People must act in politics now

Citizens urged at roundtable to overcome political crisis

The Daily Star Friday, May 11, 2012 

Citizens must speak out strongly against “political confrontation” in the country and press the two major political parties to foster the culture of tolerance, said discussants at a roundtable yesterday.

Alluding to the ruling Awami League and the main opposition BNP, they said the political crisis was deepening by the day due to a lack of tolerance and respect among the parties. People should act to pressurise them to raise their tolerance level and respect each other for the sake of democracy.

The roundtable styled “Ongoing political crisis and citizens’ concern” was organised at the Jatiya Press Club by the Sushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Sujan), an organisation working for good governance.

Former Dhaka University vice-chancellor Prof Emazuddin Ahmed emphasised dialogue between the political parties to resolve conflicts and uphold democracy.

He also expressed concern over the deterioration of law and order.

People will not be able to come out of the cycle of two major political parties as long as the “majoritarian” system continues, said former election commissioner M Shakhawat Hussain.

ASM Shahjahan, former adviser to the caretaker government, said the electorate should take corrective measures to deal with the faults and wrongdoings in the political arena.

Chairing the function, Sujan Vice-president M Hafizuddin Khan, another former adviser to the caretaker government, said, “One of the two major political parties will be destroyed, if such confrontation continues.”

The activities of the political parties are dragging the country into violence, said Zafrullah Chowdhury, one of the trustees of Gonoshasthaya Kendra.

Referring to the huge amount of money being deposited in the account of former state minister for home Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj without his knowledge, he said it was nothing but money laundering.

Academician Prof Ajoy Roy said a third political force is needed to end the ongoing political crisis.

Former Jahangirnagar University Prof Dilara Chowdhury urged the civil society members not to serve the purpose of any political party.

Sujan Secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar said politicians would be compelled to change their behaviours, if the citizens became more responsive.

Mahmudur Rahman Manna, former organising secretary of Awami League, said people should raise their voices to draw attention of the politicians to what they say.

Dhaka University Law Prof Asif Nazrul, former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder, and former state minister for foreign affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury also spoke.