Bangladesh is weathering difficult times.

With the declaration of emergency, takeover of the state by military, political process stalled and senior politicians either in prison or keeping silent for fear of being arrested, the political parties are exposed to the threat of falling apart at a time when the restoration of the political process, which is central to the proper functioning of a modern state (there is also the finer questions of how we negotiate our way in a world that is increaingly be shaped by western modernity), still appears to be a far cry.

The media is losing its edge thanks to overt and covert interventions by the powers that be. On top of that all, there is no sign of the people getting back their fundamental rights, which were taken away for no fault of their own when the state of emergency was imposed in January 2007.

There is, however, talk of resolving all these problems by the unelected incumbents, but the proposed solutions, political and otherwise, and the timeline offered are hardly reassuring. The reason is simple. The crises were not created in a day, nor can the politicians be held solely responsible for the crises. The intelligentsia providing unqualified support to the autocratic, ideologically bankrupt politicians, the economic policy planners taking diktats of the international lending agencies, the self-seeking bureaucracy exploiting the divisive political culture for coterie interests, the big businesses exploiting the corrupt administrative system further to secure undue benefits, the global corporations making further inroads and engaging in an unprecedented engineering of the economic policies — they all must share the blame for the current crises.

In should be evident to us though that nobody, civil or military, holds a magic lamp that can solve our cumulative problems in a day — it will take years of painstaking efforts to undo the past failures of the oligarchic elite. But for that process to even begin, the multi-dimensional democratic processes need to be set in motion immediately.

Its time we forge networks of solidarity…we reclaiming the politics.


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