Bangladesh is now an independent country. But, did we become free so easily? The answerer is known to all. We had to cross a vast ocean to reach at the shore of independence. We had to cross an impassible road. The opposition party played a vital role in this respect.
During the British and Pakistani periods, the ruling party tried to choke the leaders of the opposition parties. Many people were exiled to isolated or distant places. But they could not last forever. We find the important role of the opposition leaders.
Pakistani leaders used their stem-rollers upon us but they could not remain in power forever. They were compelled to leave this country. Opposition parties played very important role in this regard. Our undaunted soldiers had sacrificed their lives willingly for the freedom of Bangladesh.
The Language Movement is also very important. Perhaps, there is not any country in the world where people had to die for language. At every stage, we find the role of opposition parties very important.In the recent past we found that the opposition parties compelled the autocratic ruler to leave power. In 1991, BNP government came to power.
The role that the opposition parties played to overthrow the autocratic regime is known to all. In order to drive away the ruling party, the opposition parties called hartals for days. It brought untold sufferings. None the less, the opposition parties played important role in some respects.
Bangladesh is a developing country. Opposition parties have duties for the development of Bangladesh. Without the co-operation of the opposition parties, a ruling party cannot do well. At every stage, opposition parties have the same duties as the ruling party.
They can help the government for the development of the country. They should help the distressed people during the natural calamities, they can help educate illiterate people, and they can work in order to get the nation rid of the curse of poverty. Sometimes prices of many necessary items increase rapidly without any reason.
The government cannot control them as some of its functionaries do not perform their duties properly. It is very painful. But the opposition parties can wage strong protest and pressurise the government to take stern measures against the offenders so that the unjustified hikes of the prices of essential items can be held back.
In this way the opposition parties are good friends to the people. Sometimes, a ruling party fails to rule the country in the way it should. The opposition parties can help the ruling party for the sake of the people. If they do so, they can become popular.
Sometimes, the government or the ruling party/parties takes wrong decisions. The opposition parties can correct these. Sometimes, a ruling party is misguided by some corrupt leaders. The opposition parties can play a very important role at this stage. So the role of the opposition parties in Bangladesh is beyond description.
Co-operation, patience, tolerance, sincerity etc are very necessary for any party. It is a matter of shame that, we do not find these in our leaders. What are we noticing now? One party cannot tolerate the other party. There are great gaps between the government and the opposition parties. It is very harmful for the country.
The present opposition parties are following the same path as the past opposition parties did. To call hartal or to oppose the ruling party is a democratic right of an opposition party. But in the name of opposition it is very bad to add to the suffering of the people. The former opposition parties called hartals day after day.
Though there were some certain reasons, it brought untold suffering to people. It partially destroyed the economy of the country. The present government or ruling party has realized it, but after a long time. Now, we are observing that the opposition parties are taking subversive decisions without any sensible reason.
They claim they are real friends of people. They believe that the people are connected with them. Is it true? Undoubtedly 'No'. Without any partiality, we can say that people do not like hartals at all. It is very destructive for the country.
Though we realize it, our political leaders, whether they are the ruling party or the opposition parties, do not realize it. Though it is painful to say, it is clear to us, most of the leaders of our country are very busy with making future of their own. They do not think about the people. They shed crocodile's tears.
In the developed country, opposition parties help the ruling party at every stage. It is not possible to develop a country without mutual co-operation. In 1960, there were only two or four multi-storied buildings in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and many other countries of the world were not so developed. But they have developed miraculously for the real politics and the politicians.
In those countries, both the ruling party and the opposition parties work side by side for the development of their countries and the countrymen. They work without any selfish desire. In those countries, opposition parties do not hesitate to oppose the ruling party but they do it for the sake of the people.
In developed countries, the opposition political parties form a shadow cabinet government in the parliament thus to study and suggest the ruling party in talking constructive and proper decisions on matters of greater public interest.
In fine, we can say that the ruling party as well as the opposition parties should come forward to solving the problems of the people. Co-operation, faith, tolerance are very essential. We should respect the rights of others. Without these qualities a democratic country can never prosper.
Finding peace will be running after the will-o-the-wisp. If the ruling party and the opposition parties do not work for the country, future generation would not forgive them. So, it is high time political leaders, no matter they are the supporters of the ruling party or the opposition parties, took proper decisions for the people of the country.
The writer is a columnist and researcher