Unruly lawmaker continues to display arrogance of power
The ruling Awami League lawmaker from a Gaffargaon constituency of the ninth Jatiya Sangsad, Giasuddin Ahmed, once again displayed arrogance of power on Thursday by way of publicly threatening a couple of education ministry officials with death, for, as New Age reported on Friday, ‘alleged delay over providing him with a photocopy of a document, which he wanted to fax from the ministry.’ The issue was ‘settled’ following intervention of the primary and mass education minister, Afsarul Ameen, who found it a mere ‘behavioural problem … nothing else’. The same legislator shot at a group of people of his own constituency from his car as they wanted to stop him on the road in May 2012.
Indeed, it is a ‘behavioural problem’ on the part of the lawmaker in question, but there is ‘something else’ with that. There are many people around us who have various types of ‘behavioural problem’, but they do not frequently shoot at crowds or threaten public servants with death. Giasuddin Ahmed and the likes do. It is the arrogance of power on the one hand, and lack of accountability on the other, both at the party and government levels, that provides such ‘powerful’ people with a sense of impunity against the tendency of displaying such arrogance. Had the lawmaker been disciplined properly by the ruling party leadership after he had shot at the crowd in May 2012, he would not have dared to threaten public servants with death on Thursday. Who knows how many people he had misbehaved with between the two reported incidents?
Four years into the government, the ruling Awami League has not made any effective steps to prevent its leaders, activists and supporters from misbehaving with people — the activities of the Bangladesh Chhatra League, its student wing, being a glaring example. There is perhaps no crime left that the BCL exponents have not committed, ranging from beating political opponents to assaulting teachers, from extortions to stalking of girls across the country. The party, we are afraid, has to pay dearly someday for its failure to contain the arrogance of power displayed by its leaders and activists.
Any elected authority in a democratic dispensation needs to be made accountable to the people in general and the electorate in particular. The idea of punishing the elected authorities through elections every five year is not sufficient to democratise an otherwise undemocratic political system currently in place. Instead, it is important to protest effectively against any display of arrogance by the elected representatives as and when it is manifested. For that to happen, the politically conscious and democratically oriented sections of the people need to put up united resistance against undemocratic behaviour of those who are made powerful by nothing else but the electoral mandate of the people.
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