In my personal life and writing I maintain a safe distance from politics. But now it has become clear that unless a political solution is found, the dark clouds over the economy will not go away. And so I will make an exception and discuss ‘excuses’ in politics. I will start with the opposition. They have been agitating for eight years to topple the government. That’s all well and good. After all, politics is all about change of power. Large rallies are being organised, including hartal (general strike) and blockades. But the situation is the same as before, the people in power are moving towards elections.
When asked, the opposition’s excuse is, “What else can we do? We are victims of police repression. People are not taking to the streets.” But they are not saying that the issue for the people is their movement. Where is the talk of inflation, corruption, dengue deaths, syndicates, good governance? They will say it is all in 31 points. But if they do not keep their word then why will people take to the streets? Where are their interests in a syndicate-funded movement? If the public is not taken along then why harm the public through strikes and blockades?
The list of excuses given by those in power is even longer. The Constitution is the biggest excuse. To my knowledge, the Constitution has never been an obstacle to political understanding in any country. They have absolute majority in the Parliament. They are saying where is it written in the Parliament that this party or that party has to be brought in the elections? But they never tell where in the Constitution it is written about filling ballot boxes the night before the elections, about elections without voters and about forming pet opposition parties.
The left hand dominates the country’s cricket, economy and politics. And so we are failing in all the faltering areas. That’s why I say, increase the use of ‘right hand’ (a positive term in local jargon). Then there will be no need to make excuses.
* Muhammad Fauzul Kabir Khan is a former secretary and economist and can be contacted here [email protected]
*This column appeared in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten for the English edition by Ayesha Kabir.