Ashraf’s Column

Friday, June 16, 2006

Caretaker government

With the next general election (Bangladesh) hardly half years away, the country seems to be in a hot debate over the constitution and functions of the caretaker government. It seems the nation will once again be pushed into a man-made crisis over this issue. There is likely to be more impasse, arrogance, obduracy, violence and ultimately bloodshed in the next one and a half years before our present set of politicians decide to reach an agreement, at least temporarily, on the issue, as they always did in the past.

Since the attainment of independence in 1971 we have been governed under all forms of governments which democracy can offer the presidential form, the parliamentary form, and lastly the caretaker government for conducting elections only. These governments were run by our politicians, and generals/ bureaucrats/ judges turned politicians. The lesson learnt from all these forms of government is that they all were, more or less, corrupt or inefficient, or both. They failed to serve the people. While the system and leadership varied from time to time in the last thirty four years one important determinant, that is politicians, remained constant. There is a popular saying in the army, ‘It is not the gun, but the man behind the gun which matters in a battle.” Similarly, from our experience of last thirty four years of governance, it can very well be said, it is not what is written in the constitution of a country, but the politicians who run a country as per constitution which matter in governance.

With due respect to all those politicians, intellectuals and scholars who are now involved in the current debate over the constitution and functions of the caretaker government, I would like to request patriotic and sensible persons from all walks of life to tell the nation how we can get rid of the present political culture and have efficient and honest politicians to govern us. Here, one very interesting point to note is that whenever our Election Commission in the past tried to bring in new laws and systems to keep terrorists, godfathers, corrupt retired bureaucrats, tax evaders and criminals out of the parliament and local government, it faced stiff resistance from all our major political parties. In spite of all the political differences they have, they are united in defending the present corrupt political culture!

Barring a very few exceptions, which can be counted on finger tips, politics in our country is a hostage in the hands of a handful of terrorists, godfathers, corrupt retired bureaucrats, tax evaders and criminals. As long as we fail to free our politics from these anti people so called leaders we shall never have good governance from a pro people government.


  • So you have now transferred politics from the hands of terrorists to the hands of army?

    Happy, are you?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 9:43 AM  

  • At least I am more than happy with the current gov comparing to those politicians who governed us in the past

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 2:27 AM  

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