There was a time when politics used to be an open subject to the people. All kinds of compromise, dialogue and discussion were held openly. The steering of compromise was in the hands of the politicians.
However, now the politicians only share speech and statement in public. Other things like compromise and dialogues are held behind the closed door and the steering of it is no longer in the hands of politicians. To be honest, the politicians have no role these days when it comes to compromise.
During the Ershad-era of the 80s, all the dialogues were held publicly. For instance, the dialogue between the 15-party alliance and 7-party alliance, and the dialogue between Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia were held publicly.
Events of these dialogues were held in front of the reporters and the very next day, every detail of a dialogue came in the national newspapers.
The open dialogue tradition continued till 2006. Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s (BNP) late Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and Awami League’s (AL) late General Secretary Abdul Jalil held dialogues behind the closed door in a room of the National Parliament. They would have some tea, coffee, and biscuits together and discuss things. Then, they would tell the media that they had an open and wonderful discussion and they are very close to an agreement.
Then came the era of one-eleven government when the tread of compromise and dialogue saw a big change. Everything began to happen behind the veil.
When the one-eleven government was gone, it was discovered that a series of dialogues were held behind the veil regarding the election and the release of two leaders. In her several speeches, the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that representatives from the intelligence agencies met her in the sub-jail and offered her to flee abroad. Also. the audiotapes of several AL leaders were played for her. Same incidents happened to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia. The details of the compromise never came to media and what happened behind the veil never came in the media after the one-eleven era.
Furthermore, no reports on inviting the judges to the Bangabhaban or dialogue between the chief justice and Justice Wahhab Miah led group never appeared in the media.
After the imprisonment of Khaleda, both party leaders from AL and BNP are spreading incoherent statements. Someone says, ‘There is no compromise with BNP.’ BNP says, ‘The government will be forced to hold the election under a neutral government.’
But people, who have at least knowledge of the political practice of Bangladesh, know it that these words are worthless. Most of the leaders from both parties know what is going on and to what direction the wind of politics is blowing. Without any compromise, how could a group of eight BNP leaders visits Khaleda Zia in the prison cell and hold a meeting for more than an hour?
Without a compromise, how could BNP have such a soft tone? There is only answer to all these questions and that is, dialogue behind the veil. Politics seems to be no longer in the possession of politicians. Similarly, political decisions are no longer in the hands of politicians. The dialogues are held in somewhere else in a completely different manner. They decide the everything. Therefore, whatever happens in politics will happen behind the veil. We, the common people, will only see visible events.
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