Democratic Practice in Bangladesh From the Dravidian ages to Hossain Mohammad Ershad, Bangladesh was a prime place for dictatorship and monarchy. All rulers in Bangladesh ruled with absolute power and until 1990, the people did not have much say in the political system. Although some rulers of Mughal Dynasty are credited with following the peoples opinion, that was not a democratic system. Only two exceptions can be marked from the pre-1990s era. One is the election of 1946 where Muslim league won most of the East Bengal seats which in turn outlined the borders of current Bangladesh.
The second instance is the 1970-71 general assembly election where Awami League won all of the East Pakistan seats. This gave the Bangladeshis enough political leverage to ask for independence and thus push Pakistan into the War of Liberation in 1971. These were the only two instances where the general peoples say affected the overall political system. After liberation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Ziaur Rahman and Hossain Mohammad Ershad were the three prominent leaders. All of them proclaimed democracy but none showed any sign of acknowledging people’s opinion.
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Political change usually came with major coups and elections were mostly scams. Actual democracy in Bangladesh started from 1990 with the overthrowing of Hossain Mohammad Ershad. After that we had three general elections. Two of them were won by Bangladesh Nationalist Party and one was won by Bangladesh Awami League. The Member of Parliament was chosen via direct vote and those polls can be considered as reasonably fair as the overall results showed semblance with the public opinions. Problems With Current System
At this point, democracy in Bangladesh is faltering. Political heads are tainted with malicious records. Politics has become a tool for the power hungry. Most educated laureates have denounced politics left it. So the candidates that the people are faced with are not good. And since the Law enforcement department is corrupted and mismanaged, no individual humanitarians can genuinely apply without political muscle. Another factor that impedes democracy is the fact that most of Bangladeshi population is illiterate and they judge people with words of mouth.
And thus only two or three party candidates are known to them. They are unaware of all other candidates available. Even of those two or three candidates, they may not know their proper backgrounds and qualifications. One final problem is the people usually vote on political signs such as Boat or Paddy. They don’t properly judge the person they are voting for. All of these add up to an unqualified government being promoted up by popular support. Personal Opinion But overall, the only way out for Bangladesh is to keep practicing democracy.
Good or Bad people should vote out the oppressing party. Democratic change should not come with strikes and violence. Then after a few more polls, the politicians will realize that they cannot cheat people for more than five years. Eventually they will do more for the people and in the process a proper line of politicians will emerge. India and USA are two prime examples of this kind of democracy. And it took more than 100 years for USA to perfect its democratic system. So 15 years is too short of a time to say that Bangladesh is incapable of democracy.
If we are to change democracy, we have to choose from dictatorship and communism. Dictatorship is a huge gamble. There is no guarantee of a proper leader. And even if a proper leader is selected, there is no surety of a proper successor. And communism is a flawed concept as proven by Russia. The power can be diverted easily to one man or a political party. Thus taking all things to consideration, I think democracy should continue in Bangladesh for the greater good of the nation.