Ashraf’s Column

Friday, August 15, 2008

We need supporters, not slaves

It will appear to any casual observer that in Bangladeshi politics the leaders do not have supporters or followers. They have slaves. These slaves blindly support their respective leaders, even if such leaders are grossly wrong, corrupt and unpatriotic. These slaves are mostly created by sycophants, and dalals (paid agents) employed by a leader in exchange of undue favor. Media, which in most cases in our country are owned by corrupt businessmen, also play a big role in making a corrupt person a big leader. What is most shocking is that many highly educated members of our civil society and intelligentsia shamelessly enroll(ed) themselves as the slaves of one leader or the other to become vice chancellors, pro vice chancellors, ambassadors, DGs of autonomous organizations like Bangla Academy, Shilpakala Academy, members of public service commission, anti corruption commission, election commission etc.

To establish a reasonably democratic society we need to come out of our present mindset. We need to judge and evaluate the ideology and the past track record of a party before we support or vote for such a party. If I am a supporter of a particular party I should always try to rectify the wrong doings, wrong policies and wrong leaders of my party. If I cannot to do so I should, in national interest and to keep my conscience clear, withdraw my support from the party. We must not blindly follow a leader, or his/her family members. We must not be carried away by the charisma, true or false, of any leader or his/her family members. As long as we fail to do so, no one eleven, even if it is repeated ten times, is going to help us get rid of the corrupt leaders. That is the big lesson learnt in the last nineteen months. Our political parties need supporters, not slaves. Will someone from among your learned leaders kindly tell us how can we do that as a nation?

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