Politicians are like the guardians of people. The citizens of a nation trust the politicians to ensure a better future for them. Therefore, they need to talk and work responsibly. But, on several occasions, we have found multiple politicians speaking irresponsibly with heavy consequences followed. It is not at all expected from them especially in this era of social media. Hence, our politicians should act and talk responsibly for the betterment of themselves as well as that of the nation as a whole.
At an event to celebrate Janmashtami, one of the greatest events of the Hindu religion, in Chattogram on Thursday, foreign minister A K Momen said that, he had urged the Indian government to back Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, so that she could stay in power. His remarks immediately created heavy debate among the citizens. The opposition parties and the allies of ruling party Awami League are slamming him for this immature remark. Even, the Awami League leaders are furious over his remark as it hurts the sovereignty of the nation as well as diminishes the reputation of the party. It also daunts the character of PM Hasina, who is already well appreciated by the global leaders for her uncompromising and farsighted attitude.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Qader warned party leaders and advised them to talk sensibly few days back. Now, the Awami Leaders already claimed that, the remark of the foreign minister is not that of the party and he is not one from Awami League. It is good that, they are criticizing their minister for reckless remark as mostly none did that till now. But being a minister of the government, his remarks must daunt the reputation of the ruling party. Despite economic hardship, the citizens still trust PM Sheikh Hasina to secure their future. But such unfortunate incidents are bringing difficulty for Bangladesh, the ruling party and PM Hasina internally and externally.
It was not the first time that the foreign minister Momen had slip of tongue. Only a few days back, he said that, the Bangladeshi people are living in paradise. His remark that people of Bangladesh are living in a ‘paradise’ in comparison with people of other countries amidst a global recession is one such negligent comment that appears as an insult to the millions of people who struggle hard to make the ends meet on the face of a record inflation, especially food inflation.
The finance minister is, however, not alone in making such irresponsible comments. His colleagues earlier came up with similar and in some cases, more insulting comments. Few days back, the planning minister, M A Mannan, in commenting on the hardship that people undergo because of food price increase, said that none had died yet. The local government, rural development and cooperatives minister, Muhammad Tajul Islam, said that none was starving or was without clothes. On another instance, fisheries and livestock minister, S M Rezaul Karim, said people can consume meat on three meals every day if they want.
Former state minister of information Murad Hasan was famous for his irresponsible remarks and he had to resign due to his ill acts few months back. Foreign Minister Momen’s brother, Late A M A Muhith also on several instances made reckless remarks during his tenure as finance minister over different economic issues. He was famous for his favorite word ‘rubish’.
The opposition party, especially BNP is trying to cash the rash remark of foreign minister. But, they are forgetting that, India is our largest neighbor and played great roles surrounding our interests including our liberation war. They are also making India more uncomfortable with this issue. As we have great similarities with India in terms of our culture and possess a good relation with them, it is important that BNP maintains the same relationship if they come in power. But their irresponsible remarks in reply to foreign minister’s one are ruining that chance. BNP leaders should learn when they need to remain silent or at least calm.
Though the BNP leaders are acting hard on the foreign minister’s comments, their leaders also made foolish comments on several occasions when they were in power. Home Minister of BNP-Jamaat regime, Altaf Hossain Chowdhury said the God had taken back his property after a child in father’s lap was killed in a shootout in capital’s Rampura in 2002. State Minister for Home Affairs of the same regime Md Lutfozzaman Babar said, they were looking for ‘shotrus’ (enemies) after 10 trucks of arms and ammunitions were discovered in 2004. Several other examples are there.
Even their party chief Begum Khaleda Zia made irresponsible remarks on several occasions. She, being three-time Prime Minister of the country, addressed a female police officer as ‘Gopali’ as the officer hailed from Gopalganj, birthplace of Bangabandhu. She even said that, she would change the name of Gopalganj, if come to power. These are totally unacceptable. BNP today forgot those and is busy in taking benefits of the irresponsible remarks of the ruling party leaders.
We have just passed 18 years of 21 August, 2004 grenade attack. BNP often tries to create controversy over 21 August incident or even over 15 August, 1975 when Bangabandhu was brutally killed with most of his family members. These incidents are part of the black history of our country. BNP often try to create debate over those incidents. Former BNP leader S Q Chowdhury often threatened Awami League president by saying that, “Again ’75”. Recently also, that same theme was reflected at Dhaka University through Chhatra Dal leaders. BNP leaders even today claim that, 21 August attack was staged by Awami League itself, which is completely absurd. Several political incidents can happen. But, rather than feeling sorry, trying to use those is both irresponsible and wrong at BNP’s part.
We are often hearing that the local leaders or the leaders of the wings of the ruling party as well as the opposition party are making ill remarks. Latest example of that is the Eden College unit Chhatra League president Tamanna Jasmine Riva. It is just an example but several such incidents are coming in front every day. If the top leaders set bad examples, it is normal that the junior leaders will follow the same path.
Politics is a place of responsibility. If a person does not act or talk sensibly, he has no right to be in politics. Every speech of a politician needs to bring light on the issues of the people and must uphold the best interest of the country. But it is becoming rare right now. Politics is becoming synonymous with carelessness, dishonesty and corruption today in Bangladesh. For that, the people are losing their interests over politics. Talented and educated people today are not interested to participate in politics.
Bangladesh has progressed a lot since its liberation and majority of the development took place during the last decade under the visionary leadership of Prime minister Sheikh Hasina. If her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was not brutally killed on 15 August, 1975, we would have progressed much before. But the anti-liberation forces kept us crippled for long. Now PM Hasina is trying to fulfill her father’s dream. But her fellow leaders should extend their hands to complete this mammoth task. Unfortunately many are only making her path full of thorns.
The greatest damage from the reckless remarks of the politicians is on the young generations of the country. They are quickly losing respect over politics and politicians. If the talented representatives from the young generations do not enter politics, then the politics will go in the hands of goons or unfit people someday. It will be very unfortunate for the country as if that happens, our development cannot be sustained.
Our politicians are on a noble mission to draw our future. The politicians need to understand the consequences of their words or acts. They need to inspire our youth rather than presenting themselves as jokers. In consideration of the next general election, the activity of the politicians is at highest importance right now as any wrong step can make the whole country vulnerable. Hence, we hope they will act responsible from now on.
The writer is chief editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA), Editor at Kishore Bangla and Chief Patron, BangabandhuShishu Kishore Mela