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School of Anarchy

April 5, 2014

Government formed by political parties in this part of the world is not WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) type. Words are never translated into action. Electoral promises turned out to be just political rhetoric. In the absence of genuine opposition, it follows the course of anarchy. This is especially true for the present regime in Bangladesh.

Final leg of upazila election was marred by widespread ballot hijacking, hoax votes and violence. It was expected that AL’s second term would be better than its previous term. But what has been going on for the first three months indicates its new tenure will be worse than the last one.

Recent upazila election has not only undermined the election commission, it has also left a blot on AL’s much trumpeted claim that its govt. is capable of holding free and fair election. On top of that, Chief Election Commissioner’s untimely visit to USA also spread rumors. In this backdrop, PM keeps saying “if this upazila election was not done in a free and fair way, then how could JeI candidates secure win.” Such comment further strengthens conspiracy theory that AL and JeI have cut a secret deal. Even govt. biased election watch group reported that 53% of cast votes were fakes.

There is a sudden surge of anarchy, which is being felt right and left. State banks, especially Sonali Bank, have become easy prey for robbers. In shorter span of time, shocking robberies took place in different branches of this bank. There are speculations that shares of disreputable state banks will be floated soon for private investors and the blessed stake holders will be the ruling party cohorts.

One fine morning we discovered our international airports became gold mines. Gold biscuits and undeclared gold were often seized by the authority. Passengers and even law enforcement personnel joined this gold rush. It is in fact spilling over into the neighboring countries.

A govt. with little accountability turns a blind eye to consumer rights. Ministry of transport and communication recently planned to unveil hundreds of new taxis on the roads of Dhaka and Chittagong. But their fare would be higher than that charged in other Asian cities.

Ministerial feud sometimes exposed ill intension of the govt. Ministers made frantic requests to Finance Minister(FM) seeking ‘extra allocation’ to their respective ministries in order to implement various projects, a good number of them are politically motivated, under current (2013-2014) Annual development Program (ADP). A spat between FM and Planning Minister occurred when FM declined to meet Planning Minister’s demand. Current planning minister, also the treasurer of the ruling party, has a controversial past. He was one of the actors of stock market scam that ruined many small investors.Against the exhortations of many economists, he was instrumental in increasing the number of projects and the size of the revised ADP. This unusually swollen revised ADP and overconfidence of Planning Minister hint that state fund will be siphoned off in a never-seen-before scale to satisfy the unquenchable greed of political thugs. The present govt. will not stay for a prolonged period of time,as demonstrated by its lack of confidence, can also be construed from this record rise in revised ADP. So it embarks on a policy of ‘let’s make some quick bucks before our tenure comes to an abrupt end’.

Preparations are well underway for a trouble free corruption season. A recent amendment was made to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) law. According to this new amendment, ACC, which is widely perceived as a stooge of govt., will be responsible for dealing with cases related to property scam, fraudulent activities and bribes. This was done to legalize incumbent govt.’s wrongdoings as well as to provide some legal loopholes for party stalwarts involved in such misdeeds.

Signs are ominous that present govt. will be less accountable and less consumer friendly. If this trend continues, then it will lead us to a Bangladesh where anarchy will reign supreme.

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