Election: A Curse with Its Redemption, Golam Rabbani Nayan Bangalee Discusses His Present Life and the Future of Elections in Bangladesh

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To quote Norman Vincent Peale, “Every problem contains the seed of its solution.” It takes strength to stand up to something wrong. But to stand up to a corrupt system is both courageous and admirable. Although it may also be a lonely and challenging trip, a few people are willing to risk their safety to advance their society. These individuals are born leaders. They jeopardize their lives by speaking up against the system’s wrongs.

Golam Rabbani is one such inspirational leader. In Bangladesh, he grew up near Millat Camp, a refugee camp that sparked his interest in humanitarian work. His commitment to improving refugees’ lives dates back to his early years. When he chose to run for office, he intended to devote his life to the humanitarian cause because he believed being in a position of power would allow him to contribute to eradicating societal inequities and minorities’ suffering. His constituency in the Pallabi area has lots of garment workers who are not getting any priority to anybody because these working-class people are poor and very helpless.

Nayan Bangalee is an expert on electoral law; he believes that only a free and fair election is the only solution for Bangladesh to ensure peace and the rule of law; otherwise, this country will be backward for 20 years. Unfair polls are the country’s only root cause of crime and corruption. He demonstrated more than a thousand times on the street for this demand and protested with courage by facing all deadly threats. He and his youth forum team officially declared action against this autocratic government. In front of the speaker of the parliament, he announced root out a declaration at the event of Bangladesh Youth Parliament 2012 at the CIRDAP center and the following night. The law enforcement agency suddenly abducted him. They tried to attempt to kill him just like regular nonjudicial killing.

Still, fortunately, one of his law colleagues realized this situation and knocked on every corner of the law enforcement agency and conveyed that Nayan Bangalee is not an ordinary political or social activist. He is a lawyer of the Bangladesh Supreme Court, so becare of harras or disappear him. If you kill him, it will be a significant national or international humanitarian issue. He got released, but they gave him several conditions not to arrange any protest or demonstration against the government. But after getting released from the secret agency and a private place, he again started his right-based activities. He said voting rights are human rights and that he will fight for them till death.

Golam’s insatiable desire to develop and implement national and local election guidelines grew to the point where, when the caretaker government was in place, he negotiated with the Election Commission, led by Chief Election Commissioner Dr. Shamsul Huda and Election Commissioner Brig General Sakhawat Hossain, about their 10-point demand and election principles. They pledged to collaborate with them to hold a free and fair election. They warned the caretaker government that having elections for an extended period while it is in power would be immoral. Therefore, giving elected officials government control is the best course of action.

Today, Golam Rabbani understands that elections are a curse and serve as a type of redemption because only a free and fair election, free of intervention from the government or any of its agencies, can ensure successful governance. Even though he now lives in the United States, he didn’t spend any day worthless as a self-exile. He started his political social work campaign and research with various US scholars and politicians. He joined political social work campaign program at the University of Connecticut UCONN under the supervision of Professor Tanya Smith.

Elections provide a significant opportunity to advance democratization and encourage political liberalization. For an election to be free and fair, certain civil liberties, such as the freedoms of speech, association, and assembly, are required. Nayan Bangalee sacrificed his whole life by spending time and energy on the streets but failed because the culture of politics and its practices are so undemocratic that you can not drive it with this structure. There is a need to reconstruct and reform from down to the top, but who will show the guts? Dictators rule every political party itself, and you can not say against this culture because party blind supporters will kill you and spoil you drastically.

Nayan Bangaleer is also a part of politics. Like being a part of any political party, he tried to reform but soon realized that the whole nation must be educated and civilized. Otherwise, nobody will appreciate your agenda if they cannot understand you and your thoughts. Nayan Bangalee said, “before ensuring democracy in Bangladesh, we need democracy itself inside the party and need to educate the whole party, including leader, activist, and supporter.“

When Nayan Bangalee returns to his home country, he will emphasize the leadership of education. However, for now, he is doing fellowship and research on educational leadership at Liberty University in Virginia, the top ten largest campus-oriented study centers in the USA.

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