Tuesday, 29 November, 2022

Democracy denotes debate, not violence

Democracy denotes debate, not violence

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Respecting others despite having disagreements over any issue is one of the most beautiful features of democracy. In a standard democracy, there are always scopes to differ from an opinion and argue but have no scope to disrespect others for their opinion, whether right or wrong, let alone attack anyone physically. Considering this fact, how Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik, a retired judge of the Appellate Division of Supreme Court, came under attack ‘from a BNP procession’ in Nayapaltan area of the capital on Wednesday proves beyond a doubt that our political culture is far from the minimum standard.

Democratic and legal options were open to counter Justice Manik if the party or any individual had disagreements with his opinion. But those attackers did not show minimum interest in taking those options and attacked him physically, showing the real and ugly character of politicians and politics of our country. Such an approach indeed acknowledges the statement given by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the Parliament that the opposition parties are trying to create political instability in the country, taking advantage of the ongoing economic crisis.

The reason behind such an undemocratic, authoritarian and violent approach of a party is too silly to be ignored and actually indicates the lack of standard democratic practice inside political parties and increasing intolerance in society. For our political parties, democracy is nothing but a way of going to power as to why they deliberately overlook other good practices of democracy. Because of such a mindset, taking to the street and vandalising public or private properties have become synonymous with political programmes where political parties have no concern about whether people have to suffer immensely or lose their lives. So, the common people gradually start fearing political programmes instead of being a part of it.

The most frustrating fact is that political parties in Bangladesh are neither developing the creative faculty to make their opponent bound to fulfil their demand innovatively nor standardising their doctrine of negotiation. But, for the betterment of our country and mainly for their own existence, politicians and political parties must have the courage and determination to face political problems democratically, neither by violence nor at the cost of people’s suffering. Otherwise, they will have to bite the bullet.