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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Gilmore`s concerns and the need for humanising politics



We welcome the concerns expressed by the visiting European Union's Human Rights Special Representative Eamon Gilmore about the situation of human rights and the rule of law. But we need active international cooperation to eliminate the concerns together with the government.

It is so strange that the ministers have a tendency to treat the foreign representatives like the European Union's Special Representative as not being fully informed to insist that there is the rule of law in the country and in the court matters the government cannot do anything. Gilmore did not fail to take up the controversial digital security law for making free speech liable to easy police cases.

For one offence there cannot be more than one case yet we find 10 to 30 cases are lodged in violation of the Constitution but the law minister looks the other way and do nothing to stop the practice.

The government should not be so confident as to think that the other countries do not know what has been going on in Bangladesh. What is humiliating is we give them a dim view of our competence for good governance and our love for freedom.

Corruption has gone so deep into the state craft resulting in disorder everywhere that we are heading for a disaster. A police officer openly admits paying taka 40 lakhs allegedly to save himself from corruption charges.

By fostering police fear we shall not be doing any good to the police or the country. We are locked in a might against might confrontation.

State power is never an all time sure arrangement. Suddenly one finds himself totally helpless. Once President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari is now in police custody for allegations of corruption. Why a former President has to face the humiliation of being in police remand? When in power no reform in law was thought of.

The law minister had no hesitation to claim that thousands of political workers including Begum Khaleda Zia are suffering in jail as a result of legal process. Begum Zia has committed no murder. She has been convicted in connection with the allegations relating to two private trusts named after her husband. Can we say there is no scope for human consideration because of her age and health condition? She can be helped without giving her full freedom.

Instead of politicising everything for vindictiveness let us humanise the politics of our country for humanity to be a great consideration. Political vindictiveness in politics is most dangerous for politicians themselves.

Let us not ignore that cruelty in politics is making our society cruel. Murder, rape, disappearance and extortion are being committed regularly. It is wrong to think that police alone can maintain law and order. The nature of politics has a lot to do.

It is universally recognised that power makes one blind but there are many others in the government also who can see things coming. They should act to make the country safe for all. To keep the people in the grip of fear is not good governance, providing security to all is.

A free election will not solve all our accumulated problems including that of the broken state structure, the crippled economy or leadership crisis but a constitutional window will open for a peaceful solution and a possible bloody confrontation will be averted. A path will be laid for new non-confrontational leadership.

The country belongs to the people so the people should be in charge of the country. Denying this never worked.