Veteran Indian journalist Kuldip Nayar has expressed doubts about possibility of holding free and fair elections that can change the regime in Bangladesh in the near future.In an article published in The Statesman on 11 February, he also tacitly blamed New Delhi for backing an “authoritarian regime” in Dhaka.“It does not look as if Bangladesh would ever have free and fair elections. But if they were to be held, the foregone conclusion is that Sheikh Hasina would not be defeated,” he wrote in the opinion piece titled “Has Bangladesh lost its focus?”Kuldip Nayar said premier “Sheikh Hasina’s main strength is New Delhi” which, he felt, has put all eggs in her basket. The author also referred to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) as openly claiming, “Hasina has even damaged India’s image because of her authoritarian rule.” “She brooks no criticism and sees that her critics are harmed so that they realize she and India have become synonymous.”Apparently, Kuldip Nayar narrated experience of visiting Bangladesh recently, as he noted, “After arrival at Dhaka, it does not take you long to realize that here is one country which has lost its ethos.”
He mentioned that he asked many about the direction Bangladesh was taking ideologically, economically or socially. He quoted one academician, closely associated with politicians, as telling him that Bangladesh had lost is way and he did not know which direction it was heading.The Indian journalist, who has long been closely watching developments in Bangladesh, observed that careerism attracts youth and businessmen influence politics because they bribe every tier of the government. “This pattern prevails all over.What is striking is the wealth that is accumulated in a few hands. They not only dictate day-to-day business but also politics,” he noted.Kuldip Nayar further mentioned that the media in Bangladesh is free only in name as is the pattern in third world countries.He concluded, “The vested interests in the country have never had it as good as they do today.”Still, he felt, the silver lining is that people love the democratic system and express their faith in it through protests and agitations.
source:greenwatchbd online desk