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Attenuating the political heat

Publication Date : 12-05-2012


What Bangladesh needs at this moment is for both the major political parties -- the ruling Awami League (AL) and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) -- to involve each other in serious interactive communication to assuage a rather potentially volatile political situation. And to do that both must get off their high horses they have been riding since the last general election. It is not talking at each other but to each other that the people want the two parties to do. There is no alternative to dialoging.

Regrettably, that has not come about in spite of repeated exhortations by the media and other section of the citizenry; and the potential threat to politics, to democracy, to trade and foreign investment, and indeed to every aspect of our lives, have once again been reiterated by members of the civil society at a roundtable on Thursday aptly entitled, 'Ongoing Political Crisis and Citizens' Concern' .

The speakers have painted some very worrisome possibilities which may well nigh come true if the political course is allowed to run the way it is.

The existing animus between the AL and the BNP, that have created the current unstable situation, have been repeatedly worsened by cussed and callow comments of responsible persons from both the parties, the government's ham-handed handling of law and order, corruption, the shrinking political space of the opposition, and by the inflexible attitude towards political issues of the two.

These can only bode ill for the country; and this has been repeatedly expressed by our development partners and friends, the latest by the three high-profile visitors to Bangladesh.

We are not prepared to believe that the two parties are not aware of where their respective political stance is taking the country towards. But we wonder why they continue to display a kind of political naivete? that is causing them to drift apart.

And this is where we feel the civil society can play the catalyst. By raising chorus of voices to drive home to the leadership that the country can hardly endure the standoff any longer and must indulge in dialogue -- for which the lead must come from the ruling alliance.


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