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How we can practice democracy- A way out

Democracy is a continuous political process which can not be established overnight. Todays Western democracies could not be developed in a day, month or year. It took long period of centuries after centuries. Same is in case of Bangladesh. Democracy can be sustained and developed in Bangladesh only by giving due attention to certain both institutional and structural issues such as:
i. The first and foremost task is to maintain the continuity of constitutional rule. Under no circumstances, should the constitutional process be disrupted. Regardless of whether a party is in power or in opposition, the democratic order must be sustained. That is, any military and extra-constitutional force’s intervention must be resisted and a law be introduced to punish not only those who seek to intervene but also those who would support the illegal regime.

ii. Political institutions should be developed through the democratic practice both within the party level and at the state level. At the party level, political parties should be institutionalized through political socialization and recruitment process and allowing the free and uninterrupted growth and orderly change of leadership at the regular intervals of the party conventions. Internal democracy has to be practiced within the political parties. Democracy within the party must be gradually strengthened so that leadership from grassroots levels can develop At the state level, political leadership should be emerged through free and fair election. Parliament should be made effective and lively with the participation of both government and opposition parties. Local government and mass media should be allowed to function freely without any sort of executive and legislative intervention.

iii. Hereditary nature of leadership should be abolished and the party constitution should be amended to allow change in the leadership after each specified term. The party structure and committees should be filled only by election and this will encourage as well as develop leadership from grass-root level.

iv. Confrontational and parochial political culture should be avoided. Our politicians should realize that they have responsibility to build up the nation and they should pay due respect to people’s will and expectations forgetting their own parochial interest. Both the government and opposition should work under democratic norms and values instead of confrontation and egoism. Our politicians should be positive in playing their role in the polity. They must realize that politics is not a zero-sum game rather it is a cooperative business for the greater will being of the nation.

v. A department of Ombudsman should immediately be created which will work as an all time watchdog against misadministration, red-tapism and inefficiency in the bureaucracy.

vi. The rule of law should be established within the society for the protection of fundamental human rights and ensuring social justice and equity. To that end, the judiciary should be allowed to work independently being freed from the executive and legislative control

vii. For the transparency within the government fabrics Radio and TV should immediately be given autonomy. Operation of private TV channels should be allowed. All restrictive Laws concerning press and media should be allowed to be self regulated by them through a code of ethical practice.

viii. For meaningful development of democracy in Bangladesh, there should have consensus between the government and oppositions with regard to the critical national issues. For this, the government should take the leading role and the opposition should function rationally giving up the traditional tendency to oppose only for the sake of opposition.

ix. Corruption is the main problem in Bangladesh administration for implementation of any development programme. Corruption has engrained in our society. But this evil cannot be wiped out overnight. No Leader, howsoever powerful or charismatic he may be, will be able to wipe corruption out overnight. Only it can be wiped out gradually through the process of institutionalization of controlling institutions and it needs a dedicated leader for institutionalization of institutions, which controls the administration.