Ashraf’s Column

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Where both BNP and AL agree

We are all familiar with the many contradictions between the BNP and the AL. But with little or no effort one may make a list of the points on which these two major political parties have no difference at all. Some of these points are:

a. They do not believe in the practice of democracy within the party. Their party heads never retire. They leave politics only on death. Once a party head/leader is dead the mantle of party leadership is passed on not to a politically competent successor, but to a close family member irrespective of the fact that such a family member has the required education, training, grooming and competence, or not.

b. Such an incompetent successor from the dead leader’s family, on assuming party leadership, finds out who all in the party, or around him/her, are more capable than himself/herself and soon cuts them to size, or gets rid of them by any foul means.

c. In the absence of capable leaders sycophants and corrupt elements from within the party assemble around the new leader to indulge in unabated corruption and misrule.

d. On assumption of power they soon make the state organs like the higher judiciary, anti corruption bureau/commission, parliament, comptroller and auditor general’s office etc, which are meant to ensure public accountability, ineffective and corrupt.

e. Being in power they appoint wo/men with questionable integrity to high offices in the civil and the military for their blind personal/political loyalty to the leader. Instead of selecting kajer lok (useful workers) from among their nijer lok (own men) they have been selecting only okajer lok (useless workers) from among nijer lok, thus creating mess everywhere in the administration.

f. They grant extension of service (even 5 times) to bureaucrats, purely on political considerations, by depriving the younger ones from their due promotions.

g. They stubbornly refuse to implement any reform in the electoral laws which will ensure registration of the political parties, submission of statements of assets of the politicians before assuming public offices and after relinquishing such offices.

h. In a parliamentary election they sell nominations to terrorists, godfathers, smugglers, black marketers, duffers etc at a very high price to fill the parliament with anti social elements.

i. They also dish out nominations to their family members and relations, as many as possible, who are mostly not only incompetent but corrupt too.

j. They want to control the parliament members like a herd of loyal and humble lambs by retaining Article 70 of our Constitution. As long as either of these two parties will be in power Article 70 will remain as a leash around the neck of the parliament members.

k. They find out a nincompoop to appoint as the president so that they can use him as a puppet during rule of the caretaker government. Anyone who on becoming the president tries to show his worth is given the marching order unceremoniously.

l. They do not want to see the local governments at upazila and district levels function so as to make room for the parliament members to make personal gains from development activities carried out at these levels.

m. They only publish so-called white papers to expose the corrupt activities of the politicians who were in the preceding government. But they never arrange their trial and punishment in courts of law. In this respect politicians from all parties behave as if they are members of the same strong trade union.

n. They leave no stone unturned to politicise the teachers and the students of all educational institutions (except primary schools). Thus they have been successfully destroying the education system, whatever we have, of our country.

o. Before the parliamentary election each party makes many tall promises in its manifesto, but only to forget after the election is won.

I have listed only 15 major points. One may add many more.


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