The authorities must establish a zero tolerance policy for election season violence
The violence which has marred the run-up to the elections has been discouraging enough, but the fact that even on Victory Day the two sides cannot come together in amity and eschew the path of violence is very dispiriting.
Victory Day should be a day that all Bangladeshis of all creed and political disposition can come together to celebrate our liberation. If we cannot put aside our differences for this one joyous day then what does it say about us?
The fact that the violence is related to the upcoming election and flies in the face of the democratic values this nation was founded upon, and for which so many people sacrificed their lives 47 years ago, makes the bloodshed even more unacceptable.
The spirit of the Liberation War was the spirit of democracy and the unity of the Bangladeshi people.
Let the sacrifice of the martyrs and the values of their noble endeavour not be tarnished.
It has been a week since the Election Commission’s allocation of electoral symbols, opening the door for peaceful campaigns to begin, but on each of these days we have seen attacks, arson, and vandalism carried out by supporters on both sides.
We must ask ourselves: Is this the sort of action that is becoming of a nation striving to progress, to provide better lives for its citizens, to finally make our mark on the world?
Equally important, is this the kind of action that honours our Liberation war?
To ask the question is to answer it.
Bangladesh is better than this, and the Bangladeshi people deserve better than this.
The authorities must establish a zero tolerance policy for election season violence, and send the message that those involved in hurting the credibility of the upcoming elections will be punished to the full extent of the law.
It is only through ensuring the sanctity of the democratic process that we can truly uphold and respect our nation’s victory over our Pakistani oppressors 47 years ago.