On the evening of the 50th anniversary of the victory, I was looking at the media at home and abroad to see who said what about the 50 years of Bangladesh. Among these, it was very nice to see the praises of Ishrat Hussain, the Institutional Reforms and Austerity Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on the economic development of Bangladesh (Prothom Alo Online, 16 December 2021). Apart from this, various positive comments and speeches made about the economic development of Bangladesh were also seen in various other international media. However, the eyes are fixed on the place where there is a lot of talk in recent times about the fact that even though the country is advancing economically, we are constantly lagging behind in terms of politics, society, education and culture. And on the morning of the 50th Victory Day, Dewanganj Municipality Mayor Shahnewaz Shahanshah added another new incident by slapping the Upazila Education Officer.
According to the published news, on the occasion of Victory Day, Dewanganj Upazila Administration organized a program at Dewanganj Government School ground, where the official responsibility of presenting the program was given to Upazila Education Officer Meher Ullah. He was also given the approved manuscript of the announcement of the ceremony and accordingly he was announcing the schedule of the ceremony, where the name of the municipality was number 5 in the vase of the memorial. The mayor did not like the matter and in his response, he slapped the education officer as an immediate trial so that no one could accuse him of delaying the trial.
First of all, the mayor may have objected to the order followed at the event in Dewanganj as to who will lay flowers at the memorial first, and if so, he should have told the UNO, the chief organizer. But the manner in which he slapped the education official instead of doing so not only tarnished his mayoral position, but also led him to commit a criminal offense. As an elected representative, he cannot do that. However, in this case, he can justify himself by saying that his other neighboring people’s representative, Dr. Murad Hasanto (recently ousted State Minister for Information and Member of Parliament) has done more than that. Therefore, he is not the only one in this way of behaving indecently. As a result, it is no longer an isolated incident.
And here comes the main point that these are no longer isolated incidents. Such incidents have been happening one after another by political leaders and activists all over the country. The murder of Abrar in BUET, the murder of Selim Hossain (apparently suicide) in Kuwait, the attack on the UNO residence in Barisal are just a few examples. The full list is so long that it will take a separate program to create it. It is easy to see from these recent events that this is the latest trend in the politics, society and culture of Bangladesh at that time and it has spread widely all over the country. Needless to say, this is gradually becoming the mainstream of Bangladeshi society and politics. But for such a state, did the people of this country struggle for 23 long years against the inferiority of Pakistan?
In such a situation of Bangladesh’s society and politics, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the victory, His Excellency the President rightly said at a function held at the South Plaza of the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, Keeping this statement in mind, one of the basic tenets of our liberation struggle was to build a non-discriminatory democratic society, in which the people will be the main partners of democracy and the will and intention of the people will be reflected in the actions and behavior of the people’s representatives. But Shahnewaz Shahanshah and Dr. Whatever else is coming up these days in the behavior of such innumerable people’s representatives including Murad Hasan, no matter what else can be said, it cannot be said to be consistent with the basic consciousness of freedom. Therefore, considering the above statement of the President on 16th December as an essential realization of the moment, I hope that our political leadership will take necessary steps accordingly. Otherwise, there is reason to fear that Shahanshah-Muradrai will gradually become the king-king of Bangladesh politics.
And at the same time I would like to add with utmost humility that Shahanshah or Dr. After giving the responsibility to the Murads, they did not suddenly go bad. The history of their activities prior to taking over is similar to that of others in their clan. As a result, those who are nominating or appointing them should do this work more carefully. It should be kept in mind that those who have taken them to this stage by nominating or selecting them cannot avoid their responsibility in this regard, just as the responsibility for these misdeeds falls on them as individuals.
Author: Researcher and essayist.