Dhaka’s general disparages democracy

India must disabuse the generals before they dismiss democracy

One more army general blames elections and democracy for the sorry affairs of state in his country. This time it is Lt Gen Moeen U Ahmed, the power behind the caretaker dispensation in Bangladesh. ‘Elective’ (sic) democracy, he said recently, led to corruption, so Bangladesh must ‘construct its own brand of democracy’.

We know only too well where that path leads.

The caretaker government has been more receptive—at least in form—to India’s interests than its predecessor. That and the crisis that threatened to destabilise Bangladesh has so far blunted any strong criticism from New Delhi. Gen Moeen’s comment deserve an appropriate response from India—that it’s not the army’s job to pass verdict on Bangladesh’s constitutional set-up. Unless India delivers the little nudges at the right time at the right place, it will find itself having to deliver a shove. And shoving, India should know by now, is neither easy nor painless.

3 thoughts on “Dhaka’s general disparages democracy”

  1. What is it about these strong-men that they refuse to grasp the concept of a soldier as a “reluctant warrior”? Why do they assume that their military training has prepared them for handling masses of civilians better than the “stupid civvies” themselves? Or is it a much simpler (myopic) clamor for power and money? Fools.

  2. The military’s sole job in Bangladesh is to protect democracy, not practice it, nor meditate it to the public at large. In essence, the military should confine itself to the barracks.

    What the general is saying may echo what the public is thinking, but coming out of the mouth of a man in uniform, the perception is that the military is the true power and not the caretaker government.

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