The AL-led grand alliance government has passed honeymoon period amid many challenges to fulfill the people's expectations for change. It was not difficult to surmise the shape of things to come to perplex the new establishment. Thorny days were ahead as the grand alliance government inherited a hazy political landscape as a remnant of the immediate past. The political situation was shrouded with uncertainties.
There was sky-high expectation as the government had been mandated to bring change, as stated in the party's election manifesto. A veteran British MP commented that meeting the huge expectations of the voters has become a great challenge for both Hasina and Obama.
The challenges for the new incumbent began to mushroom. The irrational elements in the students organisation put on a show of power in the campuses, disturbing normal academic activities. The prime minister was aware of the post election campus situation, and took a serious view of it. Despite the sincerity of the government things went awry, compelling the prime minister to sever her association with her front organization.
The PM expressed her determination to deal strictly with violence and extortion in the name of student politics. Stern warning was issued against the culture of dormitory capture. At that time the role of media as a "supportive force" deserves mention.
The ruling party was caught between two fires. On the one hand the opposition was trying to fish in troubled waters. On the other, the pro-government student organisation became a thorn in the side of the ruling party.
The situation created out of the upazila elections drama was confusing -- a strange mix of positive and negative reactions and comments. The new political regime appeared with a fresh image showing much promise at the beginning to increase the height of popular expectation.
Yet some unhappy experiences with UZ elections in the transition period bred frustration and suspicion. Staging the upazila elections in the transition period was a great blunder. The decision to hold upazila elections before the national election was shifted under the pressure of the two major political parties. The consequence was somewhat disastrous. However, in the ultimate analysis, the upazila elections were free and fair, barring some allegations about manipulation and incidences of violence.
I think the government watchfully observed the situation. It has been approaching the problems well and with a great care so that high popular expectations do not dissolve into utter frustration.
Sinister elements like war criminals, militants and their cohorts have been looking for a chance to create chaos and confusion in the country. The BDR mutiny that occurred on February 25 was a great national tragedy. It was an act committed to upset the government and cause a colossal loss to the standing army.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina rose to the occasion in the face of utter confusion and tackled the situation with statesmanship. On the strength of tremendous mass support the government has been facing political adversaries with a firm hand. The PM crossed over the hurdles one after another to the frustration of her formidable foes.
So, in tiding over the initial difficulties, the grand alliance government could not feel the taste of the honeymoon. The democratic government established after a long lay off stood on the heaps of garbage left by the previous regime. It has to operate under unprecedented circumstances. It has been a difficult task to work on the numerous ordinances left by the caretaker government. It has to address the immediate crises like price hike in the kitchen markets and load shedding.
Yet, the crux of the problem is global recession that is knocking at the door. The concern about the global crisis has been reflected in precautionary measures. The government from the very beginning has been preoccupied with pre budget thinking to find a roadmap to mitigate crisis. At times it has to ponder over the mandated agenda like the trials of the war criminals.
However there remains a rippling suspicion about sabotage and anti-state activities of the obnoxious forces opposed to their trials. I think the government is being careful in solving the numerous problems and will come out successful.