Harming people during blockade
MORE than 30 people have been killed and several injured last week and till Tuesday of this week. The victims include political party activists, leaders and ordinary people. Nowadays, burning people seems to have become ‘in vogue’ in violent practices. Petrol bombs are hurled at vehicles to start a fire.
What are the political parties doing in the name of protests? Why are they setting fire not only on vehicles but also people? Politicians may say they are protesting against autocracy for the sake of democracy. But how is harming innocent citizens a democratic practice? They protestors may argue that the government does not pay heed to their peaceful demonstrations such as human chains but such violent methods where people are harmed cannot be the way to protest against the current incumbent.
The opposition leader has given a statement recently that innocent people must not be harmed for they are not the rivals. Yet, there is widespread violence in the country. On the other hand, the government is on a spree of arresting opposition party leaders to add more fuel to the fire. The Awami League-led regime has arrested several innocent people during their tenure. People hate such activities of a regime that claims to be democratic and yet do everything that goes against the principles of democracy.
Given scores of arrests of BNP leaders, the opposition will not be willing to embrace peaceful means of protests for their lack of effectiveness. If the government wants to make the opposition party leaders appear as terrorists by not giving them the space to protest, people are not fools that they cannot understand actual facts and intentions behind the action of the incumbents.
On the other hand, if the opposition fails to keep their protests and demands at a rational level, people’s opinion will not sway in their favour. Constructive dialogue is the best democratic way to solve any dispute between political parties and arrive at a common ground.
In my view, no government has ever been elected twice consecutively in our country for their uncompassionate and undemocratic attitude towards the opposition. People of Bangladesh resent injustice to anybody. Widespread arrests of opposition leaders and journalists are great injustice. I think this has lessened popularity of Awami League government drastically.
Bangladesh is gradually strengthening its economy and technology but confrontational politics is holding us back from our progress.
There should be an interim government which should enable a dialogue between feuding political parties on the election agenda, practices of human rights, justice and democracy. Competing political parties should reveal how they can develop sectors such as agriculture, communication and technology, on the basis of which, people should vote them. But these agendas hardly seem to be in focus due to hartals and countrywide blockades by the mai8n opposition political party coalition and the ruling party’s efforts to hold on to power no matter what.
Founder and research fellow at the Centre for Strategic Analysis
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