Bipartisan politics is the imperative
One had hoped the BNP would go for a sobering reassessment of its failed policies some years ago during its long programme of hartal-aborodh and engage in a new posture of positive engagement with its rival, the Bangladesh Awami League (AL). But it appears the animosities and differences the BNP feels towards the AL remain suppressed for the time being out of sheer recognition of the hard realities by the BNP that they have little people’s support. But they have not given up in any way their impractical and most uncaring attitude towards politics and the country’s future when all sensible people in the country are expecting and waiting for a positive transformation on the part of the BNP in particular and the political parties in general to take the country forward in all respects.
Thus, there is a lingering worry that BNP would only look for an opportunity to ignite another great upheaval and its ruinous all around consequences. Of course, this would not only pull the economy down, the same could create the justification for another intervention of an extra constitutional type from which the country’s democracy and polity would suffer .
To preclude this from happening, both parties but very particularly the BNP must return to sensibilities and thrash out a convincing agreement on some issues in the public view to be able to successfully ward-off such intervention and boost public confidence in them as well. The soonest this is done, the best for the country. This understanding must include a meeting of minds on how and under what authorities and in what manner, the next national elections will be held. BNP, if it wishes to retain any appeal among people, will have to accept the last national elections as fait accompli and allow the incumbent government to complete its full tenure peacefully. BNP for its own good must be seen as not creating further instability in the country and working sincerely to come to a longer term understanding with its rival in the greater interest of the country. Only then it will stand a chance of gradual rehabilitation in the conception of the people. Its leaders must realize this fact of life for their own good.
The media needs to make it clearer to people that national elections in Bangladesh need to put in power parties or forces with genuine democratic spirit who would aim for good governance of the country. Media ought to educate the people that it is imperative to create, maintain and build an understanding among the main political forces of the country. Governments may come and go. But these interests will have to be supremely upheld and promoted by whosoever comes to power. In political parlance, this is called ‘bi-partisanship.’
For example, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party in USA have major differences. But they maintain a unity of views on issues of major public interest or core issues. Similar bi-partisan policies are noted in India and other big democracies round the world. In fact, such bipartisanship is the only surety that democracy would be preserved and vital national interests protected or promoted.
Our politicians and political parties must absolutely understand the very great need for such bi-partisan policies if not for anything else than at least for ensuring that parliamentary and elective form of government continues without facing disruption.
Specially, it is indispensable that BNP should be seen as delinking itself clearly in the public view from religious extremists like the Jammat-e-Islami, Hefajat-e-Islam, etc., for the people to get back some confidence in them as a democratic party working for realizing mainstream aspirations through non violence and rule of law.