Monday, 25 September, 2023

Can Politicians Say Whatever They Like?

A.K.M. Atiqur Rahman

Can Politicians Say Whatever They Like?
A.K.M. Atiqur Rahman

Popular News

We are constantly witnessing a common practice among many Bangladeshi politicians, regardless of party affiliation, to speak too much unnecessarily. Politicians have to speak, be it on the streets or in an auditorium. But certainly not in a manner that may incite violence and spread misleading information or hatred. They must be careful about the content, style, diction and defamation or decency while speaking on the political stage or in the political rally. In fact, their every word reaches the people directly. In our boyhood, we knew that politicians are the ideals of the society and the country, others follow them. But what do we see now in this country?

The easiest way to become dishonest is to get involved in politics, which is lead by many unethical politicians. If this is the mentality of the politicians, the language used in their speech, then the time has come to revise the definition of the word ‘politics’. What will our future generations learn from this type of politician? Do people have any respect for such politicians seeing such levels of degradation?

In a recent anti-government rally in front of BNP's office at Nayapaltan, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam, called upon the current government to resign immediately, dissolve the parliament and take steps for establishing a polls-time neutral government for holding the next election in a credible way by forming a new Election Commission. He further said, “This is the only way, there is no other way. So, do it as fast as you can. Otherwise, you will not find a way to escape. Your time is up.”

He also said that BNP will not hold any dialogue with the government without the announcement of an election to be held under a non-partisan government and resignation of the government. To that end, BNP launched a one-point movement from a public rally in Dhaka on 12 July.

Will we call them politicians who utter such provocative words and take a stance that goes against the constitution? How can people give the responsibility of running the country in their hands? If they get such power, they will make the country just a hell. We cannot expect that they will work for the welfare of the country and its people. Don’t they understand that these arrogant or provocative speeches are against the law of the country? Don't they know that not a politician, even a common man of the country can't make such a statement that hurts the honour or dignity of others? Does the law of the land give them the license to be above the law?

The initiative of preparing the death certificate of the party basically starts when the politicians indulge in deceiving the people by capitalizing on lies. Perhaps politicians do not bother if their party becomes a factory of lies. Falling in the trap of false leadership, hatred develops among the workers of the party. Even though it might be a little late, distrust, hatred and lack of confidence in the party and leaders will certainly start once the people will understand. And finally, the people will turn their backs on them. In such a situation, the people of the party, especially the leaders, can no longer stay in a normal state. They say whatever they want to save themselves from the inevitable fall. They don't realise that they are setting themselves up for further demolition.

Political persons must possess patriotism. If you cannot uphold the honour of your motherland, your own honour is also tarnished, nothing is truer than that. Selling the country's honour means erasing one's own existence. And when that work is done by political figures, there cannot be anything so shameful. No nation can be so unfortunate if it fails to protect its self-respect. BNP and its partners are doing that shamelessly. Do the so-called leaders of those parties really love the country?

The speeches of BNP leaders are so incoherent and eccentric that those may seem to someone like capricious demands! People are well aware of the extent of their race who are heating the field of politics with so much devastating political wisdom and foresight. People must have had that experience in the last few years also. Therefore, if you can't come to the right political path by quitting these non-political thoughts, will you get anything other than rejection from the people? The state in which the BNP leaders are taking the party day by day is indicative of turning the party into a disabled party. It is important to remember that they will not be able to occupy state power as they did in the past. The source of power is the people. Walk on the path of democracy by refraining from activities that create sufferings to the people. Let the people be the base of the party, work towards that goal. There is no point in jumping around unnecessarily. Choose the right leadership who can lead the party to the right direction. Because, leadership is very important for any organisation.

The fact is that the enthusiastic running of BNP leaders to foreign embassies to complain against the government might remain as a daydream of their wishful thinking. No one feels bad about dreaming. But the reality is completely different. None of the conditions of the new US visa policy have given any relaxation for BNP leaders and workers. Every word of your speech is being recorded in the files of the concerned departments in the United States. Do you have any way of circumventing the US administration's views on highly sensitive issues like threats to the democratic process, disrespect to state institutions, violation of the law, attack on personal honour, disruption of peace and order, inflammatory statements, etc.? Otherwise you will be caught. And you will fall into your own dug hole, break your arms and legs, then you will remain in self-confinement at your residence. What is the benefit of this hard work then? Please think about constructive good things instead of these provocative activities, you will be much benefited.

Instead of going to foreigners, go directly to the people of the country, it will be useful. During our War of Liberation in 1971, Pakistan approached America. But they could not save Pakistan, or even could not prevent the independence of Bangladesh. Leaders who are going to foreigners to place complaints with their heads bent down and want to stand up by foreigners’ hands are only showing their helplessness and earning disrespect. We must not forget that Bangladesh is no one's ancestral property. Bangladesh is an independent sovereign country that does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and does not accept interference in its internal affairs. Instead of doing these, please stand by the people and work for their welfare. You will see that they will stand by you and place you in power through elections. Because, people are the only source of power, not foreigners. It goes without saying that they are our friends, partners in our development.

I am not going to raise whether these activities of BNP leaders are punishable in the eyes of law of the land or not, but should the leaders of the party not be held responsible for deceiving the people by giving unrealistic, false, disrespectful and provocative speeches in the public gatherings, leading some people astray into bad-politics? They will have to account for the arson and vandalism that they do in the name of politics, which make people’s life miserable. The road to isolation from people has begun, and there is not much left to fall in public anger. Please stop these falsehoods and arrogant speeches, misdeeds and misinformation and bring yourselves to the right politics well before you are exiled from the field of politics. Prove yourself acceptable to the people by participating in the elections. We have to remember that it is possible to go to power only through elections. Forget the old ways. It will be good not only for you, but for everyone.


The writer is a former Ambassador and Secretary