A wake-up call for youth — Kamal, Fakhrul campaign online

Gano Forum president Kamal HossainGano Forum president Kamal HossainTop leaders of the opposition coalition of Jatiya Oikya Front have started social media campaign, urging Bangladesh’s young people to vote in the 30 December national elections.

In separate video messages, Gano Forum president Kamal Hossain and BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir encourage the young to wake up as the new generation themselves would decide the future of Bangladesh.

“Who is Bangladesh? It’s you who are Bangladesh…. I know you never give in,” says a voice as Kamal Hossain, in a 1:44-minute clip, is seen entering slowly into a dark room.

The voice airs optimism that Bangladesh will not fail in the future, too, as it saw victory in December 1971 and democracy in 1990 relying on the youth. And so, the youth will wake up again in 2018.

“Wake up Bangalees, your stage is set,” says Kamal Hossain at the end of the message.

The messages, released recently, are now available on the Facebook page of Jatiya Oikya Front, YouTube and other social media platforms.

In another video message, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, BNP secretary general and spokesperson of the Oikya Front, reminds the first-time voters of how the senior generation had participated in the liberation war in 1971.

“We just listened to our heart, ran after a dream of freeing the country to see a democratic Bangladesh. I’m now 70. But, I’m still chasing the same dream; I’m full of aspirations,” he spells out.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. File PhotoFakhrul, who was once a left politician and teacher, urges the youth to dream, “Have you forgotten to dream a dream?”

“People often tell me the BNP will win the election but Awami League will eat up that (vote) because you don’t belong to the Awami League’s political equation. They belittle you. To them, you don’t matter,” the BNP leader says, addressing the new generation of voters.

“Their plan is to conduct violence until 29 December so that you lose all your interest to go to the polling station. They have made such a narrative that whomever you vote for, whatever your political stand is, your vote, your belief will be stolen and altered by them,” Fakhrul cautions.

He goes on to say, “What I tell you is that you should show them that YOU MATTER. Show them, you matter. You are the owners of the country and your vote will decide the future of Bangladesh. Please come and vote whomever you want to vote for. Show them, you are Bangladesh.”

“In my youth, I fought for the country. Now, I want only one day from you to vote on 30 December. Just a day. Show them, you cannot only vote, but also stop vote rigging,” Fakhrul states.

In the video message, he further says, “In our youth, we found a light that we want to pass on to you. And, you’ll have to pass it on to your next generation. Don’t let the light go off.”

Both Kamal Hossain and Mirza Fakhrul have started campaigning online as per the Oikya Front’s top level decision, the BNP chairperson’s media wing official Shairul Kabir Khan told Prothom Alo about the messages.

Source: Prothom Alo.

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