‘Ami bhoter lagia bhikhari sajinu/ Phirinu go dvare dvare/ Ami bhikhari na shikari go/ Amay asal kew na bolil na…’—Dadathaku Sarachchandra Pandit wrote this ‘Bhot Ranga song’ long ago. Who knows what to write now? The way the candidates’ supporters have been fighting since receiving the symbols on December 18, no one seems to be ‘voting beggars’ anymore.
So far January 7, 2024 is the polling day. The promotion will continue till January 5. I don’t know what all the fuss is about during this period. The way the whole world is looking at our elections, this beating does not go well with the grace they expect for the establishment of democracy. But what to do! Even the cynics will agree that when democracy is a struggle for the establishment of rights, even if the lives of some Ulukhagars are not lost, the wounds will be created on the body. So it appears that the chances of the vote being one-sided are slim. None of the candidates came out with the bet of ‘No war without war’. Especially Awami League official and independent candidates of Awami League are single in this matter.
Now we are also waiting to know the comments of those who are looking at our constituency from outside with interest. But whatever may be said about it, it is the Election Commission’s responsibility to ensure smooth polling at any cost. There is no way the commission can get away with the excuse that it is not possible to stop the conflict, or even stop the missile-like rhetoric, unless the participating parties or the candidates want to. Doing so will prove his incompetence.
Talking about this beating, not a single word had to be said. In 2024, the curtain is rising for the elections that are going to be held in countries around the world, but with Bangladesh. You might be surprised how many Raghabboals are in the running for next year’s elections. There are almost all those who are working tirelessly to bring this world into a new direction. In this effort, the election of Bangladesh is getting importance to everyone, should feel proud.
If you search hard on Google, you will see that in 2024 there will be state level elections in at least 57 countries. These countries are home to more than four billion people, which is more than half of the world’s total population. In addition, there will be votes for the temporary seats of the UN Security Council and the European Parliament. Now let’s see the names of some important countries in the list of 57 countries. America, Russia, India, Iran, Taiwan, South Africa, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Venezuela, Pakistan; And there is a need to write the name? Then you can understand that those who will be elected from these countries next year, are actually the contractors of determining the nature of the world. You can say that there is no name of China here. There is no election of this kind under the communist regime in China. And the Communist Party of China has given Xi Jinping the responsibility of president and party chairman for life. As a result, there is no room for debate.
Now let’s see a little Mas Wari. Out of 57 countries, 23 countries have their voting dates known. Important countries include India, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Venezuela and Ukraine, which have yet to announce election dates. Two days after our National Assembly elections on January 7, the second round of voting for the National Assembly of neighboring Bhutan will take place. Many people were surprised to see the name of Taiwan in the list of important countries. Now let’s come to that topic. The small island will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on January 13. But China is not looking at this election well. America wants Taiwan’s current status to remain intact. The show of words and muscle power of the two superpowers is going on.
China considers Taiwan as part of itself. Most of the countries in the world, including America, which adhere to the ‘One China’ policy, also have to believe that. Despite the one-China policy, Taiwan actually exists as a sovereign country. It is China’s eyesore. They want to annex Taiwan to the mainland. Xi Jinping’s China is not willing to wait forever for this. China has fixed the deadline till 2027. Taiwan and its friend America and other western countries do not want to accept that. The goal is there. The front-runner in Taiwan’s presidential election, Lai Ching, wants to preserve the country’s sovereignty by maintaining a democratic trend. Sensing this voter sentiment, China has officially warned that Taiwanese will have to choose between ‘war or peace’. As it stands, China’s status as a ‘rising superpower’ will suffer if it backs off on Taiwan. On the other hand, if Taiwan merges with China, no one will consider America as a world leader. As a result, if America, the world’s largest economy, and China, known as the prison of the world, get involved in a conflict around Taiwan, then what will happen in the future is beyond anyone’s imagination. One Russia-Ukraine, two Israel-Hamas conflicts, we are breathing heavily. There again America-China! And we are only with January 7.
National elections in Pakistan and Indonesia, the two majority countries of the Muslim world, will be held on February 8 and 14. Many people are really speechless to see the unresponsive western world regarding what is happening with the elections in Pakistan under the supervision of the army. And it is better not to speak Indonesia. There is no attempt among the 20 crore voters to loosen the grip of the elite business community and the military on the ruling power of that country. No chance.
Elections in Iran and Russia in March. Elections in Iran take place within a specific framework. As a result, no matter who wins there, there is no possibility of policy change. And on March 17, Vladimir Putin announced his candidacy for the Russian presidential election. Then there is no more! As a result, the world of 2023 will change to 2024, does anyone have the courage to dream this?
India, the world’s most populous and largest democracy, is likely to vote for the Lower House of Parliament or Lok Sabha elections in April and May. However, the date is not fixed yet. Whichever way the winds are going, preventing Narendra Modi from coming to power for a third term is increasingly becoming a fantasy. Modi came to power for the first time and transformed the country’s democratic system into a Hindu nationalist democracy. After coming to power in the second term, RSS has fulfilled multiple agendas including Kashmir, Ram Mandir, and continues to do so. Ram Mandir will be inaugurated on the site of the demolished Babri Masjid in the month of January. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate. He will make good use of this opportunity to present himself as a Hindu-Prananath in the Hindi world. More than 25 crore minority communities (Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and others) live there. Let’s see how the West, including America, shapes their future relationship with Narendra Modi, who has returned with fierce Hindu supremacy. The murder of a Sikh leader Nirja in Canada and the attempt to kill another Sikh leader Pannun in America have spread suspicion about both sides. It’s hard to say how much just trying to block China will actually help both sides move the relationship forward.
Parliamentary elections in South Africa this year. The African National Congress or ANC has been in power for the past 30 years. The Mandla-North ANC received less than 50 percent of the total vote for the first time in municipal elections held nationwide two years ago. There is no doubt that allegations of rampant corruption leveled against ANC leaders are largely responsible for this. If the ANC’s waning popularity continues, the country could see major changes. Which can actually affect not only the African continent but the whole world. Many equations can be changed.
In the United Kingdom, the House of Commons elections are scheduled for January 2025. Keeping in mind the shaky Rishi Sunak government, it is assumed that this election will be held by December next year. In that case, the Conservative Party, which has been in power for 14 years, has little chance of coming back. It is assumed that the next government will be formed by the Labor Party. But this Labor Party leader may not play the role of Tony Blair. In that case, the UK’s role may change.
Nine more countries in Europe are due to vote in 2024. Right-wing parties are emerging in almost all of its countries. There are similar fears about the European Parliament elections. There is the glory of the right wing. The right-wing is expected to become the third largest force in the European Parliament after this post-Brexit vote. As a result, it is impossible for anyone to say what the role of a united Europe will be in the new parliament. But it can change the path that the European Parliament has been on for so long.
While talking about the election of so many countries, the real country was not mentioned. Yes, America is right. Elections will be held on November 5 next year. Less than a year at hand. Everyone is worried about former President Donald Trump returning to the White House for a second term. On Tuesday, December 19, the Supreme Court of the state of Colorado declared a ban on putting Trump’s name on the ballot in that state. Anti-Trump may see it as a big win. But the British magazine Economist says that as the courts become more and more violent, Trump’s popularity is increasing. The case of Colorado will be no exception. Colorado is still a swing state. It has only 10 votes in the Electoral College in the presidential election. Total votes are 270. Democrats won there last time. As a result, there is nothing to worry about for Trump.
This is evidenced by the New York Times’ November survey. In that survey, 59 percent of Americans trust Trump. Only 37 percent trust President Biden there. On December 19, the newspaper published another survey. That said, nearly twice as many people disapprove than approve of Biden’s support for the Israeli attack on Gaza. That is, Biden is not only lagging behind Trump in terms of popularity, but is making one decision after another, which most Americans do not approve of. That is, Biden failed to read the minds of American voters. How much will the court try to prevent?
Western experts know that Trump of the first round and Trump of Eberker are not the same. Tidier than ever. Quoting Putin a few days ago, Trump said that Biden is dangerous for democracy. After that, there is nothing left to understand. The former president said long ago that he would end the Russia-Ukraine war the day after he took office. Zelensky is afraid of this. Because of this, he wants to collect everything while Biden is still there.
Western European countries have the same fear. He was unwilling to provide security to the Europeans at the cost of a penny. Instead, he will ‘Make America Great Again’ with that money. With a small island like Taiwan, he doesn’t want to appear redundant with a nuclear-powered country like China. Instead, they want to tighten China on trade issues. For this, Trump and his colleagues have announced that an average levy of 10 percent will be levied on all imported products. Bangladesh can also be in this list. In fact, after 30 years, Trump is going to return from the trend of free trade created in the world after 1990 by the prescription of World Bank and IMF. This will affect the entire world trade. Why China, no one will be saved. That is, Trump wants to take America back to the pre-World War II state, where American interests, American success are the only gods. Those who made the world a global village for so long are now trying to break it into small islands again. How is it?
After all, President Donald Trump has claimed that he was forced to lose by stealing votes after his loss. Even after one case after another, he did not withdraw from his complaint. This Trump is now the jewel in the eye of American voters, at the peak of popularity.
Still, will anyone ask Selukas how important the election of Bangladesh really is. In Bhubangram one cannot pass all exams in one question.
Author: Executive Editor, Digital Division, Independent Television