in 1971 and so forth. “Punishing crime is different from lust for revenge” this sentence of yours gives a clear impression what is meant. Definitely, you are very shrewd here because you are very dis-satisfied as the Jamaati war criminals are being tried now and you do not want to express it openly. To try the war criminals is not to take revenge as propagated by Jamaat, Shibir, BNP and their accomplices, Toby Cadman, a British lawyer, David Bergman, a British citizen, now a journalist of The Daily New Age etc. but the truth is that it is to establish justice. We do want to establish this justice and this has been happening.

        Five members of our family actively participated in our glorious Liberation War. Two members (includes my paternal uncle also) of our family were brutally murdered by the Jamaati ferocious war criminals. If I want death punishment for them, will it not be justified? If I kill someone of your family, will you pardon me, garland me profusely?

        Wishing you good luck.

        Truly,

        Kolpona

    • Sarker Javed Iqbal

      Bravo Kolpona! Now I can close my eyes forever in peace as the new generation leaders like you and Sohel has risen up. I am sure a fresh pro-people political culture will flourish soon under your (along with many other new generation people) leadership. Thrash out the rotten political culture. Go ahead please. Let us breathe in fresh air so long we are alive. I have seen the Pakistani rule and gone/going through Bangladeshi rule as well. But find no difference. Then why did we fight for liberation! Seem a new war is imminent!

      • Farida Akhter Kolpona

        Mr. SJ Iqbal :

        I do not do politics and shall never do politics also in future. You can please take the leadership to carry forward the new generation based on the spirit of our Liberation War. “Joy Bangla” is the slogan of our glorious Liberation War. Our freedom fighters fought for the country pronouncing the word “Joy Bangla” in a very louder voice to keep their morale very high and thus Bangladesh was won. The name of “Bangladesh” resonances with the word of “Bangabandhu.” Without “Joy Bangla” and “Bangabandhu”, Bangladesh was impossible. We don’t need to pull back AL here. Let we all us say “Joy Bangla” and “Bangabandhu” in a louder voice and then they will be ours. AL has nothing to do with it.

        God bless you all.

        Sincerely yours,

        Kolpona

      • Sarker Javed Iqbal

        Dear Kolpona,

        I understand your views, emotion and concern. It is too late for me take the leadership at this age! Anyway, I am optimistic about emergence of a new leadership from the new generation with true spirit to lead and serve the nation.

        Please find below some exchanges of comments between Mr. Anwar A. Khan and me where you will get our views on ‘Joy Bangla’ and ‘Joy Bangabandhu’.

      • Farida Akhter Kolpona

        Dear Mr. SJ Iqbal Sir,

        Thanks for your comments. I salute you!
        Bangladesh shall be run by the people or the politicians based on the spirit of our glorious Liberation War. There shall be no place for the Jamaatis and Shibir cadres and their accomplices and supporters in our motherland which we have earned through a blood-bath of millions of innocent people. Down with their supermom and their cohorts. It is our country, not theirs.

        Joy Bangla! Joy Bangabandhu! Joy Bangladesh!

        Sincerely yours,

        Kolpona

  2. Syed Imtiaz Ali

    If a system (for that matter anything) is broken it will never get back to shape, no matter how finely all the pieces are put together. So it is said: “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Development, emancipation, enlightenment, freedom of choice, freethinking have to be redefined to stay put in the system, unless the train departs on a FRESH journey.

  3. Mo Chaudhury

    1. I am deeply grateful to all the readers who urged to comment on the content of op-eds. This amply demonstrates the maturity and professionalism of bdnews24.com readers.

    2. Please do consider elaborating/clarifying the following points/comments made:

    A. How is vote rigging in most (not all) of the various elections held since 2013 related to the politics and legitimacy of BNP, or to the violence of petrol bombs as heinous and despicable as they are? Aren’t these separate issues?

    B. Clearly BNP’s origination as a democratic party is questionable unlike the historic AL’s. But BNP consistently enjoys the support of about 33% of the population (AL: 40%). Bangladeshi people also voted them into power for two times. Thus, can any viable solution disregard the opinion of one third of the population?

    C. Is Jatiyo Party’s origination and rule any more democratic (than original BNP’s)? It is, however, an important ally of AL, it has been designated as the official opposition in the parliament, and its members/leaders are ministers?

    D. I admire and trust the political acumen and real mukti juddher chetona (democracy, freedom of expression, equal rights and economic opportunities for all; secualrism was added shortly after liberation) of ordinary Bangaldeshis; despite enormous financial resources, the religion-based parties including Jamaat is always contained to less than 5% of popular support. This is the third time in power for AL since the tragic assassination of Bangabandhu. But PM Hasina is choosing not to officially ban Jamaat and religion-based politics in general (in fact there are some in her alliance). Perhaps PM Hasina believes that politically marginalizing them is a better solution than banning such parties.

    Please do consider these issues with an open mind. Thanks much for your participation in this important dialogue. — MC

    • Habibur Rahman Sohel

      Dear Mr. Mo Chaudhury Sir,

      I am a student. I am afraid how you would accept my comments because I am much younger than you, maybe, less than half of your age.

      I believe your thought process is fully based on a wrong premise as I have gathered from your response to the readers/commentators. You want to fix a broken system. How come is it possible? Your deliberations focus that you wish to fix the broken system keeping the present political parties. It is nothing but a day dream only, nothing else. Most of our people have become morally bad in principle or practice. The politicians belong to AL, BNP and JP have gone too far away from the right path or direction. Jamaat is a criminal outfit, each and every one of it deserves due punishment for the grave magnitude of atrocities they committed and are still committing.

      Your point 2A to 2C : Yes, vote rigging and the issues you raised in your column are not the same thing; they two are separate issues; you do not want to mingle them together. But we must look back into our past records because the past experience helps to build up the future, the future course of action and we can’t deny this truth. Your cry has stuck up to 33% BNP supporters and you do not want to see any solution disregarding this 33% peoples’ supporters. JP is the other side of the same coin, BNP. You are very shy when you say anything about BNP because you want to give a notion in a softer tone only that “BNP’s origination as a democratic party is questionable” and your logic is too weak here. It is not the question of questionable. The truth is that it is an illegitimate political party; it was born in a manner disapproved or not allowed by custom. I don’t think BNP enjoys 33% peoples’ support as you said; the percentage of their support is much more than that because as I said earlier most our populace has become bad and the bad people like the bad like. AL is nowhere; it has earned so much bad reputation, not only the polls rigging but also in other areas. Why should people support AL? People in general shall be considered as a whole as bad as it is possible. You are not worried about Jamaat which holds only 5% peoples’ support. Your assumption is totally wrong. The people who do Jamaati and Shibir politics are criminals; the criminal will do criminal acts only and that is well proven; they have strong connections with all terrorist organisations throughout the world including IS, Taliban and other gangster organizations. JI is financially very strong from all other political parties, other so-called political leaders and it is money which controls everything. So, we should not see and consider them like an alleyway.

      Your point 2D : Your words reading :”I admire …….real mukti juddher chetona” sounds like word for word only; it seems to me as if we sometimes tell that if I were such a leader or PM or something big shot else, I would do so and so like to catch the sun or the moon. JI and other so-called religion trade based political parties would have been disbanded long time back. But almost 44 years have passed by after our Liberation War. BNP and JP politics allowed them to go free-handedly and it is because of their unkind politics, these evil forces have taken a strong root in the country. There are a lot of educated and intellectual elites in the country like you (you are now at a far-off place from the country) will make a huge hue and cry once any such banning action is effected against those evil forces. Spending money, they will also enlist both local and international HR organizations to their folds to launch back campaigns against the government to stop it. As I presume, you will also not keep silent against any such move. We have already seen so many intellectuals from different professional groups to speak in louder voices against such banning endeavour and they are very active in this concern. Uncle Sam + EU diplomatic missions are also against any banning move. Maybe, because of all these reasons, the government is fearful in taking such an action despite it may have also bad intentions.

      Keeping the present big political parties and supporting them, I do not see any light at the end of the tunnel. More days go, more brutal things will happen. You and your generation will not be able to see any positive changes in the days to come.

      I am equally afraid about my generation which is much more intolerable, selfish, self-centred, corrupt-minded, cruel and so on. Then the question comes up, will not the state survive then? The state will survive but it will be run by the demons! People will also act like monsters!

      I AGREE WITH ONE HONOURABLE COMMENTATOR THAT A PRO-PEOPLE GOVERNMENT TO BE RUN THE COUNTRY BY A PRO-PEOPLE POLITICAL PARTY IS A LONG CHERISHED PRAYER. YOU ARE AN ERUDITE AND SO, I WOULD ADVISE YOU TO PLEASE PUT FORWARD YOUR CONSTRUCTIVE AND VALUABLE SUGGESTIONS IN YOUR WRITE-UPS(S) ON HOW TO GET HAPPENED SUCH A POLITICAL PARTY WHICH WILL COME TO SERVE THE NATION AS OUR SERVANTS, NOT AS OUR MASTERS. THAT WILL BE USEFUL AND OF GREAT SIGNIFICANCE FOR US ALL. BUT WHATEVER YOU HAVE WRITTEN IN YOUR ARTICLE AND COMMENTS THEREAFTER IS ALL USELESS. OR IF YOU WRITE SIMILAR NATURE OF PIECE IN FUTURE, THAT WILL ALSO BE OF NO USE!

      Please do not keep silent. I need your response to enlighten me and my knowledge.

      With best regards.

      Sincerely yours,

      Habibur Rahman, an apolitical student

      • Mo Chaudhury

        Dear Mr. H. Rahman (Sohel),

        To say the least, I am very encouraged that there exists young educated Bangladeshis like yourself who take great, constructive, progressive and forward looking interest in the state of the nation. Unfortunately, under the current political/electoral system, voices such as yours can hardly be heard and represented in national or local governance.

        The following values will go far: tolerance (of opinions/parties/people..that we don’t like), pragmatism (flexibility to accept less than ideal solutions and ultimate goals), consistency of values (e.g., oppose crimes/violence regardless of who/which party is involved, when and against whom it is committed) and a balanced view of all parties/leaders (do not ignore the positives while considering the negatives).

        Let me not say too much in this form of replying to comments. You can read my views/opinions on the site http://www.mochaudhury.com, on many issues related to the ones mentioned by you and other readers. Blame game and the extremist solution of destroying people/parties we don’t like, forcibly or through violence, whether in power or in opposition, are at the heart of the problem in BD or elsewhere.

        Take care, think calmly and see any glass half full (instead of half empty). Apologies in advance for the unsolicited advice. – MC

      • Habibur Rahman Sohel

        Dear Mr. Mo Chaudhury Sir,

        It is not a blame game as you suggested. In fact, I presented the truths only but you have kept mum on those issue/issues.

        Your kind response could not satisfy a student like me. I wanted to get a reply on the point I raised in capital letters but you have given me an evasive reply without touching the core issue/issues.

        Kind regards.

        Truly,

        Sohel, HR

      • Naila Yasmin

        Dr. Chaudhury :

        People can firmly decide not to vote to any of the political parties as mentioned by Mr. Sohel in his above comments. On the polling day, no voter will go to the polling stations. This way we can disregard them as a means of our strong protest. But will the people do this? I don’t think so. I fully admit Mr. Sohel’s comments that the vast majority of our people has gone astray, irrespective of literate and illiterate people. Will you cast vote for any one of those political parties?

        Your present write-up is of no value. Please write a column or more than one column suggesting ways and means to get rid of these foul political parties and how to get emerged a pro-people political party or parties so that we can vote them to come to power to serve us suitably. As you are a sage, we expect from you to suggest us on how to get rid of the Jamaati war criminals political party and other religion trade based political parties.

        With regards.
        Sincerely
        Naila, a University student

      • Mo Chaudhury

        Dear Sohel and Naila, Hope you don’t mind being addressed by your first name.

        I respect your opinion, more importantly the right to freely express your opinion and that of anyone else. But I respectfully disagree with your basic tenet. To build a decent democracy, we need democratic tolerance, and that means allowing anyone to form and run political parties, however outrageous/unacceptable their platform may be or however miserable their track record is. If the electroal/governance system is properly configured (that was my intention of this article), then the people, by their collective wisdom, can and will express their disapproval. People of BD have shown that repeatedly and consistently.

        May I request you again to read my extensive views/opinions on these matters on my website http://www.mochaudhury.com. The op-ed comment/reply form is not suitable for that.

        Regards. — MC

      • Naila Yasmin

        Dear Dr. Mo Chaudhury :

        “If the electoral/governance system is properly configured (that was my intention of this article)” this theorem has been discussed in the country by many people/intellectuals since long but nothing tangible has happened in this regard as yet. You can cry; we can cry for that change but nothing like that will happen keeping the current big political parties in power and outside the power because they are not sincere and are reluctant to hear this good advise. BD people will also not change their attitudes; they will either run after BNP or AL or JP or the criminal organization- Jammat-e-Islami or other religion trade based parties. We are really disgusted and want to abandon them.

        If you have any new formula for a new pro-people political to emerge, please let us know.

        I shall read your website http://www.mochaudhury.com and thereafter, shall try to make comment.

        With regards.

        Truly yours
        Naila

      • Habibur Rahman Sohel

        Dear Mr. Mo Chaudhury Sir,

        Good morning.

        Nothing like that in line with your thought is expected to occur. We should leave the present political parties behind and look for new people welfare oriented political party/parties to rule us. Please write something in that direction and that will be useful for us all. I shall browse through your site http://www.mochaudhury.com and shall come back to you along with my feedback in this respect.

        Kind regards.
        Sincerely,
        Sohel

  4. Musa Miyan

    Mo you have missed the core issue of the current situation in Bangladesh. This country was ruled by some mobs after assassinating the founder of the nation . These mobs were anti Bangladesh established group. They have derailed the nation and it has to be fixed first and then we can talk about other issues. This current regime is most legitimate regime you can find since Bangladesh had her independence. Keep in mind this regime did not come to power by assassinating the opposition rather by the people’s vote. No government can stay in power forever without people’s are behind them. Those who disagrees with the current regim they have to wait till the next election and change it by vote and not by violence.

  5. Anwar A. Khan

    Mr. Mo Chaudhury:

    Your reform package apparently sounds good. Thank you very much for writing a good piece giving your recommendations.
    But on two points, I am in total disagreement with you.
    1.General people do not want any upheaval; they want that the country should go in a very peaceful manner. When you say: “It unfortunately necessitates upheavals to unseat an autocracy, often resulting in undemocratic and violent transitions”, I get disappointed and hopeless. It seems to me as if you want to resort to violence, fascism and so forth. Your comment tantamounts to more of fascism because you did never condemn the petrol bombers and the crude bombers who carried out their brutal activities on our common people by the instructions of an illiterate woman-cum- so-called politician and her heinous cohorts, Jamaat-e-Islami goons in 2013 and before that time.

    2. Your theorem on “Constraining anti-Liberation ideologies” as propagated in the article seems hearing like some sort of mew mew voice of a small cat. You want to give a very good let-off to these evil forces. But the anti-liberation forces, especially, Jamaat-e-Islami gangsters, the war criminals, ferocious Islami Chhatra Sangha- Al-Badr and Al-shams commanders, Shibir cadres were/are terrible sub-humans. They should not be allowed to do politics in Bangladesh for peace, security and greater interests of our people and Bangladesh. We should be louder in our voices in one tone against these griffins.

    Ciao for the time being!

    • Sarker Javed Iqbal

      I am scared whether condemning petrol bombers and pointing at the leadership of an illiterate woman refutes the hooliganism done and being done from the other sides and qualifies the leadership! Both the leaders were busy in accusing each other overlooking sufferings of the common people of the country during ‘Oborodh’ (Blockade). A genuine pro-people government is remaining long awaited.

      • Anwar A. Khan

        Your last sentence reading “A genuine pro-people government is remaining long awaited” is correct. AL can’t fulfil it. The question of BNP doesn’t arise, at all, because it was born illegitimately in the cantonment funding from the public exchequer and using the state’s spy agencies. All fallen political prostitutes have flocked together there. So, they are always anti-people and anti-humanity.

        Jamaat-e-Islami is a terrorist outfit and most of the war criminals belong to it. We should crush them.

        A new ‘pro-people government’ should emerge from a ‘genuine pro-people political party’ based on the spirit of our Liberation War.

        Who did petrol bombings? It happened in front of us and we know it very clearly. So, your opinion is like a parody!

      • Sarker Javed Iqbal

        I fully agree with you; BNP is not at all in our concern as the party was originated from the Pakistani axis (I am scared to ask what was in the mind of Ziaur Rahman during liberation war? Did he fight to establish a replica of Pakistan with the dream of becoming the monarch in the own land?)

        Now come to the point of AL. Why do you think that ‘AL can’t fulfill it’? (Away from all criticisms) The reason is that, AL lost its character/image they had during liberation war which we believed as the common platform for the whole nation. In course of time it lost its image and pocketed ‘Bangabandhu’ and ‘Joy Bangla’ and made those its personal (Party) property for which we started feeling shy in chanting ‘Bangabandhu’ and ‘Joy Bangla’ anymore and we lost two glorious treasures of the nation. It became exciting that after 42 years of our independence ‘Ganojagoron Moncho’ successfully dragged out ‘Joy Bangla’ from the pocket of AL, but unfortunately they failed to rescue ‘Bangabandhu’ from its clutch. Hope not we will have to wait more 42 years to get back our Bangabandhu!

      • Anwar A. Khan

        Dear Mr. Sarker Javed Iqbal:

        Thanks for your comments.

        “Joy Bangla” and “Joy Bangabandhu” were most favourite slogans during our Liberation Struggles in 1971. I was a college student during that glorious time. I saw freedom fighters were slaughtering by Islami Chhatra Sangha, Al-Badr and Al-Shams commanders belonged to Jamaati-e-Islami; they were asking forcefully those brave and patriotic sons of this soil to say “Pakistan Zindabad’ but those brave and patriotic freedom fighters did never obey to these mass killers; they died pronouncing “Joy Bangla” and “Joy Bangabandhu” in louder voices. I salute them from core of my heart.

        Why shall we depend on AL? We all should say respectfully “Joy Bangla” and “Joy Bangabandhu” in our own way in louder voices. These two words are synonymous with the country, Bangladesh. These words are everybody’s property. Let AL say “Joy Bangla” and “Joy Bangabandhu” but we would also say “Joy Bangla” and “Joy Bangabandhu” without any shyness. Then those two words of great significance will be of ours, not only the property of AL.

        Regards.

        Sincerely,

        Khan

  6. mithun ahmed

    Dear Ms. Laila Shireen: I think you are not familiar with the requirements of an op-ed article. In an op-ed, they look for three things–ethos, logos and pathos. Ethos refers to the credibility of the writer–which refers to the expertise, which is vindicated by the author’s PhD, among others; logos refers to logical consistency of arguments; and pathos refers to appeal to the audience’s emotions and sympathies. This is a set of universally accepted criteria for media op-eds.
    Your criticism of the author’s credibility seems a bit narrow and personal, an impression which I am sure you didn’t mean convey.

  7. iftekhar Hossain

    The recent surge of SNP in Scotland reminds me of the 1970 Bangabandhu election victory. Behold the beauty of democracy in the UK! Fortunately election rigging and vote robbery were quite rare during the 1970s! Practically that particular election win triggered the glorious liberation struggle in this country, although the seed for which was sown long before. Many countries in  the world tried to introduce their own form of curtailed or tailor-made democracy (introducing phony elections), with the excuse mainly of giving priority to economic prosperity. Soviet Union and and many Middle East countries belong to this group. As expected these hybrid democracies never matured to any genuine democracy. All these countries eventually plunged into chaos and destruction. Genuinely free, fair and transparent election is at the heart of democracy; any excuse to curtail or disrupt credible election is nothing but pathetical lame excuse. Face-value democracy never ripes to democracy whatever grace period you accord it.

  8. Syed Imtiaz Ali

    Ms. Shirin has attacked the author, which is here uncalled for. This is a forum to discuss issues and topics. And if any quarrelling and unfriendly person writes a good piece, I can not deny its merit or criticize unfavorably only for the sake of doing so.
    We somewhat know the standing and popularity of McGuill, and MC is not only a Ph.D, he is also a professor, able to profess what he believes is right. Let us please respect each other and get back to our pressing issues. Please remember this is only his point of view, not engraved in stone!

  9. Haider

    Ms. Shirin,

    Your comments are uncharacteristic of an educated and cultured person. Your disagreement should have been about the content not the person who wrote the article. It seems you have some axe to grind. Why don’t you in other forum.

    Haider

  10. Pulak Sen

    What’s the matter, Laila Shirin, have you gotten out of the wrong side of the bed today? Don’t like Mo’s unshaven face? Just because your bright husband pursued $, and not academic laurels doesn’t diminish others’ accomplishments.

    McGill is a perfectly decent university, now flooded by scions of nouveau-rich Bangladeshi dollar-millionaires. How’s Columbia any better? Be nice. Columnists get paid very little (1500 to 5000 taka per column) to write. Many write as a service, as a way of giving back to our long-suffering motherland, Rangpur included. Ciao!

  11. Laila Shirin

    Mr Chy, Tt looks very tacky when you say you have a phd. Having a doctorate in Finance doesn’t make you educated. Please don’t advertise your academic credentials…it is in bad taste. I know couple of people with phds who write for BD papers and they do not use it in their ID. Let your work speak for itself. If you have things to say, and if you can articulate your points and can give a good analysis…that is all I am looking for in acolumn as a reader. I don’t expect you to come up with solutions…only suggestions. At McGill deshis are dime a dozen…so I am not impressed. One of my nieces went there. It is an okay institution. So next time leave your designation on the wall diploma…if you want me to read your column. Today I couldn’t. Sorry

    • Sarker Javed Iqbal

      Dear Dr. Shirin,

      I could not get you; why are you so furious with Dr. Choudhury? I did not find anywhere in his article he advertised his academic credentials; it is probably a requirement and part/role of the bdnews24 authority to introduce the writer with readers and they did that. It is obviously important to know who writes what e.g. a write-up on a same issue from me and from Dr. Yunus cannot be valued equally!

      I have gone through the article from Dr. Chudhury and found very much constructive, positive and thought provoking. It would be appreciated if you could focus on his write-up and pass your comments; positive or negative.

      By the way, we should be appreciative and respectful to one’s hard-earned academic achievements. I request you to promote positivism in you and show due respect to the people around you. Thanks.

    • Mo Chaudhury

      Dear Ms. Shirin,

      I am sorry that you feel offended by the author identification part of my opinion piece. It would have been more constructive if you instead focused on the content and commented on that, it really does not matter (at least to me) who is the author.

      By the way, writers are used to personal attacks and you are neither the first nor would be the last to do so.

      Regards. — MC

    • Ayesha

      Ms. Shirin,
      Please be modest when you write your comment. You should comment on his writing only! Try to get the actual message and key points from this write up.
      We should all respect each other!

    • Sibgat Choudhury

      Ms. Shirin,
      I’m utterly disappointed at your uncouth and irrelevant comment on the writer of this column. It seems like you didn’t receive a good education from your family sources, let alone a good institution. For your kind information, it’s not uncommon to provide writer’s background at the end of an article, and many well known esteemed media outlets often do that. What you have mentioned about the writer of the article is merely your own narrow interpretation of the writer’s intent, nothing related to the substance of his writing.
      Also, it has become a norm of some of the half educated readers of BD origin to criticize and comment irresponsibly on a topic they don’t have any clue about.
      Being judgmental about a famous institution on the basis of your nieces experience is baseless and irrational. Please make your future comments more substantial avoiding personal attack on the writer or others commenting on the article.

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