Politicians have remarked on the arrests of senior BNP leaders this weekend from the perspective of their ability to bring people into the streets.
BNP members have complained that the crackdown challenges the party’s ability to organise as leaders are going into hiding, while AL figures have been crowing that the relative lack of reaction to these arrests underlines the opposition’s weakness.
We deplore the myopic attitude to politics being shown by leading politicians.
It is ordinary people who pay the price for our political leaders’ addiction to displays of power and street politics. No one in the country benefits from their short-sighted reliance on confrontation.
When politicians talk in the belief that such displays of power impress voters, they are severely mistaken. Actions which undermine the political process or which have violent consequences are simply not acceptable.
The public has consistently demonstrated its belief in democracy by voting in large numbers at national elections. It has also consistently shown its willingness to vote overwhelmingly for the two main parties. Yet the two parties still carry on as if their popularity depends on their ability to bring people out on to the streets.
They need to change their mindset and remember they are serving people in a democratic society. They must demonstrate that they are motivated by the national interest and show they are fully accountable to the public. Their power must be earned in fair debate and rewarded or rejected at the ballot box, not in the streets or ill-conceived displays of strength.
Source: Dhaka Tribune