Jatiya Oikyafront Convener Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday urged the government to follow the instructions Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman outlined in the constitution to ensure a functional democracy in the country.
“We the opposition parties usually come down hard on the government. But I won't do this today. I want to tell them to follow the constitution. No one can disobey the constitution signed by Bangabandhu. It's clearly mentioned in the constitution that people are the country's owners,” he said.
Dr Kamal, the president of Gono Forum, said the instructions and dreams of Bangabandhu were written in the constitution. “It's now our responsibility to materialise those. All, including those who are in the highest position of the government, must obey what Bangabandhu outlined in the constitution.”
Dr Kamal was addressing a discussion at the party's Arambagh central office, marking the 11th death anniversary of party's former general secretary Saifuddin Ahmed Manik.
He urged people to play a careful role during the next two years as the country is going to celebrate the golden jubilee of its independence in 2021.
“Certainty there'll be some problems when there's any fault in an election or it's controversial. As the country's citizens, you'll have to discharge your duties carefully and cautiously so that the government, which will rule the country, take their charge constitutionally and discharge its duties constitutionally.”
He said the constitution signed by Bangabandhu stipulates that there must be effective democracy in the country, not one in name only. “Effective democracy is where citizens can feel that they're able to play their role as the owners of the country.”
Dr Kamal said both the government and the country's citizens have some responsibilities as per the constitution. “The government's responsibility is to rule the country following constitution while the citizens will elect their representatives through a fair election. It means a fair election is crucial to elect people's representatives.”
Mentioning that the role of police is essential in a democratic country, he said policemen must work abiding by laws and showing respect to people.
The Gono Forum chief said democracy will not be functional if plundering goes on in freestyle. “I would like to remind the police that their constitutional responsibility is to maintain law and order, protect people and their rights.”
At the beginning of the programme, Gono Forum leaders and activists paid homage to Saifuddin Ahmed Manik by observing a one-minute silence.
Gono Forum executive presidents Mofizul Islam Kamal, Subrata Chowdhury, presidium members Jaglul Haider Afrik, Asma Amin and Mokabbir Khan, among others, spoke at the programme.