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Published:August 28th, 2010 18:04 EST
Does Democracy Have A Choice?

Does Democracy Have A Choice?

By SOP newswire2

Whether we like it or not, we have to admit the chaotic state of the world in which we are living today. Despite the chants of democracy and of human rights in every corner of the world, and despite the "civilization` humans boastfully claim they have achieved in today`s world, the majority of human beings are still in despair. While hundreds of millions of the world population go hungry everyday and suffer from many chronic diseases, political subjugation by powerful countries and oppression by corrupt governments remain unabated.

Democracy and human rights " widely practiced in developed nations " do not count much when the so-called world powers deal with `other` nations. What further aggravates the situation is that democracy is a mirage in the desert from the very beginning when it comes to poor nations, especially the Muslim countries, due to the political control of corrupt people who run those countries with Western support.

It is sad to learn the despicable oppression by the Zionists in Palestine, the killings by American troops of the innocent in Afghanistan and Iraq, the torture of thousands of activists and politicians in Tunisia, Egypt and Syria, the information distortion and lack of press freedom in Malaysia, and many more. The list can go on and on. But note that these injustices and undemocratic practices are at least heard of. Whether the criminals are brought to justice or not, the world KNOWS what is happening, and HEARS the victims cry. It is simply a matter of whether one cares or not. It is much better than an oppression which goes unreported and hence unheard of.

What I would like to draw your attention to is the helpless condition of present day Bangladesh. Being a non-Bangladeshi, I can choose to ignore this issue; but being one who believes in democracy, human rights and the principles of justice, it is indeed a duty to speak out against injustices, wherever they are perpetrated. The current Bangladeshi regime seems to have shown its true color through the recent massive arrests and torture of hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of political activists, journalists as well as students whom they consider threats to the perpetuation of the regime.

In most cases, the victims are either illegally arrested, or arrested under false accusations with fabricated evidence. As the police and the subservient legal system have to comply with the government in such practices, the victims are very unlikely to receive any fair trials and justice. The supposedly democratic government of Bangladesh, with its proud history of the 1971 liberation war against Pakistan, now seems to have chosen to be `undemocratic` towards its political rivals. Independent news media are being shut down, and journalists arrested. Some are even kidnapped and forced to make wrong confessions before the media.

Interestingly, this whole political drama reminded me of the notorious story of Taslima Nasrin, a Bangladeshi writer who was said to be a victim of Bangladesh`s lack of democracy and freedom of speech about a decade ago. More importantly, Taslima is more often depicted as a victim of the agitated Bangladeshi Muslims who were outraged by her writings on issues of Islam.

I am pretty sure the whole world witnessed, and still remembered, how the western nations, such as, France, Sweden, Denmark and others literally `competed` to `save` and provide her with political asylum and protection from the "death threats` (if they were ever real) she had received. In the name of democracy, freedom of speech and human rights, western governments united and spoke very unfairly against Bangladesh at that time. They exerted so much pressure on the Bangladeshi government through different channels, especially the media and rights organizations, to "save` Taslima that Bangladesh then suffered utter humiliation, as it was portrayed as a nation full of terrorists, radical Muslims and crazy mullahs.

Now? Political activists from opposition political parties, journalists and students of the opposition wings are being arrested, tortured in jail, falsely accused in court trials, and forced to make made-up confessions. And very surprisingly, few of these are reported in the international newspapers or news agencies. Not even a single Western human right organization is showing eagerness to save these people. This is in stark contrast to what they did during the case of Taslima. People around the world who know about this despicable condition in Bangladesh are definitely puzzled over this international silence. Is it because Bangladesh is not an important country?

That cannot be the case, as Taslima came from Bangladesh and she received great global attention. Is it then because the victims are largely from the Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami? Perhaps the answer is yes. When it comes to Muslims or Islamic political parties, democracy sounds very irrelevant to some powerful nations as well as local secular governments. This irony renders a question compelling: does democracy have a choice?


Justice Lover