An IMAM’s Sermon and Unpleasant Truths
By Masud Hasan
PM’s Political Adviser Mr. H. T. Imam’s voluntary acknowledgement about one-sided January five parliamentary election and statement about BCS jobs for Awami League-backed student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League activists on November 12 at TSC, Dhaka University, has raised many questions and also brought some answers.All skeptics as well as the oppositions got an attester to prove their allegations about the authenticity and acceptability of the election. The election held in January five is the most debated election in Bangladesh. Democracy loving people never stopped gossiping about that.
Mr. Imam was talking among a group of people who believe in the same political thought as he does. He was speaking in subconscious mind to reveal the truth about the election and the nepotism in case of appointment of government jobs. Imam indicated the role of police and administration during the January five election, and said he talked to officials concerned in all upazilas, and asked them to form mobile courts with pro-Awami League officials to help to hold the election. He said, “They [pro-AL officials] stood by us and sacrificed their lives for us”. Through his remarks he explained the advantage of having party men in the administration and how the Awami League benefited from this. The statement of Mr. Imam has also clarified the fact that there was rampant control of the election process by the ruling party. It has also specified the ill intentions behind the cancellation of caretaker government system by 15th amendment of the constitution.
His statement raised the question of independence of the election commission. Under the provisions of Article 118 to 126 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh the election commission is an impartial and autonomous body of the republic. Election commission can work as impartial, fair and acceptable if the government or political leaders etc. do not interfere in the exercise of its functions. But Mr. Imam’s statement degrades the highness of the election commission. Former opposition party BNP’s claim goes stronger that it is not possible to hold a free and fair parliamentary election under a partisan government. His statements have justified the demand for the installation of a non-party election time government.
On the other hand he offered BCS jobs to the BCL activist. He suggested them to overcome the hurdles of written test of BCS examination. He said, “We will see how much we can help you with the viva-voce”. Moreover to assure his young audiences he said, “Whenever we approach the prime minister with a request for a job she asks if the man requiring a job has a BCL background and then she tells us to manage it by all means”.
Thought it is good news for the BCL activists but bolt from the blue for others aspiring to be BCS cadres. His assurance and remarks about the BCS examination go contrary to the Article 29 of the Constitution which speaks of equality of opportunity for all citizens in public employment. It also has been disclosed how the government politicized the administration through partisan appointment in the public services.
Job seekers are always anxious about the naked partiality that officials, involved in the procedure of appointments in the government jobs, are biased to the pro-government activists. They manipulate the whole system by using their immense political influence and on that case institution like PSC cannot play their role properly. Concerned officials and personnel in case of government institutions employed for appointment of new officials are appointed politically. They become politically motivated easily. Due to quota system youths are already frustrated as meritorious students are already being deprived of public jobs. The unpleasant truths from the bloopers of Mr. Imam have created a total indignity for all genius students. If jobs are given on the basis of political consideration the dreams of general students will be shattered and it will inspire brain-drain too.
Not only Mr. Imam, earlier on September 20, 2010 the PM’s Health Advisor in a ceremony in Gopalganj said: “Some 13,350 employees will soon be recruited in community clinics. We have decided that no one outside the party (Awami League) will be recruited.” [The Daily Star, September 21, 2014]. In the same way other pro-ruling party leaders said the exact things, and there was no official rebuttal of those statements. Besides all these question leakage, bribes and lobbying now the politicalnepotism to BCL men is a clear threats to the brilliant youths of the nation.
In BCS exam viva voce exam plays a crucial role towards appointment and it is the worst place of manipulation. In 2005 BNP-Jamaat allied government cut the number of viva 200 to 100. But in 2010 viva number was increased to 200. And up to 35th BCS notification it remained same though there was many changes regarding exam procedures. PSC did not specify the reasons behind 200 marks in BCS viva.
Confusion against the PSC in case of employment is not a new phenomenon. The ways of manipulation has not been opened in a day. It is successive in nature and increased day by day. During the previous governments there were examples and allegations of wrongdoings regarding the PSC nut not as intensified as it is now.
After five days of the speech Mr. Imam lied about the statements he made. He claimed that media reported only part of the remarks. Bangladesh is a unique and wonderful country to tell lie and do corruption, and getting indemnity as well.The sermon that Imam delivered is the reflection of the poor democracy we have and clear declaration of politicization of PSC. The statement Mr. Imam made is a limpid threat to democracy, development and human rights in Bangladesh.