Kabir Ahmed Chowdhury

28 October, 2023 02:17

Can BNP keep the activists calm?

Now more than any other time, BNP leaders and workers are energized. Their firm belief has been born that 'this time the government will leave'. Groups of activists are going to Dhaka to see off the government. The Awami League government will fall soon after the October 28 general meeting - such is the optimism on the faces of the leaders of the party from the marginal level of the party to the leaders of the center. There is no place for logic or reality in this belief, there is immeasurable emotion.

Emotions drive politics, especially activist politics. The top leaders of the party will come to power - they sacrifice their lives in the hope that they are still giving. BNP leaders and activists who are going to Dhaka to participate in the mass meeting, they are going mainly with the ambition of putting their leaders Begum Khaleda Zia and Tareque Rahman in power. However, Khaleda Zia and Tareque Rahman have no opportunity to participate in the election, regardless of whether the election is under the party government or the caretaker government. Legal obligations are here, because they are punishable. According to the constitution, those convicted of criminal offenses for more than two years are ineligible for election. Khaleda Zia is convicted and serving in prison, while Tareque Rahman is convicted and absconding in the eyes of the law.

Yet the ambition remains. However, in the last decade and a half, BNP has not been able to build any strong movement to overthrow the government. The history of the BNP is not about field movement. The medium of their birth is military rule, the widespread absence of field politicians is present in the party. Worker-supporters have also developed in that way. However, in recent times the party has been strengthened organizationally mainly through the formation of committees at the marginal level through the council. Keeping the party organized from outside the power is not an easy task. The team has worked hard. This puts them at a bit of an advantage. However, it is yet to be proven whether this organizational strength is conducive to translational dynamism in the field.

Apart from this, they have another power - the US ambassador in Dhaka, Peter Haas. BNP leaders and activists believe that Peter Haas will put them in power! When it comes to working in a country, changing the power of that country is not a job objective for anyone, not even Peter Haas. However, the US ambassadors in Dhaka from time to time dress up and run around; Peter Haas is no exception. This time, the American visa policy has shaken the political arena with the over-engagement of Peter Haas and the election of Bangladesh. In such a situation, many believe that America will not keep the Awami League in power this time! There is no reason in this belief, but in this belief they gain strength. The party's belief is that India has kept Awami League in power, now America and India are not with Awami League. Although such beliefs do not have logic, and do not correspond with reality, but they energized from this. That is what is happening now in the case of BNP.

In its 45-year history, BNP has never been able to take political control in the field. It is true that the law and order forces and Awami League were cornered for some time during the petrol bomb and fire-terror with the help of Jamaat-Shibir in 2013-14, but that was not politics, it was sabotage. Apart from that stage of sabotage, they have no success in field politics. This time they entered the field, but the success of the field did not come to them. Several programs have been held for the past few months. There has been no movement to collect anything from the field yet. However, they say that they will not return home without being successful.

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has announced that BNP's 'Maha Yatra' will begin on October 28. After that they will give a series of programs. It is not yet clear what the program entails. It is believed that they will try to force the government to resign with programs like sit-in, blockade and isolation of Dhaka from the rest of the country. Whether this program will ultimately succeed is not yet known, but this time they are desperate for the last bite.

While the central leaders are thinking of a series of programs called 'Maha Yatra', are the fringe activists-supporters believing it will lead to the resignation of the government from a one-day rally? Talking to many marginalized people and seeing the language of many on social media, it seems like that. Those who are going to Dhaka have the same belief. Many people are likely to be disappointed by this.

It seems that the government-administration's attitude towards the BNPs meeting on October 28 will not be hindered by the long discussion. On the one hand, there is a thought that the BNP will return home that day after holding a peaceful rally. On the other hand, the idea of ​​"behind the scenes" is still undisclosed. There is also the question of what will happen if there is an interruption here, and if the BNP takes the one-day convention to a series of agitations. But we want to believe that the mass meeting will be peaceful, and the BNP will keep the party leaders and workers who are bent on coming to power under control.

I am talking about keeping the activists under control because those who are coming to Dhaka are stepping into the capital with an ambition. The only translation of their ambition is the resignation of the government. It should be known that the government will not fall with fiery speeches in the Mahasambesh. Before and after this, if the activists become aggressive, provoked, then the fear of loss of life and property will increase along with disruption of order. BNP leaders should look at the issue of maintaining order positively. This responsibility is not only of the central leaders, but also of all the leaders who are going to Dhaka with workers from different parts of the country.

If violent, the administration will use force, and or embarrass in various ways. In this situation, leaders will have the responsibility to keep their activists calm and under control. They have to remember that if they get out of control, the movement will go out of their hands. They should remember that the Awami League government has not succumbed to the various pressures of America and the Western world. So if something happens out of order, there will be no benefit even if there is a huge crowd. The government will find a way by using force in the name of protecting public safety.

Those who have gone to Dhaka with ambitions should remember that the government does not fall by setting a date. Movement is a long process, and if the movement goes into a situation where public safety is disrupted, it will not go away on its own by the government.

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