Bangladesh: Political reforms

Reform is the buzzword in recent political debates in Bangladesh.

The state of emergency imposed in the country refrains people from active politics. But talks are being held at the party levels to cleanse (from corruption) and reform the politics in Bangladesh and establishing democracy within the parties. Rumi of In the Middle of Nowhere claims it is happening apparently under the direction and patronage of the people enforcing the state of emergency.

An ordinary citizen lauds the Election Commission's statement that “there will be no dialogue (for preparations of the upcoming election) before reform of the political parties”.

So what forms of reform people are talking about? Rumi has details:

It mostly proposes removal of current leader by imposing a term limit, establishment of a joint leadership, implementation of accounting transparency etc.

Angelmorn criticizes the alleged minus two formula which deducts both the leaders of AL & BNP, the two major rivals, who are blamed for the current situation.

Its a National Debate now on whether the Two Ladies (ex Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia) of our country should give thought to retiring. Suddenly it seems that everyone in Awami League and Bangladesh National Party want a fresh face to lead them.

Shall we let Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina retire from politics without questioning them for their past activities ?

The looming storm is the battle of the Two Ladies with their reformist colleagues within their parties.

Dhaka Shohor slams a reform proposal by Suranjit Sen Gupta, a senior leader of Awami League labeling it a Pepsi or Coke situation.

He seems content to transfer us from a Prime Ministerial dictatorship into a Presidential one without a hint of “checks and balances”.

Suddenly every major parties are coming up with reform proposals for their respective parties. Angelmorn wonders:

What surprises me and all is although “In house” politics is all banned from the day State of Emergency was declared and yes which still seems to be ongoing, not many seem opt to be following it.

Rumi says:

What is being shown like a reform strategy for now, is, in my opinion, is a shrewd exit starategy. This government ….know very well that their back skin is very much vulnerable if AL or BNP under current leadership returns to power. And they do not want to make the mistake of handing over power to any of these parties.

There are widespread speculations about what is to happen in near future in the political arena. All are anxiously waiting for the overdue election which is promised sometime in the mid of next year by the incumbent Caretaker Government.


  • The parallels between Bangladeshi and Pakistani politics are fascinating and frightening. Piddly tin soldiers marching past each other in concentric circles, and blessed daughters and sons of dead “leaders” who march to the beat of a dhol-player with an off-beat sense of humour (and rhythm), and bellicose religionists blinded by a light they misconstrue as being divine.

    Feudalism dies hard and with a vengeance.

  • All the democratic institutions have been deliberately destroyed in the last 15 years that the two major parties have been in power. Starting from the National Parliament, the Election Commission, the Public Service Commission, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the bureaucracy and, above all, the higher judiciary, and the list goes on.

    The three pillars of state: The Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary have been used and abused repeatedly in the name of democracy.

    Those who actively participated in raping these sacrosanct institutions are today talking about reforms? The way they are going about reforming and the urgency that they are showing about it only portrays a cover-up, a means of quickly returning to their old ways. Their intent is questionable.

    The present CG has shown us all that true reforms are possible. The CG has done in 6 months what these so called democratic politicians have not done in the past 15 years. Today, we have an active ACC, the PSC is being restructured, the Judiciary is being made indipendent, the EC is being made fully indipendnent of the executive control.

    Reforms are being done. What the political parties think they are doing is not important. There is no hurry. True structural reforms will take time as the system has been so badly damaged. And the People of this country are ready to wait. When democracy returns, it should truly return for the people, by the people and of the people. Long live Bangladesh.

  • rubaiyat

    the article of adnan anwar is is really highly readable article. thanks mr.adnan for providing us such a beautyful article. -rubaiyat

  • HariPadaRoychoudhury

    My Dear friend, Mr Surenjit Sengupta, my heart trembles on seeing your cremation at Derai, I may be at far away but how my mind could forget the Schooldays at the place of birth, how can I forget the performance of Saraswati Puja together, performance of doing theater together, political turmoil, snatched me far away and now the end of life, nothing is left except the old memory. If it is true the soul exists, the soul could not forget the past memory. However, who am I, on seeing so many well wishers I feel you are blessed by the God, blessed by the people of the present, and you will be blessed in eternity too. My heart cries to say goodbye to you forever. God is good, Almighty is merciful. Bye. Let the God keep your soul in peace. [HP (Gopal), NJ, USA]

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