Faces alter, not policies

 So what do we gain from all the infighting and bloodshed? Is there any change in sight?

This is post-election time. After the January 5 polls, people from all walks of life seem to have gone into a recess.

There has been discernible change in the political atmosphere of the country. All fronts went quiet almost at the same time, as though the last gun had been fired in the war front.

The agitating opposition wore out, as they were effectively squeezed by the government until they could budge no more. However, not all the measures to gag the rivals were right. But that is what the government machinery found as the only effective tool for the time being.

More or less, the partners behaved accordingly. Even if we take the elections as legally right and morally wrong, the entire work has been done in a sort of haste to form the next government (the current one).

The ruling party and its allies have won the initial victory. The first hurdle, the polls, was held against all odds.

Without much delay, the prime minister addressed the nation through the press on the green lawns of her official home. She took on the media in style.

As I watched, I liked to believe that everything would be alright soon, as our PM sounded so confident.

Her cabinet has new faces. It’s rather naive to make guesses about the newer ones, as they will have to be tested with time and task.

It was surprising to see the US and a few others give a nod to the legitimacy of the new government. All of them had actually voiced their resentment earlier over the polls and the role of the government in handling the opposition.

Now the foreign ministry will have to take up a serious drive to convince the international community about its intentions. Good governance and democracy will top the list of concerns for our global partners.

Ershad has been made ambassador to the government. Not a bad move. The temperamental leader needs something to live with.

What about the role of Jatiya Party members as opposition members and also as cabinet ministers? The government party prefers the JaPa members to remain outside the cabinet and function as a strong opposition.

Experts also opine that an opposition minister in the cabinet will find it tough to contest any government motion in the parliament. Therefore, this has to be worked out in a manner that suits democratic norms.

As the winter passes by, the most heinous part has been the treatment dealt out to the minority families in various parts of the country. This leaves a deep scar in our national psyche.

We don’t want anything like what happened in 1971. We don’t want something like the Gujarat massacre. We despise the atrocities committed against the Burmese minorities. Bangladesh should be a land of peace and tranquility, like it was, once upon a time.

We should not use religion in these ways, nor should we allow the so-called free thinkers and liberal minds to try and take away the religious freedom that one enjoys in this land.

We should not allow any extreme ideas to raise their heads in any way.

BNP is writing a new script for its upcoming schemes. This winter has not been charming. It has been atrocious for their members and activities. The last minute video message by Tarique Rahman just could not produce the necessary vigour in the ranks of the party.

Insiders say, the recent happenings have been good for the party, as it will now level out its shortcomings and have a finer line up in future.

There have been reports that the party chairperson will bring about wholesale changes in all tiers of leadership. She is utterly frustrated over the roles of her senior and once-reliable colleagues.

Pundits fear the comeback of the so-called reformists of 2007-2008. They say the party needs educated, enlightened, well-conversant, smart, and inspiring figures that might bring about changes the party so badly needs.

The parties will try and get their house in order. Maybe the cleansing within the premises will find priority. All this is good for democracy.

But there hasn’t been any sign of friendly discourse between the adversaries. So what do we gain from all the infighting and bloodshed? Is there any change in sight? Not for now.

Source: Dhaka Tribune