Do not give them honour, vote 'No' in Bangladesh Elections 2008

On 29th December 2008, the two year period of caretaker governance in Bangladesh will enter its final transition phase. The people, who have been meticulously and technologically counted, branded and rendered official, will be given the chance to grunt.

They will be invited to grunt in two main ways, a few minor ways and a radical way. Their are two alliances running 1) an alliance of Muslim Nationalists and Islamists and 2) an alliance of Secular Nationalists, a former dictator, hurt Muslim Nationalists and every single have-a-go lefty one can imagine. In addition, there are a few independants running and some fresh parties.

Suffice to say that there hardly much *actual* choice. I described the political field a few years ago here. It will be business as usual, there has been no deep thought, learning and behavioural change. The political parties wet themselves and bribed their way back into the political arena, while the caretakers were weak and had no better idea.

There is a little bit of choice. There is a new player on the ballot paper. Its name is 'No', not the Democracy-is-Haram No, but a more confident No. Operation No cuts deeply into the foundation of the Tower of Bull that is the society's political space .

Voting No, and encouraging the option to be taken seems to me to be the right thing to do for so many hopeful reasons. It is not just about minimising postworldly personal punishment. The fundamental idea is that the Bangladeshi people, if they are to prosper and dignify themselves, should affirm their latent belief that these politicians and ideas are going to get them nowhere. They cant even administer effectively, let alon address the big questions and dillemas of our time. They are too drunk on development dollars and captivated by the wrong ideas to be of any essential value.

Nationalists, Secularists, Liberationists and Islamists only divide, alienate and deviate society. They score off the margins and survive on our latent idiocy. By giving unworthy people confidence, a voter is pouring more fuel on the fire which is burning down their house. This is a recipe for social suicide in the key of democracy.

Urging people to vote No is not an unreasonable request as it does not extend to those who are unable to eat or those who are stupid. The practical necesity-based logic will always plague the poor, who tend to err on the side of immediate perceptable benefit. The more materially endowed and perceptive must then exercise greater responsibility over the choices they make. It would be sad if they not only consumed resources but also failed to lead the general community out of its current dead end, towards real value.

Neither does the No make big claims or outline a manifesto of lies to play your symbols against you. The No vote will not empower the foolish and the corrupt directly. The Tower of Bull was constructed over more than a generation, by people erroneously giving status to fools and pouring petrol onto socially destructive ideas.

Several newspapers in Bangladesh have picked up on youthful, playful interest in the No option and are playing their traditional patronising role. Other no-so-young voices are voicing their own voices vociferously and interleaving such voices with the voices of youth. Apparently because they are unvoiced. Welcome to the Disaster in Democracy Industry.

The No votes are precious. No Voters are precious, thoughtful and what the future is made of. Their political and social participation does not boil down to a grunt at the time of election. They are very much more musical than that.

1 comment:

Anas said...

Please join us for a mass No vote!!