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It’s all about winning a soccer match

September 21, 2014

In an attempt to consolidate power, Awami League brought a major amendment to the constitution. As per the clauses laid down by the amended constitution, the parliament now can remove the judges ; earlier supreme judicial council had the authority to remove a Supreme Court Judge.

Numerous reasons can be thrown to justify this change, citing examples of old democracies where legislative body has such power.

But we have to keep in mind that ours is a dysfunctional democracy where winner takes all and has little accountability.

Despite meagre presence of democracy in our country, political actors, democratic and undemocratic, driven by commitment and some time motivated by personal gains, propped up over the years a structure of check and balance.

Neutral caretaker government, independent judiciary, independent anti-corruption commission and a free and vibrant media are all part of that structure.

One by one AL government severely weakened these institutions, leaving the whole edifice of check and balance crumbling.

A closer look at the deeds of our political parties when they governed the country lays bare their lack of commitment to form an accountable democratic society. Changes in constitution about the removal of SC Judges can be a good example.

In the first constitution of 1972, the parliament was entitled to remove SC judges.

In 1975, the government of our founding father, then a president, amended the constitution to empower the president, instead of the parliament, to impeach Supreme Court judges.

In 1978, then Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA) Lt Gen Ziaur Rahman made a martial law proclamation that requires a supreme judicial Council inquiry for the removal of SC Judges.

In 2014, a parliamentary panel formed to bring 16th amendments to the constitution in a bid to restore parliament’s power to remove SC Judges. This 10th parliament, however, is formed after the BNP boycotted election and half of its members are uncontested MPs.

It is absolutely crystal clear that the consolidation of power came into play when the idea of 16th amendment was first mooted, not the accountability of judiciary.

The recent amendment will also allow the parliament to remove heads[and members] of constitutional bodies, i.e. anti-corruption commission, election commission etc. Again the parliament we are talking about lacks, though not constitutional, moral legitimacy.

Personal whims, greed of collected corrupts and audacity of herds to do whatever they wish to do have already done a huge damage to the country.

The more AL consolidates, the more it degenerates. The more it degenerates, the more it corrupts.

Signs are everywhere.

Thugs siphoned off huge sums of money from state banks’ coffers by submitting forged LC documents. And ailing state banks’ default loans continue to swell because of mismanagement of partisan board of directors.

In recent months, we have been witnessing the rise of a regimented AL, waning the differences between a centre-left party and other regimented parties (right or left).

No mercy for deserters. Holding a different view can be blasphemous.

And people living in this herdistan cannot distinguish between the rules of two different parties.

In this soccer war of regimented parties, ordinary people are just like a ball destined to move from this leg to that leg and to land into opposition goal.

The tragedy is by fulfilling its destiny the ball only brings smile to the scorer and to the fellow tribesmen.

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