People’s aspirations on Democracy Day Sunday

People’s aspirations on Democracy Day Sunday

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Dhaka – Democracy Day is being observed in the country today (Sunday), marking the fall of autocratic ruler HM Ershad in 1990.
On December 6, 1990, military dictator HM Ershad stepped down in the face of a mass upsurge, and handed power over to a caretaker government ending his nine years’ of autocratic rule which began through grabbing power in a coup on March 24, 1982.The movement against the autocratic rule had began in 1983 with a liaison committee coordinating programmes of movement of the then Bnp-led 7-Party Combine and the AL-led 15-Party Alliance and the Jamaat taking up simultaneous programmes wth the alliances seperately.
The movement had its ups and downs. A crack down on student agitation in 1983 was followed by an incident of a police truck running over a student procession killing three pupils in the Phulbaria area.
Occasional clamping of curfew and shooting of curfew violators below knees to enforce the same. To make the takeover secure the autocratic gvernment had jailed a number of former Bnp ministers including the reputed finance minister Saifur Rahman who had managed to give the economy turn around at three critical periods, the late seenties, the early nineties, then in the early years of the presnt century, and creating the solid foundations on which it now rests.
The movement suffered in 1996 when eight parties of the 15-Party Alliance and Jamaat joined elections in January that year under HM Ershad with 7-Party leader Khaleda Zia, who had boycotted the election, remaining interned at her then cantonment residence. The 7-Party Combine in alliance with the 5-Party left alliance however continued movement which led to the collapse of Parliament which was dissolved by HM Ershad in 1987 under the pressure of movement following the resignation of MPs belonging to Jamaat and a few other parties.
Another parliament was formed under HM Ershad in 1988 through an election which was boycotted by all opposition parties save a newly formed ‘Combined Opposition Party’ led by JSD president ASM Abdur Rob who served as the leader of the opposition for nearly three years before the goverment of HM Ershad collapsed through his resignation on 06 December 1990.
The joint declaraton of the three alliances had formed the basis of the transition from autocracy to parliamentary democracy in 1991 through the 27 Februry elections held that year. For the first time in the history of Bangladeh a constitutional amendment (12th amendment) was passed on the basis of consensus.
The consensus constitution was the strength of the system of dispensation for 25 years till 2014. During this period legitmacy of elected government was never challenged even through the main defeated party always complained of irregularities in elections, because there was no difference on the fundamentals of the constitution decided through the 12th amendment.
On the democracy day today people recall the glorious movement that had led to the enactment of a consensus consttution that this land misses since the partition of 1947. Because without consensus on the fundamentals of governance there can be no democratic peace, tolerance and tranquility in the state and the society.
Different political parties and socio-cultural organisations have taken various programmes to observe the day.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has issued a message greeting the country people on this occasion.
In her message, the prime minister said December 6 is a remarkable day in the history of reclaiming democracy. – News Desk

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