সোমবার, ২৪ ফেব্রুয়ারী ২০২০, ১১:৩৯ পূর্বাহ্ন
Dr. Kamal Hossain :: Today it is almost 50 years since we achieved independence. We need as a nation to look back in order to look forward. We need to look back to find hope and strength from our historic achievements. Among these are achieving independence at the cost of the sacrifice of countless lives and the untold suffering of millions. We have completed almost 50 years despite the untiring efforts to strike at the roots of our independence. These include assassination of our leaders, creation of division among our people through communal appeals, and using black money to pollute our politics and people’s organizations. As a nation, however, we fought to uphold the values of our Constitution and the democratic rights of our people. We can proudly say that the Constitution which bears the signatures of Bangabandhu, Syed Nazrul Islam and Tajuddin Ahmed and other leaders of our independence movement, is still in force, despite many attempts to undermine it.
Another very positive feature from which we can derive strength is that there is a fundamental consensus on fundamental issues. This national consensus embraces electoral democracy, governance by representatives, elected by adult franchise, accountable to a parliament; and also independence of the judiciary and the rule of law through which basic human rights of all citizens are protected. These rights include the right to vote, the right to form political and social organizations, the right of freedom of the speech, the freedom of the press, the right to freedom of movement and the right to engage in any profession or business. The attempts to undermine the Constitution and to deprive us of these commonly shared values and rights have, however, failed. Through united people’s efforts, the Constitution as adopted in 1972 has been safeguarded and the demand is universally shared for an election, which is truly free and fair, not influenced by money, muscle or manipulation.
As we approach the 50th year of our independence, while sharing with pride that we have been able to safeguard and uphold the rights of our people, we must take serious note of the negative aspects of the prevailing reality. These include the generation of black money through corrupt practices. Black money negates the right to vote, through manipulation of elections. This has resulted in people being deprived of the rule of law and parliament not being truly representative of our people, because free elections are prevented due to the influence of money and manipulation. This also meant that while corrupt practices are reported daily, measures have not been taken to combat corruption through effective law enforcement aimed at those at the highest levels responsible for corruption, while limiting efforts to persons at lower levels of government.
What we need today is the unity of our people. This is needed to ensure that the Constitution is upheld not only formally but to realize its promises of democracy, social justice and fundamental human rights. This unity is essential if we are to ensure that elections are truly free and fair and that genuine representatives of people are elected to exercise power.
We believe that as we approach our 50th anniversary, our nation should unitedly vow to ensure that the malgovernance, arbitrariness and negation of rule of law can no longer be permitted to exist. We must unitedly ensure that our governance is strictly in accordance with the Constitution, that elections are truly free and fair and that free from corruption and arbitrariness. Let us, therefore, resolve to observe our 50th anniversary, with the vow that we ensure that democracy, social justice and the rule of law as promised by our Constitution are truly achieved and that the dreams of our martyrs and our own cherished goals are realized.
16 December, 2019