Sunday, August 3, 2008

Militancy Issue in RCC Election

Today I've gone through a news item published in The Daily Star regarding Rajshahi City Corporation election candidates' reluctance to express a firm stance on militancy issue during their campaign.

AL backed candidate AHM Khairuzzaman Liton defends himself by saying that he expects to draw large number of votes from BNP-Jamaat supporters which could swing if he talks too much against militancy and so it is better not to talk about this issue. Surely he has preferred votes to the spirit he professes to have. A man of integrity can never do what he has done by being reticent about a crucial issue of Rajshahi. His reticence is tantamount to being lenient to the militants. AL frequently claims to be on the pro-liberation axis of Bangladeshi politics. Nonetheless, when weak-minded people like Mr. Liton are strongly supported by AL, their commitment to the great spirit of Liberation War is again called into question. Mr. Liton fears that his words against Islamist militants could be wrongly interpreted by conservative Muslim voters. If he isn't determined to convince the voters of his message, then what's the point of his becoming a candidate? Islam doesn't permit terrorism and militancy and he should have persuaded his voters in favour of him by getting across this message to them.

BNP-backed candidates Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul and Rezaunnabi Dudu showed lame excuses for their silence - none of their competitors has raised the issue, talking about the militancy issue would create disputes among candidates and will not bring them any positive results rather it would impact negatively on their vote tally. How could they blatantly ignore the voters who bore the brunt of militants during the last BNP-Jamaat regime and now want to know their stance on militants? Those who can ignore the constituents now can surely do so when elected.

It's really frustrating that people of RCC are going to vote for a mayor without even knowing their chosen candidate's precise position on militancy issue.

[ published as a letter on The Daily Star on August 08, 2008 ]