Dhaka, September 05: Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain on Wednesday said they are trying to forge a national unity to ensure ‘pure democracy’ and free the country from injustice.“Those who gathered on this stage want to forge a national unity so that we can establish an adulteration-free democracy, which will be free from communalism,” Dr Kamal said.
He came up with the remarks while speaking at a discussion titled ‘EVM Boycott, National Election and Political Alliance’. Nagorik Oikya arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club, UNB reported.
Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) president Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob) president ASM Abdur Rob, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Kalyan Party chairman Mohammad Ibrahim, Jahangirnagar University Prof Dilara Chowdhury and Dhaka University Prof Asif Nazrul, among others, spoke at the programme.
Dr Kamal urged the people of the country to get united in the interest of the nation. “I urge all those who believe in democracy and the spirit of non-communalism to get united in the interest of the country and its people.”
He said, “We’ll get united against injustice. It’s the nature of the Bangalee not to bow down to injustice. We must free ourselves from injustice through forging a notational unity.”
Mentioning that the country was liberated in 1971 in just nine months, Dr Kamal said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made it possible through uniting people. “It has proved repeatedly that nothing is impossible to achieve if people get united.”
He said the country’s people believe in multiparty democracy where all power and the ownership of the country belong to people. “We want to give people back their ownership of the country through establishing the national unity. If we can get united, we’ll be able to face all the challenges as we did in the past.”
Dr Kamal said people will be the owner of the country and all the power if a free, fair and neutral election is held. “Or else, people will be deprived of its ownership of the country.”
He called upon people to forge a national unity upholding the spirit of the 1972 constitution to establish a non-communal and democratic Bangladesh.
The Gono Forum chief said Jamaat-e-Islami had tried to divide the nation based on religion in 1971, but they failed as people rejected them. “Those who had tried to divide us based on religion got defeated on December 16, 1971.”
He said the country’s independence will be meaningful if the rule of law, people’s rights and true democracy are established in the country. “We’ve taken a move together with the young generation and, I hope, it will be successful. We’ll be able to regain the main Liberation War spirit.”
Speaking at the programme, B Chowdhury urged the government to ensure democracy for opposition parties. “Try to learn how to give democracy to opposition, not to the ruling party.”
When ruling party men attack people with rods, sticks, sharp weapons, he said it demonstrates the government has no confidence in people. ”You’ve no confidence in people while people have no confidence in you. That’s why you need hammers to suppress them.”
The BDB chief said a fair and neutral election must be held in the country. “A credible election is the basic of democracy. “You (govt) must understand that democracy is not possible without an impartial election. We want the election under a non-party neutral government.”
B Chowdhury, also a former president, reminded the government that no autocratic government, including that of Ayub Khan and HM Ershad, could hang onto power by talking about democracy. “You won’t be able to do so either.”
He called upon all political parties to get united to free the country from what he said autocracy, despotism, waywardness and corruption, repression and enforced disappearance.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir urged the political parties to forge the national unity to save the country and its people. “Let’s salvage the country together as it’s going to sink.”
Mentioning that their chairperson Khaleda Zia, before going to jail, had called for a national unity to protect the country, its independence and democracy, he said, “We want the unity with minimum programmes to protect the country.”
Fakhrul said the government must release all the political prisoners, including Khaleda Zia, and withdraw all the cases filed against political leaders and activists to hold an acceptable election.
Besides, he said, the election must be held under a non-party administration. “Parliament will have to be dissolved, while the Election Commission must be reconstituted and army be deployed for holding a credible election.”
Fakhrul said it will be possible to build new Bangladesh based on freedom fighters’ dream and forging a national unity.