Published at: The Daily Sun, 28 March, 2023 12:00 AM

Daily Sun Link

In all the democratic structures and our present governing system, State, Government, and Ruling Party are three different entities. Each contains its distinctive feature and attributes, having a difference in duties and responsibilities. All these three organs of governance are meant to coordinate with one another. The ultimate objective is to achieve a unified goal, which is, to accomplish the welfare of the country and its people.

State means the entire terrain inside a political boundary, the citizens irrespective of caste, color, creed, religious or political affiliation, all assets and political power within that periphery. Every citizen has ownership over the state. Officials of the State will assist the government in running the functionaries of the state. But they should represent the State. They are to remain alert in preserving the interest of the State and the welfare of its citizens. They will not represent any person or political party, especially the ruling party. Since all citizens collectively own the State, each of them is to be considered equal in the eyes of the State. For that, the officials representing State must treat all the citizens and their organizations similarly, and refrain from discriminating on any basis.Political Party means an organization formed by people to run political activities. When a party becomes eligible and forms the government, that party becomes the Ruling Party. The ruling party will continue its efforts to brighten the image of its government by all possible means. They should assist the government in implementing its election manifesto, and other pro-people commitments and activities. The objective of the Ruling Party should be to retain and try to improve confidence and support in favor of their party government.

As soon as Government is formed, it becomes its responsibility to run the country in such a way that citizens and the country are benefitted. That goal can never be achieved if it discriminates between people, favors its own and deprives others.

In the current context, we have been experiencing those essential differences between the above three entities – the State, Government and the Ruling Party – have been fading away. These entities are gradually seen to be formed into one. The State and Government have been merging among themselves. Similarly, there exists no difference between Ruling Party and the Government. It appears that both the State and Government in most cases are working for the Ruling Party as if they are part of the Ruling Party.

Employees of the state or public servants feel that they are to satisfy the government and government party and are in no way accountable to the people. Many of them are behaving like “Master of the Public” not ‘servants’, with the alleged patronization of the government and ruling party.  

The chief of the Ruling Party generally takes up the responsibility of the Head of Government in our country. The head of Government in addition to the functionaries of the Executive also takes control of all other Institutions of the State. He/she does it by taking advantage of flaws in the constitution (sometimes flaws are created by making amendments using “Absolute Majority” in Parliament) and/or by putting people loyal to the ruling party in important positions. That makes way for the head of government to become authoritarian having control over all the authorities of the state.  

Parliament, Judiciary, Election Commission, Anti-corruption Commission, Public Service Commission, Human Right Commission, etc. all similar institutions have been created to serve people. The ultimate objective also includes giving protection to peoples’ interests and rights against abuse of authorities by the government. When these bodies function like different wings of the Ruling Party it becomes impossible to achieve that.Whenever there is any political program of the ruling party, government pieces of machinery including facilities, resources and employees are seen providing all possible support. On the other hand, other political parties are not being provided similar assistance. Some anti-government political parties are reportedly harassed by the same government functionaries during their various programs.

Reportedly, there is also the tendency of terming anti-government statements or other activities as anti-state and are treated accordingly. It is widely believed laws like Digital Security Act etc., has been created to facilitate the same.

It is alleged, for the appointment, posting and transfer of employees of the state, ruling party members or persons referred by them get preferential consideration. People also think similarly even where constitutional establishments are involved.

In respect of business, it is widely believed that almost all are being distributed among government-connected people by using means created for that purpose.

There exists a perception that employees of the state are working directly or indirectly in favor of the ruling party during different local government and national elections.

As a consequence, political adversaries and dissidents of the Ruling Party find it impossible to sustain. In course of time, all political parties would lose their effectiveness and would ultimately be eliminated, if the said trend continues. People feel deprived of their rights granted as per normal democratic practices.

“People’s Republic of Bangladesh” is the greatest achievement of our heroic war of independence. Bangladesh is a Republic, meaning people have ownership of Bangladesh. It is not a monarchy where the king will have that right and people will serve as powerless subjects. In a Republic, people are the owner of all powers of the State.

People will delegate their share of power to representatives elected by them for running the country as a government. The government so elected will run the affairs of the State as per the will of the people. People will change the government in case they feel their choices are not reflected in the activities of the state. As such, the government must facilitate and encourage institutions and other means to know what the people say. Similarly, it is not only right it is the duty of each citizen to criticize the government. Otherwise, the government may not know its faults. This is the practice of democracy.

Bangladesh is a Republic and is to be run democratically. That was the intention for which the war of independence was fought. Idea was to ensure accountability of government to people which in turn will build a society having rule of law based on social justice. The expectation was to liberate the people of this region from the centuries-old perpetual problem of discrimination, deprivation, poverty, suppression, oppression and authoritarian misrule.

We have come out victorious in our ‘war of independence’. The question now after fifty-two years of that victory is, could we win in our ‘war of liberation’, which was the desired goal for achieving independence?

The writer is a Member of Parliament and the Chairman of Jatiya Party