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3 November, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Varying roles of Dr Kamal in politics

Dr. S A Malek
Varying roles of Dr Kamal in politics

Dr. Kamal Hossain, an eminent legal expert and now the head of Jatiya Oikkyafront, has been telling once again that his only intention is to hold a free and fair election. His recent point of discussion is that the present ruling party has destroyed democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law. As the leader of a political party (however the size is) and also a conscious citizen the demand for democracy is the need of the hour. So the demand for democracy is all right. But when he emphatically declares that the government of Sheikh Hasina is solely responsible for having no democracy in the country and Sheikh Hasina government has ruined the country, it seems that Dr. Kamal has been speaking out of a wrath against Sheikh Hasina.

As for democracy Dr. Kamal has always been advocating for a type that the father of the nation did not aspire for. Bangabandhu declared “the world is divided into two blocks – the exploiter and the exploited”. He was in favour of the exploited. The formation of BAKSAL for the emancipation of the common people of Bangladesh was not liked by person like Dr. Kamal Hossain, M A G Osmani, Nure Alam Siddique. In fact, these people dissociated themselves from the political process undertaken by the father of the nation. Bangabandhu was killed brutally by the enemies of independence. Even those elites still blame Bangabandhu for destroying democracy and now they are putting the same blame on Sheikh Hasina.

If democracy has dwindled, who is to be held responsible for that? It is Bangabandhu who framed the constitution of 1972 and held election in 1973 on the basis of that constitution. He established the parliamentary democracy in the country that remained functional for three and half years. What were the objective realities then in Bangladesh? In the name of class struggle some extremist political parties started creating anarchy, kidnapping, killing, rape, attack on home minister’s residence, bank loot. They killed five members of parliament. Tipu Biswas declared a direct war against the government. Were those steps in favour democracy? The father of the nation and the chief of the war of liberation could not remain a silent spectator. So he had to take stringent measure. That was the reason for the fourth amendment. It is out of compulsion that he formed a united political platform to accommodate all those who were in favour of independence. Before he got to start, he was assassinated along with almost all members of his family. Even if we admit that Bangabandhu was killed for curbing democracy what was the post seventy five reality? That is the period of 15 years ruled by two military dictators. If democracy is the subject for consideration, one must explain what the state of democracy was during the regime of these dictators. Each of whom had his own political agenda. They held rigged election. Each of them governed the country in their own way. People knew it well that what kind of democracy they really practiced?

Dr. Kamal is now talking about the absence of democracy. But he was then never on the street with a demand for democracy, rule of law and right of franchise. The people witnessed holding of mock elections, using state machinery for political purpose. Rampant corruption, looting, rape were there. The people of the country even saw casting of 110% votes in the so-called ‘yes’ `no’ vote drama of General Zia. It is said that the candidates willing to contest national polls had to approach the DGFI headquarter to seek for nomination.

Begum Zia ruled the country for ten years also in the name of democracy. For the first time she got elected in 1991 election held on the basis of outline of the three alliances. But the moment she got to power she ignored outlines of the three alliances and ruled the country like her husband General Zia. She openly said that she had been following the ideology of General Zia.

What was the ideology of Zia? He killed several thousand freedom fighters in the name of combating coup d’etat. He is said to be the main person who was behind the killing of Bangabandhu. Even he did not feel the necessity to put the killers of Bangabandhu on trial. Rather he transformed the indemnity ordinance into law to present the trial of killers of Bangabandhu. General Zia facilitated their easy passage and rehabilitated them giving appointment in the foreign mission. He also helped forming political party by the killers and brought them (killers) in the parliament. Are those ugly steps were meant to establish democracy in the country? Certainly not. The fact is Dr. Kamal Hossain then used to roam all over the world and come to the country safe and sound. But the two daughters of Bangabandhu were disallowed to come to the country liberated by their father. They were compelled to live outside the country. Eminent lawyer like Dr. Kamal Hossain did not say a single word then. He has now shedding tears for democracy. He is also now ready to sacrifice his life for democracy if needed.

But what is the reality now? Do the people of Bangladesh feel so insecure like Dr. Kamal and his followers? In fact, the kind of terrorism that was unleashed during Begum Zia’s regime has been duly contained by Sheikh Hasina following the principal of zero tolerance. There is no political killing in the country. The people are enjoying safe and peaceful life. Even a citizen can safely walk on the street of Dhaka at dead of night. Businessmen are running their business normally. The government and non-government employees have been doing their job smoothly. Health, education and service sectors are quite functional. There is no scarcity of food. There is no hunger. The country is self-sufficient in food. The media are free. The people are enjoying freedom of expression. The way the talkers criticize the government in the TV talk shows proves that they are enjoying full freedom of expression. When there is an election people can vote for their candidates freely. The union, upazilla and mayoral elections have been held peacefully.

Today those who take to the street to make a fall of Sheikh Hasina government are really those who all along have been obstructing the path of democracy, the Jammat-Shibir -BNP clique. It is Sheikh Hasina who has been able to make Bangladesh free from all sorts of terrorism creating an atmosphere of peace and tranquility badly needed for establishing democracy. It is really a mystery why leaders like Dr. Kamal Hossain has been on the street to make a fall of Sheikh Hasina government just to rehabilitate those who are enemies of democracy and rule of law.

Terrorism and democracy cannot go together. There has been repeated assault on Sheikh Hasina just to kill her. Even after coming to power the government of Sheikh Hasina had to face BDR carnage which was meant for creating a chaos so that the newly elected government couldn’t function. The way Sheikh Hasina did control the situation with courage and determination is certainly praiseworthy. Those who orchestrated the fatal 21 August grenade attack have been awarded proper punishment.  

Dr. Kamal belongs to a class whose interest really differs from the democracy that is being cherished by the oppressed and suppressed people of Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina has certainly been trying to revive that democracy that would emancipate the deprived and distressed. She wants to raise their voice that still remains unheard. The elite bourgeoisie’s democracy is not the one that Sheikh Hasina and exploited people of Bangladesh aspire for.

The writer, former political adviser to the prime minister and Member of Parliament, is general secretary of Bangabandhu Parishad  

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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