According to yesterday’s lead story of this daily, Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) is taking part in the ensuing national election with the electoral symbol ‘sheaf of paddy’ – a trademark sign of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the alliance it leads.
The fact about JeI is that its registration with the Election Commission has been cancelled following a court verdict on its war-crime charges but, contrary to people’s expectation, this pro-Pakistan but anti-Bangladesh political organisation has not been banned. So, legally Jamaat can conduct political activities under its own name though cannot contest any election with a separate symbol of its own. Hence, it took the decision of taking part in the 11th parliamentary election with the symbol of the Jatiya Oikya Front, of which Jamaat is a member organisation.A big question that haunted the political onlookers in the recent period was – whether BNP has severed its relation with Jamaat or is still on honeymoon with it. The above disclosure removed all mysteries about the half-open and half-clandestine Jamaat: It had always been, is still now and is very likely to remain with BNP in future. Another question was – what policy Jamaat is going to adopt vis-à-vis the 11th national election. It is now as clear as daylight that JeI is taking part in the all-important election, obviously with the objective of maintaining its political existence in the country it is still opposed to. But, JeI at the same time has kept another option open – to jump into action in case BNP-led alliance finally boycotts the polls.
The present activities of BNP and Jamaat are consistent with their past actions and therefore understandable, though not acceptable to the freedom-loving people. But what is beyond our intellect is how Dr. Kamal Hossain who worked for the liberation of the country, led the drafting of the country’s first Constitution and served the country as its foreign minister could be hand in glove with this anti-liberation force.
The oft-uttered axiom in political arena is that there is no last word in politics. But our firm stance is that we should refrain from doing things in a way that might lead to legitimising and strengthening of the anti-liberation forces.