Sharif Shahabuddin

‘Level playing field’ was a widely talked about topic here in Bangladesh before the just concluded national election. For obvious reasons the question arises, what is level playing field? According to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus, a level playing field denotes ‘a situation in which everyone has the same chance of succeeding.’
But, Walter Petrovic appeared as a critic of this notion. He said, ‘There is no equality on this planet or in any nation, and that is regardless of the nation’s claim. There is a class system planet-wide. Due to that truth there is no equality. Even within the stratum of the various classes there is no equality. Not all billionaires are equal. Not all politicians are equal. Not all religious leaders are equal. Not everyone within the intelligentsia is equal.’
So far as I understand, the people of Bangladesh have endorsed the ‘level playing field’ concept to be ensured in the country. I am also expressing my solidarity in establishing level playing field in all respects in society. But it is not like that any individual can give us level playing field. I believe that level playing field and democracy are inter-dependent. Without level playing field democracy cannot be practiced properly.
The level playing field had been mercilessly destroyed when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who created this Independent Bangladesh dedicating his whole life for the cause of his people, was killed along with his family members. Could we feel how the humanity was devastated when the Arges grenades were exploding one after another on the crowd in a protest rally organized by Awami League, which was the champion of leading the liberation war of Bangladesh against terrorism? What was the situation of level playing field then?
And what was the situation of level playing field when the hospitals burn units were overcrowded with the petrol bomb hit men, women and children crying for help? With their crying the earth and heaven were shaking but the most uncompromising leader of BNP Khaleda Zia was resolute and firm in carrying out her Blockade program and petrol bomb attack. It was like Roman Empire Nero playing his flute with utmost happiness when Rome was burning, and the sky and total environment around Rome was heavy with the cry of men, women and children in their utmost sorrow, pain and anguish.
What was the situation of level playing field at that time?
Some people always talks about democracy, rule of law and the level playing field. They should remember the history of formation of BNP. A political party formed under the instruction of a military general Ziaur Rahman and the members of DGFI picked up some persons from the criminal list to join his cabinet.
Everybody has his own limitations, and they should keep in mind when they speak on these issues. At the same time they should also try to understand that what they are saying was reality one day. It is 21st century. People are not that stupid that whatever you say they will take it without a question. They should understand the power of the common people and they should learn from them. Just concluded election held on 30 December 2018 is the example. Actually these people are not sure about what exactly they want their politics to be.
The main objective of politics is to serving the people and nation. However, country’s main opposition BNP neither have respect for the father of the nation nor they feel any responsibility towards independence as they have deep love for Pakistan against which our valiant freedom fighters fought and defeated in the war of liberation in 1971.
The peaceful coexistence is impossible with fundamental difference of ideology upon which Bangladesh was founded. All the political parties must be united on some national issues that were settled through the War of Liberation.
So, how can a nation achieve anything good with people of two fundamentally and ideologically opposite directions living side by side? Level playing field is far away when coexistence is impossible.