A sensible opposition
Forty years of independence gave Bangladesh a lot. We have made significant progress towards democracy. We have ousted military dictators and established democracy in a very short period of time comparing to other countries in the world. Many other countries in the world are still dealing with dictator’s or military regimes. Along this journey, many of our leadership sacrificed a lot. Our prime minister lost her entire family. Our opposition leader was widowed. And many other great leaders sacrificed their life for our country, for our democratic rights. Since 1991, we are having parliamentary elections in regular intervals, which is a very good sign. Besides small incidents, Bangladesh is sailing smooth in the path of a modern democratic society.
I thank Shiek Hasina and Khaleda Zia for their personal sacrifice for our country. History will judge their contribution for our country. But we live in the present and we need to solve our current problems. I consider Bangladesh still a very fragile democracy. In 2008, people of Bangladesh gave Bangladesh Awami league a landslide victory and I believe Sheik Hasina’s govt doing everything they could do to move the country forward. But they are missing a key ally in their journey which is Bangladesh Nationalist Party, a largest opposition in the parliament. Without a sensible opposition, democracy doesn’t sustain. BNP has not been in the parliament for over a year now. Parliament is the heart of the democracy. People send their representatives in the parliament through a fair voting process. But BNP is not exercising people’s mandate. They are staging street protest, disrupting commerce, affecting people’s lives by calling hartal in the name of people. Calling strikes is a democratic right, but not by violating law and order of the country. We are not Egypt or Tunasia where we have dictators for over 30 years. We have a democratic government in the country. We don’t need street protest, burning buses or shutting down businesses through violence. We need productive dialogs in the parliament. If opposition leader truly cares for the people of Bangladesh, please go fight for people’s right in the parliament. Not in the street.
If BNP leader’s true motive is just to get in power, then our democracy is in big trouble. BNP is the second largest political party in the country. We need them in the parliament, not in the street. Debate the national issues you do not agree with, even if you don’t win by majority in parliament, people will know that BNP is a sensible and credible opposition. So when they are elected to run the country, they will be a sensible government as well. I share the same sentiment for future opposition parties in Bangladesh. Let’s take out country forward, not backward. I am urging BNP to come back to the parliament and start participating in the democratic process and stop calling hartals.