By Syed Mahi Ahmed
A question may rise “do political parties have any ethics?” To me, this is not a complex and twisted question, rather a very simple question; and straightforward answer can be given in this regard. The answer is “no”; to me, political parties have no ethics at all, they deal with two dimensions — popularity and power; “increase popularity and take over power or rule over the country” — are the two major considerations of them. They do not bother about morality and ethics; “what should be done and what should not be done; what is right; what is wrong?” — they are not disturbed by the questions like these; and actually, they are not for pondering over such questions. They consider and value majority and are busy with counting the number; what the majority say, they have to listen to it; what they (majority) want, they (political parties) have to fill up it. If the majority think good, reflection about good is seen among political parties and vice-versa. The majority do not care about “good or bad; right or wrong; appropriate or inappropriate”; critical questions are not welcomed to the majority, their heads are filled up with the thought of practical needs, daily life convenience, development, ease, peace and security; if anything is good for them at the expense of minorities, they cordially welcome this, never question about moral legitimacy. They hardly pose on this question “what this good bring about in future?” “Is it good for all for a long period of time?” — questions like these are also be ignored.
The majority are quite happy if they see “roads are built, bridges are made, construction is going on, huge investment is seen, employment opportunity is created”; that is why political parties are receiving these concepts from the majority. As people never question or are skeptic about the moral justification of the development “development! What the expense of?” — the ethical background is not created among political parties. Leaders of political parties are not concerned about good governance, equality of law, rule of law, transparency, gender discrimination, gender justice — all quality aspects of the society. They actualize the demand of people in line with their interest; mind that their interest has to be served; that is why, they propose visions and missions, like “Vision 2021”, “Vision 2030” with a view to stimulating the people to vote for them or to give them an opportunity for taking on power. Political parties never do anything which goes against the majority — they are very aware of in this regard; and if they do anything against the majority, remember that they have a big interest and profit by implementing this, and surely, they will change their position before the election and accept the mainstream notion; failing to do so, will result in loosing popularity as well as power. For that, I am a bit sanguine about not actualizing “Rampal Power Plant” project if we will be able to create mass wave just before the next election. Here, leaders of political parties do not practice politics from moral-urging, they come and join to the politics for practical and material needs and advantages, moral aspects are absent there; seems to me, there are many cases that prove material needs (conventional or accustomed) and ethics stand at two different sides of a coin; question of ethics is an impractical mental construction and manifestation in traditional business, and to a significant degree, politics and business are twins; politics is a kind of business, and vice-versa.
If we look at the scenario of world politics, then we will have a subtle sense of political manipulation in business and of business manipulation in politics; and that is why, in contemporary politics, a great number of political leaders are businessmen and a number of businessmen are political leaders. Both business and politics, to be more precise, in contemporary, have no moral standpoint — I reckon, this is a very rough generalization; but reality provides ample evidences to me to stick to this very rough generalization. Being dead-against of Saudia Arabia, Donal Trump, is now praising Saudia Arabia for contributing in the field of “war against terror”; but during the election time, he vehemently verbally attacked Saudia Arabia on the point of spreading terror and prolonging Islamic Fundamentalism. Trumph changed his previous position for business and economic reasons; sell the weapon to the other countries in the name of peace and security, earn money, make profit, perpetuate the existence of weapon based industrial economy — just a concept of political economy. The same incident happened in the case of Narendra Modi; once, the mastermind of Gujrat Riot and a hooligan of communal violence, is now uttering progressivism and communal peace among different social groups of India. In the above two cases, where is the moral standpoint? Where are the questions of commitment and welfare for the people? In the truest sense, politics does not bother about welfare for the people; it only minds its own business.
Bangladesh is not a country standing out of the box; she follows her Gurus (i.e. imperialist countries) maneuver, same reality exists here. To remove or reinstall the statute of Lady Justice, Rampal Power Plant, Padma Bridge — everything is politics as well as business; nothing is done from moral stipulation or keeping in mind of welfare for the people; done for politics (i.e. popularity and lasting the period of controlling power) and business (i.e. making money and accumulating profit in the name of development).
Thankful to : Arif Rahman, Kajal Das, Nurul Islam, Sinthi Ahmed, Sinthia Chowdhury — who helped me a lot in this writing.