Functioning democracy demand of the hour
Saturday, 29 March 2008

Independence Day observed

The thirty-seventh Independence Day was observed this year with usual ceremony.
In view of our political culture, we badly feel the need for a functioning democracy to sustain the hopes and aspirations of our people. The Chief Adviser said on Tuesday that the present Caretaker Government and the Election Commission are giving much importance to bringing about a qualitative change in the country’s political culture ahead of the next general election. He made it clear that election and democracy are not synonymous, but introduction of democratic process begins through election. The head of caretaker government made the remark addressing the Independence Award 2008 ceremony at Osmani Memorial Auditorium, as it came up prominently at the function that people’s expectations for real democracy, development and equitable society remained a far-fetched dream long 37 years after Bangladesh’s independence. The present caretaker government took the responsibility of governing the country against the backdrop of a critical and unstable situation in the socio-political environment .Since then, they have been going all-out to ensure the holding of a free, fair and neutral election to consolidate the democratic process in the country. At the same time the government has taken a good number of steps to establish good governance and congenial atmosphere for election. We feel that there is no lack of goodwill of goodwill and no scarcity of that in the present government’s efforts for improving law-and-order situation, restoring socioeconomic stability, freeing the administration from political influence and establishing corruption-free governance. Yet how far have we really proceeded in effecting the reformation of the political culture and in the activities of the political parties of the country and their philosophies. Once the present government holds the general elections and yields power to the elected representatives of the people, we should be able to look forward to corruption -free governance and effective programmes for the socio-economic advancement of the nation. As the Chief Adviser has said, mere holding of elections will not ensure a properly functioning democracy that would , in the future, lead to and prosperity of our people . Reforms of the political parties and introduction of the culture of consultation with common people and civil society in the process of adopting decisions are now urgently needed .

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