[ This was published in Dhaka Courier, Bangladesh on 23 November 2018]
Having arrived at the age of more than forty seven years of our hard-earned independence, we are still in a position to yelp, swindle and dwindle musically and rhetorically----political and/ or otherwise ---every time before elections to Parliament for a ‘free, fair and credible elections’’ and, as ill luck would have it, cumulatively and resultantly such Hobson’s choice is on more formidably also before elections to the 11th parliament scheduled be held on 30 December 2018.. This is indeed a groundbreaking irony of the fate of the nation. O Creator of Universes, let us be blessed with an onward happy, prosperous and democratic state in the comity of the nations.
Let it be recalled with a sense of humiliation, suppression, oppression and suffocation that constitutional amendments and reforms, starting from 1973 to this very day, all tell us the truth of concentration of more and more powers in various shapes, forms and peculiarities in the hands of party/regime in power from time to time in the name of interests of the nation as a whole. What a funny it is that our leaders and statesmen (Mostly being called and drummed by the followers and a section of intelligentsia) like to feel free to fly very high allowing themselves to move with such currents and trends. There is a unique consensus between the political parties in Bangladesh. All speak in the same language, voice, volume and rhetoric while in power and while in opposition/ out of powers beats the same drum calling party in power autocrat in all respects.. Going to power it behaves like a king but when it is out of power it cries like an outcast. Let it be stopped for the sake of running and flowering democracy. Democracy cannot survive and continue without understanding and cooperation between and among parties, the ultimate players in position and opposition. Never take power as chess game and bear in mind that politics is for the people, by the people and of the people. Political parties and leaderships just carry such voice and aspiration of the people to put those into reality..
Actuality carries records that political activists customarily at the grassroots levels are dedicated, candid,, energetic and committed and they hardly hesitate to invest time, energy and money behind organization and leaderships in the expectation of meeting with better days leaving behind odds and worst landscapes. Researchers, political scientists and sociologists have meanwhile given birth to scores of theories on leaderships from different angles and views in the milieus of time, space and dimensions and the processes are on. Today recognized approach is that no single approach or theory is adequate to define, understand and evaluate a leader in right perspective. Each and every one had/has his/her own characteristics combining few or more or adding more in respective time, space and dimension. That’s why, comparisons between two leaderships shall never be in full if time, space and dimension paying due attention to the challenges, dilemmas and opportunities faced by them as well are not duly taken into account.
A leader emerges as dreamer, visionary with missions and goals taking leadership of the respective party first and people later as a whole. Therefore, leadership is not only a responsibility and accountability but also a dependable means for finding ways and alternatives to face challenges and dilemmas, using and devising opportunities, , ensuring and cementing deliberations and distributions in a fair mood and mode under all the circumstances, compelling or not. Its first manifestation takes place within a party and second manifestation rolls and radiates in a wider scale i.e. coast-to-coast. Former is foundation of leadership while later is development of leadership in a wider scale rolling gradually from national to regional to international hemispheres.
A leader may fall from his leadership characteristics because of many a reason. When such falling starts, this is called ‘moving towards perversion of leadership’’ and the standard is desolately unacceptable, it then clearly comes to be brown as ‘Perverted leadership. No doubt, for Bangladesh, it is an era of perverted leaderships in all most all areas of life. But there are lights even in the dark and those lights are our silver lining. ’
Therefore, instead of going into details of ongoing political crises, dilemmas and state of leaderships, it is better to look at the opportunities before us at this very moment. Sheik Hasina Administration has lot of attainments and failures over the last ten years. Having been out of .power (one may also conclude in a simple fashion ‘arrogantly typically without convincing reasons) for the last ten years, yes,, BNP rather in particular has become direct target and victim by the party in power extremely. People know all and BNP has now decided to take part in elections for many compelling reasons. Certainly it is without Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia who has been behind the bar on charges of corruptions and Acting Chairman Tarek Rahman who has been staying in UK for a long and has now been convicted of a number of cases including 10 years rigorous punishment in jail. In the eye of law and the state Tarek Rahman is absconder/fugitive and necessary initiatives are on to bring him back to Bangladesh as early as possible. Under these peculiar circumstances, .Dr. Kamal Hossain is certainly a lifeboat for BNP. It is also supplementary gain for BNP that new political alliance called Jatiya Oikya Front headed by national leader Dr. Kamal Hossain and 20-party alliance under BNP —all in a wider scale-- are contesting using BNP’s ;Sheaf of paddy as common electoral symbol. Electoral atmosphere, despite ruling party’s reluctance to withdraw so-called political cases and continuous drives to harass and hunt BNP activists, is more or less non-volatile and within the range of acceptability in comparison with past elections to Parliament. Welcome to BNP and its allies and thanks a lot to Dr. Kamal Hossain for playing a very landmark positive role in this regard.
In fact, Dr. Kamal is the personality who played main role to make Sheikh Hasina president of AL in 1981 paving her way smooth and realistic to come back to her motherland after of lapse of seven years in foreign lands. And now again it is Dr. Kamal who is playing a plosive historic role to put BNP on trek thus paving way smooth both for Khaleda Zia and Tarek Rahman.to have rejuvenated political re-start.
Whether AL agrees or not, truly a challenge has arisen for Hasina-led 14 party alliances. Hasina-led jote, (excepting Ershad’s Jatio party that will follow its own symbol), also chose to contest with a common electoral symbol ‘Boat’. Both sides from their respective standpoints, attaching renewed and maximum importance and priority to choose and nominate the best ones to contest in the elections scheduled to be held on 30 December 2018.and come out successfully. People are really good enough to love our leaders,, noneless records show they are also daring enough to prove otherwise, if a need arises. Nobody should forget that love and hatred go together in politics and the fate of political leaders may be miserable if there starts deviation from leadership proper.. Perverted leadership is a curse of the highest grade not only for a leader himself/herself but also for the country and the nation as a whole.
Keeping the 11th elections to Parliament in factual perspective, let our leaderships, in precise be fair and committed to the continuing and lasting of creeds and expressions of leaderships first and spread necessary perfumes to everywhere for a free, fair and credible elections to the 11th Parliament. Above all, the party in power should all the time bear in mind that this is not the last elections for them rather more will come after every five years as stipulated in the constitution. Level playing field cannot be guaranteed unless the party in power is sincere and faithful to stand by Election Commission for holding a free, fair and credible election in practice conducted by EC.
Therefore, voice I again ‘‘No more yelp, O the people of Bangladesh’
[ Dr. Sinha MA Sayeed,, Chairman of Leadership Studies Foundation and Columnist.