Yes, I am a nobody. I have no voice in national politics or policymaking, and I am a citizen of this country by birth. I gave these answers in response to questions from a friend a few weeks back. His questions have stopped me for a while to think over the reasons I am writing in the newspapers or on social media pages.
From our independence till today, it has been the youth who have fought and died for those who never felt for them. No regime could ever show a street on which violence did not exist. Leaders became rulers, and rulers did not want others to become leaders. We fought for independence, and since achieving it, we have been fighting ourselves in this “democracy.”
Have we tasted democracy ever, after getting this sovereign nation, Bangladesh? Why have we not? What are the barriers? The answer to the first of the questions is: “No, we have not tasted real democracy as a nation.” We experienced autocracy, the military, clashes, blood, bullets, and the burnt, dead bodies of the masses in the streets.
Our tax money was spent for the purchase of luxury commodities of our so-called leaders. Even a person with the lowest income, like a beggar or a rickshaw-puller, pays VAT that goes directly into the Treasury, but do you see any beggars protesting the scams of ministers? No, they can’t. They have no voice.
Intolerance and partisan clashes leave thousands killed. Who gets killed, and who gets punished? Greed has driven us to a situation where we have become divided into three parties. One is the ruling party, one is their opposition, and then there is us, the people.
It is us, the third-party, who get killed in the power play between the other two parties. I can name some of these people. Anwar, a meritorious, poor boy was killed in the Dhaka University clash a couple of years back, and who got punished? Bishwajit was murdered in front of the media. We forgot about Rabbi, a little boy who got shot in Mymensingh during a political clash a couple of months back. We have forgotten about the dead bodies of the garment workers in the Savar collapse.
I have to agree with many people that none of these incidents have connections to each other. But at the same time, I have to agree with the opposition that they have connections. Ultimately, I am taking none of their views, rather, I go for my own stance that the only connection among these incidents is that the victims were all common people.
A little boy, Monir, died in a truck-torching incident. It was not an accident, it was a killing. This incident will be wrapped up in a political banner to catch some other people who will then turn this case into an “accident.”
Surprisingly, party-biased people have renamed themselves as human rights people, as keepers of the rule of law. Those who speak against government actions are being threatened with newly amended laws like the ICT law, and anti-terrorism laws.
Both parties have ignored the fact that a democracy which does not tolerate criticism is not a democracy at all.
I am not neutral. I am very much biased, perhaps more than them, and my bias is towards the unrepresented mass people. Yes, I am the voice of those young people who have voted once, and have tried to choose a leader who would bring about a change from the tyranny of elected monarchs.
Every hope for peaceful dialogue between the two major political parties has now become an illusion, and some small groups are trying to create more unrest, with the intention of getting a third dimension into politics.
But I say the third force is none but the people themselves. I say we have been burnt enough.
We get torched every day. Now, if the political parties fail, it is up to the young people to raise their voices against the absence of law, and the presence of bad laws. No right in this world has ever been achieved without the voice of the masses.
In the absence of a proper guide, the way out is to be decided by the people themselves.