The new Cabinet just formed, and I hear so many talks about another election already. Why is there so much rush to bring those who did not participate in the election? What have they done in the past that shows their competency? Why are they so important for country?   

Let’s see – why country needs another election; haven’t Nation suffered enough already? Besides, it costs national treasury millions of takas to hold an election, which should be used to rebuild and repair the damage done to the economy and the country to hold the last election. Enough is enough; let’s concentrate on rebuilding the country.

I do not see any benefit in holding another election to elect those who have caused so much damage to the nation prior, during, and after the election. I am sure – country will not miss a bit – if they are not in the Parliament.

They were once in the Parliament, what did country get? They drew salary from the national treasury, but did not serve their duties in the Parliament. Wouldn’t such employee be fired, anyway, from any private institution? Why would this be any different in the government?

People of Bangladesh paid for their salaries, but they have done nothing for them; they have instead turned against the country’s economy and the people. They have burned down businesses, houses, vehicles, and killed hundreds of innocent people, who paid their salaries. Now, who are those people rushing so much to bring them back to power? They are the vested interest groups. They talk about democracy, but do not know how to practice democracy. Please be aware of them.

I say – let those who boycott the election do some public works staying outside power to redeem them. They can serve the country staying out of power if they want to; ordinary citizens are doing it every day, why can’t they?

People of Bangladesh should stay away from nasty politics. They need to be apolitical. Their only interest should be – to elect good people, not party. It does not matter if someone is from Awami League or BNP. Peoples’ job is to elect tested social workers, not shrewd political scoundrels from a particular political party.

People of Bangladesh should not compromise on the founding principles of Bangladesh, which are secularism and sacrifice. If any candidate satisfies these criteria, party affiliation should not be any issue. This is healthy politics. Political parties cannot make that happen, unless peoples’ mentality changes. Only people can create the environment, where candidates’ personal qualifications and integrity become primary criteria for their support, not political affiliation. Bangladeshi society is not there yet.

Print and TV media can help to create the environment. Unfortunately, Bangladeshi media have mortgaged their souls to the vested interest groups. I have seen them fabricating news to coerce public opinions in certain direction. This is in total violation of journalistic integrity.

I have seen TV talk shows with individuals, pretending to be apolitical (Sushil Shamaj), but advocating the political lines of a particular political party. This is to mislead the public. In a civilized country, people would have boycotted that TV station. Political party talks should be done by speakers from the political parties, not under the pretense of neutrality. This is deceitful practice.

Another example of biased TV broadcasting is – when TV stations were inciting violence against religious minorities by focusing on religious minority women in the polling stations. This is not only beyond the journalistic integrity, but also a sick communal mentality.

So, I hope people will learn from the last election, and then create an environment not to make the same mistakes again in the 11th Parliament election. This will take some time; let’s not rush.

In my view, the newly elected individuals are much more competent than those who did not participate in the election. Most of the newly elected members are tested individuals, who have established their sacrifices for the country. I don’t have to tell anybody about their sacrifices.

Many of these individuals have shown courage and sacrifice again also – by staying in the election; they put their lives on the line to keep democratic system afloat in Bangladesh. The situation could be much worse. This should not be the case in a democratic society. It is a disgrace for the country.

Therefore, let’s rectify the political environment first before holding 11th Parliamentary election. If we give in to the demand of another election before that environment is created, the result will be even worse. Country and the public will not gain anything, but will lose a lot.

I hope Awami League will not bow down to the pressure. Ordinary people, especially religious minorities, cannot afford any more election just after one election is over.

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