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Press briefing of Prime Minister can be a great democratic platform

Published : Tuesday, 11 October, 2022 at 12:00 AM  Count : 1506

Mir mosharref hossain pakbir

Mir mosharref hossain pakbir

Under the tenacious leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has transformed over the past decade into a development model. Adopting the concept of democracy is crucial for ensuring ongoing progress. Bangladesh's prime minister regularly addresses the media to update her citizens on the state of the nation and to outline her administration's plans for action. Such news briefings have become customary, particularly after big overseas trips. These news conferences can be a crucial tool in establishing democracy in the nation, particularly at a time when few Westerners wrongfullydoubt democratic environment in Bangladesh as a result of Awami League government's being in power for consecutive terms. Hence, we need to find ways to make these briefings support our democracy to a much better extent.

The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently organized and participated in a news conference to discuss her recent trips to the US and the UK, particularly her participation in UNGA 2022. The premier discussed the difficulties facing the nation and the world in addition to providing an update on the results of her visit. She also discussed her plans for the upcoming general council of her party, which is expected to happen later this year. She attempted to inform the country about the potential economic and development issues that the entire world may experience in the near future at the press briefing. She also mentioned the period by which she expects the challenges can be overcome.

After returning to the country, it is traditional for the Prime Minister to brief the President on her international trip because it frequently influences significant policy decisions both inside and outside the country. As they play a significant role in implementing various action plans and even policy changes, it may also be anticipated that senior government and party personnel are internally told about the outcomes. The inclusion of fellow citizens, members of opposing political parties, and representatives from various working groups, however, is equally crucial since it can improve the performance of the nation as a whole.

In a democracy, the eligible citizens themselves or their duly elected representatives exercise political authority and civic accountability. Democracies are based on the concepts of individual rights and majority rule. The world's most popular political concept is democracy. Democracy gives the general public a significant say in who and how a nation is governed. It is based on a system of government in which all of a nation's citizens participate, usually through elected representatives. Democracy is a vast and varied notion. Every nation has a distinctive democratic system, hence every nation will be "differently democratic."

Different crucial aspects of democracy exist. Three of the most crucial characteristics are transparency, citizen participation, and accountability. Officials who are elected or appointed must answer to the people in a democracy. They bear responsibility for what they did. Officials must act and make decisions in accordance with the wishes and will of the people, not for themselves. One crucial component of democracy is public participation since participation enhances democracy. People must be informed on the state of the nation in order for the government to be held responsible. This was referred to as government transparency. A transparent government invites citizens to its public meetings. In a democracy, the public and the press can learn about the decisions being made by whom and why.

It matters who attends the prime minister's press conferences or briefings in a democratic nation like Bangladesh. Few eminent journalists are invited to these media briefings, as we have already observed. They are joined by a few members of the ruling party's leadership and even a few representatives of its connected groups. Occasionally, a small number of representatives from various NGOs, especially election monitoring organizations attend these briefings. Despite the fact that many groups are invited, the representation is not truly democratic because a wider class should be included.

The media engagement needs to be considerably wider than just inviting a small group of people, most of whom are media leaders and support the administration. Participation should be open to all journalists. The procedure ought to be open and inclusive. Only inviting a small number of media personnel goes against the democratic process itself. Changing the participant list is necessary to provide everyone an equal chance if inviting a big number of media professionals is difficult.

Representatives from several professional groups should be invited in addition to media personnel. These press conferences offer excellent chances to speak with the nation's top official. These occasions are uncommon, and if professional organizations are present, they can discuss their problems and possibly receive a resolution from the highest ranking official. The Prime Minister also needs to be aware that a wide range of problems can be discussed. On a single platform, the media can cover the problems as well as the government's commitment.

At these press conferences, opposition leaders ought to be invited as well. Successful and fearless are two qualities that describe Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Her charisma and leadership are undeniable. The opposition parties constantly attack her or his administration, despite the fact that they are unable to promise the populace anything sensible or constructive. These opposition leaders ought to be invited to these public forums so they may speak with the PM and possibly get their questions answered. According to what we understand, their involvement will put an end to their irrational queries and criticism and will only enhance the Prime Minister's strength and image before the public.

There is a good chance that if opposition party representatives are asked to the prime minister's press conferences, they will decline and whine in vain for their pointless justifications. However, the PM shouldn't be hesitant to extend the invitation since if they decline, it will be proven that the opposition leaders lack the courage to challenge her in front of the people and aren't genuinely working to advance their interests. It is time for face-to-face question and answer sessions because Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina only has the fortitude to be an example in this situation given the lengthy history of blame-game politics in our nation.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is representing the whole Bangladesh. She is now acting as leader of the country, not as the leader of Awami League. Hence, representatives from different groups and political parties should have the opportunity to attend Prime Minister's press briefing as Sheikh Hasina is Prime Minister of everyone. Only openness and participation of everyone can portray a better democratic picture of Bangladesh to our own citizens as well as to the world.

Bangladesh has gone through such remarkable achievements under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that most of us could not imagine a decade ago. But huge progress is now visible. Though recently we are facing some crisis like; power shortage, inflation etc. But these problems are mostly part of a broader global crisis and Bangladesh will overcome those with the world at a particular point. As the Awami League government is in power for three continuous term and is opting to retain power for the consecutive fourth term, it is very important that, the democratic practices are portrayed inside and outside their party as well as that of the government. Hence, we hope a broader participants group in the press briefings of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will create a scope.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is 76 years old now with a political career of 42 years (since she was elected to lead Awami League in 1981). She has addressed UNGA for a record 19 times and next year she will address the assembly for 20th time. She has been Prime Minister of the country for more than 18 years. She has done many remarkable things and acted out of conventional style on different occasions. Even before going to large events like UNGA, she can take suggestions from different groups and can inform the whole world on those so that it will be the demands or feedback of the whole nation rather than only hers. It is possible for her to change the style of her press briefings to depict a much better democratic practice as we always expect something different from the Bangladeshi premier.

We hope, representatives from different professional groups, media and political parties will participate in future press briefings of the Prime Minister and democracy will prevail in the country at its best.
The writer is Chief Editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA), Editor at Kishore Bangla and Chief Patron, BangabandhuShishu Kishore Mela

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