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Commoners’ party? Not a chance!

  • Published at 06:40 pm January 2nd, 2014
Commoners’ party? Not a chance!

We must thank Towheed Feroze for bouncing the idea to have a political party of the common people (“How about a party of the common people?” published December 30 in the Dhaka Tribune). Indeed, it’s the finest form of wish we’ve heard in years.

Since our political parties are engaged in destruction and power-mongering that ruined our dream to have a normal, let alone decent, living in an independent country, the rise of the common people in politics would be highly welcome.

We’ve been thinking, talking, and desiring to have a change in our country for a long time now. We always hoped someone different – not those who have ruled Bangladesh so far – would be at the steering helms of the country. And now, we’re again inspired by the success of the common people in our neighbouring state.

However, despite the fact that Kejriwal’s AAP has swept Delhi elections and formed the government there, it needs more time to be truly called a political party that may usher in a sustainable change in that country.

The message that we received from the AAP win in India is that the common people there are quite powerful. Who are these common people? Are they community or alliance-less people? Are they socially backward fools, or disinterested in politics?

The commoners of Delhi are extremely politically conscious people, but they don’t have trust in the present set of politicians. They realise they are educated, unemployed, poor and neglected lots there, and they find a common psychological state of mind to unify against the present elitist political culture.

They are also a lot who never were rent-seekers by using political lobbies. AAP has given them the strength to get together. Since they are “aam admi,” they don’t have any faith in the socio-political theories that are churned out every day by politicians and analysts on TV talk shows. They simply wanted to prevent corruption and what they called “thieves” from the political arena.

The reason Bangladesh may not get a party of aam admi is because we haven’t seen the presence of that section here. There are no aam admi that can form a political party and win polls. We have seen organised movements against the governments, area-based movements against the establishment for social or economic causes, movements against the dictator and war of independence (that doesn’t seem over yet).

It may sound quite rude, but it’s close to difficult to identify common people in Bangladesh. The common people, who have staged movements including the freedom movement, are now lost in a jungle of intellectual poverty.

Whenever we thought of a change, as we still do, the first thing that popped up in our minds is the so-called “third force,” and that force has always been the defence forces of this country. This force has always used force to bring about the “change.”

And when they came, they were so far away from the dreams of the common people that they themselves became more tyrannical and they had to bow out from their own rhetorics. A few of them spoke of unifying the common people, but ended up in the same manner as the politicians did since our independence.

Of course, we have a handful of civil society representatives whom we could think of, who could organise us, the commoners. Unfortunately, our experience with our civil society reps isn’t very promising. They are so politically active, siding with either this party or that party, that it won’t be unfair to call them “political activists” of our elite-centric politics.

At the same time, they are also seen reaping benefits from political lobbies. This set of people may not have the ability to organise us.

Similarly, we the common people have also lost our existence, as we are always looking up at this set of politicians for our benefits. If any single member of these “common people” runs into any trouble, or wants to solve any problem in their personal lives, we always seek help from the same politicians, who, to our minds, have brought the country to this situation. So you see, we have lost our aptitude and courage to live without the help of the people who we want to depose through commoners’ politics.

Yes, we could think of our have-nots for bringing about a change-revolution. But there again, we have successfully fed them our micro-credit concept for losing their ability to revolt. Micro-credit, to our minds, has been the tool for killing the will to stage a revolution, as it keeps them afloat but prevents them from becoming proletarians. So, they won’t also ever say anything in favour of change.

In that case, it seems we may have to wait for a long time to have our own aam admis.