Friday, September 4, 2009

Short-term expediency maims in the long-term

Bangla Nation believes this is some sort of rule for Bangladesh. Political expediency driving a decision which eventually returns to maim the democratization process, or worse inflict violence on the Bangladeshi populace. As far as Bangla Nation is concerned the worst form of political expediency has been the co-opting of political Islamists, in particular Jamaat-e-Islami, by the political parties. More importantly, it is the usage of Islamic idioms, symbols, and phrases in official government discourse (obviously Bangladesh is far from the only political system guilty of this). Bangla Nation believes that the Awami League should return its roots, secularism (though without the authoritarianism). A move towards this ideal would involve the cessation of colluding with Islamist political parties and devolving local administration to the upazila parishads.

Curiously, the Awami League government decided to promote awareness of the H1N1/Swine Flu (of which Bangladesh has over 250 cases) by engaging local imams in raising awareness (Daily Star). While, this may be a good idea in the short-term, the Awami League government must not devolve local administrative tasks to religious leaders - this only promotes their accumulation POLITICAL and RELIGIOUS power.

Rather the Awami League government should remain true to its electoral pledge of devolving some power to the local administrations. This has not happened despite a upazila (sub-district) election over six months ago, the local administrations are still beholden to the districts (Daily Star).

Bangla Nation believes that the Awami League should honor the pre-Independence vision of its founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by not accommodating the Islamists. By the same time, the Awami League should honor its current pledge to strengthen local governance. Bangla Nation believes that by doing so information on the H1N1/Swine Flu will reach the populace's ears through government representatives, not religious leaders.

At present, the Awami League is doing little more than surrendering local governance.

No comments: