Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Save Bangladesh: If Democracy Is Dying, Then What All This Leadership Is About?

He said halfheartedly, "Sorry, no one is particularly ready to come forward. They're all afraid to take any step. Specially in this condition. Saying that it's not safe"

I looked upon  my friend's face, exasperatedly " What do you mean? Are they safe enough if they would not take part? Are they safe by any means?"

He replied making a face sort of I-don't-know-what-to-say, "They're saying that's a different case. Plus such movement can be turned into political agenda"

I controlled my temper.
"Okay, So taking part in some movement to protest against this unstable political situation generating violence which is causing deaths after deaths of innocent people everyday, doing all sort of damages to our daily living state, left us with no security and guarantee of life even if we didn't do anything- this whole thing makes a definition of political agenda. Right."

I knew I had to start it alone, so I turned around and added, " If that's what leadership actually means, I better start like an ordinary person. I will go alone, and campaign, as an individual. We can campaign for Palestine, Pakistan and everything, but just not for our own country.
Because that's when it becomes all political.
Of course it's political.
If the problem lies in politics, how could anyone solve it without tempering it? Still I tried to make it as much prompt and liberal as I could. But I guess, no one is ready to take such vast responsibility"

This is the story of my first failure when I started my campaigning. I admit I was stupid to think I could succeed on my very first shot. No, the truth is from there I needed to learn that we all have to fail again and again to ensure one success. It's not something that could be done very easily.
It is a big cause.
Perhaps the biggest one which matters most in my country now.

Firstly I need you to understand the problem.
There's a difference between someone getting beaten to death and dying from internal bleeding caused by disease.  We are not on war, but this disease of power and politics are causing us enough damage and suffering. Like every damaged cell, our human rights, humanity, reasonable sense, stability, above all, normality is on stake.
Innocent children are getting burnt from Petrol bombs thrown at places, and transports. Dying. People getting injured every other day. Arson attacks on private properties, cars, buses here and there. This is not normal. Is it what they call Democracy?

This current situation of our country reminds me of Mahatma Gandhi. He stated,

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?"

True, isn't it?

I would like to discuss this situation from the very beginning, but very briefly.

After Freedom Fight in 1971, we can divide the political history of Bangladesh into three eras.

  1. The era of Populist Authoritarianism (1972- 1975)
  2. The era of Military Dominated rule (1975- 1990)
  3. The era of Representative Democracy (1991- 2006)

During the first era, just after the freedom fight the structure and base of politics of Bangladesh was desperately shaken. With the Pakistani Armies having gone, the anarchy had started just in the heart of Bangladesh. The anarchy of vanity, anarchy of survival, anarchy of betrayal and justice.

It's true, that it's easier to fight for freedom and achieve it than to restore the practice of healthy freedom and to keep it.That is what exactly happened with us.

From 1975, with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's murder the second era, The era of Military Dominated rule began. Major Ziaur Rahman was declared as the first army military dictator. I don't know what you call as politics, or democracy but whatever it is, it never existed during this period.
And finally begins the era of Representative Democracy, where democracy lived in a form a ghost. Everyone expected it might be there, but no one ever saw it, or only saw the silhouetted shadow of it for a very short period.

One thing was common among those three eras that none of the system could make the people truly free. We developed, undeniably, but what we expect exactly to be living under a democratic system, that never existed.
Or I fear, is democracy ever existed anywhere? 

Weird, isn't it?

I believe it is time we need to raise our voice.

Awami League (AL) would not forsake the governing power and the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will do whatever it takes to make the situation hard for the government.
We are on strike for about two months.
Two months.
But what we see is no sign of compromise, dialogue exchange, or a platform for finding possible solution, let alone preparing for a proper election! Well, and election, I believe is no more than a puppet show for the entertainment of political parties. And that reminds me of Mark twain saying

“If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.” 
― Mark Twain

See my point?

To get clearer view let me quote from James Bovard,

“Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.” 
― James Bovard, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty

So, if this is the situation, IF democracy is on the verge of extinction, I wonder what is the point of all the practice and encouragement towards Youth Leadership?
And if you think you are a leader, where does it lead you to believe in?
I started with a story, a story of my failure. But I expect, the youths of Bangladesh would not let the story with a failure.

Save Bangladesh is my first launched campaigning which I have initiated with a failed step. But isn't it necessary to fail to get something in turn as success?

I would like to make my statement.

If I have known leadership, then I can say that a leader is the person who takes the initiative, shows the way, does not fear and never makes his/her way back. If you are making your way back, that proves that you do not have enough spirit and courage to fight for the big cause.
A leader is a person of free will, making his/her own choices on the basis of priority, not fear of risk.
And also, a leader is who calculates the probability of risk, but always makes movements with positive spirit calculating what the situation DEMANDS most. 

What you are doing is not "being conscious", rather proving yourself as a person who has failed to nurture the qualities of leadership. If you can live with this fact, you are not born to be a leader. 

This is the hard way fact.
And if you have the courage, the spirit to be a part of it, join Save Bangladesh, come forward to make a change. It is time.