Published:  01:22 AM, 10 January 2019

Brute majority and the fear of dictatorship

Brute majority and the fear of dictatorship

The losers are definitely critical of all aspects of the 30 December 2018 parliamentary elections and they are fanning all kinds of issues. The latest is that the country is heading a one-party dictatorial country because Prime Minister's ruling Awami League triumphed to power with a landslide victory.

Many critics of the Awami League are hammering that this 'illegal' win will be the reason for Sheikh Hasina's fall and without a strong opposition in the parliament good governance will be a far cry.

For many of us the Awami win is not about legality, rigging or becoming a dictator. It is simply the victory of the spirit of our great Liberation War. Sheikh Hasina and her party are the sole torch bearers of our war, the blood we shed and the flag we have. It will not make Pakistan its best friend and seek ISI intelligence agencies help to meddle into Bangladesh's internal affairs.

One comment in the TIME magazine's online portal read as follows:

'Great day for Bangladesh and a defeat for an alliance backed by Pakistani ISI, Awami League might not be perfect but it's a much better option than an alliance which includes war criminals and known agent of Pakistan, those crying foul are just noise and will fade away in the history as traitors to this nation, we don't need to look back but look ahead where the country continues it development economically as a rising Tiger and people from all religion lives in harmony as brothers and unite under one flag & one nation, Congratulation Bangladesh !!!'

That is exactly what should be our stand now and Sheikh Hasina has asked for forgiving her government for any mistake made during the past 10 years as 'we are all humans and cam make mistakes.'

The prime minister has reportedly warned her party 'not to turn into MONSTERS,' which is clear that she is alert to the fact how such majority can turn into a debacle if she is not careful. She has also taken the guardianship of all Bangladeshis whether they like her not because the majority voted even if critics go on yelling the election was rigged.

'People who remain in power for long become monsters. But we shouldn't be monsters. Rather, we will have to be humbler because of the trust the people put on in us by giving their huge support in the election,' she was quoted as telling the new elected lawmakers of her party.

How much can be rigged to get a landslide unless one is popular. I guess the critics should also keep that in mind.
During the past 10 years Sheikh Hasina has shown increasing maturity not only as the top leader domestically, but also internationally. No other Bangladeshi leader has discussed or rated internationally as she has been which proves her worldwide acceptance. World leaders starting from Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to China and Saudi Arabia quickly congratulated on her massive victory. The United States with little reservation welcomed the much sought after inclusive election.

Modi telephoned to convey his congratulations to Sheikh Hasina and pledged to further boost Dhaka-New Delhi bilateral ties. He was all prise for the Bangladesh premier for deepening bilateral ties.

By any count those are the most important messages by outright rejecting opposition claims of rigging and call for fresh voting. The embassies in a country brief their government if and when to send such messages. It is clear the world has welcomed the result as they know Bangladesh is in the hands of a charismatic and proven leader called Sheikh Hasina.

Thus the fear of dictatorship and one-party rule can only be a wrong assessment as it is a different case and cannot be compared with other countries. The press at home and abroad would be keeping a close watch on her and her government to stop any kind of dictatorship taking birth again after the 1975 killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman until 1990, when General Hussain Muhammad Ershad was ousted in a mass movement.

I am confident Sheikh Hasina will be tough, but not in a dictatorial way. Then again dictatorship is sometimes required to put the country on the right economic track and fight corruption with status of 'zero tolerance' as declared by Sheikh Hasina.

Sheikh Hasina will need to be very tough on many issues as without which she would not be able to achieve her goals to finally becoming 'Golden Bengal' as envisioned by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib.
Godspeed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. You will prove everyone wrong.

Journalist Nadeem Qadir is a UN Dag Hammarskjold Fellow

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