The Constitution of Bangladesh guarantees freedom of assembly and association for every citizen, subject to certain reasonable restrictions in the interest of public order. So, if anyone or a group of people floats a political party to serve public interests, we cannot raise legal or moral objection. However, opening a political platform is a very serious matter; it must have well-defined and clear-cut political objectives and proper methodology for achieving the goals. The political manifesto of the party must be of such a nature and designed in a way that it serves the ultimate interest of the broader masses and can be acceptable to them.
None is going to disagree with this textbook definition of politics and political parties. But in practical terms it is not always the case. That as many as 80 political parties submitted prayer for registration with the Election Commission can be considered in this connection. The interesting thing about these so called parties is that most of them were never before found active in the country’s political arena; some of their names carry no meaning and many of them do not conform to the nature of genuine political parties. At least in one case, the newly proposed name is clearly intended to conceal their real anti-Bangladesh, anti-Liberation War political orientation.
However, it is not our intention to speak ill of or demean the organisations that have applied to the EC; there may be sincere political forces that are motivated by real concern for the people. But what we really mean is that the people of the country are already crushed under the heavy burden of so many political parties and the scuffles thereof. The proposed parties must not make people’s burden heavier if they cannot deliver anything fresh and genuine. Let not politics be the last resort of scoundrels, as the saying goes.