Atrocious and unacceptable
THIS is now common knowledge that the Awami League-led government has kept several hundred public servants out of duty for the past four years on the ground that they are supporters of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party. The BNP also did the same when it was in power between 2001 and 2006. The practice has deprived the state of the efficiency of experienced officers for quite some years now. In the midst of such partisan malpractices in governance, we now have a more dangerous piece of information, which might have already stunned many thinking citizens.
The National Board of Revenue on Tuesday sacked a computer operator on the ground that her ‘family members are either members of or associated with the BNP.’ The news is stunning, indeed. The prime minister’s adviser on health ministry, Dr Modasser Ali, had once declared publicly that the incumbents would recruit in the government jobs only those who are supporters of the ruling party. The politically conscious and democratically oriented sections of the society sharply reacted to the statement. Many must have thought that the adverse public reaction to the incumbents’ decision to leave out those who hold political and philosophical views other than those of the Awami League in the process of recruitment for government jobs would change their recruitment policy.
But the news report in question shows that the government has not only stuck to Modasser Ali’s policy, it has also engaged the police force to find out the political affiliation, if there is any, of the candidates for government jobs; the news report, published by New Age on Friday, says the poor computer operator was sacked following a police report that her family members are ‘either members of or associated with’ the BNP. The NBR decision clearly suggests that to get a government job under the present regime, not only the candidate but also his/her family members will have to be active supporters of the ruling party. In other words, anyone believing in a political ideology other than that of the Awami League would not be considered eligible for a government job — no matter how competent or capable the candidate is for the job. This is atrocious and, therefore, unacceptable for any society that believes in political pluralism.
The incident raises another important question: has the government followed the same principle in recruiting hundreds of officers and employees over the past four years? If it had done so, the government must have deprived the state of getting many competent candidates on the parochial partisan consideration, and thus has done a serious disservice to the country. Under this circumstance, it calls for the setting up of a non-partisan commission comprising members with unquestionable integrity and patriotism to review the recruitments taking place over the past four years. Predictably, the incumbents would not set up such a commission willingly, unless effective public pressure is mounted on the government. For the sake of democratic growth of the state, society must intervene in the process of the government’s principle of depriving the competent candidates of government jobs on parochial partisan ground.
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