Two months ago, President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia had, in separate messages, greeted the countrymen on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.
In his message the President had said: “Eid builds the bond of joy, amity and unity among everyone. The message of Eid-ul-Fitr is eternal for the building of a peaceful society."
Hasina, in her message, had urged everyone to follow the teachings of Eid-ul-Fitr in every aspect of life. "Eid teaches a lesson of peace, cordiality and brotherhood. The bond of equality, amity and harmony bind all human beings together."
Khaleda, in her message had said: "Eid–ul-Fitr gives the spirit of peace and equality leaving conflicts, bitterness and adversity behind. That's why all Muslims should enjoy the occasion in harmony altogether.”
How were the last two months for us? Did Hasina and Khaleda do something in line with the expensive words they used in their Eid greetings? Did they make any move to build harmony among the two rival political parties they have been leading for more than three decades?
Unfortunately not. They did not do anything to resolve the political crisis centring the upcoming parliamentary elections. The growing crisis has already triggered fear of political violence at the end of this month. People are apprehensive of what may happen after Eid-ul-Azha.
However, the President, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition will certainly greet people on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, which will be observed next Wednesday. In their messages they will also urge everyone to follow the teachings of Eid-ul-Azha and will urge people to build harmony, leaving conflicts and bitterness.
But after Eid, what will they do?
Hasina, also ruling Awami League chief, is supposed to gear up her party's election preparations. As per her announcement, the general elections will be held between October 27 and January 24. And the ongoing parliamentary session, which will be the last one before the polls, will be prorogued on October 24.
BNP chief Khaleda Zia has already issued an ultimatum to the government to pass a bill within October 24 to restore the election time non-partisan government system. If the government does not do so, the opposition parties, as Khaleda has been threatening to do, will announce vigorous agitation programmes to resist the general election under the present government.
Yet the people have already begun preparations to celebrate holy Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest religious festival of the Muslims.
After the Eid prayers, well-to-do Muslims will sacrifice animals commemorating the readiness of Hazrat Ibrahim (Peace be Upon Him; PBUH) to give up his dearest son Hazrat Ismail (PBUH) to attain nearness of Allah. They will share sacrificial meat with their relatives, neighbours and the poor.
Politicians willing to contest the next general elections are supposed to organise feasts for local voters, party leaders and supporters to win their hearts to win the battle of ballots.
Again the political crisis may occupy many people's thoughts. Anxiety will grow in their minds. The deadline is looming large. People may not have much time to return to their work places before the country's political landscape starts to generate heat.
But Hasina and Khaleda can change the entire situation. They can offer people a big cheer during Eid by announcing steps they will take to resolve the political standoff. They can make the announcement in their Eid greetings.
We hope that the two top leaders will greet people with the promises to translate all the magnanimous words in their messages into actions. Such an announcement will be considered as a new moon in our increasingly dark political sky. If they do so, people will wish them Eid Mubarak from the bottom of their hearts.
The writer is Senior Reporter, The Daily Star.