Reforms pave the way to more efficient governance
In a developing country, when a political party enjoys state power for a long time, some problems can arise.
In most of the cases, it is affected by dishonest people. Even a communist party suffers from these problems. As an example, West Bengal was ruled by the communist alliance at least three decades but their ending was doleful -- the party not only lost the election shamelessly but their party structure also tumbled like a house of cards.
Similarly, the Congress Party of India enjoyed 10 years of power. As a leader, Sonia Gandhi was honest and her nominated prime minister Manmohan Singh was also an honest person. But after the election of 2014, Congress could not achieve the status of the opposition party in the Indian Parliament. Same thing also happened five years later. The reason was also the affected party structure and corruption of party leaders.
After entering the third consecutive term in power, within seven months, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has started to reconcile her party while refining her party organizations. At first, she changed the president and the secretary of her student wing -- they were charged with bribery in a university development work. In the last three or four decades, this type of bribery by student leaders has become a normal feature in Bangladesh.
However, the PM was the leader who took action against it and moved the wheel to stop this harmful culture. In fact, in recent times, the PM has appeared in all sister organizations of her party.
There have been several Jubo League leaders who have been arrested, while she also removed its party president and the president and secretary of two other sister organizations.
Under these circumstances, she arranged the council of those three organizations within a month; in which a new president and secretary were chosen.
Simultaneously, everyone wants a change in our student politics. Bangladesh has a long and storied heritage of student politics which was necessary for paving the way to our country’s independence -- by overthrowing the military government and for the establishment of a democratic system.
In the 21st century, Bangladesh is now very much a part of the global village.
Up until the 90s, “leaders” usually referred to political leaders. Now the scenario has completely changed. The country needs leaders in countless sectors, from sports to culture, business to publishing. So, any new form of student politics needs to be multi-dimensional.
The new drive lead by the PM for reconciling her party and wiping out corruption is also appreciated and applauded by the common people and even those who are not usually supporters of her party.
But they are very cautious and keenly observing at the end of it.
Their opinion is that the sister organizations are also important, but it depends on how the PM will change her core party leadership, from the grassroots and to the centre.
Now, it is clear before the central council, which will be held on December 21, that all the grassroots level council will not be completed. Some grassroots organization leaders are tarnishing the image of her party because, in their area, they are the representatives and the grassroots people only see them.
For this reason, if the PM has to reconcile her party’s overall image, she needs to reorganize her grassroots party leadership in many places around the country. Additionally, she can reconstruct her party from the grassroots level by declaring new leadership -- which can come through the central council.
Under these circumstances, the upcoming central council is of utmost importance.
Having a crystal clear party organization, removal of corrupt and opportunistic leaders, and choosing or electing educated, capable, and honest leaders should be the first priority.
After 11 years of consecutive power, this central council of Awami League is not only mandatory for their party constitution, but it is crucial to set up new, more honest leadership for the Awami League.
Swadesh Roy is a highest state award winning senior journalist.