Monday, 25 September, 2023

Politics Must Not Jeopardise People’s Life

A.K.M. Atiqur Rahman

Politics Must Not Jeopardise People’s Life
A.K.M. Atiqur Rahman

Popular News

Politics is not only practiced in Bangladesh, it is more or less visible in every democratic country all over the world. In a democracy, politics, in fact, determines how much people of a country are conscious about their right to select the government. In this process, politicians play the pivotal role in transforming the political system that ensures the rights of their people. Therefore, people, politics and politicians- these three words are complementary to each other. These are not just three words but three basic pillars of practicing democracy. However, without people, no politics or politicians exist. Country’s political environment, peace, development, security and overall acceptance to the world community depend on the equation developed by these elements.

Being a democratic country, Bangladesh has been experiencing political activities of a number of political parties. Though there are our political parties, their aims and objectives are supposed be fulfilling the expectations of the common people. Being the aim of forming a political party is to do welfare of the country and its people, it is normal that a party engages itself in political activities, like processions, meetings and rallies, including programmes in protest of any injustice, oppression, deprivation or irregularities.

It is a normal perception that whatever the ideologies a political party owns, all policies of that party must be framed in the light of country’s constitution. In any means, political parties should not be involved in any such activity that violates country's constitution. A party’s activities are to protect the interests of the country and its people. They cannot organise a programme that puts people’s life at risk. We can at least expect that behaviour from our politicians.

But what are we actually facing every day from them? How much are the politicians concerned about people’s sufferings caused due to their political activities? Do they consider at all the difficulties could be faced by the people while throwing any political event? Very recently, the largest political party Bangladesh Awami League organised their programmes at Baitul Mukarram mosque area and the BNP organised their programme at Naya Paltan simultaneously on 28 July. The next day, BNP has once again resorted to the politics of burning and vandalising at Jatrabari area as a part of their sits-in programme at all entry points to Dhaka city. The entire area was turned into a battle ground and ultimately had created sufferings for the people, especially the local traders and commuters. On 31 July, BNP organised their protest programme at the Suhrawardy Uddyan. Awami Leaque also organised programmes simultaneously.

If political parties throw their programmes in this way, how can people take the risk of moving from one place to other in this city? Do they really think of people’s wellbeing? In Bangladesh, politicians normally think about themselves. They have already transformed politics into a tool of realising their personal gains, like a business. In their minds, people live till the elections are over. Political programmes are thus considered as the primary tools to gain power to cheat people.We had already seen how people were allured by the politicians.

No one can deny that the extremity of traffic jam in Dhaka when any political gathering or procession is organised here. Not only the venue areas are stopped for vehicular movements, but alos the surrounding areas, in fact the entire Dhaka city faces heavy traffic jam, it comes to a standstill. And the ultimate sufferers are the people, the waste of working hours and fuel.

In my write-up on this page of the Daily Sun on 23 January 2018, I had proposed a few measures to reduce people’s sufferings due to such political programmes in Dhaka city. I would like to repeat some of those for kind attention of our concerned authorities- (1) Government can select a number of places for political gatherings, rallies or processions outside the city. These places might be somewhere like Biswa Ijtema ground, or in a stadium/open field at Mirpur, Uttara and Fatulla. (2) Political parties have to take prior permission from authorities concerned for holding any outdoor meeting, rally or manifestation. (3) Government as well as political parties should be encouraged to organise programmes during weekends (Friday and Saturday). (4) If any programme is organised in an auditorium (indoor) in the city, then the number of participants/guests should be limited. The number will be such that it will not create any traffic congestion. All political, social, cultural and religious organisations of the country as well as the people are expected to come forward with sincere mindset to support and cooperate the government in this regard so that they would also be able to organise their programmes peacefully.

Our national election is knocking at the door. Dhaka city has already been turned into a playing ground for our politicians pushing aside its citizens at risk. The situation is supposed to worsen in the coming days. Of course, as a democratic country, there would be political activities. But those activities should not cause any sufferings to common people. Our awareness and required measures from the government are crucial in mitigating such crisis.

Bangladesh was born of the blood of common people of this land. It is, therefore, expected that political parties in Bangladesh will think about the advantages and disadvantages of the people, if they really need the people. For country’s development, we need to maintain a favourable environment. Our political parties cannot disown or disregard that responsibility. Therefore, all parties, irrespective of their position, should work together with respect, tolerance and friendship. No political party should be involved in any activities that can damage the interest and image of the country and the people or hinder country’s development. Politicians have the right to do politics, but they have to respect the people’s rights as well.


The writer is a former

Ambassador and Secretary