Political party branch offices overseas
IT is typical of Bangladeshi expatriates that they often take their home-spun feuding abroad with reckless abandon. They open and operate branches, offices or committees of national political parties in their respective places of residence, thereby dividing expatriate population along party lines.
It is against such background that public opinion has grown in the country for doing away with party branch offices or units abroad. In a reformative ambience that pervaded in the country, the Election Commission (EC) has finalised a proposal for placing a ban on national political parties opening offices overseas. The political parties are opposed to such a move, but we would like to endorse the EC's recommendation for the following reasons:
For all we know, the Pakistanis, Indians, Sri Lankans, Thais, Filipinos, Indonesians and others do not indulge in such a luxury and degenerate practice. At best, what they would do is to have community associations serve their collective interest in host countries including practising and propagating their cultural identity and tradition.
Over time the branch offices of political parties have turned out to be the mirror image of the divisive Bangladesh politics abroad. The reactionary politics is taken to such an absurd length that even on the occasion of observing our national day the respective party followers were once seen fighting one another.
The negative impact of this phenomenon are manifold and they far outweigh the plus side, if any. The only advantage one can think of is that they raise funds for the political parties but fund-raising could be done in a plenty of other ways. Putting a ban on operating party offices abroad has been long overdue. For one thing, the divided Bangladeshi community undermines the image of themselves as well as that of the country of origin in the host countries. For another, fragmented in their ranks, they cannot speak cohesively and forcefully for their cultural, educational and other rights.
Let the political parties rise above narrow partisan interest and wake up to the need for modern day politics to accept the EC's proposal in the greater interest of themselves and the nation. If other countries can do without party offices abroad, why can't we?