Power of the people
AN ESSAY on people’s power in Bangladesh was published in a local English-language daily on January 21. In Bangladesh, people’s power is expected to reside with the people, who exercise their power through elected representatives. And these elected people, known as members of parliament, enforce the authority of the nation in governing the country.
That is the fundamental idea of democracy, but in our country, unfortunately, the situation is different. Here people’s power is largely exercised by opportunists and exploiters, who cajole or coerce people to vote for their kingpins, who remain busy sharing whatever goodies they can manage, in dealing with various needs of the country and its people. Here cunning and might is the rule of the game. I do not really wonder when I find most of the people feel deprived and have the least trust in the ruling quarters.
Instead of the phrase ‘power to the people’, as shown in the sketch in the middle of the essay, in Bangladesh it is rather a story of snatching power from the people which possibly is a true reflection of the activities of most of the elected people. Democracy, to be effective, needs awareness, principles and dedication, which is sadly lacking among those who get elected. They are party oriented and only toe the line as the party leadership desires. They have no self-respect or love for the country and even the rule of parliament forbids voting beyond party lines. It appears that justice and principles are left behind and toeing party lines is all that is necessary, for which no intellect or judgement is required.
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