Bravo, Awami League!

Asif Nazrul

NO voter. Election Day is yet to arrive. Yet, AL-led grand alliance has been elected for the next five years! AL is the only party in this world that has set a record of winning elections without voters, candidates or election. Dear AL leaders, please accept our congratulations.
No word is enough to describe the magnificence of this election victory. To make it happen the AL has turned the Grand Alliance government into an all-party government, has made Raushan Ershad and Rashed Khan Menon take oath together, refused to accept resignation letters from Jatiya Party (JP) ministers considering it to be an infantile exercise. To make the victory comprehensive, the Election Commission (EC) has accepted withdrawal of candidature of AL candidates with backdate. But the same EC had refused to accept the withdrawal of candidature by Ershad and his party candidates though they had appealed within the due time. EC has forced the symbol of plough on the JP candidates who were unwilling to participate in the election and had failed to withdraw their candidature. On the other hand, AL has taken on board with open arms JSD and Workers Party willing to merge within the AL. The EC, formed by a search committee, has thus worked out an innovative formula to accomplish elections without any election. The AL has been the wisest in comprehending this ingenuous capacity of the EC. We hail the prudence and farsightedness of AL leaders.
Many more dubious acts have been resorted to in order to complete this victory. To make it happen, Rab, meant for suppressing insurgency, has discovered that Ershad was ill; soon another agency may discover his mental illness. This march of victory has torn apart Ershad’s half a century-long family life; entrusted Raushan Ershad with a ministry that holds in high reverence the memory of Shaheed Milon; exposed the nation to an important debate of whether Kazi Zafar is Mir Zafar or Mir Madan. This victory has subsumed the leftist leaders within AL who otherwise usually often lost their election deposits. Many candidates have withdrawn their candidature to make room for the election of people who are famous as godfathers and drug dealers. A hybrid party named BNF has emerged through this process. We want to hail the architects of this victory.
The main opposition party BNP tried to resist this new era of democracy. That’s why police and Rab have cordoned off their office continuously. The old and senior leaders of BNP were taken on remand; others have left their homes and are out of contact. Under siege, the lonely and sick terrorist, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, was arrested from BNP office. Salahuddin, the dummy of Rizvi, has earned the fame of Laden for his expertise in sending video messages from hiding. Police has set up barricades on road crossings to save the identified enemy of this new democracy, Khaleda Zia, from public rage.
The PM has indicated that had the BNP joined the elections she would have also shared seats with them to make the free election more participatory. Khaleda Zia did not think likewise. Our PM is able to think of this unparalleled amity between AL and BNP.
In Bangladesh, election means play of black money and muscle power. To get rid of this ill practice, there are dozens of law and regulations, hundreds of roundtables that have produced many constitutional experts and political scientists. To make elections fair, huge amount of Dollars, Euro and Taka has been spent already, NGO industry has thrived, and many concept notes, proposals and in-depth reports have been produced. But control by black money and muscle power has not reduced a bit. In this great election, we succeeded in wiping out the disgrace in one stroke in more than 150 seats. In the seats where there will be one-sided elections, the scope of using black money and muscle power will be diminished. No one deserves more praise than AL for this innovative, unthinkable and extraordinary novelty of holding elections without election to suppress muscle power and black money.
This grand victory was not an easy. To resist this victory, insurgents of opposition parties have killed AL partisans by burning or stabbing them. Police and Rab are killing these insurgents indiscriminately; people’s lives are lost in mysterious incidents. AL and BNP are playing the blame game for hurling cocktails and petrol bomb.
The wiser section of our civil society is condemning only BNP-Jamaat’s frenzy. And the other section is only pointing their fingers at intimidation by police and other law enforcing agencies. More progressive section of the media only publishes pictures of dead bodies of people burnt in cocktails hurled by terrorists. On the other hand, anti-government media publishes pictures of dead bodies of people killed by police.
How ‘impartial’ our civil society and media are has been exposed by the election frenzy. ‘Conscious citizens’ are now able to understand why our PM and AL leaders have been bashing such civil society and media. We, ‘conscious citizens,’ want to hail our leaders.
A senior AL leader once found in our PM a combination of Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi. Later, this broadminded admirer was awarded the President’s medal. Now it seems that his compliments were not enough. Mandelas and Lincolns will not be able to think of such friendly elections. Collective effort from world famous political scientists, from Laski to Huntington, will not be able to create such a new melody of democracy. Our PM has reconstructed democracy in a new fashion. Let us try to comprehend her contribution with respect and with bowed head.
In this victory parade, hundreds of people have lost their lives, thousands have been injured, property valued crores of Taka lost. There are many more things to come in future. After so many sacrifices we have succeeded in upholding the constitution. Previously, no military or non-military or caretaker government took such risk to uphold the constitution. Only AL has succeeded in doing that. Disregarding all suggestions and proposals from home and abroad, AL has succeeded in upholding democracy and rights of our nation through holding an unprecedented election.
Let us praise AL government. Rejoice over AL’s victory. Long live AL.